Reorienting the PKK: Rojava and the Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan

 

In its 1978 manifesto, the PKK declared the establishment of an independent state to be the most important political goal of any national liberation movement. Twenty years on, the party’s leader Abdullah Öcalan changed this when he developed an ideological framework based on the idea of self-governing, stateless societies as the best way of addressing socioeconomic and sociocultural injustices. In this talk, Joost Jongerden explains this paradigm shift, which reoriented the PKK as well as other Kurdish movements in the Middle East.


Joost Jongerden is Assistant Professor at the Rural Sociology Group and the Center for Space, Place and Society at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He is also a Professor at the Asian Platform for Global Sustainability & Transcultural Studies at Kyoto University in Japan.

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KURDS TO DEMONSTRATE AT THE DSEI ARMS FAIR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

London, 14th September 2015

Kurds are being massacred by the Turkish State and the world is watching…

The ‘International Partner’ of the Arms Fair is the Turkish government’s Defence and Aerospace Industry Exporter’s Association.

Right now London is hosting one of the biggest arms fairs in the world, with tanks, guns, drones and missiles being showcased at the DSEI Arms Fair in the EXCEL Centre. Since Monday, protesters have been successfully blocking the vehicles that are transporting the weapons, and even gate-crashing the set-up inside the EXCEL building.

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Memed Aksoy speaks at Assata Shakur event in London

Kurdish activist Memed Aksoy was recently invited by the Tri-Continental Anti-Imperialist Platform to speak on the Rojava revolution and the historic resistance of the Kurdish people in Kobane. The inspiring event was dedicated to the life and works of Assata Shakur and featured contributions from Black Panther activists and spoken word artists. You can watch Memed’s presentation at the event below, and videos of the whole event can be viewed here.

5,000 in London join global demonstrations in support of Kobane

Reel News documents last weekends huge demonstration in central London in solidarity with the resistance of the people of Kobane. Speakers on the day included Stop the War Coalition’s John Rees, Peace in Kurdistan’s David Morgan and Memed Aksoy, member of the Kurdish People’s Assembly.

Thousands celebrate Newroz in London

Despite the freezing weather, thousands of members of the Kurdish community came out to celebrate Newroz, Kurdish New Year, in Finsbury Park last Sunday.

‘Free Ocalan and Status for the Kurds’ was the slogan for the day, it was chanted by the crowds and a huge banner at the front of the stage proclaimed the same message.

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Simon Hughes MP, MP for Tottenham David Lammy, and Member of the European Parliament Jean Lambert, as well as Father Joe Ryan of the Westminster Peace and Justice Commission, and representatives of the Basque, Baloch and Tamil community, all took to the stage to express their solidarity with the Kurdish struggle for peace and justice.

Photos courtesy of Fikri Isikli

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2,000 march in support of Kurdish hunger strikers

By Paul Burnham

On Sunday, 11th November, more than 2,000 Kurds marched five miles across North London in solidarity with the Kurdish hunger strikes in Turkish prisons, which have reached their 61st day. The hunger strikes are reaching a critical stage, and some hunger strikers may be near death.

The 680 hunger strikers include elected representatives who have been jailed under the repressive policies of Turkish Prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They are demanding Kurdish language rights, and the end of the isolation in jail of Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), to help to negotiate a political settlement to the Kurdish Question. Other Kurds have joined the strike by refusing food in solidarity, including MPs belonging to the pro-Kurdish BDP (peace and democracy) party. Continue reading

Protest in London to mark anniverary of Ocalan’s kidnapping

PRESS RELEASE ON ANNIVERSARY OF OCALAN’S KIDNAPPING!
8th Oct 2012 Kurdish Federation UK
Contact: Fedbir@gmail.com

Kurdish Federation UK Protest

the venue: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
date and time: 9th October 2012 at 12 o’clock

Abdullah Ocalan lived amongst the Kurds in Syria for many years having made the political decision to direct the struggle for Kurdish rights from outside of Turkey!

His presence there left a lasting legacy amongst the Kurds in Rojava Kurdistan that is evident for all to see as, today, the Kurds in Rojava liberate themselves from many years of brutal Baathist rule!
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Seminar on Turkey, the Kurdish Struggle and the New Middle East

The significance of the continuing Kurdish struggle for the future of Turkey and the Middle East as well as its implications for politics in Britain were issues on the agenda at the Marxism 2012 conference and festival which took place in central London on 5-9 July.

A seminar, organised by the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign as part of the Marxism 2012 programme on 7th July, brought into focus the plight of Kurdish activists within Turkey and drew attention to the key democratic demands of the Kurdish movement.

Turkey, recognised as a key ally of the West in the reshaping of the Middle East in the aftermath of the “Arab Spring”, was currently stepping up its repression of Kurdish organisations; arrests of political and civil society activists were increasing and draconian legal manoeuvres were being taken against the main pro-Kurdish political party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in an orchestrated attempt to render it incapable of operating effectively. The resilience of the Kurdish people in the face of decades of savage repression was widely seen as inspirational by participants in the seminar. Continue reading

Kurdish Supplementary School opens in Islington

We are pleased to bring you news that the Kurdish Supplementary School in Islington (KSSI) will start this Sunday.

Please circulate this information to the Kurdish and non-Kurdish parents who might be interested in it . The Kurdish Supplementary School is open to pupils from school age of 5/11 years. KSSI is run by London Kurdish Institute, funded by Cambridge Education @ Islington

KSSI aims to raise attainment levels of pupils in Literacy, Numeracy and Mother Tongue. These courses will be run 3 hours on Sunday, as requested by the parents.  We will teach Mathematics, Kur dish (Kurmanji) and Traditional Kurdish Dance Classes (free of charge).  Mother Tongue will be taught in the way in which children can enjoy it. Children will have fun and learn Kurdish through stories, drawing, painting, carton films, drama, talking and playing. Continue reading