Nationwide actions for the Kurds planned in Italy

In Italy, from November 1, there will be high-profile actions to put the situation in Kurdistan and the situation of Abdullah Öcalan on the political agenda. This has been decided by several parties and unions.

On the initiative of Rete Kurdistan, an Italian-wide network in solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement, representatives of numerous parties and trade unionists met at the weekend in the Italian university city of Bologna to discuss the current situation in Kurdistan and the situation of Abdullah Öcalan.

The Kurdish leader has been held hostage on the Turkish prison island of Imrali since his deportation from Kenya to Turkey in February 1999, in violation of international law. Since the lawyers’ last visit to Öcalan in August 2019, all further applications have been rejected or not answered at all. Between July 2011 and May 2019, no client meetings with the PKK founder have taken place at all. Another political coup is also taking place in Turkey against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Kurdish civil society. In northern and eastern Syria, the Turkish state is attempting to further expand its occupation zone with the help of jihadist allies. And also in Southern Kurdistan Turkey is running an invasion campaign.

In order to put the situation in Kurdistan on the Italian political agenda, it was therefore decided in Bologna to carry out nationwide publicity campaigns starting November 1. Several initiatives and networks from all over Italy were involved in the decision. In addition to the leftist movement Potere al Popolo and the Party of Communist Reestablishment, grassroots union COBAS, metalworkers' union FIOM, trade union federation CUB and the aid organization "Un Ponte per..." (A Bridge for...), which was founded in 1991 immediately after the bombing of Baghdad and was already working in Rojava in the fields of water supply and health care, also called for a nationwide publicity campaign and elaboration of an action plan.

First of all, two central large-scale demonstrations under the motto "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan" were decided upon in the capital Rome. The first will take place on November 1, World Kobanê Day, and the second on February 15, 2021, the anniversary of Öcalan's abduction from the Kenyan capital Nairobi. In addition, photo exhibitions will be initiated in various cities, and nationwide tours will present the translations of Öcalan’s defense writings into Italian.