The Long March of young internationalists highlighting the campaign for freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), started in Germany on 11 September, walking from Essen to Aachen, reported Mezopotamya News Agency.
Young internationalists from Germany, France, Switzerland, Colombia, Australia, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands began their march with the slogan, “Freedom for Comrade Öcalan: Join the Struggle for Freedom!”
The young people will pass through Duisburg, Krefeld, Düsseldorf, Leverkusen and Cologne, and end their march in Aachen on 16 September, a distance of 175km.
On the first day of the march, the young internationalists, walking in tabards with the words “Freedom to Öcalan” on them, chanted the slogans “Long live Öcalan!” and “Kurdistan will be a grave for fascism!”
Firaz Yılmaz from the organising committee stated that they wanted to show the world that the Kurdish youth would continue to fight for the freedom of Öcalan to the end.
“Öcalan’s paradigm based on women’s liberation, democracy and ecology has now become a viable alternative all over the world. In spite of capitalism’s imposition of a standardising life of enslavement without culture, young people from all over the world are rushing to Öcalan’s pro-freedom alternative lifestyle,” said Yılmaz.
Four days before the march, the participants held a protest against chemical weapons reported to be in use by the Turkish state against Kurdish fighters in Kurdistan.
In the statement, the participants alleged that Turkey employed the use of chemical weapons a total of 1,762 times in its military attacks carried out over the last five months.
The participants of the Long March will also travel to the Netherlands to attend the 30th Kurdish Cultural Festival straight after the march.
Kurdish politician Muharrem Aral explained that the Kurds had held their first long march in Germany in 1983 after hearing of the torture in Turkey’s jails after the coup of 12 September 1980 and the death of Mazlum Doğan, a founding member of the PKK, and that they were dedicating this year’s march to Kurdish freedom fighters.