Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy & Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan
By Michael Knapp, Anja Flack & Ercan Ayboga (translated by Janet Biehl)
285 pp., $38.95
Rojava, which is Kurdish for the “west”, is to be found in Northern Syria. In the middle of a conflict zone, marked by the war against the Assad regime, a Turkish invasion and ongoing conflict with the brutal jihadists of ISIS and al-Nusra, the Kurds and their allies are creating a new kind of democratic system.
Vincent Emanuele is a writer, activist and radio host who lives in the United States. He's a member of Veterans for Peace and the National Writers Union. A former US marine and Iraq War veteran, he spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Pip Hinman about the first days of the Trump administration and the mass protests that have broken out.
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How would you describe the political atmosphere in the US after the Trump inauguration?
The Women’s March Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles was released by the organisers of the Women’s March on Washington, which drew 500,000 people onto the streets.
The day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, January 21, more than 4 million people joined “Women’s Marches” across the United States to protest the new Commander in Chief’s promised attacks on women’s rights.
Hundreds of thousands more took to the streets around the world, with protests on every continent, including Antarctica. In London alone, about 100,000 marched on the day.
Just two days after millions of people poured into the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities around the world for the historic Women’s March on Washington, President Trump has reinstated the controversial anti-abortion "global gag rule", which denies US funds to any international health care group involved in any activity in support of women’s rights to choose.
"President Donald Trump wound up fulfilling his promise that his inauguration would break records, just probably not in the way he had in mind," US Uncut noted on January 22. "The Women’s March, an anti-Trump protest aimed at standing up for women’s rights, is now estimated to be the largest one-day protest in United States history."
Above: Democracy Now's full coverage of Donald Trump's inauguration and protests from January 20. Below: A special broadcast live from the huge Women's March on Washington on January 21.
One of the best tennis players and athletes of all time, US star Serena Williams has been scrutinised so much for being a strong, Black woman that she herself began to doubt her own strength and body, the star told her long-time friend and rapper, Common, in a special ESPN interview last month.
“There was a time where I didn’t feel incredibly comfortable about my body because I felt like I was too strong,” Williams said during the one hour-long ESPN special, The Undefeated In-Depth: Serena with Common.
Donald Trump may have won the US elections with demagogic, strongman promises to “Make America Great”, but, in the lead up to his inauguration, the hollowness of such claims is clear as he stocks his Cabinet with oligarchs collectively worth billions.
Last year’s presidential election was marked by deep divisions in both the Democratic and Republican parties, on top of a stalemate in Congress between the twin parties of US capitalism.