New World Summit–Rojava, Part I
16-17 October 2015
Canton Cizîre, Rojava
For the occasion of a new public parliament constructed in the city of Derîk, on 16 and 17 October 2015, representatives of the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava joined in discussion with members of stateless and progressive political organizations from all over the world. The lectures and collective discussions of this summit focused on the struggle, history, and outcomes of the Rojava Revolution and in particular its model of democratic confederalism, also known as “stateless democracy.”
In 2011, amidst the civil war in Syria, Kurdish revolutionaries together with Assyrian, Arab, and other peoples of the region declared the autonomy of Rojava. Collectively, the peoples of Rojava drafted what they called their “Social Contract.” Ever since, they created local assemblies that govern their own neighborhoods and cities, enacted laws that demand gender-equal representation in all areas of public life, initiated workers cooperatives, and built new universities, while its People’s and Women’s Protection Units (YPG/J) have defended the region against continuous attacks of the Islamic State.
The Rojava Revolution follows the ideals of “democracy without the state” as articulated by Abdullah Öcalan. Rejecting the imperialist and capitalist construction of the nation-state, democratic confederalism practices collective political life organized through decentralized democratic structures that recognize and embody the political, cultural, and religious composition of the region. Based on these premises, the New World Summit in Rojava engaged in comparisons between autonomist and independentist movements worldwide, initiated critical debate, and built solidarity to construct a common, new world.
The summit unfolded through six subsequent thematic blocks based on the key principles of Rojava Revolution: Democratic Confederalism, Gender-Equality, Secularism, Self-Defense, Communalism, and Social Ecology.
Quim Arrufat (Popular Unity Catalunya, CUP), Janet Biehl (political writer), Sana Soleiman Elmansouri (Amazigh World Congress), Akram Mahshosh (Legislative Council Cizîre), Natalie McGarry (Scottish National Party, SNP), Katerin Mendez (Feminist Initiative, FI), Amina Omar (Foundation of Free Women Rojava, Weqfa Jina Azad), Amina Osse (Democratic Unity Party, PYD), Ziyad Rustum (Minister of Environment and Archaeology Canton Cizîre), Ilena Saturay (National Democratic Movement of the Philippines), Hussein Shawish (People’s Protection Units, YPG), Hadiya Yousef, (Movement for a Democratic Society, Tev-Dem)
This summit was attended by an international delegation of politicians, diplomats, academics, journalists, artists and students.