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Session 4: Sunday June 30th, 10:00am - 12:00pm
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This panel will discuss efforts to organize from the bottom up for local control around the world, using the examples of Kurds in Northern Syria and Turkey and grassroots initiatives by DSA and Symbiosis in the USA. It will focus on feminist, anti-capitalist, ecological and direct democratic visions of these struggles. The panelists will discuss the successes and challenges of these movements in bringing women's leadership to the fore in such a way that it cannot be reversed, in building decentralized networks of organizing and governance so as to include the perspectives of people excluded from power and to impact larger political structures, and planting the seeds of a democratized economy for an ecologically conscious society. Rojava (Democratic Federation of Northern Syria) is the site of a women's revolution, a place where women are redefining the nature of politics and taking leadership roles in creating a new multi-ethnic, ecological and radically democratic society. The Rojava’s revolution has been inspired by the Kurdish struggle in Turkey, where the Kurds have been attempting to implement a similar vision under the regime of authoritarian nationalism. The US and Europe have also experienced a surge in left-libertarian tendencies and organizations such as the DSA’s Libertarian Socialist Caucus and Symbiosis, which emphasizes municipalist politics. Both these groups have pursued a strategy of dual power in an effort to establish the liberated society outside and beyond the use of state power. Inspired by the Rojava revolution, these grassroots groups have concentrated on participatory democracy, solidarity economics and local community organizing. Looking at Rojava and similar movements around the world from a comparative perspective, we hope to explore their lessons for the US left about creating lasting institutions for social change that are based on principles of women’s leadership, ethnic and religious inclusion, radical democracy and ecological consciousness.


Jez Watson is a designer and writer who believes the answers to our most pressing problems can be found by understanding the complex web of interactions and transactions we have with nature and each other. He organizes with the NYC section of the DSA's Libertarian Socialist Caucus and is a...

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Dr. Ganesh Trichur teaches political economy and historical sociology. He is part of the solidarity networks supporting the feminist revolution in Rojava. He has published on the effects of neoliberal globalization and the limits of the financial expansion, the rise of fundamentalisms, and the...

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Gurkani is a New York-based organizer with the DSA’s Libertarian Socialist Caucus and Symbiosis. His primary organizing interests include participatory democracy, solidarity economics and social ecology.

Anya Briy is an independent scholar and freelance journalist who focuses on the Kurdish movement in Turkey and Syria. Her work has appeared in
openDemocracy, The Region and Jadaliyya. She is an ECR steering committee member.

An ECR steering committee member, Matthew is a writer, poet and anarchist organizer, affiliated with the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council. He serves as co-editor of the radical artists’ imprint Cicada Press and is studying Cultural Anthropology in the PhD program at CUNY Graduate...

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