Ilrigsa - Ilrigsa

  • A Glimmer of Hope: The extraordinary story of a revolution within the Syrian civil war

    Members of the Rojava police force (Asayish) in the city of Kobanî in northern Syria. (Wikimedia Commons) 


    For the past few years, most people would have come across news stories of how Kurdish fighters in Syria, especially women, have been crucial in battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Very few, however, would be aware that in the north and eastern parts of Syria these same Kurdish fighters are part of a revolution as progressive, profound and potentially as far-reaching as any in history. 

  • An experiment for a better life is under way

    The Rojava Revolution lays down tracks to building a better, more democratic and more feminist society

    Source: Business Day  


    Sisters in arms: A Yazidi woman in the Kurdish forces. Women play a central role in the Rojava Revolution and there are women-only militias called Women’s Protection Units. Picture: REUTERS 

    The world is facing an economic crisis on a scale last seen in the 1930s. It has resulted in living conditions and incomes of workers and poor people — and increasingly the middle class — being eroded by governments through austerity and by businesses through rationalisations and wage freezes.

    Like the 1930s, this crisis is triggering the rise of extreme right-wing regimes and right-wing populism. It is also resulting in an increase in global conflict and threats of war, with Syria a key example. 

    But in the heart of the raging war that is Syria, there is a glimmer of hope.

    In the north of Syria bordering Turkey and Iraq, the Kurdish and Arab people who live there have used the vacuum in power created by the war to try to build a better, more democratic and more feminist society. This experiment is known as the Rojava Revolution. It is the outcome of a struggle by the Kurdish people for national liberation but it has gone beyond this and become an experiment to create an alternative to a society that produces for profit.


    Before years of war devastated northern Syria, decades of capitalist exploitation by the Syrian state created the ecological disaster the people of Rojava face today. Through wheat monoculture, oil extraction, and neglect of waste management planning, the Syrian state left the region with growing ecological problems. Simultaneously, the Turkish government has expanded dam projects along rivers running south into northern Syria for decades, making it harder for people to grow food and be self-sustainable.


    When Rojava was liberated from direct Syrian government control in 2012, this set off a political revolution towards a self-organized democratic society across northern Syria. In 2016, 151 delegates from various northern regions of the Syrian state, including Rojava, proclaimed autonomy through the creation of the ‘Federation of Northern Syria–Rojava’. Revolutionary forces throughout Rojava continue building an autonomous democratic society today.


  • Defend the Women’s Revolution in Syria

    Kongra Star women’s movement started its work in 2005 organising women in Rojava and Syria. It seeks to develop a free Rojava, a democratic Syria, and a democratic Middle East by promoting women’s freedom and the concept of Democratic Nation. Under the Ba’ath regime they were organised in clandestine and faced many difficulties for some time.


    The revolution in Rojava which started in 2012 has to be understood as a women's revolution. Kongra Star was central to the social organising during the beginning of the revolution. Since then it has been growing continuously as an institution focusing on all areas of women’s lives including education, culture and arts, economy, self-defence, social affairs, problem-solving and justice, politics, local government, ecology, press and media as well as international relations. With the aim of encouraging women to organise themselves in all areas of society and life, women across the northern areas of Syria began to come together in different towns and villages, to organise themselves.



    Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Makhanda.

    Feb 29 - March 11, 2020




    Feb 29th: Public Seminar co-hosted with The Forge/New Frame – 11am to 1pm at The Forge 87 De Korte Street in Braamfontein

    Feb 29th: Co-hosted by Khanya College – mass meeting of students, precarious workers, and youth – House of Movements 2:30 pm

    Mar 1st: Public Seminar co-hosted with Orange Farm Advice Office – speakers Dale McKinley ILRIG, Rohash and Ercan. From 13h30 – 15h30 on Sunday 1st March at the Orange Farm Human Rights Advice Centre (Driezek Extension)

  • Eyewitnesses to the Rojava revolution: hevaltî and dignity

    What has been taking place in Rojava is easily one of the most inspiring and exciting experiments in autonomous self-government to ever exist. It is also one of the most massive, and gender inclusive, often compared to the Spanish Revolution of 1936, as well as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. And yet, people outside the region know little about the different dimensions of the revolution taking place in Rojava. And now, this revolutionary territory is under military and political attack — its very existence at risk.

    What follows is the second of a three part interview series with people who have had ongoing relationship to Rojava, and who have spent time in the revolutionary territory. The first two parts of the series are with Debbie Bookchin and Emre Şahin. Debbie, a journalist, author, public speaker and organizer is Murray Bookchin’s daughter

  • ILRIG Statement in support of the Rojava Revolution and a call to end the isolation of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan


    Very few South Africans are aware that currently in the north and eastern parts of Syria (Rojava) a revolution as progressive, profound and potentially as far reaching as any in history is taking place. There, an alternative system to the state, capitalism and patriarchy is being built and it holds the potential to inspire the struggle for a better, more egalitarian Middle East and indeed world.

    Since 2012, when the Syrian state in the area collapsed, people in Rojava – Kurds, Turks and Arabs – have established a federation of communes and councils, based on direct democracy, to run society without a hierarchical and patriarchal state. In the process a genuine democratic form of people’s power has been created, in which women play a key role. On the economic front, they have been attempting to replace capitalism with a communal economy. At the heart of this experiment are worker self-managed co-operatives that produce not for profits, but to meet people’s needs. These co-operatives are in fact accountable to everyone in Rojava through the federated communes and councils.

  • Let’s together rise up for Rojava!


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    Dear friends and comrades,

    First of all, we want to apologize that we didn’t manage to write anything in the past 10 days, since the beginning of the war. We had known, that this war would come one day, but how can you ever be prepared for war? 

  • Video: Dilar Dirik: Democratic Confederalism | Abolition of the Nation State

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