About Us

The Emergency Committee for Rojava was initiated by four concerned observers who have been following the Rojava experiment in feminism, pluralism, democracy and environmentalism from its beginnings. The open letter published on this website, and in The New York Review of Books (NYR Daily) on April 23, 2018, is primarily intended as an organizing tool. Our aim is to encourage and help facilitate coordinated action to end the occupation of Afrin and support autonomy for Rojava.

Organizational structure

The ECR is a membership organization comprised of a national steering committee, a network of campus-based groups, and individual members and supporters.

The steering committee will initially consist of ECR founders and people they invite to join, but will proceed in a planned way towards democratic elections within a year and a half. ECR structures will be modeled on those in Rojava, with co-chairs and gender balance in the leadership and membership of all organizational groups and committees.

A campus-based ECR chapter can be started by faculty members or students who takes responsibility for it to the ECR steering committee. Chapters will be membership groups with elected co-chairs and a division of labor. Following the Kurdish example, in addition to an activist program, each group will have a program of self-education. The national ECR will provide suggested curricula and develop a Speakers Bureau. The ECR can also include local community-based chapters that are willing to be part of a national membership structure with accountable leadership.

Steering Committee

Debbie Bookchin is a longtime journalist, writer and speaker on municipalism, who also served as press secretary to Bernie Sanders for three years when he was first elected to the U.S. Congress.

Robert Hockett is the Edward Cornell Professor of Law at Cornell University.

Anna-Sara Malmgren is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University.

Meredith Tax has been a writer and feminist organizer since the late Sixties. Her most recent book is A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State (2016).

Matthew Whitley is a writer, poet and anarchist organizer affiliated with the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council.  He serves as co-editor of the radical artists’ imprint Cicada Press and is studying Cultural Anthropology in the PhD program at CUNY Graduate Center.