“Resistance is Life” – Kurdish slogan in Rojava
The Kurds call it a radical democracy project. Kurdistan is divided into four regions; occupied by Turkey in the North or Bakur, Iraq in the South or Bashur, Iran in the East or Rojhelat, and Syria in the West or Rojava. Without the protection of a nation-state while also under attack from militarized fundamentalists of all stripes, the Kurds have grown a significant base of power. People who have been displaced by war and disaster practice multiple forms of direct democracy, society-building, and alternative institutions.
Over the last 15 years the Kurdish Workers Party, a part of the larger and historic Kurdish Liberation Movement, has gone through ideological and practical shifts from a movement of oppressed people demanding an independent nation-state to growing a stateless democracy through radical grassroots democratic assemblies, people’s defense units, and political education. Their innovations and accomplishments contribute to U.S.-based and global liberation struggles, particularly considering communities of people within nation-states who are considered second class or non-citizens.