Right now in Turkey, the Erdogan fascist regime is specifically attacking women, oppressed genders and Kurdish people.
The regime is attacking not only women, but also the political project in which women carry out the leading role. This project is known as democratic confederalism, mainly carried out by the Kurdish liberation movement. Leyla GÜVEN, member of the HDP, mother of 2 children and with an active role in the TJA (free women’s movement), spent a year in prison for expressing her opposition to the attack by the state of Turkey to Afrin, as many other female prisoners.
While in prison, on 7 November 2018, she started a non-altering hunger strike to the bitter end to ask for the end of the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan, and of Kurdish people. She stated “today the policies of isolation towards Öcalan are not imposed only on him but on a people in his person”. Öcalan has been in prison on the island of Imrali for more than 20 years, of which the last three are in solitary confinement, and on 4 April 2019 he will turn 70.
The reason why there is this affection and this attention towards him is that not only is he seen by an entire people as the origin and strength of the movement for its own self-determination, but also because, along this liberation struggle, he never stopped giving space and strategic importance to women’s self-organization, stating that “the liberation of society is not possible without the freeing of women”.
Leyla was the one who took the first step followed by dozens, then hundreds, and today thousands of people on hunger strike, mostly in Turkish prisons but also in different cities in Europe: for example they are in 14 since December 17 on strike in Strasbourg and also a comrade is carrying out this protest in Italy since a few weeks. Among these thousands, 7 of them have already put an end to their lives to protest the silence about this strike.
Leyla Güven and her struggle, however, are the result of a story, and it is the story of the Kurdish women’s movement. A story that sink its roots in the awareness of this people and many others regarding their ancient origins, thousands of years old, in an agricultural, matricentric and matrifocal society. A story that manifests itself in the mountains of Kurdistan where inside the guerrilla, women acquire their own autonomy, coming to unhinge principles that they believed were unchangeable. A story that becomes awareness through Jineolojî, the science of women and free society, designed to find a way to understand the world that starts from the point of view of oppressed genres, necessary to create a society not chained to the meshes of patriarchy.
A story that finds fulfillment in the proposal of what Kurdish women call world confederalism of women, which “aims to unite, maintaining the differences, to unify the struggle, preserving autonomy”.
Today, this unites us more than ever because it is with a similar spirit that we at NUDM have taken a step towards a transnational journey to Verona: we are aware that our struggles are like different colors that we want to intersect by producing figures, drawings and works of art. art and beauty. Once we’re together, we’re unstoppable.
NUDM therefore joins in solidarity with the resistance of Leyla Güven and the other strikers, because even this is a part of the struggles, of women and oppressed genres, of which we are a part.
Today the ugliness of patriarchal and sexist domination, of states and capitalism, of extractivism and racist domination is shaking, because through the union of our different struggles we are creating self-determination, freedom, sisterhood, trust, beauty and joy.