Struggling for Peace in the Midst of a Power Struggle
Just like the Middle East as a whole, the future of Kurdistan is heavily contested today. Regional powers like Turkey, Iran and Israel, but also the global hegemons USA, Europe, Russia and China are all engaged in a power struggle in the region. Since the Gulf War in 1991 this conflict has steadily intensified, today reaching a scope that we call `World War III`. The different peoples of the Middle East – Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Persians, Armenians, Greeks or Assyrians – have both been victims and active players in this ongoing struggle. It is those peoples that have again and again opted for peace, democracy and equality in their home countries. In the course of this democratic struggle of the people the Kurds have evolved into a leading source of inspiration and power for the regional and international democratic movements. It is the project of `Democratic Confederalism`, developed by Abdullah Öcalan on the Turkish prison island Imrali, that today provides the peoples of the Middle East and beyond with a clear road-map for the solution of the conflicts in their home countries.
One Goal, Three Pillars: Grassroots Democracy, Women`s Liberation and Ecology
The goal of building a democratic, confederal system is what inspires not only Kurds, but peoples all over the Middle East and in other parts of the world. In numerous books Abdullah Öcalan has elaborated on the theoretical and practical implications of `Democratic Confederalism`. Based on a thorough analysis of global human history Öcalan arrives at the conclusion that ever since the establishment of state structures – roughly 5000 years ago in lower Mesopotamia – humanity has been plagued with major unresolved problems. It is the centralization of power and resources, the oppression of women by men and the reckless exploitation of nature that have brought humankind to the brink of extinction. The task of democratic forces all over the world – especially in the war-torn Middle East – is consequently to find solutions to these most pressing issues. Building up `Democratic Confederalism` means replacing the nation-state with grassroots, self-governed communes, establishing a relationship between the sexes based on equality and respect and developing a new balance between humanity and nature. This is what millions of Kurds and an ever-growing number of Arabs, Turks, Persians or other people are struggling for today.
The KCK and Democratic Confederalism
As the KCK we consider this three-fold paradigm the most realistic and peaceful path to a world worth living in. We are convinced that a different world is possible. That is why we have been organizing ourselves under the umbrella of the Kurdistan Democratic Communities Union (KCK) since 2005. Organized in different areas of life – economy, culture, self-defense, law, social life, diplomacy, politics – we strive to support and build structures of self-governance in all four parts of Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora. Thus, our goal goes far beyond the discourse of `individual and cultural rights` so often voiced by Western powers. The basic, most important part of our structure are the local communes build and run by the people in a village or city neighborhood. All communes, parties, organizations and initiatives find together under the roof of the `People`s Congress` (Kongra Gel) which constitutes our highest decision-making institution. Thus, even under the hardships of war and colonial state policy we work everyday to put our vision of a self-governed, just and sustainable society into practice