March for the freedom of Öcalan and the Kurdish people

About 120 internationalists from many different countries take part in the march for freedom of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan under the slogan "Freedom for Öcalan, status for Kurdistan, shoulder to shoulder against fascism".

This year, the fourth long march for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan organized by the "International Initiative Freedom for Öcalan" is taking place. About 120 internationalists from Latin America, Europe, Iran, South Africa, Canada and Australia are taking part in the march. The four-day demonstration is part of a long march to Strasbourg. Hundreds of activists have already been on the road for days in different regions and European countries. The internationalist march started in Luxembourg and the activists have not been deterred by cold, storm and rain, nor by repression. Today they have reached Metz.

ANF spoke with participants of the action. Alex Wilson (44) is an academic from Toronto and is taking part in the internationalist march. He tells how he got to know the PKK and the Kurds during the Syrian war and how he came closer to them in the struggle for Kobanê.

"A friend wrote to me through the social media that Kobanê had been liberated. I investigated how Kobanê was liberated and learned about the great resistance. Kobanê gave us the opportunity to get to know the Kurds and the PKK and to understand what a broad basis the PKK's thinking is based on. What the Kurds have created is highly inspiring, but still there is a lack of sufficient solidarity. I see solidarity as an obligation. That is why I want to be part of the struggle of the Kurdish people," said Wilson.

The indigenous people of Canada closely follow the resistance of Rojava

Regarding the perception of the Kurdish question in Canada, Wilson explains: "There is the perception that Kurdish women are fighting against the ISIS, but the question is, what are these women fighting for, why is the ISIS so afraid of these women? This is rather unknown. People don't concern themselves deeply enough with the Kurdish question to understand it.”

Wilson says that only the indigenous population of Canada closely monitors the Rojava resistance: "They know the Rojava resistance and feel great joy at its success.

Wilson says he is very happy to have the opportunity to participate in the march: "Communes are created, tasks are distributed, and solidarity is wonderful in every way. It's a wonderful feeling to see here a miniature of the Rojava system that we praise everywhere working".

For the third time on the long march

Ingrid Foster comes from Goteborg and is participating in the long march for the third time. The 34-year-old activist also got to know the Kurd through the fight for Kobanê. She tells that she first followed the suffering and resistance in Rojava on television, but that she tried to "show solidarity and help".

She continues: "First of all we founded an initiative. Six years ago we set up the Kurdistan and Rojava Solidarity Committee of Sweden. I have been working as a member of this committee ever since. As a committee we try to build a bridge between the Swedish people and the Kurdish people."

Foster states that, among other things, they have also published Öcalan's books and texts on democratic federalism in Swedish.

When asked why she is participating in the long march for the third time, she replies: "There are many reasons for my participation. I am here to meet new people and to feel and experience community life. I see the long march as a platform where I can develop myself and learn new things. This march is very special for me. People from different regions with different attitudes and different beliefs come together here for Öcalan's freedom and for the freedom of the Kurdish people. I don't know if there is anything like this anywhere else in the world."