New World Summit—Rojava, part I
16-17 Oct. 2015, Dêrik, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava
Movement for a Democratic Society (Tev-Dem), Rojava
The 1936-7 revolution in Catalunya, in present-day Spain, where revolutionaries of the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) declared their political and economic autonomy while rejecting statehood is still one of the foundational moments in the history of establishing communalism. The POUM revolutionaries fought against the Stalinist Soviet army as well as against the fascist army of Franco in self-organized battalions and implemented workers self-management in Catalunya’s industry. Often this communalist revolution has been compared to the revolution of Rojava, which fights the regime of Assad and the militia of the Islamic State while at the same time building a new political and economical model of society.
The Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) is a broad coalition of political parties and grass roots organizations that self-govern the autonomous region of Rojava. TEV-DEM is the largest and broadest political coalition in the region and includes organizations of people from different ethnicities and religions that strive for a decentralized self-organized society. Since 2012 TEV-DEM has established and supported committees, councils and cooperatives in neighborhoods and villages dealing with different social issues, such as economy, education, healthcare and women’s rights. The representatives of the different community groups associated with the TEV-DEM come together in the “House of the People,” the Mala Gel, which are located in villages or towns. TEV-DEM shares seats with the Kurdish National Council, another coalition in Rojava, within the overall coordinating political body of Rojava, the “Supreme Kurdish Council,” which exists of thirty seats in total.
Yousef is the co-governor of the canton Cizîrê of Rojava since 2014. Released from two and a half years of imprisonment under the Assad regime in 2012, she resumed her role as TEV- DEM representative. Yousef further holds a seat in the Supreme Kurdish Council on behalf of TEV-DEM.
The New World Summit: Rojava, part I took place in the cultural centre Tev-Cand in Dêrik, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava on 16-17 October 2015. The summit was chaired by Judy Osse. Hadiya Yousef's lecture was subtitled by Cihad Hammy.