Earlier today, many were unexpectedly locked out of the AFL-CIO convention after the Secret Service closed the doors for the arrival of President Joe Biden. The lockout infuriated activists and delegates who had arrived early to see Biden, but many also saw it as a metaphor for how people are being excluded from the convention as a whole. Shockingly, the AFL-CIO did not invite the Amazon Labor Union, since it’s an independent union and doesn’t belong to the AFL-CIO. Nor did the convention invite members of the SEIU-affiliated Starbucks Workers United. “It’s just petty,” one senior union official told Payday Report. “Starbucks and Amazon are two of the most exciting campaigns in recent memory, and we don’t even have anyone here from those campaigns to learn lessons from these campaigns.”
In the villages, cities and regions of Rojava, in the predominantly Kurdish north east of Syria, political upheaval has resulted in the largely decentralised self-administration of many areas, including health, economy, law, education and internal security. The Rojava revolution led to both the secularisation and democratisation of institutions that had, until then, been controlled by an elitist-centralist national state. But what exactly does this mean? How is Rojava’s decentralisation expressed in everyday life? Located in north eastern Rojava, Amûdê County demonstrates what decentralisation and self-administration can look like in practice. Starting at the end of government rule in 2012, its communes, district people’s council and the municipality (Şaredarî) were all subjected to processes of democratisation.