Rojava Versus the World

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by Ed Sutton
AntiDote Writers Collective

Chuck Mertz: We’ve been talking about all the new challenges to the traditional seats of power around the world, from the Islamic State and how it challenges our notion of the modern state, to SYRIZA and how they’re standing up to the Eurozone’s austerity policies, to Spain’s Podemos, who have created a whole new form of democracy, even to the extra-statecraft of free trade zones that exist outside nations’ and a people’s laws.

But there’s something completely unique happening in Western Kurdistan, a new kind of democracy, and it’s led by women, and they are fighting and beating the Islamic State. Here to tell us about Rojava, Kurdish refugee Dilar Dirik is an activist of the Kurdish women’s movement, and a Ph.D. candidate in the sociology department of the University of Cambridge, where her research focuses on Kurdistan, the Kurdish Women’s Movement, and the PYD (Democratic Union Party) which has existed in the Rojava territories since 2004.

Dilar’s blog gets occasionally reposted at the Roj Women’s Association website or you can read it directly at

Good morning in Chicago, Dilar, good evening in the Middle East, wherever you are.

Dilar Dirik: Hello! Thank you. I’m in Amid, but Amid is the Kurdish name for the city officially called Diyarbakır, which is in Northern Kurdistan (Turkey).

CM: No wonder we were having so much trouble getting in touch with you.

So, like when we interviewed Yanis Varoufakis about SYRIZA prior to their winning the election in Greece, and like when we spoke with Jesus Castillo last week about the Spanish anti-austerity movement Podemos, we have to start at the very beginning with this, the very basics, as these are movements that are not reported on in the US media whatsoever.

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