The History and Context of the Rojava Revolution

A Mountain River Has Many Bends

The History and Context of the Rojava Revolution

Taken from:

This text is the introduction to our book A Small Key Can Open A Large Door.
This text is the introduction to our book A Small Key Can Open A Large Door.

In Northern Syria, 2.5 million people are living in a stateless, feminist, religiously tolerant, anti-capitalist society of their own creation. They call their territory Rojava, and they defend it fiercely. They’re at war with the extremist group ISIS, and they’re doing better than anyone in the world expected — least of all the Western powers who seek to treat them as pawns.It’s a complicated situation, but we in the rest of the world have much to learn from the Rojava revolution. To that end, we offer this long-form introduction to the history and the present struggle of the Kurdish people.

Long live the Rojava revolution!

Rojava: Facts at a Glance

rojavamap-coloredName: “Rojava” is a word that means both “West” and “Sunset” in Kurdish. Each canton has its own anthem and flag.

Geography: Rojava lies in the northern part of Syria and the western part of Kurdistan.The area stretches over 1,437 square miles (making it a bit bigger than Rhode Island), and it is home to a total of 380 cities, towns, and villages.

Population: At the start of the Syrian civil war, Rojava was home to nearly 3.5 million people. Now, it is home to a little over 2.5 million (roughly twice the population of Rhode Island). Nearly a million people have fled, many to refugee camps in Turkey and Iraq. The most populous city in Rojava is Qamişlo (Cizîrê Canton), with more than 400,000 people.

Economics: Rojava’s major economic resource is oil. The region produces about 40,000 barrels of crude oil a day. All Syrian refineries were located in the south of the country, so Rojava has had to build its own DIY refinery. Before the war there were some industries, namely concrete production sites and metal foundries, but the production from these industries has been disrupted by the civil war. Rojava is considered the breadbasket of Syria, cradled where it is between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The region’s major agricultural products are sheep, grain, and cotton. It was the only agricultural region in Syria to have a thriving export business prior to the war and the resulting embargo.

Military: The main fighting forces of Rojava are volunteer militias (namely the YPG and YPJ). The YPG/YPJ have a combined forced of 40,000 lightly-armed fighters. Most of the weapons are light firearms combined with Russian-made lightweight rocket launchers. They have also repurposed about 40 garbage trucks and other heavy trucks into armored personnel carriers. They have no aircraft.

Political Structure: Rojava is made up of three autonomous but confederated “cantons.” These cantons are not geographically contiguous. The decisionmaking structure is composed of various councils. The average size of neighborhood councils is 30-150 families. A city district / village council is made up of 5-17 neighborhood councils (along with worker, non-profit, and religious councils). City district councils elect two representatives to the city council (one man and one woman). They also elect security and YPG/YPJ militias.

Read more at: The Middle East and Beyond

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Rojava – the alternative society in Northern Syria

Art, a Pillar of Rojava’s Revolution


Is art the fuel that keeps the fire of the Kurdish resistance alive?

Art at war times always carry strong messages. In Rojava it’s not only a political statement or a form release from facing really tough times. It’s about taking back your identity in your hands.

Before 2011, to have a book written in Kurdish or to sing traditional songs in the street could easily lead you to prison and torture.

Since Kurds have gained greater autonomy in northern Syria, their mother tongue can at last be heard in the streets, the new school books are written in Kurmanji and art and cultural centers are thriving in every city.

This short docu is an introduction to the creative mind of Rojava’s artists and an attempt to grasp the essence of their inspiration.

see also:

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Indonesia’s Gotta Catch All the Communists

Indonesia’s Gotta Catch All the Communists

JAKARTA, Indonesia — What do Pokémon Go and half a million dead communists have in common? They’re both things that, within the space of a few days, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu described as tools of shadowy forces bent on doing the country harm.

On July 18, Ryamizard, a conservative former general, warned the public that the hit game was likely being used by foreign intelligence services to harvest information on vital sites in Southeast Asia’s largest country.

Read more at Indonesia and the Pacific

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End the most imperialist military base USA have!

Close the Ramstein Air Base.

GRAPHIC: Sign here button

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U.S. military whistleblowers will present this petition in Berlin to a German government that includes members already very much concerned about the giant U.S. Air Base at Ramstein.

Ramstein is not just any base. It is the communications center for the drone wars. It is a main entry and return point for U.S. troops in Middle Eastern wars. It is home to the Air Force component of Africom and the headquarters of the Air Force in Europe. U.S. wars depend on Ramstein, and we should shut it down.

The first step is to sign the petition at this link.

Sahra Wagenknecht, co-chair of Germany’s Left Party, told RootsAction co-founder Norman Solomon, as quoted in his new article in The Nation, “These extrajudicial killings are war crimes, and the German government should draw the consequences and close down the air base in Ramstein…. In my view, the drone war is a form of state terrorism, which is going to produce thousands of new terrorists.”

Click here to add your name to the petition.

The petition — addressed to Chancellor Merkel, President Obama, the German Bundestag, and the U.S. Congress — will be delivered in Berlin at a presentation sponsored by RootsAction. The petition will also be presented to the U.S. government in Washington.

Please sign the global petition to close the Ramstein Air Base a vital step toward moving the world away from nonstop war.

Partners in this effort: Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases, Code Pink, Coop Anti-War Cafe Berlin, Danish Peace Academy, Gandhi Earth Keepers, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Peace Action New York State,, Syracuse Peace Council, United National Antiwar Coalition, Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, War Criminals Watch, Western New York Peace Center, WILPF-US, Women Against Military Madness, Women Against War, World Beyond War, World Can’t Wait, Clearing Barrel Coffee House.

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now.

— The Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

>  Norman Solomon, The Nation: “The Most Important U.S. Air Force Base You’ve Never Heard Of”
>  Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept: “Germany Is the Tell-Tale Heart of America’s Drone War”

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Indonesia and it’s imperialist methods

Good-bye, Indonesia

West Papua is fighting for independence from Indonesia — but will it win regional solidarity for its efforts?

Papuan students wearing the Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence, in 2006. Sumaryanto Bronto / Flickr

Papuan students wearing the Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence, in 2006. Sumaryanto Bronto / Flickr

On July 13, Indonesian delegates — angry because the Morning Star Flag, emblem of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), was flown alongside other members’ flags — walked out of the first day of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders’ summit.

The ULMWP is a coalition of Papuan freedom fighters demanding independence from Indonesian control. It and Indonesia have both applied for full membership status in the MSG, but for very different reasons. ULMWP hopes the MSG can bring international attention to their struggle for self-determination, while Indonesia wants to shore up its economic position in the region.

The Indonesian diplomats demanded the flag be taken down, but the organizers ignored them, and the opening ceremony proceeded without the Indonesian delegation.

The summit resulted in a split decision over the ULMWP’s membership status. Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) of New Caledonia strongly support ULMWP, while Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG) — nations Indonesia has courted with sweetheart economic deals and financial support — oppose it.

The Indonesian delegations’ dramatic exit and the ensuing vote over ULMWP’s membership can help us understand long-standing political fault lines in the region that date back to the 1970s anti-colonization wave.

Read more at: or Indonesia and the Pacific

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soldiers in turkey

Turkey and the post-coup era: Turkey is taking a big step backwards in Freedom of Speech and Human Rights (Analysis- Part 3)

* Dear reader, the translation from the official sources may not be 100% exact .

The suspension of Human Rights and Freedom of speech for the Opposition in Turkey is commonplace after the failed coup era. It is common ground that what is taking place now in Turkey it has nothing to do with the return to constitutional order and the restoration of the democratic institutions within Turkey.

More than 60 thousand military staff, judges, professors, teachers, public employees and civil servants among others have been arrested or prosecuted in their positions in the view of the supposedly clearing of the country from the coup’s outbreak elements. Turkish President continues his “cleansing” after the failed military coup of Friday night continued in all sectors.

Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and possible death during the attempted coup, has declared a state of emergency, allowing him to sign laws without prior parliamentary approval in a drive to root out supporters of the coup.

Erdogan has accused U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has many followers in Turkey, of masterminding the abortive coup. The former friend and current Erdogan’s ennemy lives in the United States in exile; Turkey has already asked a request for extradition but US Secretary of State John Kerry asked for hard evidence of involvement of the preacher Fethullah Gülen in the failed coup. Only then Gülen could be delivered.In his first decree Erdogan ordered the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and foundations with suspected links to Gulen, who denies involvement in the coup.
The most popular way they use in order to crack down the opposition from expressing it’s point of view is to stop them while talking with the motto saying “you are FETO supporters.” Even the situation has become very dangerous for the freedom of speech, the people who are known as being against Fethullah Gulen’s society for the last decades, are blamed now by AKP-supporters today as Gulen supporters because they are part of  AKP’s opposition. (More about Gulen Society and Erdogan relationship could be found in the part 2).

Even the situaiton has become very dangerous as regards freedom of speech in a more general way. People who are known Fethullah Gulen society opponents for decades, are blamed right now as Gulen supporters. Isn’t that funny? People are starting to lose their freedom of speech right now. Because Tayyip Erdogan who was always seen next to Fethullah Gulen’s companies for more than 20 years, after the 17/25 December corruption files of AKP deputies they became bitter enemies.
Even Tansu Ciller, who is Turkey’s first and only female prime minister to date, has been accused of being a supporter of Gulen’s society during the last days.A pro-AKP newspaper wrote that Tansu Ciller was present at the opening of Bank Asia which is known that it belonged to Fethullah Gulen society back in 1996. She made an announcement yesterday againt these claims. She said that “some media claims and statements about her “do not reflect truth”. However, the same day in 1996 Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Gul were at that opening as you can see from that picture here.


See also:



The failed coup attempt in Turkey – and Erdogan‘s revenge!

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Ny historie på “Noveller og andre skrøner”

No i desse kuppforsøktider, eg tenkjer då på det som hendte i Tyrkia, har karakteren min “Gamlabesta” også oppdaga at det var “kuppplanar” mot ho. Ho sette då i gong med organisering og “etterretning” for å finne ut av desse planane og folka som kunne stå bak. Historia under vil fortelje korleis dette gjekk, med resten på sida “Noveller og andre skrøner”:

Ho gamlabesta og kuppforsøket

Ho gamlabesta hadde fenje nyss om at inkvatt va i gjere. Kva da va visste ho ikkje, men noko gjæra ein eller annan stad da visste ho. Kor sko ho bjynda hen? Sko ho bjynda me da desse boklærde kalla etterretning? Ho va ikkje heilt klar over ka da eigentleg tydde, men forstod at da hadde med da å halda andre unde oppsikt. Og va da noko ho hadde røynsle med so va da detta med å finna ut ka andre heldt pao med, spesielt naboane. Dei heldt kvarandre under oppsyn ustanseleg. Da va nesten ikkje ein ting dei ikkje visste DEI ANDRE heldt pao med. Og at da va viktig å få greia pao kva desse sokalla “dei andre” dreiv med, va da ikkje tvil om!

Les meir på Noveller og andre skrøner

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