May Day message from Wales hunger striker & revolutionary Imam Sis

“Dear working, labouring comrades!

I send you my greetings on this May 1st, International Labour Day! As you know, similar to 8th March International Women’s Day, May 1st is among the historic gains of the resistance of women, workers, peasants, and revolutionaries against the exploitation of the ruling classes.

Despite the bloodshed and violence of the ruling classes, the efforts of revolutionaries and socialists have prevailed through determination and struggle. From the perspective of socialists and revolutionaries, these important days are not merely days of celebration, but also represent occasions to increase our revolutionary struggles against capitalism and all other forms of exploitation.

The German philosopher and socialist revolutionary Karl Marx said that wherever personal property is hegemonic, relations between humans and relations between women and men will turn into a trade. While this is certainly true when analysed from the perspective of the European-centric capitalist system, this issue is somehow different in the context of the Middle East. While European-centric capitalist modernity attributes various meanings to all parts of the woman’s body in order to commodify her existence in line with the perceived market demands, in many Middle Eastern societies, women are still viewed as men’s personal property and thus lives in a slave-like state of being.

With the collapse of real socialism, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK – which began its struggle with a Marxist-Leninist ideology in 1978 under the leadership of Abdullah Öcalan – defended fundamental socialist principles, while initiating a shift in the socialist paradigm. He reminded us that the primary contradiction in the Middle East is not between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie but rather within the oppressive relations between women and men, underlining that without dissolving the mutually reinforcing ties between patriarchy and capitalism, it will be impossible to achieve socialism.

Therefore, without the liberation of women from patriarchal societal structures and the  rejection of roles attributed to them by the capitalist system – in other words without women belonging only to themselves and without women reaching the consciousness of liberating society in the personage of their own liberation – the power and domination relations that form the fundamental dynamics of the master-slave contradiction will not be overcome. Thus, unless they consider this, the liberationist revolutions that emerge are doomed to rot from within and eventually integrate into the global capitalist system.

As seen in the Soviet and Chinese experience, while supposedly being against private property and with the model of the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry, in the end the most advanced state monopolies and capitalisms were developed. Despite starting with a claim to lead a socialist fight against the capitalist system, power-thirsty male-dominated mentalities, with bureaucratic, seemingly proletarian totalitarian state apparatuses, were chasing after hegemony. As a result, real socialism dissolved in the face of capitalist bourgeois parliamentary democracies.

We can understand the relationship between power, hegemony, state and the male, when considering how, after nearly 100 years of Soviet socialist rule, billionaire oligarchs and totalitarian presidents like Putin emerged from this regime. Let us not get into explaining the situation of capitalist-imperialist China, which betrayed the legacy of Mao, the leader of the communist Chinese revolution, while still insisting on calling itself a people’s republic.

For all of these reasons, Abdullah Öcalan said that the Kurdistan revolution, which will play a key role for the democratic and socialist Middle East revolution, is not a working-class revolution, but will be the revolution of women. As the oppressed among the oppressed, our revolution would be a women’s liberationist mental revolution. In other words, with the democratic politics of self-liberating working and socialist women, with their special participation in all realms of social and economic life,  the anti-democratic and authoritarian male-dominated states in the Middle Eastern status quo will be weakened. With the leadership of women, the aim is for a socialist society through grassroots democracy, cooperative economy and a revolutionary power to mobilise self-defence against all forms of attacks.

Dear comrades, dear sisters and brothers!

As a working comrade of yours, who has attained a consciousness of history and class, I have struggled alongside you and always stood in solidarity with you until today to the best of my abilities. Today, as a hunger strike activist, who is putting his life at risk, I request that you, as my Welsh socialist comrades carry out your internationalist solidarity duties. With faith in the fact that you will continue to do so as you have done in the past, I wish that you increase your solidarity with the revolutionary forces in Kurdistan and the Middle East as soon as possible.

Besides constituting a cradle of humanity and civilisation, the Middle East is also home to countless peoples, ethnicities, cultures and beliefs that have lived together and alongside each other for millennia. That is what makes it one of the geographies with the most urgent need for democracy, women’s liberation and socialism.

It is unfortunately hard to believe that there will be tranquility in Europe unless the situation of war and chaos in the Middle East is overcome. Let us not forget: just as the Middle East will not democratise unless Kurdistan and Palestine are liberated, it will unfortunately not be possible to see a world of justice and equality, unless the Middle East democratises.

Everybody must know that the most barbaric and fascist states of the Middle East – fascist dictator Erdoğan’s Turkey, racist Netanyahu’s Israel, and fundamentalist king Salman’s Saudi Arabia – do not act alone in their crimes against humanity. Behind these states are western states, in particular the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany that support the genocidal policies of these barbaric states.

For this reason, as Welsh socialists and revolutionaries, we must stand against the policies of the Theresa May government. We must not allow the further armament of states and we must raise our voices against the arms trade. History has burdened our shoulders with these responsibilities. Every day that goes by without struggle is a service to the ruling classes of the capitalist system.

Lastly, comrades, as stated by the great Karl Marx: we have nothing to lose but our chains. Today is the day to unite against the capitalist system, the exploitation by monopolies and patriarchal backwardness around the world. Today is the day to end the wars and to begin to create our own liberationist, egalitarian, peaceful and socialist world.

For all this to happen especially in the Middle East, breaking the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan, as a leader of the Kurdish people and of Democratic Confederalism, carries vital importance. As you are aware, like my activist comrades around the world, I started an indefinite-irreversible hunger strike on December 17, 2018 to break the isolation. While all of the hunger strikers have important health issues, our morale is high. No matter what it will take, our determination to continue our action is unbreakable.

Dear comrades, dear sisters and brothers!

Although the continuous solidarity of Welsh people and socialists everywhere with the hunger strikes has given voice to the situation in Kurdistan, the British government, the European Council and the CPT continue their silence and in fact try to criminalise the Kurdistan liberation movement. This makes them complicit in the loss of lives in the past, present and future. Only our increased struggle will break this silence. We do not rely on the merciful conscience of the rulers. I doubt whether they have a conscience at all.

For all these reasons, I call on everybody to increase their solidarity actions in support of the ongoing hunger strike to break the isolation on Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, to constantly email the CPT, Amnesty International, and parliament members with information documents in order to pressure them to put the issue on their agenda, and to mobilise protests.

Long live May 1st!
Long live the fraternity of the world peoples, long live the socialist struggle!”

SOURCE: Kurdistan Solidarity Network

*BREAKING* Welsh Government Minister writes to Jeremy Hunt urging him to contact the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture regarding solitary confinement of Abdullah Öcalan

Eluned Morgan AM (Labour), the Welsh Government Minister for International Relations & Welsh Language, has sent a letter to Jeremy Hunt (see letter in slideshow below) urging him to contact the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) re: the isolation of Öcalan, in light of the deteriorating condition of Imam Sis (on day 138 of his hunger strike today).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is also a cross-party letter, organised by Plaid Cymru, which should surface Tuesday 7 May 2019.

This, combined with the motion passed by the Welsh Assembly, is an incredibly significant political achievement.

Jessica Morden MP (Labour) has also reportedly written to the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.

This comes the day after Plaid Cymru issued an urgent appeal to the UK Government to take action on the hunger strikes and contact the CPT: https://www.partyof.wales/hunger_striker_imam_sis_s_condition_critical?fbclid=IwAR1alqcV6NuQJ0qV0e7Jq1SM23Rbsdb81L8ARBlEsUy2eytvyM1hicm-IfQ

PR: First Mandela. Now Öcalan. Why is Amnesty afraid to campaign for those fighting for the liberation of their people?

To the Press and Public,

First Mandela. Now Öcalan. Why is Amnesty afraid to campaign for those fighting for the liberation of their people?

As the Hunger Strikers protesting inside Amnesty International Headquarters in London we would like to inform the public of Amnesty’s human rights abuses by denying water, fresh air and use of the toilet during protest over their failure to stand up for basic human rights.

Amnesty international is deliberately ignoring the demands of millions of Kurds in their continued refusal to stand up for human rights and international law over the continued isolation of Abdullah Ocalan. Continue reading

What next for Turkey and the Kurdish resistance after the local elections?

 A public forum called by Peace in Kurdistan, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), London Kurdish Solidarity (LKS) and Democratic Kurdish Peoples Assembly UK.

Date: Monday, 29 April 6pm

Venue: Unite House, 128 Theobald Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN

Erdoğan suffered a massive defeat during Turkey’s recent local elections, losing both his strongholds in Ankara and Istanbul as well as suffering defeats across the Kurdish regions with people rejecting the kayuums – ‘trustees’ that he’d imposed there. These defeats took place against a backdrop of massive repression including the detention of hundreds of politicians and journalists who are in prison and a tamed mainstream media that is almost entirely pro-Erdoğan. Continue reading

STUC Declares Solidarity with Kurdish Hunger Strikers and Condemns Criminalisation of Kurds in Scotland

Connor Hayes | 17 April 2019

On Tuesday, 16 April 2019, the 122nd annual Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), which ran from 15-17 April and represents 37 trade unions and more than 540,000 people across Scotland, adopted a motion declaring their solidarity with the people around the world who have declared indefinite hunger strike to the protest the unlawful conditions of isolation imposed on imprisoned Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan. The emergency motion was proposed by Kathleen Kennedy of the Aberdeen Trade Union Council and Stephen Smellie, Depute Convenor of Unison union and co-convenor of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan, and was adopted in a unanimous vote by the congress. Continue reading

OPEN LETTER TO THE UK FOREIGN SECRETARY JEREMY HUNT

Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

Dear Foreign Secretary,

We write to express our deep concern over the UK government’s position in its relations with Turkey as the human rights situation inside the country continues to deteriorate rapidly. In particular, we seek to urgently draw your attention to the 7,000 Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkish prisons and the solidarity hunger strikes now spreading across Europe, including in the UK.  Seven Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey have taken their own lives in the last three weeks.

The hunger strikers are demanding urgent action to end the persecution of the Kurdish people in Turkey as embodied in the person of Abdullah Ocalan who has been kept in a state of aggravated solitary confinement for approaching 20 years: an inhuman punishment in breach of both domestic laws and international conventions to which Turkey is a signatory. Continue reading

Margaret Owen joins Hunger Strike

PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Margaret Owen OBE joins Hunger Strike. Maxine Peake to address the public meeting at 7pm.

On Tuesday 2nd April Margaret Owen OBE, lawyer, Patron of Peace in Kurdistan, and Director of Widows Through Peace and Democracy will commence a hunger strike in solidarity with Kurdish hunger strikers across Europe, calling for an end to the unlawful prison conditions of Abdullah Ocalan the jailed Kurdish leader.  Owen has been a passionate advocate for Kurdish rights for many years, and now at the age of 86 has decided to take this very significant step. Continue reading

Margaret Owen OBE joins Hunger Strike. Maxine Peake to address the public meeting at 7pm.

PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On Tuesday 2nd April Margaret Owen OBE, lawyer, Patron of Peace in Kurdistan, and Director of Widows Through Peace and Democracy will commence a hunger strike in solidarity with Kurdish hunger strikers across Europe, calling for an end to the unlawful prison conditions of Abdullah Ocalan the jailed Kurdish leader.  Owen has been a passionate advocate for Kurdish rights for many years, and now at the age of 86 has decided to take this very significant step. Continue reading

Statement by Yuksel Koc on day 64 of the Strasbourg hunger Strike

Adresse: Rue de Porto 132, 4020 Liège / BELGIQE TEL 003271318719 . Email: info@kcdk-e.com

TO THE EUROPEAN PUBLIC OPINION

Dear Friends:

 

I, Yüksel Koç, am 55 years old and the father of two children.  Since my arrival in Germany 30 years ago, I have been employed and also active in politics.  At the moment, I am co-chair of the European Democratic Kurdish Society Congress (KCDK-E), the largest Kurdish non-governmental organization in Europe, which includes 457 institutions and associations across Europe.  Since 17 December 2018, my 12 comrades and I, as part of the Freedom for Öcalan Initiative, have been on an indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg.  We are on the 64thday of this action, and our health is deteriorating. Continue reading

LETTER FROM A KURDISH POLITICAL PRISONER TO MARGARET OWEN

Our dear friend Margaret Owen;

We greet you with the excitement and enthusiasm of hunger strikes that began with comrade Leyla Guven and which became widespread with us, political prisoners. We send our sincere greetings, love and respect to you and our dear friends who came from the UK together with you and other countries to share the message of solidarity and supported us, the revolutionary prisoners who are on a hunger strike. Together with my five other comrades in this prison, we have been in absolute resistance since December 2018 to break the absolute isolation (quarantine) on our leader. Until this isolation on Leader Apo is not removed, our action will continue at the expense of our death and we will continue. Continue reading