Updated by crypto_zoomer
There's a mountain of documentation showing Rojava is not in any way aligned with anarchist values. Their government is almost exclusively made up of foreigners (e.g., Kurds from Turkey (who have a very different culture and dialect than the Kurds from Syria & Germans). There is zero attempt to include minorities or the local population in government. They have prisons where they send citizens who break a long list of laws - including for smoking cannabis and being critical of the government. They have a police force that enforces these laws.
"Shocking video footage has emerged showing militants from the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) beating, torturing and urinating on an Arab family in the city of Manbij which it occupies in northern Syria."
The recruitment and use of boys (263) and girls (152) by Kurdish armed groups were also prevalent during the reporting period (12 per cent of the verified cases) and sharply increased in 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. Children as young as 10 years of age were associated with the People’s Protection Units (249), the Women’s Protection Units (137) and the Asayish male (14) and female (15) wings. Contrary to the stated policy of the People’s Protection Units and Women’s Protection Units, as further detailed below, 224 of the verified cases (54 per cent) involved children of 15 years of age or less and, overall, 398 of the verified cases (96 per cent) involved children in combat roles, armed and in uniform, including 133 girls. In July 2016, for example, two girls of between 16 and 17 years of age were posted, armed and in uniform, at a checkpoint in Kafr Jannah in the Afrin district of Aleppo. Identified as a new trend in 2017, 49 cases (12 per cent) referred to the recruitment of Arab children by Kurdish armed groups, in the context of the expansion of Syrian Democratic Forces towards territories in Aleppo, Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr Governorates. Overall, in at least 51 of the cases (12 per cent), the recruitment of children involved an element of coercion. In June 2017, in Aleppo Governorate, for example, at least three Arab boys of between 15 and 16 years of age were taken from Ayn Daqnah checkpoint in I‘zaz district to be recruited by the People’s Protection Units and taken to a military training centre in Afrin district.
In the first year of force recruitment, local journalists produced many stories, in part because anxious parents approached them and urged them to report the news. But public protests were quickly suppressed, and independent journalism has been crushed.
In 2013 Sadun Sino began working for Orient TV, an opposition news outlet in Rojava. After reporting on a series of assassinations of Kurdish opposition figures—all of which he believed were carried out by PYD operatives—Sino began regular coverage of protests, which usually erupted when the YPG seized an underage boy or girl. Sino said he produced at least 15 reports from his hometown of Derbasi, and other reporters in Amudah and Kobani produced even more. The YPG “staged so many roundups in Derbasi that I lost count,” Sino said. “People came to me asking me to report on it,” he pointed out.
He reported on the conscription of girls, at least two of whom were under-age, and on PKK arrests of young men and women at checkpoints. “On one day in 2014, they took 40 men and boys at one checkpoint,” Sino said. “It was happening every day.” On another day, the YPG issued an order to round up 150 conscripts.
Finally, the authorities cracked down on the news coverage. “They told me that either I give up journalism and leave or they will kill me,” Sino told The Nation. After being jailed four times, he fled Rojava in January 2015.
They have government-managed capitalism which includes robber-barons and landlords who are propped up by the central government with a central economy.
They use forced labor all across society with government ministers announcing ‘all workers must work in the communal projects’ and 'private property is sacred, the market is a main part of social economy.’ (state capitalism)
Article 41 of Rojava's constitution enshrines private ownership: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_Rojava_Cantons
There's a top-down dedication to patriotism and the "Kurdish land".
There's a clear one-party dictatorship with an undisputed leader for life who is again a foreigner (and critics of this arrangement are sent to prison or even executed). Öcalan himself once boasted: "I am the strongest man in Kurdistan, and the people regard me as a prophet."
There's a martyr mentality where citizens are expected to sacrifice their lives to the government, which culminated in citizens being used as cannon fodder for the American military.
Women especially are forced to be celibate and devote themselves to the glory of the government like nuns in a convent. They are taught by the government to reject feminism and adopt conservative values (Jineology). It has been alleged that Öcalan himself has raped women.
There's institutional homophobia with punitive punishment for LGBTQ+ people:
The queer brigade had great troubles convincing the YPG officers to allow them to plant the LGBT flag in Raqqa. They finally were allowed to, but immediately after the battle everyone involved was stripped of their positions in the press/PR department, and some were sent to self-criticize in a reeducation camp. Also there was a large-scale investigation of all openly LGBT people in YPG, to gauge their “sense of discipline”.
Sources for all of the above:
The State in Rojava and the armed forces are organized so vertically, as in Stalin’s Russia, but with a libertarian mask, that they are the exact copy of the ideology developed by the PKK in Turkey.
Imitating all the bourgeois “revolutions”, they proclaim religious freedom but in fact the apparatuses of social control are accomplices of all the religions and ethnic religious separations and play a nefarious role in causing dissension, oppressing, moralizing, repressing.
In fact, Stalinist and feminist [c_z's note: yeah, this line is weird] military and political structures simultaneously promote Kurdish nationalism, while using hymns and flags in cities, neighborhoods, schools… appearing in the eyes of the majority of the population as a minority and oppressive dominant ethnic group, what results being terribly destructive of the unity of interests of the proletariat.
PKK (a Turkish party) ‘orchestrates 90% of what is happening in Syrian Kurdistan.’ The Rojava regime, apparently, has even tried to ban the display of pictures of politicians other than those from the PKK such as Abdullah Ocalan.† They have also banned overly critical journalists.†
A lot of the kadro who run things politically are Kurds from bakur (North Kurdistan in turkey) they run around talking Turkish everywhere so the perception of them is often as a foreign occupying force.
I had joined to help people. But it wasn’t the case once you got there, you’re not allowed to question Öcalan’s orders. You’re not free... If there were a Kurdish State it would be like the PKK..
Öcalan was not willing to share his authority. He demanded absolute submission to his person from the people in his surrounding and unrelentingly pushed this through. Opposition to Öcalan and his decisions was impossible and the PKK would pay a heavy price for this...
The PKK’s idea of creating a ’New Man’ was a powerful means of control as the ideal incorporated unquestioning obedience - and criticism of the ’leadership’ was seen as proof of failing to achieve this goal. Öcalan was more than a distinguished or even indispensable leader, he himself, his person, was built up to be indispensable to the liberation of the Kurdish people. As a critical observer noted his role ; ’he alone “is” the key to liberation – as opposed to just possessing it’.  This also explains why even after his capture Öcalan remained the leader of the movement.
Mohar, a Turkish-born PKK defector, said he himself mastered the operation of tanks, sniper rifles, and mortars, but his training was on the job. The PKK approach, he said, is “if you have the ideology of Ocalan, you can fight, so it’s more important to understand the ideology than the military part.”
Another PKK defector said his training had lasted three months, of which one month was devoted to military training and the rest to ideology. “Technically, the military training was very weak. But ideologically, we had very good training,” said Shiyar, a 20-year veteran now in his 40s. “They tried to work with our minds and make us ready to fight.”
While I definitely support the Kurdish struggle can we please stop being flooded by party propaganda. They’re not anarchists nor do they pretend to be. The new paradigm isn’t even universally supported in the party. Kadro are installed at every level of civil life such as the communes and even as far as the hospitals. Their function is as the responsible who guides the locals towards the party line. Failure to adhere to the stringent ideological line is viewed as a problem with individuals them selves and their solution is further indoctrination.
There are absolutely prisons and laws in rojava. I had a friend who was incarcerated for just smoking weed. Even un sanctioned political graffiti is punishable. There’s a long texts of laws and justice that’s freely accessible at the intl commune.
There’s absolutely no attempt at any sort of social economy there and the party often collaborated with local thug like landlords. Even the so called peoples co-ops are just a fancy word for small businesses.
There a many good things but the completely inaccurate messaging coming from the party propaganda machine is just sickening. I’d highly encourage anyone to go and discover this for themselves.
I spent over a year fighting alongside other internationalist and ypg haramî taburs. These things are well known.
‘One man decides everything, nobody else can say what they think. … To become a member of the PKK is like joining a religion.’
This refusal of workers to cooperate with the regime may also explain why one of Rojava’s finance ministers has recently declared that ‘all workers must work in the communal projects’. As well as this apparent advocacy of forced labour, the minister also said that private property is ‘sacred’ and that ‘the market is a main part of social economy.’
As Ocalan said, female fighters should maintain ‘the refusal of any other love than that of the homeland.’
This claim that the Rojava regime has a 'strong anti-state philosophy' is rather contradicted by numerous statements by Ocalan himself. For example, he says: ‘It is not true, in my opinion, that the state needs to be broken up and replaced by something else. ... [It is] illusionary to reach for democracy by crushing the state.'
The picture at the top of the page of Rojavan police in front of a ubiquitous portrait of Abdullah Ocalan indicates that the state in Rojava is far from crushed.
In villages south of the town of Suluk, some residents said YPG fighters had accused them of supporting IS and threatened to shoot them if they did not leave. While in some cases residents acknowledged that there had been a handful of IS supporters in their villages the majority were not supporters of the group.
In other cases, villagers said YPG fighters had ordered them to leave threatening them with US coalition airstrikes if they failed to comply.
“They told us we had to leave or they would tell the US coalition that we were terrorists and their planes would hit us and our families,” said one resident, Safwan.
The YPG has justified the forced displacement of civilians by saying it was necessary for the civilians’ own protection or militarily necessary.
“It is critical that the US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and all other states supporting the Autonomous Administration, or co-ordinating with it militarily, do not turn a blind eye to such abuses. They must take a public stand condemning forced displacement and unlawful demolitions and ensure their military assistance is not contributing to violations of international humanitarian law,” said Lama Fakih.
The YPG has been flying Assad's flags.
استبدلت قوات سوريا الديمقراطية "قسد"، اليوم الجمعة 10 حزيران/يونيو، أعلامها على أسطح مقراتها ونقاطها العسكرية بأعلام نظام الأسد والروس في ريفي الرقة والحسكة.
Today, Friday, June 10 , the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) replaced their flags on the roofs of their headquarters and military points [outposts?] with the flags of the Assad regime and the Russians in the countryside of Raqqa and Hasaka.
I'd like to encourage everyone to read up on the Syrian anarchist Omar Aziz (2) (3) a Syrian anarchist whose revolutionary ideas have been thriving elsewhere in Syria without maintaining a cult of personality.