The awakening of society in Kurdistan towards a world of social justice has given new hope to people all over the world. The keystones of the Kurdish movement; radical democracy, women’s liberation and ecological awareness, have slowly become the basic values of many other movements too. What first came to light in Rojava in 2012, the revolution of women and the self-administration of society, has now become a possible alternative worldwide. This democratic confederalism, pioneered by Abdullah Öcalan, can no longer be found only in Rojava or the Kurdish mountains, it has now reached everywhere, across the world there are people learning about and practicing it.
Yet this democratic alternative is still under very intense attacks from capitalist modernity. Be it Turkey’s ongoing war of aggression in Southern Kurdistan, the invasion of Rojava or the AKP regime’s fascist policies against the people of Northern Kurdistan. It is a policy of isolation and oppression that is supported and promoted through the silent acceptance of the German government and the European Union.
Nowhere is this isolation more concrete than on the Turkish prison island Imrali. Here the founder and guide of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, has been imprisoned since the international conspiracy of February 15, 1999. For over ten years, he was the only prisoner. Despite the indescribable conditions of his isolation, he has never given up hope in a peaceful solution to the conflicts in the Middle East. For several years Öcalan managed to negotiate with the Turkish government to achieve this goal. The overwhelming majority of the Kurdish population sees Abdullah Öcalan as their representative. This was been confirmed by the signatures of more than 3.5 million Kurds in 2005/06.
The Turkish state is currently subjecting Abdullah Öcalan to an isolation regime that knows no comparison. Every visit by his lawyers or family members is only made possible by long social struggles. In May 2019, for example, thousands of people both inside and outside the prisons succeeded in breaking the isolation through a hunger strike that lasted for months. Thus, for the first time in many years, it was possible for Öcalan to have contact with his lawyers for a short time. But since August 7, 2019, this contact has again been completely suppressed by the Turkish government. The public prosecutor’s office does not even respond to the weekly requests for visits. Thus, every possibility for negotiations on a peaceful solution of the conflicts in Kurdistan and the Middle East is suppressed. Through Imrali, the Turkish state is not only striving to isolate Öcalan as a person, but also and more so to target, isolate and suppress the democratic achievements that have emerged from his ideas.
In order to work against this attempt, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) started the campaign under the slogan “End isolation, fascism and occupation! – The time for freedom has come!”. The long march 2021 will take place in this context, because it is Öcalan who is the intellectual pioneer of democratic confederalism, which is a counter model to the crisis-ridden nation state. For this reason, the struggle for peace and democracy must be thought in the context of the struggle against the isolation of Öcalan. At the same time, this will also strengthen the struggle for democracy and freedom worldwide. Thus, the social uprising in Rojava, the liberation of the Yezidi Kurds in Shengal and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey, are only some of the examples of liberatory projects that could be achieved through him. Despite prison walls and limited opportunities, Öcalan still inspired millions of people worldwide. Isolation on Imrali is therefore the most radical form of repression against all forces striving for democracy, that the state exercises.
Let us stand up for the end of isolation, fascism and occupation and fight for the freedom of Öcalan! The time for freedom has come!
We therefore call on all internationalists to join the long march from February 4 to 13, 2021, under the motto “End Isolation, Fascism and Occupation! – The time for freedom has come!”. At the end there will also be a lively and loud demonstration in Strasbourg.
• Gathering, briefing and kick-off event on February 4 in Frankfurt
• Long March from February 5 to 13, from Hanau to Strasbourg
• Event in Strasbourg on 12 February
• Large demonstration in Strasbourg on February 13
• Sports shoes and warm clothing are suitable for the march. Sleeping bags should be brought along.
For registration, contact
longmarch2021 [at] protonmail.com
We are looking forward to your participation in the march. As soon as we receive your answer, we will send you more information and exact dates.