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Bookchains social ecological model inspires

The surprise was big when Bookchin's co-worker, Janet Biehl, opened her letterbox at home in the USA in 2004 and found a letter from a former German diplomat who, on behalf of Abdullah Öcelan, wanted to establish contact to exchange thoughts on Bookchin's ideas.


The life-imprisoned Öcalan had read Bookchin's book The Ecology of Freedom and wanted to turn the ideas into a program for PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). From being a militant, separatist movement, the PKK was to develop into a vanguard of a social movement that could fight social hierarchies and be a champion of women. The vision was primarily to develop an independent, ecological and independent Kurdistan based on the principle of direct democracy.

After Bookchain's death visited Janet Biehl in the spring of 2019 for the third time Rojava. The purpose was to document how Bookchin's ideas had been translated into Rojava, which she had seen many expressions of during her previous visits.

Regarding Rojava, which emerged in a collapsed state, New Internationalist writes in June 2020: “Rojava is considered a haven for grassroots democracy, based on principles of feminism, ecology, cultural pluralism, participatory democracy and a cooperating sharing economy. Since 2012, Rojava has been presented as a radical alternative to the nation state, articulated as' democratic confederalism 'by Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned leader of the banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey.

The recently deceased British anthropologist David Graeber describes Rojava's revolutionary autonomy as "a synthesis of the ideas of American anarchist and social ecologist Murray Bookchin and other writers, Kurdish tradition, and broad experience in the pragmatics of the revolutionary organization." It has inspired people all over the world. "

With the US withdrawal from the area and Turkey's desire to defeat the Kurds, Rojava is going through a particularly difficult period in these months, not least with COVID-19. WHO and UN aid is going through nations, making Rojava dependent on the help of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad. The Emergency Committee for Rojava and the international solidarity movement Make Rojava Green Again do not at all cover the seriousness of the situation in the area.

See also: The Kurds in Rojava og To have everyday power


Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Juhl-Nielsen resides in Copenhagen.

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