Sit-in in front of the Council of Europe continues

The sit-in for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg continues. The participants distribute information brochures and discuss the meaning of the "Time for Freedom" campaign.

Since Monday, a sit-in for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan has been taking place in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg city of France. The several weeks long action in the context of the KCK campaign "Stop isolation, fascism and occupation - time for freedom" is carried out by changing groups from the Kurdish civil society and the Turkish left. At the end of the month, internationalists from different countries will support the action.

The activists of the Sit-in distribute brochures about the life, philosophy and prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan in front of the Council of Europe. Seminars are held on the square, where the meaning of the campaign "Time for Freedom" and possibilities of common struggle against fascism are discussed.

Antifascist approach

One of the activists is Tayfun Yilmaz of the Confederation of Oppressed Migrants in Europe (AvEG-Kon). For him the antifascist approach of the campaign is important. He says that from it an actionist awakening can also arise for revolutionary socialist forces and faith communities that have a problem with the ruling system. The Kurdish liberation movement has a revolutionary potential on a regional and global scale and continues to uphold its ideals of freedom at a high price.

Yilmaz sees the wars started by the Turkish government from Nagorno-Karabakh to Rojava and the Mediterranean as a product of its neo-Ottoman mentality. He himself is Armenian and positions himself against this war policy. The KCK campaign offers the possibility for all parts of society that are looking for a way out of the fascist grip of the AKP/MHP regime to fight back this mentality, he says.

Tayfun Yilmaz says that AvEG-Kon also considers itself as an organization from Kurdistan: "We have the claim to create the dynamics and energy necessary for the success of this offensive. We stand behind this claim. The demands of the campaign are undeniably legitimate and right, now it is about making them public through street actions, signature campaigns, demonstrations and other activities in Europe.

The importance of the women's struggle

Aycan Gaye Serbes is from the Revolutionary Democratic Communes Initiative Europe (Avrupa Devrimci Demokratik Komün İnisiyatifi, ADDKİ), which has also been in Strasbourg since Monday to support the campaign for the freedom of Öcalan and the resistance against fascism. It refers to the permanent vigil for the freedom of Öcalan in front of the Council of Europe, which has been going on for nine years, and says that the initiative will continue the struggle until the isolation is lifted.

The fascist regime in Turkey is above all misogynist, explains Serbes and continues: “Women offer great resistance against it. Women also played a decisive role in the fight against the barbaric Islamists in Rojava. One of the reasons for the attacks on the Rojava revolution was the fear of women. Abdullah Öcalan has given women an important place in his struggle. The fascist and repressive regime can be defeated through the struggle led by women.”

The Action Plan for Strasbourg

The further action plan for the sit-in in Strasbourg is as follows:

19-23 October: Representatives of women's organizations

26-31 October: Representatives of the youth movement

28-30 October: Internationalists from different countries

For registrations and further information such as how to get there, the initiative can be contacted by e-mail ([email protected]). The address of the Council of Europe is Conseil de l'Europe, 1 avenue de l'Europe, 67000 Strasbourg.