Experiences in Rojava: Interview with an anarchist YPG volunteer

Experiences in Rojava: Interview with an anarchist YPG volunteer

Kurdish Question, March 6, 2017

We met and interviewed a person who travelled to Rojava to be a volunteer in the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG). We present this interview anonymously, as wished by the person interviewed.

What inspired you to travel to Rojava and join the YPG?

Different aspects, but it connected me and others to our own historical roots such as antifascism, or revolutionary internationalism.

Were you in the International Batallion?

I wasn’t in any specific international battalion, just with the YPG/YPJ taburs [Kurdish battallions] formed mostly by Kurds, but also with other people, including other internationals. There is also the International Freedom Batallion, a tabur or batallion inside the YPG/YPJ’s structure, with the participation of different socialist and communist volunteers. Personally, I didn’t have contacts with them, and they are mostly marxist-leninists.

How important are political ideas of the movement (ie. Democratic Confederalism) inside the YPG?

There’s a big variety in the groups. For example the youth from Rojava are all getting new ideas through recent developments, but are still not quite understanding politics or the global perspective, and remain nationalist. Whereas, for example, Kurds from Bakur or Qandil are already very revolutionary, and most of them have a high level of political consciousness and analytical capacity.

Can you tell us about daily life in the YPG and it’s command structure?

In general, daily life in the Kurdish defense units is not very similar to any army. Sometimes you forget it’s a war because of the friendships and the happiness… and dancing! The feeling of revolution is really alive.

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