This week we are reading a text by Black Liberation Army fighter, Assata Shakur, and the foundational document from the feminist Kurdish organization Kongreya Star. We are reading the Assata Shakur text “Women in Prison: How It Is With Us,” which details her experiences.
Assata Shakur was a member of the Black Panther Party who went underground to evade police repression, joining the Black Liberation Army. She was captured in 1973 and held as a political prisoner until 1979 (one year after this article was written), when she was broken out of prison by a unit of the Black Liberation Army. She made her was to Cuba where she lives to this day, despite increasing pressure from the United States for her extradition.
Kongreya Star, founded in 2005 under the name of Yekîtiya Star (Kurdish for Star Union of Women), is a confederation of women’s organizations in Rojava, Syria. They have been instrumental in the significant advances made in gender relations in the region. Its work is based on the claim that “without the liberation of women, a truly free society is impossible.”
The organization focuses on organizing women’s communes which focus on economic opportunity and development, consciousness-raising and self-defense for women. Working throughout Rojava and Syria, Kongreya Star aims to be an example for the entire Middle East and to realize the women’s liberation revolution across the entire region. Ideologically they are within the wider framework of the Democratic Confederalism modernization movement.
Assata Shakur, “Women in Prison.”
Kongreya Star, “About the work and ideas of Kongreya Star,
the Women’s Movement in Rojava.”
Friday, April 6th