Newroz 2021 was a powerful call to the peoples of the world. With their demand for freedom, democracy and equality, millions of Kurds in Kurdistan, in cities like Istanbul or Aleppo and in the Kurdish diaspora have made it unmistakably clear which agenda they will pursue this year.
The Kurdish people, together with their friends and international democratic forces, have thus lived up to their pioneering role. They have shown yet again, that today, Newroz is a source of inspiration and strength for all peoples and democratic forces in the world.
The task now is to translate the Newroz agenda into a concrete political struggle all over the world according to local conditions.
Rejecting state policy of prohibitions and war
Even after decades of war and destruction, both the international powers and the regional states are far from finding a solution for the Middle East crisis.
This was manifestly clear again this year. The Turkish AKP-MHP regime attacked the southern Kurdish region of Gare using chemical weapons, tried to rob millions of people of their voice in parliament with the ban on the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (HDP) and spread speculative reports about the health of the leader Abdullah Öcalan. International powers such as the USA or the EU are consciously limiting themselves to the ineffective statements they share and by doing so they give Erdoğan and his ally Bahçeli the green light for their policies.
Iran – alongside Turkey as a decisive regional power in the Middle East – began the year with a massive wave of arrests in Eastern Kurdistan, executes Kurdish prisoners in its prisons almost every day and reacted with limitless violence to the uprising of the Baloch population.
Meanwhile, NATO has announced that it will massively strengthen its war policy in the region by increasing its troops in Iraq from 500 to 4000 and expanding its areas of operation to the entire country.
All of this clearly shows that in 2021 the states will continue to try to destabilize the Middle East and suffocate the peoples of the region. The states have neither the interest nor the strength to pacify and democratize the Middle East.
However, the Newroz celebrations on the mountains of Kurdistan, in Wan (Van) and Amed (Diyarbakır), in Qendil, in Kobane and Raqqa, in the villages and cities of Eastern Kurdistan and in Europe impressively underline that the agenda of the Kurdish, Arab, Circassian, Turkmen, Armenian and Assyrian population for this year is completely different.
They demand the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan because they have recognized in him the guarantor for a serious democratization of their countries. They celebrate the resistance of the guerrillas on the mountains of Kurdistan because it offers them strength and protection to lead their political struggle. And they call on Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq to finally give the model of the ‘Democratic Nation’, ‘Democratic Autonomy’, and ‘Democratic Confederalism’ a stable framework on the basis of democratic constitutions.
Strength and creativity instead of fear and isolation
While the uncertainty about Coronavirus was still great last year, millions of people have clearly shown this year that neither a pandemic, nor soldiers or the police can prevent them from fighting for a free and democratic life. This is a very strong response to the genocide policy and massive attacks on social cohesion in the form of corona-related curfews and demonstration bans.
The Kurds and their friends who support their struggle have shown the whole world that it is possible to overcome fear and isolation and this is a necessity to continue the political struggle as well. With their decision to take part in this year’s Newroz celebrations, millions of people have shown courage and political awareness. And they have invited the societies of Europe, North America and Asia to do the same.
International dimension of Newroz
The values that Newroz stands for are universal. Freedom, equality and democracy are the longings of every human being and of all peoples in the world. In this sense it would be wrong to limit the political message of Newroz only to Kurdistan and the Middle East.
The Rojava Revolution shows the world that a life based on democracy, freedom of women and ecology is possible. This year’s Newroz also makes it clear to the whole world that the struggle for a free and peaceful life is possible and necessary even under the most difficult of conditions.
Especially the strong participation of the people in Northern Kurdistan (SE Turkey) and the enthusiastic celebrations of the guerrillas in the southern Kurdish regions of Zagros, Gare or Zap prove that even a fascist regime, curfews, drones and thousands of soldiers are no obstacle to democratic resistance.
Newroz 2021 is a strong signal of support for the uprisings of women in South America, the self government resistance of the Zapatistas, the protests against the military regime in Myanmar, the student protests in Turkey or the peasant uprising in India. And it is a call in particular to the democratic forces of the capitalist centres – whether in the USA, Europe or China – to throw off the straitjacket of fear and isolation and to be courageous and creative in strengthening their democratic resistance.
A successful year: 2021
Newroz 2021 has created the basis for the peoples of this world to break through the increased state repression that resulted from Coronavirus and to put their political demands for freedom, equality and democracy into practice.
The peoples of the Middle East have done a great service to the whole world – especially to the international democratic forces. They defied all state prohibitions and attacks in order to wish the struggles from Chile to India, from South Africa to England, strength and success.
In the expectation that this year, the peoples of this world will use this solidarity from the Middle East to lead their struggles to success: Newroza cîhanê pîroz be! Happy Newroz to the world!