Paul Z. Simons, also known as El Errante, is interviewed by rydra on
his recent trip to Rojava. Paul tells stories of his trip, relays
discussions he had with people in Rojava in the YPG, YPJ, taxi drivers,
translators, and more. Paul describes the situation in Rojava as a
“post-leftist revolution in a pre-leftist society.” Paul also tells us
how he got into the country, how others can, and why he feels that what
is going there is important to anarchists all around the world.
0:00 Paul talks about being a post-left anarchist and interacting with actual humans instead of just theory
3:30 logistics of how he made contacts and got into Rojava
7:30 border crossing and “press passes”
discussion of western media and the accuracy of the news coming out of
Rojava. More discussion of how geography and autonomous structures
look. How do the cantons relate to each other?
13:50 rydra asks Paul to explain the role of the US, Turkey, Syria, and Russia in Rojava.
17:00 Rojava power structure broken down with a cake analogy. How do communes function there?
20:00 TEV-DEM: who are they and how are they working in the communes
23:00 discussion of daily life, what it looks like in the villages and the cities.
ideology? “they are aware that they are in the midst of a revolution.”
“Would the US government accept a passport from an anti-government.”
29:30 Paul runs into the legislative minister for Kobani and discuses their role.
31:20 visiting with YPG, and what life looks like for the militia, and the differences between their militia and an army
34:00 discussion of gender and the YPG. YPJ, and a cultural shift?
impression of what is going on, tastes, smells, sights. What is going
on socially? The idea of death to Gilgamesh, and Rojava as a different
way for humans to live.
42:00 A bit of analysis on anarchism and the common comment that “it can never work.” Paul on hope.
43:20 rydra edits a super smooth transition into a revolutionary YPG song
returning to the idea of hope(hiccups) and what it means to be a human
being in Rojava completely surrounded by giant power structures and
47:30 Paul discusses what a revolution is
like, getting out of our heads, and the feeling that “revolution grabs
you by the heart.”
51:00 Where do Ocalan and the PKK fit into all of this. Is there concern over this and how is power playing out?
Being a post-leftist, cussing, and “a post-leftist revolution in a
pre-leftist country.” Never heard talk of working class and being
58:40 lessons learned from his trip, coming back to America and the Bay Area.
1:00:25 “I’ve made my decision, I’m here to help others make theirs.” The idea of an anarchist home.
1:04:00 things for people to do?
i enjoyed this interview with paul z. simons, one of the AJODA crowd i haven’t had a chance to meet. i just discovered that crowd’s alternative website, modern slavery.