From Abya Yala to Kurdistan: the peoples organize the revolution!

Internationalist Felipe Mattos Johnson, from Brazil, wrote about the Long March for the Freedom of Abdullah Öcalan.

Internationalist Felipe Mattos Johnson, from Brazil, wrote about the Long March for the Freedom of Abdullah Öcalan.

The title of these few words that follow was one of the slogans chanted by the internationalists at the March for the Freedom of Abdullah Öcalan held between February 5 and 10, 2023. Coming from different territories occupied by colonial states - Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico - the Abya Yala delegations opened their hands to each other, like the jopói of the Guarani peoples, the Teko Joja (way of being based on reciprocity) of the Kaiowá, the Ayni for the Aymara. Open hands to raise the flag of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), of the Confederation of the Peoples of Kurdistan (KCK) and for the freedom of Rêber Apo. At the same time, through dialogical and dialectical links, open hands to sow wiphala sprouts, from the Ayllus and the Tekoha, from the Lof of the Wallmapu to Cauca, from the Tajimat Awajún in the Amazon jungle, where, from the small, the peoples liberate territories and lives from capitalist exploitation and extractivism in Abya Yala.

The six days of the long march were also a mobilization against extractivism. In a certain way, the Revolution in Kurdistan is a beacon to definitively overthrow capitalist modernity, as Şehîd Legêrin taught us, and to fight for the freedom of Rêber Apo, which makes it possible to keep the flame burning. This meeting of rebellions and resistance to life made it possible to reaffirm the convergences and common senses of our walk. Literally, as in the march, where we remembered the Şehîd Victor Jara: "Walking, walking/I'm looking for freedom/I hope to find paths/To keep on walking". One of the key points, therefore, was the understanding of the added ties in the multicolored loom that crosses the internationalists from the south, from the peripheries, geographies and calendars that resist and tear fissures in the framework of the war - be it the third or the fourth world war -, making it possible for some heads of the capitalist hydra to fall. We speak of the Aymara and Quechua resistances in the Andes, the Guarani and Kaiowá territorial recuperations and their martyrs, the Mapuche national liberation, the peasant struggles, the Zapatista struggles and autonomous territories in Chiapas and our political prisoners as a mirror of the rebellions in Kurdistan.

Moreover, the union of anti-colonial struggles - side by side with comrades from Africa, especially internationalists from Kenya, the place where Öcalan was arrested for the international plot in 1999 - shows that solidarity among peoples is, beyond possible, necessary to coordinate insurgencies and fight against forgetfulness. And to speak of forgetting is to speak of memory. This last part is inseparable from the Kurdish revolution, materialized in each image of the Şehîd men and women who inhabit the walls, hearts and lands where today's new spaces-times are being built and rebuilt. From the conference in Geneva, where the march began, to the city of Freiburg, where it ended, after about 300 kilometers were traveled, not only were their names intoned, the insignia they defended with their lives were also commemorated by immigrants and fellow diasporans in different streets, stores and cities, where Cerxa Şoreşê was heard as a hymn of all peoples.

Particularly, in this edition, the long march was not only in defense of the revolution and for the freedom of Öcalan, but also for the memory of the martyrs fallen in the earthquake that shook the north and west of Kurdistan on February 6, the same day the march began. In each minute of silence that inaugurated the daily activities and conferences, we also remembered with tributes to the more than 41 thousand victims that have been counted up to this moment, a number of lifeless people that has increased every day.

From the first komel to the last, mourning Kurdish families in the diaspora followed the events through various media and felt the catastrophe in each of their stories, many of which told of dead or missing relatives and friends. On the last day, more than a thousand people circulated in the Freiburg komel to pay tribute to the victims and collectively experience the mourning process. For this reason, there was no large demonstration in Strasburg, France. Our dances also made room for grief and grief also turned into revolt. In the midst of the catastrophe, the fascist Turkish state tries to advance its colonial project of extermination in alliance with the inter-imperialist forces. Not even the earthquake could stop this nefarious goal. Once again, only the people help the people, stone by stone removed from the rubble by the local population. In the Kurdish revolutionary autonomous municipalities, it was the solidarity groups of different villages and the women's communes - with the strength of Jineologî that recovered the villages throughout the war and the liberation struggles of Rojava - that mobilized to gather food, water, support the families and rebuild the cities. Meanwhile, in the midst of the electoral process in Turkey, Erdogan and his dictatorship are trying to block humanitarian access to the region, intensify threats of invasion against Rojava and continue their role as part of NATO and top-down conflicts for the control of vital forces and areas of influence for the purpose of land grabbing for capitalist accumulation.

Despite this condition, day after day, Kurdish families welcome us into their homes with great enthusiasm, hospitality and affection, sharing black tea, bread, yogurt and honey. This is how a comrade from Mexico expressed it in his sensitive contributions to the long march: "To sustain these cultural practices outside their territory is a characteristic that identifies them as part of a collective history". In this same history, we emphasize, we also take part as internationalists: we learned their welcome, with inexhaustible hope and unwavering confidence in the revolution, whose real transformations from the basis of the application of the paradigm of democratic confederalism are felt around different oceans. Not even the prohibition of the exhibition of the movement's flags or exclaiming the very name of the PKK in the streets of Freiburg were enough to prevent the twinning of the struggles as far as Abya Yala, making it possible to recognize ourselves as part of the same struggle, of a shared history by the fact of unmasking the gods and kings, by the fact of not succumbing to the plundering empires and insisting on continuing to live.

Our corn in the lowlands and the colorful potatoes in the Andes are the first wheat to sprout in Rojava after its liberation. The olives in their fields, the land of the mountains, are the budding of a sacred cedar in Guarani lands. After the tremor of mother earth in this earthquake, the next tremor will be the sound of the colonial world sinking, under the slogan of Jin, Jîyan, Azadî and the immovable roots of mutual support. After the long internationalist march, we return to our territories with the strength of a people that, although in mourning, does not give up and does not surrender, and invites us to embrace other possible worlds with the red, yellow and green flag with its guiding star. Berxwedan Jyiane: Resistance is life.