Ten years ago, the Rojava Revolution
Ten years ago, on 19 July 2012, the Kurds found their own “Freedom Day” when the people of Kobane took control of their own destiny, repelling Assad’s Syrian forces and embarked on establishing their own self-government.
Ten years ago, on 19 July 2012, the Kurds found their own “Freedom Day” when the people of Kobane took control of their own destiny, repelling Assad’s Syrian forces and embarked on establishing their own self-government. On the following day, 20 July, the people in Afrin joined them in this endeavour, setting off a wave of successful resistance in the coming days and months across the region that emerged as Rojava. The heroic resistance of these embattled Kurdish men and women immediately inspired solidarity from onlookers around the world and peoples of all nations rallied to the defence of Kobane.
What has become known as the Rojava Revolution drew its direct inspiration from the leadership and writings of Abdullah Öcalan; it was a practical implementation of his core political ideas and unique contribution to the politics of Kurdistan and the broader Middle East region, with global implications and valuable lessons for the entire peoples of the world."
The Rojava Revolution represents a total transformation in social organisation, one that introduces popular democracy and self-organisation from the grassroots into the foundations and entire structure of society, involving the direct participation of men and women of all creeds on the basis of full equality. In summary, the emergence of Rojava was to be a contemporary realisation of a long-held dream of peoples across the world and down the centuries of living in freedom and the possibility of controlling their own lives within a harmonious community of equals. In essence, Rojava meant hope and building a new life. On the 10th anniversary of the Rojava Revolution, Peace in Kurdistan honours its remarkable achievements and resilience. It remains a beacon of hope for the entire world.
Rojava was established in a situation of the most extreme adversity and born of necessity within the context of intense conflict that demanded urgent mobilisation to defend these predominantly Kurdish communities and repel the aggressive incursions of the Syrian regime and the so-called Islamic State ISIS terror gangs. Against the odds, Rojava united Kurds, Arabs and all other nationalities and ethnicities in a common cause of building a fairer society that would be run along democratic lines, a development unseen before within a region subjected to tyranny and oppressive dictatorships.
The ambitions of the Rojava Revolution did not stop at defensive measures to run a society under the difficulties posed by siege conditions. The Kurds and their allies who built the Rojava Revolution proceeded to implement a radical new model of political organisation defined as “democratic confederalism”, founded on libertarian principles involving autonomy, direct democracy and self-governance.
Furthermore, the Rojava Revolution also embedded the fundamentals of environmental politics, feminism, anti-racism, humanism and multiculturalism within a modern perspective that seeks to address the key challenges facing humanity and the planet at the present moment in history. For these reasons, as well as feelings of solidarity with the justice of the Kurdish cause, inspired the international solidarity for the Rojava Revolution. In this lies the full significance of Rojava for the future of humanity as a whole.
It is essential to acknowledge that the ideas that inspired the men and women who have fought for Rojava drew direct inspiration from the political ideas and leadership of Abdullah Öcalan. In this respect, Rojava is a tangible manifestation of the democratic ideals of Öcalan and the Kurdish movement. These continue to make a vital contribution towards the transformation of the Middle East region and offer hope for people around the world. From the example of Rojava, the foundations of a new society are being laid that has implications for us all.
The Rojava Revolution is a revolution of all the peoples of the Middle East and indeed of all peoples around the world who seek justice and a better society.