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We see your crimes! – Stop chemical warfare in Kurdistan!
GLOBAL CALL FOR ACTIONS – AGAINST CHEMICAL WEAPONS
BY DEFEND KURDISTAN INITIATIVE
From 16 – 19 March 2023
Call for Defend Kurdistan’s international days of action on the anniversary of the massacre in Halabja (from 16 March – 19 March 2023)
The first weeks of the year 2023 have already shown, what was to be expected: the attacks against the revolution in Kurdistan will continue in all severity and will further intensify in the coming weeks and months. From ongoing poison gas attacks in Southern Kurdistan, targeted drone strikes on the autonomous area of Northern and Eastern Syria to the upcoming elections in Turkey and the catastrophic earthquake that cost the lives of tens of thousands of people due to systematic mismanagement and suppression of civilian self-aid by the Turkish state.
The AKP-MHP regime and its political supporters are planning the next steps to crush self-governance in Kurdistan. Without conjuring up an image of the enemy and maintaining a permanent state of war, Turkish President Erdogan would not be able to hold on to power. In this way, wars are intended to conceal the crisis of the Turkish state and to crush democratic forces that represent an alternative to the prevailing state of chaos. In order to protect its own interests, the Turkish state, with its murderous policy, can rely on the backing of international powers that supply the war equipment through which brutal crimes are committed on a daily basis.
A look at recent history shows that today’s attacks are a continuation of the genocidal policy against Kurdish society. The use of poison gas has a sad tradition, especially in Kurdistan. Atatürk, Saddam Hussein and Erdogan stand in a historical line that needs to be understood. In the genocide of Dersim in 1937-38, Atatürk used poison gas and planes bought from Nazi Germany. Saddam Hussein massacred thousands of people in Halabja in southern Kurdistan on 16 March 1988 with German-made poison gas, and Erdogan is also committing major war crimes today with chemical weapons in the mountains of Kurdistan. Again and again, the rulers resort to the cruelest means in their fight against the aspirations for freedom of the peoples in the Middle East, as the brutal action against the revolution in Iran proves today.
In addition to the anniversary of the massacre in Halabja, the month of March is full of not only days that are occasions for mourning and anger, but equally with numerous moments that are expressions of hope and revolt against oppression. On 18 March, almost 152 years ago, the Paris Commune was proclaimed. After almost two years of war between two nation states, which cost hundreds of thousands of lives, society rehearsed the uprising. The people of Paris turned their weapons against their tormentors and fought for self-governance, which gives us an important example to learn from. Indeed, just as a coalition of international powers tried to break the people’s desire for self-determination and drown it in the blood of thousands back then, state powers continue to unite under the banner of fighting the revolution today. After Kobane in northern and eastern Syria was defended against the Islamic State, and with the liberation of Raqqa and Deir ez Zor the revolution spread to Arab cities in the following years. Ankara and Damascus as well as Moscow and Washington see their power threatened by this multi-ethnic revolution. At the very moment when self-governance was asserting itself against the greatest odds, the Turkish military launched a cross-border military operation in January 2018 that violated international law. Under the name “Operation Olive Branch”, the war against Afrin, the westernmost canton of the autonomous area, started. Just like the US a year later opened the airspace over Serekaniye and Gire Spi for another invasion, in 2018 Russia gave the Turkish state the opportunity to attack the autonomous administration in Afrin with jihadists and German-made Leopard 2 tanks. After two months of indescribable resistance, Afrin was occupied on 18 March 5 years ago and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee.
We will not overlook the complicity of our governments. Let us defend Kurdistan today with the spirit of the Paris Commune and the resistance in Afrin! Starting with the anniversary of the massacre in Halabja on 16th of March until the Day of Political Prisoners on 18th of March, which also marks the anniversary of the Paris Commune and the occupation of Afrin, we call for action! If international states unite in the struggle against the revolution, we must fight for it all the more determined. The war in Kurdistan, the international silence against the isolation of the representative of the freedom movement, Abdullah Öcalan, the attacks on the Kurdish women’s movement can only be stopped together and with a united will.
Defend Kurdistan Initiative
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