Kurdish people and their friends from all countries took to the streets in dozens of cities throughout Europe for the annual Newroz celebrations, which mark, for the Kurdish people, both the coming of the new year on the spring equinox, and the day of uprising for freedom.
In this year’s Newroz, named the “50th Year Newroz”, after the Kurdish movement of Abdullah Öcalan adopted Newroz into their political movement in 1973, tens of thousands of Kurds rallied for their rights and freedoms, and for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) who has been imprisoned under severe solitary confinement since 1999.
In some cities such as Hamburg and Krefeld in Germany, Newroz fires were lit and marches organised at night.
‘Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and for the Kurdish people’ was chanted at the gatherings of tens of thousands in Frankfurt, where addresses were made and Kurdish bands and musicians performed for passionate crowds.
Marches were also organised for Newroz in Dortmund, Freiburg, Heilbronn, Kiel in Germany.
A march was organised in Paris starting from the main train station, Gare du Nord. Other cities where the Kurdish people took to the streets for Newroz in France included Rennes, Strasbourg and Marseille.
In London a meeting was organised in Finsbury Park where Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of Labour Party also addressed the crowd calling for freedom for Öcalan and all other political prisoners, because he said: “It is most important that we are able to look for a future for the Kurdish people in all four parts of Kurdistan.”
Keir Starmer, the current leader of Labour Party also made a statement on the occasion of Newroz in which he stated that the Kurdish people were facing discrimination and being subjected to oppression and violence because of their identities and wished that Newroz would bring democracy, prosperity and peace to Kurdistan and the Middle East.
Newroz was also celebrated in Athens and Lavrio in Greece, in Vienna, Lauterach and Innsbruck in Austria, in Barcelona in Spain, and in Limassol in Cyprus.
Kurds staying in the refugee camps in Nicosia, Cyprus also celebrated Newroz.