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Rojava

How do we live with the monocropped corporate realities of "normal" work, school, money, family, walmart, leg-shaving, in-laws, expectations? As DIY radicals, activists, anarchists, punks, and everything else, should we fit in or make the world fit us? What does mental diversity mean to you? What kind of world is possible?

Rojava

Postby Spinygrrl » May 25, 2016 12:29 am

Anyone talking about it? Anyone thinking about it? What do you think?

I dunno, I'm too old, jaded, and cantakerous to get excited right away, but I can't believe I haven't been reading about this before. I live under a rock.

In comments, maybe be conscious of content given the nature of the topic and the nature of surveillance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rojava

https://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchism/comm ... ided_over/

https://www.reddit.com/r/rojava/

https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar ... _12months/
----> comment thread on this one was interesting to me

EDIT nevermind, this one is better imo: https://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchism/comm ... _2_on_the/

The political system of Rojava is inspired by democratic confederalism and communalism. It is influenced by anarchist and libertarian principles, and is considered by many a type of libertarian socialism.[78] The basic unit at the local level is the community which pools resources for education, protection and governance. At a national level communities are unrestricted in deciding their own economic decisions on how they wish to sell to and how resources are allocated. There is a broad push for social reform, gender equality and ecological stabilization in the region.[79]
Political writer David Romano describes it as pursuing "a bottom-up, Athenian-style direct form of democratic governance". He contrasts the local communities taking on responsibility versus the strong central governments favoured by many states. In this model, states become less relevant and people govern through councils.[80] Rojava divides itself into regional administrations called cantons named after the Swiss cantons.[81]
Neighborhood assembly system[edit]
The governance model of Rojava has an emphasis on local management, with regions divided into cantons with democratically elected committees to make decisions. The Movement for a Democratic Society (also known as TEV-DEM) is the political coalition governing Rojava.
Its programme immediately aimed to be "very inclusive" and people from a range of different backgrounds became involved, including Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, and Turkmen & Yazidis (from Muslim, Christian, and Yazidi religious groups). It sought to "establish a variety of groups, committees and communes on the streets in neighborhoods, villages, counties and small and big towns everywhere". The purpose of these groups was to meet "every week to talk about the problems people face where they live". The representatives of the different community groups meet 'in the main group in the villages or towns called the "House of the People"'.
According to Zaher Baher of the Haringey Solidarity Group, the TEV-DEM has been "the most successful organ" in Rojava because it has the "determination and power" to change things, it includes many people who "believe in working voluntarily at all levels of service to make the event/experiment successful", and it has "set up an army of defence consisting of three different parts" - the YPG (a "mixed force of men and women that exists in the towns and all the checkpoints outside the towns to protect civilians from any external threat"), the YPJ ("a special unit for women only, to deal with issues of rape and domestic violence"[82] along with national defense), and the Asayish which is a democratically elected police force.
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Re: Rojava - Don't believe everything you read, but -

Postby Spinygrrl » May 25, 2016 5:45 pm

there's more:

https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/magaz ... -hell.html :

But much of the information emerging from Rojava seemed contradictory and almost fantastical. To the Turkish government, the territory, which is now the size of Connecticut and has an estimated 4.6 million inhabitants, was nothing more than a front for a Turkish group known as the P.K.K., or Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Since its founding in 1978, the P.K.K., led by Ocalan, had been fighting for independence from Turkey, hoping to establish a homeland for the country’s 14 million Kurds. The effort had caused the deaths of 40,000 people, thousands of them civilians, and led to the imprisonment of Ocalan. The American State Department designated the P.K.K. a terrorist organization in 1997. Having failed in Turkey, officials claimed, the P.K.K. was trying to create a Kurdish homeland amid the disruption of war. ‘‘We will never allow the establishment of a state in Syria’s north and our south,’’ President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said in June. ‘‘We will continue to fight in this regard no matter what it costs.’’

But to sympathetic Western visitors, Rojava was something else entirely: a place where the seeds of the Arab Spring promised to blossom into utopia. ‘‘What you are doing,’’ said Raymond Joliffe, a member of Britain’s House of Lords, during a trip in May 2015, ‘‘is a unique experiment that deserves to succeed.’’ A Dutch professor named Jan Best de Vries arrived in December 2014 and donated $10,000 to help buy books for Kurdish university students. David Graeber, a founder of Occupy Wall Street, visited that same month and wrote before his trip that ‘‘the autonomous region of Rojava, as it exists today, is one of few bright spots — albeit a very bright one — to emerge from the tragedy of the Syrian revolution.’’
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » May 25, 2016 6:09 pm

My new thing as of the last year or two is to save news pages from the web and read them when I get home (still no internet at home base) but I can tell you that the mainstream media hasn't mentioned this at all that I'm aware of, other than the Times piece you posted which I'm sure wasn't on page 1. So I'll refrain from analysis until I've read more but with all the different powers focused on Syria at present, regional and foreign, if there is any shred of truth to the tales of Rojava I'm going to assume that the one thing all these powers will agree on is that something like this has to be stomped into oblivion.

Remember what made Tienanmen Square different from previous massacres? We all watched it happen on TV. With the ubiquity of personal technology in 2016, let's make sure to be watching over Rojava.
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Re: Rojava

Postby STLICTX » May 25, 2016 6:35 pm

I've thought of volunteering, but decided it probably wouldn't work out. I wish them luck though.
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Re: Rojava

Postby Spinygrrl » May 25, 2016 6:38 pm

With the ubiquity of personal technology in 2016, let's make sure to be watching over Rojava.


This is right on, and also makes me feel somewhat less depressed about the fact that mostly I can't do more right now than type from my island of solitude and PTS symptoms. Thank you.

Here, the HuffPo gets excited about women with guns, and compares the Rojava sitch to the situation in Chiapas.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverly-b ... 91494.html

Edit, that's not entirely fair on my part, there is some stuff in there about structured alternative gender relations.

Meanwhile, I've been searching spanish and english and can't yet find a statement that appears to come from the Zapatistas on Rojava or the PKK, tho there is plenty of commentary comparing the two, much of which appears in mags left of the HuffPo.
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » May 26, 2016 10:25 am

Yeah, the discussion surrounding this is reminding me quite a lot of the earliest murmurs of Zapatista support across the globe. I'm kind of surprised that this particular flavour of idealism was birthed within the PKK though. I'm not sure I've ever really understood what they were about in terms of the specific details, beyond that they were Kurdish and Marxist. Maybe I'm behind the times there.

So... Rojava is "influenced by" anarchist and libertarian ideas but remember they still have a police force, and prisons. They seem focused on building a society based around secular, liberal values with a specific emphasis on gender equality, polyethnicity, multilingualism and higher education. Voluntary collectivization seems to be a trend too. Maybe heading towards some form of post-capitalism for the future. I suck at economics but this caught my eye:

wikipedia wrote:There are also no taxes on the people or businesses in Rojava. Instead money is raised through border crossings, and selling oil or other natural resources. In May 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that traders in Syria experience Rojava as "the one place where they aren’t forced to pay bribes."


Wow.

That whole section on Murray Bookchin in the NY Times article caught me off guard too. His philosophies, which to me seemed silly for the most part, apparently make some actual sense when re-applied by some revolutionaries halfway around the world? I'm baffled as well as humbled. The NYT is strange sometimes. I was thinking, this is all starting to read like a glorified Vice article, the kind where they send correspondents overseas, and then got to the bottom:

The NY Times wrote:Wes Enzinna is a deputy editor at Vice Media and teaches writing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. His continuing reporting in Syria is funded in part by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.


Ahhh.

So at least someone somewhere on this polluted mudball is making steps towards a freer society. Which of us can say the same about our own countries? I know someone is gonna get mad that I used "liberal" in a positive sense up there but you know what the hell I meant.
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Re: Rojava

Postby ravenock » Jun 02, 2016 3:51 pm

I agree Rojava is really inspiring. There's some really good info on it on this podcast: http://www.soleone.org/solecast/2016/1/ ... anet-biehl
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » Jun 02, 2016 4:23 pm

I tried to download that podcast. "This website is blocked by your network operator." What on earth... I suppose I get what I pay for which is nothing. I looked up the company but I don't have the patience for corporate internet drama at the moment. Another time maybe.
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Re: Rojava

Postby ravenock » Jun 02, 2016 8:00 pm

Do you have itunes? That's actually where I get that podcast.
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » Jun 03, 2016 1:11 pm

Nope... ah OK,the stream is working now, I just can't hear it in the noise here. I usually look for the mp3 link and listen to it at home later.
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Re: Rojava

Postby Spinygrrl » Jun 03, 2016 4:44 pm

I'm pretty excited to listen. Shit's shitty here in the States right now, thinking about other possibilities is inspiring for sure.
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » Jan 28, 2017 1:45 pm

The lack of media coverage on this is staggering. Here is the English translation of their constitution:

https://civiroglu.net/the-constitution- ... a-cantons/
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Re: Rojava

Postby Spinygrrl » Feb 09, 2017 6:26 pm

Awesome thank you for that.

And thanks for keeping this thread alive.

Yeah... here in the US the media blackout is pretty amazing, I guess it's not much better in Canada?
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » Feb 09, 2017 7:19 pm

^ People here consume US news anyway but neither side is mentioning this. The most in depth article I've seen was that NYT article but that wasn't exactly top headline news. Even Al Jazeera's coverage is a little thin and not as positive as I'd expect, not viciously negative either though:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 43648.html
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » Feb 11, 2017 6:46 pm

I found a downloadable version of the Janet Biehl podcast in case anyone besides me also can't use Soundcloud:

https://sole.bandcamp.com/track/20-jane ... y-bookchin

I haven't listened to it nor the following either but crimethinc have two episodes as well. I haven't paid attention to that outlet since, seriously, pre-2000 but I've been told they've matured since:

https://crimethinc.com/podcast/36
https://crimethinc.com/podcast/39
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » Feb 13, 2017 3:24 pm

The impression I'm getting is that some activists in the cantons are unimpressed with westerners' obsession with the women fighters in Rojava for at least three separate reasons.

One activist criticized a CNN reporter for using this as an example of some people in the Middle East sharing "our values". She said no they do not wish to emulate western values at all, don't need western democracy to save them and don't need our approval. She explained how this was another example of westerners believing the Middle East needs to be rescued from barbarism. There's already greater gender equality in their armed services than in ours. Second is the constant posting of images of YPJ fighters with combat fatigues and AK47s as revolutionary pinup girls. Finally, Kurdish women have fought alongside men for over 30 years and the PKK has had distinct women's units since 1984.

You gotta admit though, it's impressive that these women can send ISIS packing with the sound of their voices alone. Apparently they do drill chants or something(?) when in earshot of enemy combatants and the ISIS bros are so terrified of being killed by a girl and going to Hell for it that they've been known to retreat. Tell me that isn't awesome.
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Re: Rojava

Postby ojaloco » Jul 16, 2017 3:51 pm

I think what is happening in Kurdistan very exciting, but also brutal with the war.
please have in mind that i am not a native English speaker, so there can be some misunderstandings because of my poor English language. I am sorry about that.
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Re: Rojava

Postby FLAMING ATTACK B0T » Jul 24, 2017 8:06 pm

There was an article on Vice today:

The 'Most Feminist Revolution the World Has Ever Witnessed'
https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/43dm ... -witnessed
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