A panel discussion and concert entitled “Time for Hope” was held in Milan, Italy, on Wednesday to show solidarity with the Kurdish community and call for the freedom of political prisoners, including the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan.
The event took place in the Delle Cascine di Chiesa Rossa park and was organised by the Italian Kurdistan Information Bureau, Rete Kurdistan-Italy and the Rifondazione Comunista party. It began with a panel discussion on Öcalan’s ideas and the Rojava revolution, a socio-political transformation leading to the establishment of a Kurdish-led autonomous administration in northeast Syria.
The panel included Zerocalcare, the renowned Italian cartoonist known for his graphic novel ‘No sleep till Shengal’; Roberto Mapelli, editor of the Punto Russo publishing house which translates Öcalan’s books into Italian; and Giacomo Sini, a journalist who has visited northern and eastern Syria several times. The event was moderated by Kurdish politician Hazal Koyncuer.
During the panel discussion, Zerocalcare stressed the international importance of the Kurdish struggle, especially in Syria against the Islamic State (ISIS): “I have undertaken this effort not only to better understand this revolution and struggle, but also to bring it to Europe. The revolution in Rojava is the realisation of a paradigm that socialists in Europe have been discussing in theory for a number of years. The Kurds, at great cost, have brought to life the paradigm that we have wanted to put into practice for years.
The panel discussion was followed by a concert calling for the release of Öcalan and for Kurdish self-determination, featuring artists such as Alesio Lega, Marco Revelli, Berfin Demir, Renatı Franchi, Asti Abdo, Rap Caverna Posse, Yung Paninaru, Ellie Cottino and Assalti Frontali.
The Time for Hope campaign for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan has already organised concerts in Rome in the summer of 2022 and in Brescia in July 2023.