People’s Assemblies outside Kurdistan
It is a clear fact that the state structure, which was shaped against human nature despite the very nature and the advancement of humanity in the process, is now turned into a mechanism of banditry. The mechanism, which came to existence under the pretext of protectionism, now turned into a mechanism of destruction against humans, humanity, the life and the truth. The naked face of the state is now visible as the real reason behind almost all wars. There has not been any world war without the signature of this mechanism that feeds the wars, fractures the social life and eliminates friendship and solidarity. The 3rd World War that is taking place currently is also caused by this mechanism. This mechanism, which calls itself under different names such as fascism, empire, republic and sometimes democracy in fact, shares the same core natures. Though it changes its name according to the pre-existing conditions and people’s social and political nature, it nevertheless bases itself within similar practises. The system, which functions within the existing constitutions always, moralises suppression and violence organises itself as immortal through the army, police and judiciary system. It is in fact a system of a handful of rulers. The statutes with the countless articles establish a system that serve the benefit of the same rulers and if all else fails than the same is achieved with the bloody coups. This duty is sometimes carried out with a bloody suppression of a march, breaking of a strike, to rain terror on the streets, or to arrest and torture the democrats and intellectuals or even start major wars.
The system of statehood, which is also called civilisation, that which has been in practice for the last 5000 years is functioning on this axis. It makes no difference whether this is a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist state, the end exult is the same. These states and their rulers are all worshipping one thing and that is “money”.
There is nothing that can stop them from their love of money, they are so spineless that they would defend any kind of faith, religion and embrace any ideology or say amen to any prayer. Everything is possible for them to reach their aim for maximum profit and exploitation.
Despite the common belief, the state is not a mechanism that an economical class applies pressure on the other. This giant tool of violence which organises itself within the smallest cells within society does not only persecute one type of class in the society but does so to all sections of society such as the youth, the women and the men. The only ones that it does not do so is the ruling class. The state also suppresses the quiet and unquestioning circles that are holding the same side as the rulers as it wishes to prevent any possible alternative world vision in their minds. The state is such a mechanism that it does not make momentary plans but instead does it for the future such as 50 years ahead.
The state does not recognise the notions of good person, good society or the good regime as it considers everything to be bad and feels the need to organise itself to stop this badness by keeping it’s fingers on the trigger constantly. It does not care about transforming the bad into good as it considers its existence based on the very existences of this badness. It considers itself to be a divine being that holds the balance of justice and rights for and above everyone. It considers itself the representative of god to uphold neutrality and rights.
It is not claimed that the state is a tool of violence on its own as the ones that set it in motion are the dominant powers and classes and in general, terms it is the handful capitalists that chase the maximum profit. It is the same handful dominant powers that created the state, army, police, judiciary, statutes and violence. The state itself is a weapon and handful members of the exploiter class pull the trigger of this weapon. The sins of the state however cannot be forgiven on the other hand for this reason.
It is considered that the state will off course be starting wars since it is the same force that considered to have over the seventy percent of the whole wealth in the world under the pretext of protecting the national values, conquering the space, to maintain the army and the police, to protect the borders, new technology and creation of the new war machines. It will off course invade the countries, and aspire to travel to the space and dreams of new areas of exploitation. It an unfortunate fact that the poverty within wealth, the hostility within fraternity, deception within truthfulness are all created by the state and the same handful dominant powers that pull the trigger.
The humanity is currently suffocated by the state and a handful dominant powers that own it. The human beings who contain the element of freedom from births are now under worst types of slavery that it has ever experienced. The humanity, which is enslaved to factories, dirty air, poverty, and low rates of pay, is unfortunately at the status of living dead. In this dirty era and dirty society of civilisation the humanity has been made to lose its morality, it is polluted, busy marketing its soul and conscience, it is further distanced from its memory, the conscience of freedom and truth. In this age of sociological advancement process it is no longer the heroes of the hard work and creativity and it became the charlatan of the ordinary motives. The realities of love, woman, child and man are hit by thousand times and over by these approach and their hearts are broken into pieces.
The PKK and the State
The Leader of PKK and the Kurdish People Mr Abdullah Ocalan who has paid a specific attention to the issue of the state has shown the courage of presenting and new a paradigm he formulated, within which a new society and new personality with the moral system of politics that is created by this new personality. Mr Ocalan has proposed the creation of a new system as an alternative to the existing capitalist modernity that is in existence with its economic, political, social, cultural and moral values. He proposes the creation of the new system top to toe oppose to the partial fixing of the parts of the existing failing system.
Mr Ocalan’s new paradigm and the principles of the new society is not based on agitation and some other political arguments but instead has based it on his own thoughts and synthesis that are supported with the researches he carried out. He has also read from the writings of many personalities and academics that have gone through the war, persecution, armed or peaceful struggles in their times. He has reached many important conclusions and made the critics of the current system.
He has at the same time read from the historical authors, progressive intellectuals, researchers and scientists who has carried out deep analytical works in the subjects of the state, revolution, violence, persecution, duress, democracy and freedom, and deepened their proposals and also made his own personal, rich contributions to establish his own paradigm.
Mr Ocalan who formed his own paradigm by studying the opinion and thoughts historian, socio-political philosophers and thinkers such as Immanuel Wallerstein, Noam Chomsky, Amin Maalouf, and Bookchin initially tackled the issue of structure of the state, its development and role. This has in fact opened a big era on own area of thinking.
Mr Ocalan as someone who used to believe in the idea of the state being a compulsory element now makes a self-criticism over this as it is now criticizes the state is in fact as a world problem on its own rights a nightmare over the heads of humanity, a device which considers itself to be the ruler over the entire humanity with exception of a handful monopolists. He disbelieves that the state will ever reform to democratise and compromise with the notion of freedom as it travels in the different lanes to it and the people. He believes that the state should definitely be eliminated by alternative methods.
Mr Ocalan on the other hand do not propose the elimination of the state by way of violence, anarchy or classical Marxist methods but instead advocates the idea of strengthening the populist leg of freedom struggle in elimination of the state. In Ocalan’s philosophy the notion of elimination is referred to as building the conscience of popular democracy and freedom in the public and that the initial aim should be to reduce the size of the state before a slow pacing struggle against it.
Seeking an alternative system to the state
He considers that a more freedom loving, democratic, participant and partnering formation is required in alternative as a correct and humane. He underlines that instead of a centralist state a more correct and humane formation that distributes the authority to various powers and continuously variant and representing the will of everyone which is also based on participation of women, youth, alternative identities and faiths, multi lingual instead of unilingualism, pluralist as oppose to monism. Mr Ocalan calls this formation “The Democratic Confederalism”.
Democratic Confederalism is not a union of states in a classic term but a democratic formation and equal participation of different circles, genders, identity or faiths, groups, class or layer. It is not a collection of various states, as we know it, nor is it a union of formations who sees themselves as the true divine and therefore entitled to be authoritarian. It represents different peoples, languages, and genders hence it is democratic. It is a common will within which each people are able to express themselves with their own language, support their own culture, practice politics for themselves as a people. It supports the idea of freedom as it allows all peoples of different beliefs to be able to organise and express themselves and institutionalise their lives. It carries the differences that it has got to the nation state within habit of body.
It is a form of a democratic administration, which in fact is the unity of separation of arms that are based on refusal of nation state that is anti-democratic, in a form of denialism, which considers the society either black or white.
The nation state is enemy of differences, denier, denialist, monistic and also murderous and perpetrates genocide. Democratic Confederalism on the other hand is tolerant, democratic, libertarian as it stands at equal distance to diverse groups and classes.
The rights of nations to self-determination has long been defined in a wrong way. The qualification of being a nation has been mixed up with the statehood and no other definition id sought. The status of freedom has only been attached to the nations with the statehood.
Mr Ocalan relates to the issue of Democratic Confederalism in the following way;
The way of exit from the chaos which the states in the Middle East and even at worldwide level is Democratic Confederalism which draws its strength from public and grassroots. The phenomenon of statehood has not been very long in the history and on that token the nation statehood is not eternal either.
The Democratic Confederalism is also a necessity for the solution of the ingravescent socio historical problems of the Middle East. The impositions of the capitalist system and imperial powers do not develop democracy either and it in fact abuse it. The dominancy of the democratic option that develops from the grass root is the basis. This system is one where the basis is social and oversees the ethnical, religious and class differences.
He points out to the following “In our world which is complex and chaotic the only solution is democratic politics and the violence, war and solution is not possible with the dictatorial regimes. The antidote for all these is democratic politics and Democratic Confederalism” as its roof.
We tried to point out that Confederalism is not alien reality to the history and it is a better answer to the complex nature of nowadays human beings. We have often underlined that a society can express themselves better morally and politically under the Democratic Confederalism. Democratic politics is the building style for Democratic Confederalism as its democratic nature comes from this.
Mr Ocalan who emphasizes the fact that it is not possible to build a free and democratic life from a monistic politics, monistic method and application as in this world where exist infinite number of language and beliefs. He says the following on this issue.
Democratic Confederalism not only has the potential in overcoming the negative outcomes of the nation-state systematic it is also a best medium to politicise the society. İt is simple and applicable. Every society, ethnicity, culture, religious group, intellectual movement, economical unit and others can found itself within autonomously. The concepts of federal, or autonomous should be evaluated under this scope. Every self has the chance to establish a confederation from the local to global level. The right to free discussion and decision taking is the basic element of local. Every self or the federal unit is unique due to its right to participant democracy which is also called as direct democracy as concept. Its total strength is drawn from the applicability of direct democracy and the reasoning behind its having an fundamental role is exactly that. Whilst the nation state is the denial of direct democracy the democratic confederalism is on the other hand has the position of the builder and functionalising of it.
Mr Ocalan who expresses that the democratic confederalism is not a system that is described as complex or new and that in fact it is a system that has been applied many times in the historical stages of human development and that various language and beliefs that had existed within the systems of tribe, clan and even empires under the system of democratic confederalism. Mr Ocalan under this context says the following:
“Democratic Confederalism is not a system of administration from today’s era it is heavily placed in history. The history therefore has confederal undertones than of the centralist-state. The reason behind the wider recognition of the state form is due to its extreme officiality. The social life on the other hand is closer to democratic confederalism. Whilst he state continuously runs towards centralism, it bases itself on the interests of the monopolies that it leans on. It otherwise can not protect these interests. Only a very strict centralism can provide the assurance for this. In democratic confederalism on the other hand the opposite is possible. It needs to avoid the centralism as it bases itself on the society and not the monopolies.
As the societies are not homogenous and made of multiple communities, institutions and diversity the democratic confederalism feels the necessity of forming and protecting the unity and harmony of them all. An extreme centralism causes frequent social explosions due to this multitude. The history is full of countless amount of these examples. Democratic confederalism on the other hand is where every community, institution and diversity has more chance to survive. The reason behind its small recognition is due to the hegemonic structure and ideology of the official civilisation. The societies in fact are confederalist in history though this fact has no official recognition.”
Mr Ocalan continues saying:
In fact, the clans, tribes and other groups which exist with their originalities live with their natural confederal system and they can not be brought within a suppressive system of administration.
All sort of clan, tribe and peoples administrations in fact permits to a loose relationship system of confederalism as their internal autonomy would be harmed and it would threaten their existence. Politicos of local and provincial autonomy have always seen in the history and has played important roles for maintaining the existence of political and moral society. The peoples whish they lived in large geography of the globe such as mountains, deserts and wooded area have resisted with their autonomous and independent politics against the forces of civilisation. This is why we claim that the tradition of democratic confederalism outweighs and we add that the dominant trend throughout the history has been to resist and not to surrender. The world otherwise would have looked like the Egypt of pharaohs. It is not possible to comment on the history without realisation of the fact that there is no locality left in the world without the resistance and politics. If the peoples of South Amerıca, Africa and Asia are still resisting with all their colours and cultures than their histories are such because the history is happening now.
Mr Abdullah Ocalan emphasises that democratic confederalism should not be applied to a single area, country or nation but to the whole world as a democratic system.
World Democratic Confederalism: Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia could be the areas where democratic confederalism can be put on agenda. The Middle Eastern Democratic Federation in particular would be very meaningful work for the current chaotic situation of the Middle East.
Democratic Modernity is not making an arbitrary choice when it selects the democratic confederalism as the basic political model on both historical basis and dealing with the complexities of contemporary society. It means to express political umbrella of the political and moral nature of the society. It is hard to grasp the meaning of the democratic confederalism if one is unable to se that the society is not homogenous or monolithic. The last four hundred years of official modernity is the history of genocides it committed in the name of homogenous (most often cultural and time to time physical) against the multi ethnical, cultural and different political and self defending society).
Democratic Confederalism on the other hand is the history of insistence on multi cultural and diverse political formations against last four hundred years.
Nation State’s universalist, plainly developing, definitive (mentality of being closed to the alternatives) and the homogenous human, herd-like masses that it purposes to create is responded to by democratic modernity with a mentality of pluralism, open mindedness and a method that promotes the democratic society.
It is open to different political dimensions, also multi-cultural, closed to the idea of monopolies, open to ecological and feminist tendencies and it resolves the societal problems with the public interest solutions. Democratic Confederalism of the Democratic Modernity is the alternative against the Nation State of the Capitalist Modernity.
The establishment of the People’s Assemblies in Diaspora
Whilst describing Democratic Confederalism Mr Ocalan refers to a system that is organised from bottom up which is also not a structure that is not severed from the masses and is a complete representative of will of the reconfirms the people, and run by the people itself. He confirms that the local legs of this system is the assemblies which is populist, a system that contains the representation of the people from bottom to top.
Assemblies are Democratic Confederalism’s fundamental organs and are the legislative organ of the Confederal system that are particicpated directly by the people who elects its representatives. The Assemblies which are the highest component of administration and public will within its localities are formed as the combination of commissions that are established according to the necessities by direct participation of people. The main format of organisation for of all the areas, cities, state, women, youth and different identities are Assemblies. Assembly is taken as the main format of the organisation. The mechanism of it materialize on democratic basis. Whilst every village has more than one commune, just as it could have multiple assemblies. Every city, district or neighbourhood is run by assemblies that are formatted according to the needs. The format of organisation for the state and countries also formatted according to Assemblies.
The European organisation of Kurdish Freedom Movement is also being organised on the basis of assembly. The Kurds form their assemblies according to their needs at every city they live in, through which they solve their problems and re-organise their lives around.
The women and youth also organise themselves on this basis. They discuss their social, linguistic, cultural and other similar problems at the assemblies in order to find solutions. Some of the economical, social problems and similarly some contradiction and disagreements are solved through this peace and reconciliation commissions.
We could finalise this text by making some short references to the formation, compound and mechanism of these assemblies in Europe.
It materialises with the widest participation of people. All the patriotic, intellectual, democratic and socialist people who are also loyal to their country, land and values can take part in the congress of that area. The strength of the congress can be measured on the with the higher legitimacy of the elected people and the participation of the people actually attended that congress. The participation of the people in the congress is important for both the principles of reflecting will of people to the congress and securing a higher level of accountability to the people on the part of the elected representatives.
We believe that it is important to lean the grass root, people and to include the people in decision making, facilitating a system whereby people become the main subject of the assemblies whilst being answerable to the people, to inform them and to take all the decisions with them and to make available all channels to them in order to get their opinions and suggestions. Everyone who pays membership fee to an association that serves the Kurds, makes efforts for the freedom of Kurds and democratization of Turkey, financially or spiritually supports a periodical or a special event, purchase and follow the Kurdish media and journals can participate in the congress as delegate. In another words, persons who are fulfilling the duties of a democrat and patriot in part or full and who have not been involved in criminal or shameful offences and have no public restrictions can become delegates. The important objective here is to secure a participation which is dense and deep participation of the public will.
The friends of Kurds and supporters of Kurdish Freedom Movement can also participate to the congress as delegates and candidates to the roles for all levels. The required condition here is to attend the programme of the congress and who applies the constitution.
All members of women, youth, political, diplomatic, economical, belief commissions and branches that are in the Democratic Community Centres are eligible to take par There is a necessity for Democratic Community Centre congress to have been organised with the delegates that were practicably possible to do so. This is a minimum requirement. It is for the legitimacy of the congress which is measurable with making facilities for the people’s will to prevail by way of elected assembly members and steering committee representing the majority of members.
A congress which is not sufficiently attended by the community and therefore has not secured a majority number of delegates that are is not democratic as they do not represent the will of people. These would be illegitimate congress where Assembly members elect their own selves. These types of congress are against the principle of direct election as it is to people’s rights for free and democratic will. It is therefore against the constitution and the purpose of the assembly. The assembly is only an assembly if people are the ones that chooses it and. The assembly members and the administrators can only be chosen by people. There could be no democracy where the assembly members choose themselves and take decisions. This could only be in despotic, bureaucratic, fascist and anti-democratic societies. This is why the direct election and direct participation is the basis.
Presentation of the Annual Report by the outgoing administration, planning and projections of the forthcoming year and approval of these proposals are all part of the Congress. A Democratic Community Centre Congress can take a decision of an undertaking a work of a co-operative initiation in the area that it operates. It can also reach some decision taking and linked implementation of the the problems experienced by Kurds in terms of asylum, immigration, social, economical, political and other problems that they are facing. These are the principles that should be in practice. The agendas of the congress should be organised around this format. The congress where there is no planning or project decisions and similarly no democratic activity decisions are ones which cannot reach its aims. In fact, all commissions should be presenting their own project and get delegates opinions.
Assemblies are responsible for the premises that they operate within. They have to manage, maintain, pay expenses of these areas. They are also responsible to for provision of activities of, language, art and politics.
In addition to the general agenda items the congress also deals with the issue of elections and this is handled by an election commission selected with a sufficient number. The job of this commission to oversee the whole election process of the congress and select to joint-chairs, secretary, inspection and discipline commissions. The members of the Assembly are elected after these positions are elected by the delegates. The positions of joint-chairs, inspection and discipline commissions are the main organs of the Assembly and can only be occupied by the people who are elected and can not be appointed to under any circumstances.
The mechanism of the Assemblies
There is no doubt that Democratic Community Centres are legal entities and functions within the legal framework of the countries that they exist. It complies fully with law and has democratic mechanism. It respects the will of people that it exists and recognises the legal framework and legislations of the country whilst respecting the political choice of that people.
Whilst Democratic Community Centres are there to help solving the problems surrounding the issues of social, cultural, integration and similar issues , their main purpose however is to support the democratic struggle of the Kurds in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey and to oppose the massacres and genocide policies of these states and political administrations in order to avoid further examples of Sengal, Kobani, Cizre, Silopi, Sur, Sirnak and Nusaybin and in fact to be the voice and tongue of Kurdish people in Europe.
The members of the Assembly are elected with the delegates votes and those who are elected choose their areas of works under commissions such as recruitment, youth, diplomacy, social peace and reconciliation and culture. Each commission than select their own spokesperson during their internal meeting. The components of the Democratic Community Centres with their commissions are also represented in the Assembly. The commissions of these associations and beliefs of different nature are approved by the delegates of the congress,
Each commission should meet to plan its works at least every 15 days to secure a healthy and sytematic work pattern. The commissions by this way start making their concrete projects. Assembly meets every second month however could meet more often if needed depending on the public and organisational problems. All members of the commissions who are elected either in the Assembly Congress or selected by the Assembly attend the Assembly meetings.
All commissions present a written report to the Assembly on their works , this is so to secure a fruitful working period, to implement the decisions and projects in shorter time scale and to carry out all works according to the Constitution and programme and to set up a strong audit mechanism. All commissions writ the activities that they have taken part in the last 2 months.
Democratic Community Centres select their steering committee members during first meeting of their congress. The steering committee consist of the spokesperson of each committee. Those individuals who are chosen for the steering committee need to be able to hold the positions of representation, be involved and concentrated experience and thinking abilities. Although the principle of commission spokespersons becoming steering committee members is a general rule it nevertheless it is not an absolute one. The Assembly could deviate from this principle and rule by adopting a different approach to form its steering committee in order to deal with the needs.
Democratic Community Centres could determine the numbers of steering committee members from the numbers of the commissions within it and this could be 7,9,11 or 13 people. The important issue here is to be inclusive which covers all the work areas and be made of members who are able to carry out their duties as required.
A steering committee of a Democratic Community Centre also represents the collective political will of the Assembly in the area that it is operating within and it is called Civaka Azad. Civaka Azad is the second biggest level of public will after the Assembly. It has a first degree responsibility to undertake the works between the two Assembly meetings and is the highest authority of decision.
It has a responsibility to coordinate the activities and to represent the Assembly. Civaka Azad is the highest degree of practice and application that is made of all institution, unity, establishment, belief, women and youth formations. In summary, Democratic Community Centres, the area administrators or Civaka Azad are all formed from the representative’s establishments and institutions and is a narrow body that have the role of carrying out the works whilst the Assembly is the grass root decision maker that has a wider body.
As Civaka Azad is made of the representatives from various bodies in the Assembly than it is accountable to it. It presents reports to the Assembly just as the commissions who does the same. Civaka Azad is responsible from coordination of the works, joining planning and to create harmony. The commissions that operate within Civaka Azad enjoy greater originality however it equally is expected to be run at highest level of administration and also need to show responsibility against other general and special originalities.
They are the the co-chairs of the Democratic Community Centres and Assemblies. They carry out their works collectively and they arrange themselves on the distribution of works as co-chairs. They are expected to do their works as a united pair of persons who serve the same purpose whilst they compliment each other as part of the same mind paradigm set.
The culture of collaboration is important for the process of institutionalisation in the Assembly. Some works can be carried out by a co-chair alone and some jointly. The important issue here is to do things in line with what they planned together and and informed each other along the way. The principle of being complimentary to each other’s work in one’s own activity area is the standard required. Co-chairs are not each other’s opponents. nor do they compete with the each other. They are equal halves of the whole, the common denominators of every activity and nuts and bolts of the same machine.
The co-chairs are responsible for the whole of the activities on the first degree that are carried out by the Assembly. They approach to all commissions with the equal distance and support them all on equal basis and respect and encourage each originality, for example the diplomacy and culture commissions can not be more important than the organisational recruitment or the youth works commission. What keeps the Assemblies balanced, productive and that keeps them spread across the society is this diverse area of activities. The co-chairs would have to keep these various activity areas under a proper balance and assist the commissions and, value their efforts.
The female co-chairs are not to be containing their work to women’s Assembly or women’s commissions or work. They are in fact equally responsible for for the implementation of the will that was created in the congress and they are responsible for all the areas of works. Their responsibilities are not local and fragmented but in fact an equally whole responsibility as the male co-chairs.
Co-chairship is also an institution and it is also important for it to maintain harmony and coordinate amongst all the components, commissions and institutions under the umbrella of the Assembly and this is so for all the situations of positive or negative practices. The co-chairship which has the functionality of an institution and commands the general will is therefore responsible on the first degree. It has a vision and carries the feature of representation on behalf of the Kurds in the area that they exist. The co-chairs also head the meetings of Civaka Azad and Assembly with the qualities of transparency and open to criticism. It could be described as openness to all members.
Co-chairs can attend any commission meetings if required in order to have a first hand observation of the issues and follow their planning.
It carries out it’s role as representatives when dealing with the equivalent external organisations and develops fraternal relationships with friendly organisations and circles.
Thus it could be described as having a two dimensional role consisting of internal and external. The internal role is to ensure the internal components of the Assembly to be able to deal with its problems with solutions and to fulfil its role on organisational-practical level. The fulfilment of its external role is to carry out the lobby-diplomacy and creating an atmosphere of relationships and common ground. The ideal division of works could one of the co-chairs to be involved in the internal affairs of the Assembly by way of getting the community to be involved in the Assembly works and to manage the practical and organisational works whilst the other co-chair to be involved with the diplomacy works.
The co-chairs have the basic duties of organising public meetings, mass activities, commemorations, protests and campaigns and to work in harmony with the internal and external representatives. They are made responsible to work on the basis of hard work. They need to act with the knowledge of this and organise the activities and actions with the principles of freedom and democracy. They need to stay sensitive to social and political development as they are representing Kurds Europe. They need to develop mutual relations with the European friends in order to have common events organised for the cause of making this world a better place.
Assemblies are based on the commissions. They carry out all of their works on commissions which are based on various areas of activities. The commissions on the other hand form the running feet of the Assembly as they are active in their specialist area of work in the first degree. The Assemblies could not play their true roles without the commissions as they are the ones that organise various civilian public organisations, coordinate and represent them. The commissions are the eyes, ears and feet of the Assembly. They progress on as much as their their eyes, feet and ears.
The number of the commission members are established according to the the necessity and this number can not be pre-empted. The said number can not be a constant number either. It determined according to the need such as the area in question, the needs of the area, internal and external conditions, economical, social; geographical, belief and political structure of this area are the determinant factors for this.
It would not be wrong to say that the commissions are the pores of the society. They are the refuges of strength, sources of solutions and spiritual support for Kurds who have been forced to emigrate to Europe due to the harsh conditions and war syndromes.
These are the reasons for making the Assemblies for what they are not in true sense. The frequency and strength of commissions increase the chance of the Assemblies for becoming the sources of resolutions. This would lead to inevitable status of having a will in a real sense. The Assemblies whose commissions are strong would themselves be strong and would equally be able to resolve the issues. The opposite would lead to having an Assembly that has not got a strength to represent. There is no doubt that the strengths of the commissions come from the strengths of the commission members. The correct will, strength and quality of these individuals find their true meanings in the Assemblies.
The suitability of the commission members to their roles therefore is important. The individuals take their places according to their abilities, their general and national cultures, wording styles and intellectual accumulation. It is a necessity and compulsory feature to pace people in the roles according to their ability, current necessities and suitability of the conditions that they are in.
İt would be unproductive to place people to the commissions that they are unable to produce good work within the commissions that they are not sensitive or knowledgeable enough about. This would make the respectability of the Assembly questionable, i.e. an atheist or a person who is aggressive on faiths could be a disaster in the faith commission. It is therefore of paramount importance to place the people correctly in the commissions.
Commissions work according to the projects that they have in front of them and do this with discussions and concentration with the best production in mind. The success of the practice lie in a healthy process of production. They work tirelessly for the successful results of the projects as the planning of the projects alone are not enough.
The members and commissions can not portray a character of “ I say things for others to implement them”. They say it, concentrate on them, produce and play the role of the vanguard on the projects. The commissions would have to be part of a continuous renewal process.
Woman’s Will in Assemblies
Liberation of women stands as the leading point in Abdullah Ocalan’s paradigm. The motto “A country can’t be free unless the women are free” is an absolute must principle for Ocalan. Abdullah Ocalan specifies that in a society dominated by gender discrimination where the power and the male transform into each other, male cannot become free, pointing out the necessity that man and woman must be organized at the same levels and absolutely be equalized in all respects. In this sense, woman’s organising herself unrestrictedly in political, economic, ideological and defence areas of the life and expressing herself under an independent organisation against male-dominant system would be the only option for women’s road to liberation. Ocalan also underlines that “Women are one half of the world population. Thus, they must have a voice in ruling the world at least as much as men have. Women must have power and authority, at least as much as men have, not only in economy, politics, defence and social life but also in science, philosophy and military, so that uneven and unjust male-dominant system could change, real justice could be served and the truth could return to its self in real terms…”
For this reason, Abdullah Ocalan has dedicated at least one-half of his own efforts to the liberation of women. In his sense of struggle, he targets both inequality of male-dominant system and this system’s passion to commoditize woman in order to maximize profits and feudal-lord system that enslaves woman, and his own male companions with a male-dominant understanding. In one sense, Ocalan seems to be turning everyone into target for liberation of women. He even took the risk of facing opposition of and was stuck in all his companions, friends and other so-called “patriot” people.
Therefore, he has always predicated on woman’s will in each place where Kurds live and in all sorts of organisations, Kurds have established. He grounds on the maxim saying that any organisation or sort of struggle cannot survive without woman. Moreover, he set up the principle that the number of women is to be at least as many as the number of men in any organisation (half of men). It is an accurate and absolute rule that any gender must be represented by 40% as a minimum.
This general truth and principle also applies to Assemblies. Assemblies cannot survive without women and vice versa. As a matter of fact, it is this reality which makes an assembly a will in real terms, enables it to function according to the rule of equality, fits with the will to represent right and justice, and forms the source of correct and well-principled struggle against the power. It is also this reality, which has turned Kurdish women into such people who are consistently seeking a new and fair life. It is a direction. This direction at the same time stands as the direction of Democratic People’s Assemblies. Based on this direction, it is essential for women to take part in assemblies and all commissions. Women should take part in commissions – same as assemblies in general – with a representation rate of 40%. In each specific assembly, women must form at least 40% of members. In other words, an assembly with 40 members in total must have 16 female members. This is both an obligation and a decision dedicated to making sure that woman’s will is properly represented. Just like general and specific efforts, commissions also host women. Even though assemblies and commissions that fail to incorporate sufficient number of female members, get positive results in practical work, these efforts do not amount to meaningful implications as they are lacking in mentality and gender equality. In this context, the important point is not to get involved in practical activities more or get better results, but to bring into existence the women whose will has always been ignored for more than five thousand years as a titular identity within the society. The correct and indirect way of achieving this is to ensure that women are represented equally and under equal conditions with men, and they are given the opportunity to function on an equitable basis under the same roof of any organisation.
Women who take part in general assembly and commissions are accountable to the general assembly just like male members, and are subject to general functioning and practical activities. Meetings, circulars and assignments are arranged at general level; i.e., these are all decided in assembly meetings. It is obvious that women who play a part in Democratic People’s Assemblies, take on tasks within the body of commissions and who are elected by the congress are at the same time natural and de facto members of the European Kurdish Women’s Movement. They attend both general and specific meetings organised by the European Kurdish Women’s Movement to get perspective, they are responsible for liberation route of the women’s movement in general, and they have first-degree responsibility in making this route dominant both in their life and in the sphere of assembly. However, only the assembly and commissions have the initiative to arrange assignments and practical responsibilities. Assemblies and commissions can solely arrange assignments. More importantly, it is essential to realize whether women’s liberation route and its associated criteria as well as patriotism consciousness and bond are brought into practice properly. It is also essential to ensure that women in assemblies suitably represent the women’s liberation perspective and fight male-dominant understanding on a correct basis. This is the exact point to be paid attention. Women in assemblies would be deemed to have been playing their part if and only if this point is realized fully and properly and women follow this route, acting in line with these general principles.
It is also crucial that women to take part in Democratic People’s Assemblies are among from those who are in keeping with liberation perspective of the European Kurdish Women’s Movement, who have already realized and represented woman’s will, strive to increase gender awareness, and are actively involved in struggle against male-dominant mentality.
Kurds living in Europe build up European Kurdish Women’s Assemblies along with Democratic People’s Assemblies. Acting in line with the principles set forth in the charter and programme of the European Kurdish Women’s Movement, women’s assemblies organize their own congress or general assembly meeting to elect members of assembly on their own. Assemblies are formed by ensuring participation of maximum portion of women population in a given locality or region into women’s assembly congress. Local assemblies ground totally on specific activities rather than general practices, and do their planning accordingly. In other words, they are expected to focus on problems of women including organisational, political, cultural, social and educational issues and to construct a women-oriented organisation. The aim of any assembly extricates woman’s will and organised power, and strengthens it into a strong understanding of democracy. It also aims to organise and popularize women’s movement in a way that women are enabled to play a pioneering role in all spheres of life. Women’s assemblies are also anticipated to build up their own system based on specific merits of any given assembly. They also independently organize their own meetings, events and specific training programmes. From bottom to the top, all activities are organized with full awareness of gender issue. Assemblies take notice of the necessity of struggling sufficiently in order to adopt a solid understanding of liberation, to gain proper will and managerial power as well as a strong sense of freedom, clear of all conventional diversions.
Spokespersons of any given women’s assembly act in coordination with local or regional general assembly. As both assemblies address Kurds, activities of both assemblies must be organized in coordination with each other, in the nature of things. It is quite normal, even mandatory under certain circumstances that practical activities of two different genders, as administered by two different charters and functioning within two different assemblies come together. It is very important for both assemblies to have common actions, events and plans. Spokespersons of women’s assemblies take their part in components of Civaka Azad, which is formed in their respective locality or region. In this way, plans, activities and decisions of women’s assemblies can be brought together in certain points with plans, activities and decisions of Civaka Azad general assembly.
System of inter-assembly relations
Functioning and conduct of assembly system is based on locality. The aim is to organise local Kurds and uncover their will. It is essential for each local assembly to organise itself in its own locality, build up its own assembly and institution; improve into an organised power, and to reach a self-sufficient level. As the level of organisation at local level increases and turns itself into an independent will, then the will of Kurds at local level will develop with an increased volume of participation. In this way, they can strengthen the preconditions for them to use their will as properly as possible under European conditions.
Assemblies set up coordination among themselves at local and regional levels. This coordination is composed of all components; i.e., the representation of those who are involved in culture, external relations, beliefs, women and youth units. This coordination organises itself at local and regional levels under the name of Civaka Azad. Civaka Azad meets monthly. Extraordinary meetings, meetings with specific agendas or meetings at shorter intervals may be organized depending on the intensity of activities in particular locality or region.
The essential target is to make each locality have strong will and initiative. Furthermore, it is aimed to put into practice creatively a plainer and dynamic structure, which is free of bureaucracy and meeting inflation. Each locality must attain a sufficient organisational level and capacity to resolve its own problems, and to function properly both in quantitative and qualitative terms.
This system is not a closed, dogmatic or schematic one. A mode of organisation and quantitative composition customized to the needs may be developed in company with need-oriented meeting schedule. For instance, in certain periods, broad participation meetings may be organized at regional level to consult all assembly members in that region. Similarly, broad participation training programmes may be organized by Civaka Azad activists to include all managers and assembly members of Democratic People’s Assembly in that region. Such broad participation meetings may be organized in order to strengthen particular plans, ensure common standing, provide period-specific perspective, and make sure that practical activities are handled and assessed by a wider composition structure. It is both a necessity and an obligation to organize such a broad participation meeting once every month so that a common spirit, collective work, and participatory organisational activity can be uncovered….
Country Community Centres
Kurds in European are living disorderly and in a splintered way. It is very difficult to access them since they spread around cities, small towns and villages. Taking into account broad and dispersed geographical structure of the continent, it is very hard to organise and centralise Kurds in specific areas. However, it is not impossible. One of the reasons to adopt locality-based mode of organisation and to establish local assemblies is to overcome this challenge. Nevertheless, this step is necessary but not sufficient to organise Kurdish people living in small cities. In fact, such a local organisation, if not brought together at a more central level in a democratic institution, cannot give rise to a common will and a correct mode of power flow. It would likely remain narrow and stubby, even worse, it would gradually marginalize.
To overcome this challenge and remove the risk of marginalisation, it is necessary to establish a countrywide roof organisation and to link Democratic Community Centres to such roof organisations through assemblies. It must be a flexible and democratic umbrella organisation which follows the host country’s laws and regulations and which shows respect to local people so that it could represent the general will of Kurds. This mode of organisation developing from local to general and from bottom to top will also exemplify follow-up of a correct policy consisting of democracy and freedom components of Kurdish people. Having established “federations” on a country basis in the past, Kurds now deem more suitable to be organised in the form of “Country Community Centres” in view of the spirit of current period. As compared to federations, Democratic Community Centres have a wider and more far-reaching structure, which offers both qualitatively and quantitatively deeper functioning that is still more flexible and democratic. The title of centre may vary depending on country-specific conditions. For instance, titles may include “Council”, “coordination”, etc.
Any council, coordination or Community Centre organized at country level is expected to function as a roof organisation. Any council, coordination or Democratic Community Centre organized at country level affiliate all official and democratic units with legal entity including women’s and youth assemblies, external relations offices and religious associations in that country. Each member component must have a legal entity. For example, all women and youth associations, external relations departments Islamic monasteries and mosques must become member to the council, coordination or Community Centre of that country with their respective legal entities. To put it differently, they accept the Community Centre as an umbrella organisation, more precisely; any legal entity that agrees or is willing to agree on the charter and programme of the roof organisation has the right to become member. Associations, organisations and assemblies from different nations may also become member if they request to do so as long as they think such membership fit with their own ideology and political identity and they support the liberation struggle of Kurds. In this regard, countrywide Democratic Community Centres may embody a wide range of institutions, organisations, formations and different tendencies. From this aspect, it is both flexible and democratic and libertarian in the highest degree. Each member has the power of action, voice and decision…
Any given countrywide Democratic Community Centres makes its own congress with the participation of all member institutions and organisations including general assemblies, women’s and youth assemblies and religious associations located in that country. Members of the institutions and organisations affiliated to Democratic Community Centres are congress delegates as well. At these congresses, Co-chairs, administrative bodies, Audit council members and discipline committee members of Community Centre are elected. Necessary committees and bodies are formed and their members are elected in line with the provisions of charter. Co-chairs and other administrative members have first-degree responsibility for all members’ institutions and organisations.
Country Community Centres select a proper title considering the conditions and needs of the country where they are established. They also prepare their own charter and programme fully in keeping with the host country’s historical, political, economic and demographic structure. However, these documents at all times predicate on goodwill, friendship, social accord and moral political society. These centres always take sides with those who struggle against fascism, anti-democratic practices, racism and nationalism. They always take sides with democracy and freedom in alliance with the components of democratic bloc…
Management of Country Community Centre is nothing but a pure representation of women and youth assemblies, external relations department, cultural unions and religious associations that are active in that country. The management of Country Community Centre also holds the management of Civaka Azad. Congress delegates elect members of this management. In the countries where Kurds are far dispersed although they form a big population, state system may be preferred, and state assemblies may be organised accordingly. The important point is to form a roof organisation with administrative power that represents everyone in a democratic way…
Co-chairs of Country Community Centres are official legitimate co-chairs of the official roof organisation. Similarly, all administrative staff elected by congress delegates has the capacity of official representatives of roof organisation to represent Kurds in that country with legal status. Therefore, they represent the Kurdish community of that country at the highest level. Both co-chairs and executive board members are liable to comply with certain criteria including being a decent person in private life – just like in all other spheres of life -, transparency in economic relations, having nothing in criminal background and absenting himself/herself from criminal activities.