Today, December 14, the Palermo city council will award the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan of onorary citizenship. A decision that was made thanks to years of mobilization and information from below about the Kurdish struggle, and transnational solidarity by the autonomous social centres' movement in Palermo and other grassroots regional organizations. The latter started a debate about Sicilian identity and exploitation of the island's territories and resources by the central Italian state, in the framework of coordinating social struggles in the region and promoting there patterns of self-management and autonomy.
Last Saturday the roads in downtown Palermo were crossed by a march that crowned the decision of the municipality to award Abdullah Öcalan,leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party and father of the Democratic Confederalism, of Palermitan citizenship.
An endorsement by the major that we acknowledge, by keeping the necessary caution; having the Palermo of social struggles already recognized the undisputed value and richness of the political project being carried on by the many Kurdish militants since many years. An extraordinary project and an absolutely innovative one, that all of us follow with enthusiasm and that we cannot but be supportive of. A practice coming true thanks to a man imprisoned as the sole detainee in the jail island of Imrali, in the sea of Erdogan's Turkey. Being that president a sworn enemy of the inherent dangerousness of the Kurdish progress, of their project, of the possibility of establishing autonomous territories (that are actually already existing and being organized), in spite of the caliphate, of the international community's paralysis - in the best case, or even of its complicity with the murderers, in the worst one.
The PKK, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, was listed and recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, the NATO, the EU and by Iran, carrying out a typical attempt of depoliticization and discredit against a real and actual political development. One that has a wide militant base in the territories it crosses and by supportive and complicit people strengthening its legitimacy, around the world. A part of this community was the one that gathered last Saturday in Palermo.
The composition of the march was one of the significant facts of this acknowledgement and of the strengthening of the red bond that joins the many struggles living in the Sicilian territory to the one of the Kurdish people. The more than 1000 participants are actually the many that every day enliven the struggling collectives against the MUOS in Niscemi, the drilling projects in Licata, the incinerators in the Mela Valley and the Trident Juncture operations in Marsala. There were students and performing arts precarious workers, and the housing struggle committees from Catania and Palermo. In the final part of the cortege, a participated bloc of Palermitan social centres was present, with a banner at its forefront giving a clear and unmistakable name to that red bond: autodeterminazione (self-determination). A word that was also the rallying cry of the regional assembly that was held on Saturday morning to the ExKarcere social centre - where many different territorial organizations took on the responsability of working towards a common goal. Giving a push to the Sicilian regional government in order to make its frail legs crumble. Being those already undermined by the contradictions that the assembly itself did generate.
Then the composition of the march joined up from Catania, Messina, Caltagirone, Niscemi, Marsala, Licata and Gela in Palermo, hence giving a regional connotation to it. For the possibility to access resources' management, for the defense of the environment. Against the pillage, the exploitation and the debasement of the territories, against the wars of interests and the dead from collateral damage, against bombs and the ISIS - the response is that of the peoples' self-determination.
The ceremony awarding Öcalan of Palermitan citizenship will officially take place on Monday 14/12, adopting a will and a position that were widely expressed by the grassroots autonomous events of the last 17 years that Apo passed in jail, after having been consigned to the police by the institutional left of this bizarre country.
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