Sakine Cansız Women’s Festival in Zurich

Resistance of women in Rojava commended and campaign for Afrin launched at the Kurdish women’s festival in Zurich.

The Sakine Cansız Women Festival is taking place in the Swiss city of Zurich.

Named after PKK founding member Sakine Cansız, the festival commemorated the three Kurdish women murdered in Paris on 9 January 2013. Alongside Cansız, KNK Paris Representative Fidan Doğan and Youth Movement Member Leyla Şaylemez were murdered in the Kurdish Movement’s Paris office.

Thousands participated in the festival held in Zurich Kasernenareal: Switzerland Kurdish Women's Movement, Socialist Women's Union (SKB), Labor Women's Union, New Woman, SYKB, Mor Verein Frauenlesbenkasma, Bewegung für Sozialismus (BFS), Frauengruppe Medico International, Solifon Zürich, Campus Witches, PYD-Jin, Kaffedonne, Babachincin, Labyrinthplaz, Frauenlora, Partizan Woman, Zurich Amed Committee, Wilp International Womens, Frauen Bündnis, MLGS, Tev-Cand and Komalên Jinên Ciwan.

Posters of Kurdish People's Leaders Abdullah Öcalan, Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan, Leyla Şaylamez and the arrested HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) deputies and executives were hanged in the festival area.

Several banners reminded of the importance of the women's fight in Rojava. The slogan "Woman, life, freedom" was often echoed in different languages ​​at the festival.

The festival started with a panel called "Women's Violence and Resistance".

The panel saw the participation of HDP Siirt deputy Besime Konca, Newal Serhat from Komalên Ciwan, Basque activist Nekane, Mural Çınar from Kampus Cadıları, Socialist Women's Union (SKP) member Hulya Yalçın Orak.

Women underlined the importance of establishing self-defense centers and referred to the importance of women’s resistance in Rojava and the women-oriented fighting of Sakine Cansız.

Basque activist: We’ll always defend women’s struggle for freedom

Basque activist Nekane, who had been freed after spending a long time detained in Switzerland upon the request of the Spanish government, talked about the women who lost their lives in the revolutionary struggle. “If we are standing together as women now and we are struggling, this is thanks to the struggle of Sakine and her friends”, she said.

Nekane talked about the torture carried out by the Spanish government and added: “Whatever the prize, we will continue to defend women's freedom struggle around the world”.

speaking at the starting stage of the program which began with a minute of silence after the panel, HDP Siirt MP Besime Konca drew attention to the dimensions of violence. Referring to the importance of the June 24th elections, Konca said, "In these elections Erdoğan and his freak government will be overthrown."

HDP is the way to get rid of Erdogan

Referring to the level of violence experienced by women in Turkey, Konca said that the AKP government specifically targeted women.

The stands at the Festival show the different cultures and artistic activities. Many debates and talks are taking place and dengbejs are performing in front of large crowds.

Amedspor for Afrin

A campaign to support the people of Afrin has been launched by selling Amedspor t-shirts, signed by Amedspor former player Deniz Naki. All funds will be delivered to the people of Afrin who were forced to flee and are now in Shehba refugee camps.

Children were not forgotten at the festival and a series of competitions and demonstrations were held for them in specifically designated areas.

The festival also saw the presence of many artists from Switzerland, France and Italy.