Submitted by 107a in Anarchism (edited )

[Crossposted from]


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.

They engage in ethnic cleansing to change the population of villages from Arab to Kurd (this includes demolishing of Arab houses). source1 source2 source3 source 4

"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."

They use child soldiers which means kidnapping children as young as 10 to serve the government and military.

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.

YPG brags abt killing innocent non-combatants on twitter

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:

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:

Backed up by this:

  • 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’. [29] 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.

Öcalan has openly rejected anarchism.

Öcalan’s The Sociology of Freedom has been accused of being laced with anti-Semitism.

Syria: US ally’s razing of villages amounts to war crimes

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.

Video by a Syrian: Why Rojava ACTUALLY Depends on Bashar Al-Assad + Sources

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 [2022], 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.



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deeppurplehazedream wrote

The first clue for me was "government".


Ishkah wrote

I knew a lot of this already, but I'm always glad to read evidence of wrongdoing to get a fuller picture on the region. I'm particularly interested in the exporting of the process of 'Tekmil' back into anarchist spaces in the UK:

Tekmil is an instrument of collective reflection. The historical root of what we know as tekmil can be traced to authoritarian communist traditions, such as Stalinism. Although, Mao was the first one among these traditions to put so much emphasis and importance to the methods of criticisms and self-criticism.

- Tekmil: A Tool For Collective Reflection

I would love to do a long-term psychological study on people who went through this, what their thoughts were on their experiences 1 year later, 5 years later and 10 years later. It doesn't half sound culty, but I'm open to the possibility it incidentally had a positive impact on most peoples lives due to there having not been any real culture of criticism in their lives at all before hand, healthy or not.

I wanted to go out there when the Syrian Civil War first started, I know people have gone over to work as doctors, farmers, architects and soldiers. I still think it would be immensely valuable for people with a strong headspace to go, come back and spread their first hand experience of the war Turkey is waging now, and any potential progress towards an anarchist society.

Here's one piece of counter evidence about the potential increase in women's autonomy anyways:

How our feminist ideals incorporated into their praxis because I know there's a strong focus on feminism when anyone talks about Rojava or the Kurds?

Yes so there's obviously the Yekîneyên Parastina Jin which is the YPJ, the women's protection units, so that's a big part of it, they set up a lot of women's houses which are, it's hard to describe, I've been to a couple for a short amount of time, but they're essentially some sort of mix between family planning advice Center, domestic violence shelter and a barracks, in some cases.

Because it's a very violently patriarchal society in many ways and so you kind of have this sort of thing where a woman will escape a forced marriage or a violent home and come to the woman's house and the father, the brothers, the husband and his father and brothers and everything will come along to try and get them back and when a woman with a machine gun pops up on the roof, they generally reconsider.

In that sense they're taking a very direct woman controlled approach to facing these things head-on, it's one thing that they don't compromise with, on economics that's one thing, but they do not compromise on the women's rights, and that sometimes bring them into opposition with the more you know conservative and patriarchal elements of society, but the kind of benefits are there that generally all you gas out of it is just you know the old husband's complaining that they can't tell their wives or daughters anything anymore.

Yeah so there’s that and in the actual councils there's a 40% gender quota so essentially if there's you know 60% women on a council on the larger councils there aren't allowed to be any more there's forty percent men as the rest the council and likewise if there's sixty percent men then there has to be 40% women and this they will do things like you know they will delay the council meeting until all these men who have come and said oh well my wife couldn't come because she's busy they tell the man to go home do whatever work the woman was supposed to be doing and sent the woman to the council otherwise they won't help them sort of thing so yeah it's very important part of the practice and is the thing that they're most successful at. …

There's also things like one of my best came out in fact most of my best commanders well those out there were women very varying different levels so this is another thing at all levels of the hierarchy sort of thing there are a man and a woman with a kind of equal position but the the woman can give orders to men so you know low like my equivalent of a captain I suppose could order around the you know platoons of male soldiers in the YPG but a man cannot do the same to the woman they can suggest to the ypj that they should do something and you know often there in the interests of fighting the same war or whatever so they'll do it but they can't command them they can't order them if if a if a male YPG member commits a offense against a ypj it's the ypj and their command structure that deal with it and there's nothing we can do about it so say this is very unlike to happen but you know men being men say a man was sexually assault a member of the ypj then the ypj could come along with their rifles and everything drag him off and punish him in whatever the way they saw fit and we won't be allowed to raise a finger or protest you know it's deal with not for us. …

People often joke that if you assault a ypj they could just drag you off and shoot you, and that's not quite true but they're a lot more likely to say platform a man where essentially they have to stand in front of like all the ypj in the region while each one lays out exactly why what they did was wrong at great length and like kind of shame of them in front of everyone that's quite a common punishment for sort of intermediate kind of crimes or offenses or whatever crimes isn't quite the right word for some things that you would get that kind of treatment for, but yeah.

- On the Rojavan Revolution with Josh Walker, YPG Veteran


commanderbookchin wrote

Why do white boys get so excited at the thought of a brown girl having a seat on a council or training to use a gun or some other bullshit? Holy shit.

As for Commander Josh Walker, YPG Veteran and White Savior of Brown Women the World Over - these boys spend a lot of money going to Rojava. They need a story to tell when they come home, and 'err, I mostly just sat in an apartment in the city sending tweets' isn't gonna win them any clout at their local social center.

Abdullah Öcalan played y'all.


Ishkah wrote (edited )

I don't really care to get into a debate with a pseudo-post-identity-politics-anarchist who is so deeply immersed in idpol that you see spooky performative idpol arguments everywhere, even when all I was doing is just positing evidence of a position along a reformist spectrum.


scarredd wrote

Something else to consider:

When the well-meaning euros/yankees come home after a 'tour' or whatever, notice that the cops in their home states never bother them. Surely if they were all battle hardened anti-authoritarians the security forces would be all over them? The CIA etc know exactly what's going on over there, and they know it's no threat to them. A young Muslim man coming home from Iran, on the other hand...


RanDomino wrote

(forced demographic change)

The fact that you're still peddling this bullshit (your link doesn't even explain what the specific accusation is) is enough to dismiss everything you're saying.


TheNerdyAnarchist wrote

Hey, comrade - I noticed you got really quiet on Reddit after your "they didn't raise Assad's flags" lie was shown to be...well, a lie.

What happened there?


RanDomino wrote


TheNerdyAnarchist wrote

I responded to that several times.

The "nuh-uh!" argument is...less than convincing.


RanDomino wrote

You said I "got really quiet" after that "lie". But actually I pointed out that it was the other person who was lying. They said it was a picture of a SDF soldier replacing a YPG flag with a regime flag. I pointed out that it was an SAA soldier putting a regime flag next to a YPG flag. I directly refuted what they said.


Warhammer88 wrote

I eat anarchists for breakfast and shit commies by lunch... Gaggle of misguided wannabe hooligans who still live at home when your 35...Have no skills and are fucking Cowards...


ziq wrote

They're anarchists going in but your rectum turns them red? Makes sense.