Anarchists join fight against IS to defend Kurdish autonomous areas

Anarchists join fight against IS to defend Kurdish autonomous areas

Taken from a report by the French Anarchist weekly paper Alternative Revolutionaire this short article gives a taste of developements on the ground in the fight against Islamic State.

On Friday 26th September Alternative Libetaire reported that "Istanbul anarchists along other leftists and feminists, have managed to cross over into Syria and the northern town of Kobane which is currently threatened by ISIS.”

“For several days at the Syrian-Turkish border, the city of Kobanê is besieged by forces of the Islamic State (Daesh). Kobanê is a strategic turning point. If the city falls, the whole of Syrian Kurdistan is threatened, and with it a political and social model, that of "democratic autonomy" and "democratic confederalism" built since July 2012.

More than 100,000 inhabitants and residents have become refugees on Turkish territory.
The city is defended by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), militias linked to the PKK, and in which alongside the majority of Kurdish fighters, are also Arabs, Turks, Muslims, Yazidis, Christians or atheists, united against the fanatics of Daesh/ISIS.

Thousands of young people, socialists, trade unionists, revolutionaries, feminists, libertarians have poured in from all over Turkey to Kobanê. They go there to support the refugees and defend the city.
The Turkish army tries to disperse them, yet is accused of being much more permissive with the jihadists who are also trying to cross the border to join Daesh/ISIS

Despite the blockades of the Turkish army, hundreds of activists and militants have managed to cross the border. Among them, the comrades of the Revolutionary Anarchist Action Group, who made the trip to Istanbul to join the defence of Kobanê.

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Oct 3 2014 21:42


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Nov 5 2014 04:42

I don't see why the opposition would be allowed in the DSA but not Tev-Dem. I hadn't heard of them being banned in Tev-Dem. Can you tell us where you read about that?

This is from the article/report by Zaher Baher

Our meeting with the opposition parties lasted for over two hours and the majority of them were present. We started by asking them how they got on with the PYD, DSA and Tev-Dam. Do they have freedom? Have any of their members or supporters been followed or arrested by the PDU and WDU [YPG and YPJ]? Do they have freedom to organize people, demonstrate and organize other activities? Many more questions were asked. The answer to every single question was positive. No arrests were made, no restrictions on freedom or organizing demonstrations.

Nov 5 2014 10:57

I think the situation is as follows (the quotes are from zaher: )

1) People formed Tev-Dem (with support of PYD). Tev-Dem is a network of local communities, organizations (so basically the councils of neighborhoods and villages) Tev-Dem is where ordinary people from all ethicities get actively involve in politics. It has no barriers for participation (except being living in that particular place) Tev-Dems seem to be the focal points of social bound and order.

The Tev-Dam’s programme was very inclusive and covered every single issue in society. Many people from the rank and file and from different backgrounds, including Kurdish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Assyrian and Yazidis, have been involved. The first task was to establish a variety of groups, committees and communes on the streets in neighborhoods, villages, counties and small and big towns everywhere. The role of these groups was to become involved in all the issues facing society. Groups were set up to look at a number of issues including: women’s, economic, environmental, education and health and care issues, support and solidarity, centers for the family martyrs, trade and business, diplomatic relations with foreign countries and many more. There are even groups established to reconcile disputes among different people or factions to try to avoid these disputes going to court unless these groups are incapable of resolving them.

Also Tev-Dems are politically:

It must be a social, cultural and educational as well as political revolution. It must be against the state, power and authority. It must be people in the communities who have the final decision-making responsibilities. These are the four principles of the Movement of the Democracy Society (Tev-Dam).

2) Tev-Dem's decided that they should organize DSAs (The Democratic Self Administration) in each canton (so there must be three of them) DSA is a cantonal self-government it organizes bigger major projects of cantons.

The DSA is made up of 22 men and women with each of them having two deputies (one a man and the other a woman). Almost half the representatives are women. It is organized so that people from different backgrounds, nationalities, religions and genders can all participate. This has created a very good atmosphere of peace, brother/sisterhood, satisfaction and freedom.

I think these representatives are representatives of Tev-Dems sent to DSA. DSA decide on some issues related to Canton so it also effects councils (Tev-Dems) For example they formed a social contract whish Zaher summarizes as following:

There are many decrees in the Social Contract. A few are extremely important for society, including:
A. Separation of state from religion
B. Banning marriages under the age of 18 years
C. Women’s and children’s rights must be recognized, protected and implemented
D. Banning female circumcision
E. Banning polygamy.
F. The revolution must take place from the bottom of society and be sustainable
G. Freedom, equality, equal opportunity and non- discrimination.
H. Equality between men and women
I. All languages people speak must be recognized and Arabic, Kurdish and Syrian are the official languages in Al Jazera
J. To provide a decent life for prisoners and to make prison a place for rehabilitation and reform.
K. Every human being has the right to seek asylum and refugees may not be returned without his/her consent.

3) All municipal or local decisions are made in Tev-Dems and DSAs. Their decisions are conducted, realized by municipalities etc. (so there is also municipalities)


In Al Jazera, there are more than twenty political parties among the Kurdish and Christian people. The majority of them are in opposition to the PYD, the Tev-Dam and the DSA for their own reasons (a point I will come back to later on) as they do not want to join either Tev-Dam or the DSA.

I think it is decision of opposing parties to refuse to participate in Tev-Dem or DSAs. It is not prohibited in anyway. Opposition parties politically oppose PYD and see Tev-Dem and DSA as their political organizations (with a certain degree of truth I suppose) so do not participate in them (as these are mostly nationalist or pro-Barzani parties, they are propably also uninterested in direct democracy) however there are also 5 other parties that joined Tev-Dems and DSAs (one of them is green party I guess).

5)This situation is possibly changed after Duhok agreement. as according to my reading, it signals Barzani baked a bit from its anti-PYD position. So now it is possible more parties recognize Tev-Dems as legitimate and more people join to Tev-Dems or DSAs. I hope this will convert them to direct democracy. I hope they will not in the end just use the democracy provided to them to end the democratic rule.

6) All of the above is where direct democracy structures exist. However there is a second power structure that is established by appointed people by parties (both PYD and pro-Barzani and other parties) That is representative and it is planned to make elections to organize it in the future. The line between these two is not very clear to me. However I suppose as long as PYD is active they will continue to exist as important parts of Rojava society. (More on this in:

Guerre de Classe
Dec 25 2014 16:27