Rojava’s Communes and Councils


On Saturday, December 6, the Academic Delegation to Rojava met in Qamişlo with two representatives of Tev-dem, the Movement for a Democratic Society.

Abdulkerim Omar and Çınar Salih first gave us some background to Rojava’s thinking about the state and democracy. Then they explained the structure of the democratic self-government—the commune and council system—and took our questions. Speaking through translators, Salih did most of the talking.

Neighborhood meeting, Qamishlo

We have built our democracy so that people of different nationalities live together. We’re new, and we’ve made mistakes, and we’re trying to stop Daesh [i.e., Islamic State] from entering Rojava. Other delegations have come here, but we are delighted to have you. Your project is giving us hope. We haven’t achieved freedom yet, but we’ve learned how to struggle.

Salih and Omar at Tev-Dem headquarters, Qamislo

The system that we’re living in has been going on for five thousand years. Different stages of history have…

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About Ed Sykes

Independent journalist. Co-founder of Phoenix Media Co-operative. Author of Rojava: An Alternative. Ex-Canary editor and writer (2015-2020). Aka 'Oso Sabio' - see @ososabiouk on Twitter.
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