The Revolutionary Youth Movement (‘Tevgera Ciwanên Şoreşger’ in Kurdish) on Wednesday organised a civil disobedience protest demanding “freedom for Abdullah Öcalan.”
A group of young Kurds gathered in front of Marseille train station and staged a pop-up demonstration with a banner that read “Free Öcalan,” with a photograph of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who has been imprisoned in an F-Type high security prison on the island of İmralı in the Sea of Marmara in Turkey.
During the pop-up demonstration which lasted an hour, the protesters chanted slogans such as “Bijî Serok Apo” (“Long live leader Apo” – a reference to Abdullah Öcalan), “Free Öcalan,” “Down with the fascist regime in Turkey” and “Be serok jiyan na be” (“No life without the leader”).
“Until we meet again with leader Öcalan and with Kurdistan, we will be in resistance and in uprising all around Europe. We call on all the youth in Europe to take to the streets. The day is the day to free Öcalan,” the activists stated in a press statement at the end of the protest.
Elsewhere in Marseille, young Kurdish activists gathered in the city centre of Marignane. The group continued their peaceful protest for about an hour with the flags of the PKK and banners with images of Abdullah Öcalan as well as flags of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).
Protesting against the ongoing Turkish military operation in Iraqi Kurdistan, the demonstrators said, “The resistance of the guerrilla is our resistance. The day is the day for mobilisation and resistance. All our people should take their place in the fields of protest with this spirit.”
As part of the international “Freedom for Öcalan” campaign, Kurdish and European activists have been organising protests across Europe for several years.
Especially since 11 September, when Kurdish youth organisations in Europe announced the launch of a new campaign, called ‘Werin Cenga Azadiyê’ (‘Come to the Fight for Freedom,’ in Kurdish), young Kurds in the diaspora have organised massive rallies across Europe for ‘freedom for Abdullah Öcalan.’