Rojava offered the hope that a progressive, multiethnic politics might be salvaged from the ashes of Syria’s civil war. Now the Turkish assault on northern Syria looks set to crush the Kurds and a radical experiment in the region. 

We talk to two British volunteers in Rojava about the prospects that the political structures set up there might be saved. 

  • Dani Ellis (@lapinesque): engineer; civil defence volunteer, International Commune (@communeint) 
  • Alexander Norton: deputy features editor, Morning Star; revolutionary volunteer, International Freedom Battalion

Running order

  • (05:27) - Dani interview 
  • (41:39) - Alexander interview
  • (01:27:51) - Final discussion

Readings & Links:

Glossary:

  • YPG: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (People's Defence Corps); PYD’s armed wing in Syria 
  • YPJ: Yekîneyên Parastina Jin (Women's Protection Units); all-female militia
  • PYD: Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party); Syrian Kurdish affiliate of the PKK
  • SDF: Syrian Democratic Forces; alliance composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian/Syriac militias, led by the YPG
  • PKK: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (Kurdistan Workers' Party); Kurdish party in Turkey founded in 1978 by Abdullah Öcalan. Started armed insurgency in 1984, thousands of fighters in northern Iraq and Turkey
  • IFB: International Freedom Battalion; armed group of foreign leftists fighting for the YPG in support of the Rojava Revolution 
  • MLKP: Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, Turkey
  • TEV-DEM: Movement for a Democratic Society; umbrella organisation in northern Syria, aims at organising Syrian society within the democratic confederalist system
October 17, 2019

Excerpt: /92/ Three Articles

A new format in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack.
 
This week we take a sharp look at the crumbling US political establishment and its empire: impeachment and regime legitimacy; centrist rebels against their lefty parents; and the betrayal of the Kurds.
 
Readings:

In which we learn the extent to which the protests challenge the Islamic Republic itself. Also, why such little support from the Western Left?

In which we chat new alt-media, the US left, and Trump's Middle East policy

Episode Six: In which we consult the orb for insight into the roots of jihadism. Also too much talk about fantasy bots.

Episode Three: In which we ask what's up with the new 'International Brigades' joining the Kurds, and venture a Spanish pronunciation of 'Rojava'.

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