From self-management towards a democratic change: Revolution of 19th of July (2)
The march towards a democratic change in Rojava
NEWS CENTER (DİHA) - After the liberation of many various areas in Rojava during the revolution of 19th July, the Kurdish people started to intensify their organizational activities which started with the establishment of Democratic Autonomous practically, which is derived from the thought and philosophy of PKK Leader Abdullah Öcallan, so the people in Rojava started to build the institutions that regulate various aspects of life such as; protection, security, justice, culture, economy, women and the establishments which publish the democratic thought.
The Kurdish people in Rojava were able to build their establishments in a high rate of organization and awareness, due to the accumulated inheritance of the Kurdish resistance over decades and the great efforts done by Abdulla Öcallan in this part of Kurdistan and in a coordination with the other components in Rojava such as: Arabs, Assyrians, Arminian, Chaldean and the other minorities.
People's Defense Units - YPG
Due to the repressive policies and the systematic national smelting by the successive regimes in Syria against the Kurds , especially after the uprising of 12th of March 2004, there was an urgent need to form a military force capable of protecting the Kurdish people in Rojava, so the first start of this force was in 2004, but the actual activation of this force initiated with the start of the revolution in Syria which personified with neighborhoods Protection committees. However, the official declaration of People's Defense Units was on 19th of July 2012, after this declaration, a new phase started in Rojava.
Brigades of YPG
The battalions and brigades of People's Defense Units spread in various cities of Rojava, in addition to the areas of Kurdish presence such as Aleppo and Hassake. The first brigade ofPeople's Defense Units was announced on September 4,2012 under the name of "Şehîd Jikdar Brigade" inEfrîn canton, then followed the formation of "Şehîd Sariya Brigade" inCizîre canton on October 4,2012. On October 12 of the same year, "Şehîd Sadiq Brigade" was formed in Kobanê canton, followed by the formation of many brigades and battalions in different areas of Rojava. These units were able to liberate all of the cities in Rojava within two years of the revolution which were under the control of Ba'athist regime, in a later stages, these units engaged to the armed groups backed by the foreign forces which tried to enter the Kurdish areas such as Aleppo ,Efrîn,Serêkaniyê, Amouda, Girkê Lêgê,Tirbespiyê, Qamîşlo and Kobanê.
Massive and heroic resistance of YPG
People's Defense units fought a great heroic battles and made hundreds of militants in order to preserve the gains of Kurdish people through this revolution , also these units could gainthe confidence of all the components in Rojava, wherePeople's Defense units turned to a national force, contrary to what promoted about these units by some parts thatPeople's Defense units YPG is followed to a certain hand-partisan, especially after the joining of Syriac Military Council MFS to these units in 2013, and the accession of 120 Arabic fighters to People's Defense units in Tal-Hamis on 22 December 2012.
Asayish forces, internal security and asayish traffic
The foundation of Asayish is considered one of the main pillars in the structure of self-management, especially in security field. The first force of Asayish was formed in Kobanê enclave, then these forces spread out in various areas and cities in Rojava and took on the responsibility of security and protection of Kurdish areas, and contributed in solving cases of theft, family disputes, murder and many other cases. Afterthe opening the main center of Asayish Forces in Qamîşlo city on 30 October 2012, these foundation has continued to strengthen its security system through increasing the number of its members and opening its branches in various cities of Rojava. The foundation also opened three academies of Asayish in the three cantons of Rojava, "Rimêlan Central Academy" in Cizîre canton, "Ristem Kobanî Academy" in Kobanê canton and "şehîd Cîlo Academy" in Efrîn canton. These three academies are specialized in training and preparing the cadres on how to manage the cities and preserve its security, where these academies were able to graduate thousands of Asayish members. Asayish Forces could preserve the internal security in Kurdish areas through their wide spread centers in Rojava cities, also they could prevent ISIS mercenaries of entering the Kurdish areas and doing terrorist bombings, because of this, dozens of Asayish members lost their lives when preserving the internal security in Rojava.
Struggle against drugs
As these forces have sought hard to prevent the negative phenomena that corrupt the society and dissolute its morals, especially narcotic substances. In this context, Asayish forces have started with campaigns to prevent cultivating cannabis plants ,especially in Kobanê Enclave. Where Some of regional powers in coordination with some Kurdish parts sought to spread cannabis plants in the Kurdish society in order to corrupt it. Asayish Forces were able to destroy tons of dried hashish and uprooted dozens hectares of hashish implants, where the elimination of cannabis cultivation reached to more than 90% in Kobanê Canton. At the beginning of 2014, Asayish Traffic (police traffic) has been formed to organize the traffic inside the three cantons and many members of Asayish traffic were graduated, where the first session was graduated on 1st of March 2014 in Cizîre canton.
Base of self-management: Communes and People's Assemblies
Communes and People's Assemblies are considered a basis in establishing the Democratic Autonomous system, so in order to build this system in Rojava, there was a need to accelerate the efforts to form these communes and assemblies. These communes and assemblies were formed in all cities, towns and areas of Rojava. At the beginning of their establishment, these communes and assemblies toiled to serve the peoplethrough various committees to solve social problems and issues. Many of national and religious components in Rojava were hesitated in joining these forces, but after they have seen the good deeds by these establishment, many of these components joint to the communes in the cities, towns and villages. The system of democratic self-management in Rojava is Pyramidical one, where it starts from the base to the top of the pyramid, contrary to the prevailed systems in the world.
A guarantee of freedom and democracy
The first conference of People’s Assembly of West Kurdistan (MRGK) was on 16th December 2011 under the banner of "the union of Rojava people is a guarantee of freedom and democracy", where 335 representatives of Rojava's cities, sections and minorities participated in this conference. After the end of its first session, and due to the bad security situations prevailed in Syria, the second session of this conference was held separately for the representatives of all canton in Rojava. At the beginning of its foundation,People’s Assembly of West Kurdistan (MRGK) included only one party (Democratic Union Party), however on 2nd of September 2013, Kurdistan Communist Party announced his participation in People's Assembly of Rojava. Then the Liberal Union of Kurdistan joint this assembly on 14th of September 2013. After that, three Kurdish political parties announced officially their participation in this assembly, they are as the follow: National Kurdish League in Syria, Kurdistan Democratic Party-Syria and Kurdish Democratic Peace Party in Syria.
Language and education
As it is known that language is the identity of any nation, but due to the oppressive policies towards the Kurdish people to wipe out their presence in their areas, the Kurdish people focused on teaching their language. So they founded the "the Establishment of Kurdish Language"(SZK) and started to accelerate their activates to teach the Kurdish language. The Establishment of Kurdish Language was able at its start to open 1oo schools for teaching Kurdish. "Şehîd Fewzî's School" in Efrîn canton was the first school to be opened in Rojava, after that two school for teaching Kurdish were opened in Kobanê and Cizîre cantons. These schools could graduate thousands of Kurdish teachers, who were able to teach tens of thousands students. One of most important deeds by the establishment of Kurdish people is that it could impose the Kurdish language on the official schools, also it could form Teachers’ Union of Western Kurdistan.
In 2013, the Establishment of Kurdish Language (SZK) founded institutions and academies of Kurdish language in the three cantons of Rojava. The first academy of Kurdish language and art initiated in Efrîn canton named "Şehîd Ferzad Kemangher Academy" which was on 11th of August 2013. Then, an institute was opened in the county under the name of "Şehîd Vîyan Amara" on 28th of October 2013. In Cizîre canton, "the Academy of Geladet Bedirxan for Kurdish Language and Art" on 24th of October 2013, followed by "Şehîd Vîyan Amara for Kurdish language and Education in Kobanê canton on 29th of December 2013.
Concerning the cultural arena, many of cultural centers were opened in Rojava's cities and the areas of Kurdish presence such as: Aleppo and Damascus, where the people in these centers can receive training in many fields such as: musical and singing bands, theatre, folkloric dance, in addition to many of cultural seminars and poetical sessions.
In order to acquaint the people about the nature of self-management system and qualify the society to solve and manage its various problems, it was necessary to establish academies for training and qualifying sessions, where many of intellectual academies were formed to teach various kinds of intellectual, political, cultural and sociological training. So, the first academy for intellectual training was named "the establishment of Nourî Dersimî for Intellect" in all cities of Rojava. On 29th of March 2013, it was stated about founding the establishment of Nourî Dersimî for intellect in Dirbêsiyê city, in addition to many of its branches in Rojava's cities such as: Heseke, Qamîşlo, Amouda, Dirbêsiyê,Serêkaniyê, Rimelan, Dirbêsiyê, Dêrîk, Efrîn and Kobanê. The name of this establishment was changed on 6th of June 2014 in its conference in Qamîşlo to be "the Establishment of Free Science and Enlightenment". This establishment could graduate thousands of trainees.
As many of academies and intellect centers were opened during 2013. On 4th of April, which comes across the birth of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcallan, a branch of social justice was opened in Qamîşlo city in "Mesopotamia Academy for Socialites". On 24th of February, it was stated about the Kurdish center of strategic researches. On 20th of November, the administration of this center decided to change its name to be "Rojava center for Strategic Researches".
Judgment and social services
In order to serve the society economically and solve its social problems, there was a need to establish many foundations , assemblies, service committees, reconciliation committees and civil peace. All of the former were able to solve the social problems between all the citizens. Concerning the justice field, it was announced about the establishment of justice assembly on 19th of December in Rojava through a meeting was heldGirkê Lêgê headed by of People's Assembly in Rojava, which is considered as a highest juridical body in Rojava's courts. There are 9 courts in Cizîre canton in addition to 4 resumption courts. In Efrîn canton, there are 4 courts, in addition to only one court in Kobanê canton. The mission of these courts is to apply the social justice and solve the daily problems of the citizens. So, these courts could solve thousands of issues and disputes including civil, retributive and judicial issues. Those courts have become the destination of all the citizens in Rojava to solve their pending problems since tens of years ago.
The class of youths is considered the main pillar in society, where this class was able to organize itself in an independent confederation named "Movement of Revolutionist Youths". This movement was able to spread out in the cities of Rojava and the areas of Kurdish presence, including the "movement of Young women", the same thing for university students who organize themselves within"Movement of Patriotic Students". The students of intermediate and secondary schools were able to organize themselves within "the organization of Students Affairs". Also it was stated about intellectual training academies for youths class. On 28th of March, a conference for Kurdistan youths was held, included 260 commissioners by 60 youth organizations in all parts of Kurdistan.
Health and economy
Due to the siege on Rojava, many of serious problems appeared in society including, health and economy. Where the people in Rojava suffers mainly from deficiency of some necessary daily needs such as: medicine, fuel, foods…etc. In order to regulate the works of relief and voucher the aids to the citizens, it was stated about the establishment of "the Kurdish Red Crescent" on 21st of December 2012 in Amouda city. Economic field is considered one of the main important field in self-management system. So, to break the siege on the west of Kurdistan and find solutions for the economic problems, there was a need to form a center for economic development in Rojava and Syria. The establishment of economic development works to develop social economy, so lately it was able to open a new center in Kobanê and Dêrîk, which carried out many of developmental, collaborative and economic projects.
On 1st of September 2013, the general administration of economic development center issued a decision to reduce the prices of fuel from 50 SP to 30 SP in self-management areas. The establishment also secured wheat seeds for farmers and fuel for the owners of plastic farms to introduce winter vegetables. All of these activities were done through loan system, provided that the farmers pay after the end of cropping season. Also many of wears factories and pastry bakeries were established.
One of the most important accomplishments came truth in self-management system was media development. Although Rojava witnessed many of media activities since decades ago, the media reached to its peak during this revolution. Where many of news agencies, radios, TVs, newspapers and magazines were formed during this revolution in Kobanê, Qamîşlo, Dêrîk and Efrîn.
The Union of Transportation in Rojava, supervised on the organization of traffic in the main cities of Rojava and could defined suitable prices for traffic infringements, also the union could register the cars which enter Rojava for the first time. Also the union of transportation could regulate buses for transporting the students to submit to the final exams in cities such as Aleppo and Damascus.
In order to serve the cities and neighborhoods in Rojava, many of local municipalities were formed in various cities of Rojava. These municipalities could pave the main roads and clean the avenues.
By Hassan Rammo
Translated by: Perwer Muhammad Ali