'Journey to Freedom’ kicks off in Mannheim

Kurdish youth activists started a freedom march from Mannheim to Strasbourg to denounce the international conspiracy, vowing that "We will not wait for freedom from anyone, we will take it ourselves."

The Revolutionary Youth Movement (TCŞ) and the Movement of Young Women Militants (TekoJIN) are organising a multi-day "Journey to Freedom" from Germany to France. The demonstration for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish question began in Mannheim today and will end in Strasbourg on 15 February, the anniversary of the international conspiracy against Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan. The founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was abducted from Kenya on 15 February 1999 with the cooperation of international secret services. This act of piracy, contrary to international law, had begun with Öcalan's forced departure from Syria on 9 October 1998. The Kurdish community is taking the upcoming anniversary of his abduction as an opportunity to demand the release of the 74-year-old leader and a political solution to the Kurdish question. An internationalist march through Switzerland and a 25-day march in France will be taking place alongside the youth demonstration.

Speaking at the demonstration that started with a minute of silence for the martyrs, TCŞ Assembly member Sarya Ateş said, "Today, as TCŞ and Teko-JIN, we are taking the Journey to the Freedom of Leader Öcalan. The campaign for the Freedom of Leader Öcalan will succeed through the total struggle of the people. The international conspiracy in the month of February has been going on for 25 years. The struggle of Leader Öcalan, the Freedom Movement and our people has caused the conspiratorial forces to fail to achieve their goals. Since the struggle of Leader Öcalan prevented their projects in the Middle East, the USA, Israel and England developed an international conspiracy."

Defining Öcalan’s Democratic Nation paradigm as the greatest answer to the conspiracy, Sarya Ataş stated the following: “It has been proven that it is possible for peoples to live together on the basis of free coexistence, and this is now witnessed concretely in Rojava. The freedom of the Kurdish people and the people of the region is connected like a rope with the freedom of Leader Öcalan. In order to prevent the spread of Leader Öcalan’s ideas and philosophy to the world, absolute isolation was imposed on him. This is a political decision. For 35 months, we have had no information or news about Leader Öcalan. He is being subjected to severe torture and this is a violation of all human rights. Here too, human rights organisations, CPT, Council of Europe etc. are collaborating in the crime with their silence and are directly responsible for it."

Sarya Ataş continued: “The German state is systematically criminalising the Kurdish people who struggle for their freedom. Most recently, the states of Baden-Württemberg and Mannheim, with surprising and unlawful decisions, demanded the removal of Leader Öcalan’s picture in all kinds (flags, frames, etc.) and banned its display. As Kurdish youth, we strongly protest this decision. This shows that the German state also plays an important role in this international conspiracy. Leader Öcalan’s thoughts and ideas cannot be banned because they are spread all over the world."

After the statement, the activists started their march with great enthusiasm, chanting slogans in favour of the Kurdish leader and the struggle of the guerrilla forces.

Stating that Abdullah Öcalan's freedom can only be achieved through resistance, the protesters said, "The systematic, physical and cultural genocide that the Kurdish people have been subjected to for centuries must come to an end. The Kurdish people should not wait for freedom from someone. On the contrary, they should take the freedom they deserve from the sovereign mentality."

The route of the "Journey to Freedom" is as follows:

February 10: Mannheim HBF (main train station)

February 11: Heidelberg - Hockenheim

February 12: Homburg - Neunkirchen

February 13: Friedrichsthal - Saarbrucken

February 14: Saarbrucken

February 15: Strasbourg