By Andrew Flood for Anarchist Writers – As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies in the SDF have won increasing visibility in western media. While such reports often mention the key role in this fight played by women in the YPJ, there is otherwise little examination of the revolution happening behind the front lines in Rojava. That revolution is why they stood and fought ISIS rather than fleeing. This can be true of a lot of alternative media coverage. In part this is due to the limited amount of information on what this revolution involves. but it’s also in part because photographs of women with guns are judged to be more striking than women workers in a co-operative bakery or a community assembly.
By Steve Rushton for Occupy.com. While our supposed “democracy” is dominated by the 1%, this alternative uses local participative councils to direct society from the bottom up. While across the world regimes are building walls against people of color, as women remain oppressed, this liberated place is undergoing a radical process of female empowerment and has set in law the principle that every refugee is welcome. And while modern capitalism is driving the world toward ecological meltdown, this society is gearing toward a new ecological harmony. It is the story of Rojava, the autonomous, predominantly Kurdish non-state that has arisen out of the ashes of northern Syria, and defiantly shown that another world is not only possible, but that it is happening. The book Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan is the first full-length account of this remarkable recent history that began July 19, 2012, with the liberation of Rojava from the oppressive Syrian Ba’ath regime.
By Dilar Dirik for Roar Magazine. Rojava – “When people first came to our house a few years ago to ask if our family would like to participate in the communes, I threw stones at them to keep them away,” laughs Bushra, a young woman from Tirbespiye, Rojava. The mother of two belongs to an ultra-conservative religious sect. Before, she had never been allowed to leave her home and used to cover her entire body except her eyes. “Now I actively shape my own community,” she says with a proud and radiant smile. “People come to me to seek help in solving social issues. But at the time, if you had asked me, I wouldn’t even have known what ‘council’ meant or what people do in assemblies.” Today, around the world, people resort to alternative forms of autonomous organization to give their existence meaning again, to reflect human creativity’s desire to express itself as freedom.
By Janet Biehl and Zanyar Omrani for ROAR Magazine – In this interview, independent filmmaker and journalist Zanyar Omrani talks to Janet Biehl about her late companion Murray Bookchin, her trips to Rojava and the important question of how to build bottom-up power structures without risking the reversal of the process over time. Janet Biehl has traveled to Rojava twice in the past year and has written extensively about her experiences and observations while visiting the autonomous cantons in northern Syria. She is the author of the book Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin.