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What april 4 means

John Dolva

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Because I'm a man and from a western culture I hesitate to profess any knowledge about women. I am intrigued by the concepts born of the struggles of the Kurdish people as expressed by the women's liberation movement there.

April 4'th is the birthday of their leader,

"Guerrillas of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) have described Abdullah Öcalan's April 4 birthday as a day of rebirth. Since we have in this period Newroz, the Red Wednesday Eid and other religious and seasonal celebrations this talk of "rebirth" has some added significance. The PKK is primarily a social movement and has done much to create a counterculture and positively affect the larger Kurdish culture. We see something like this also taking place in revolutionary Rojava, where the need for unity in the face of ISIS and state attacks and the new found freedom of the people pushes people to understand and use their cultures in new ways.

YJA-STAR Free Women's Troops) guerrilla Agirin Gare, who attended the April 4 celebrations for the first time in the mountains, explained to alternative media how excited she was. “To talk about the Leader, read his works and understand him is a great source of inspiration for us. The Fourth of April is the emergence of a society, of a people and a reality. With the Leader's birth a people on the verge of extinction were reborn." She added that they sent their love to İmralı island, where Abdullah Öcalan is imprisoned, saying that even if the Leader is not with them in person he is with them in spirit.

TEV-ÇAND (The Mesopotamian Movement for Democratic Culture and Art in Europe) member Xebat Med said that April 4 is not just an ordinary birthday, but signifies society and nature, adding, “All our people see it like this. For instance, on April 4 saplings are planted, and new seeds sprout."
Xebat said that the planting of saplings on this day is not just a simple ritual, but that the real purpose is the paradigm of the ecological aspect of Abdullah Öcalan’s ideology. Xebat concluded by saying, "Every year on April 4 hundreds of thousands of people flock to Leader Apo's village of Amara. In the guerrilla areas, too, saplings are planted and we dance and speeches are made regarding the significance of the day."

YJA-STAR guerrilla Madora Ararat said that Abdullah Öcalan is waging a struggle for all of the peoples of the Middle East and that he has made a significant contribution to the liberation of women, adding, "Today, as women we are going forward hand in hand within the framework of the Leader's perspective and paradigm. On this occasion we pledge once more that our struggle will continue until his freedom is assured."

HPG (People's Defense Forces) guerrilla Dijwar Batman said that with the birth of Abdullah Öcalan the darkness that had enshrouded the Kurdish people vanished, adding, “There have been many leaders in history, but none of them were able to gather people from Moslems, Christians, Jews, that is, from different religions, faiths and cultures. But Leader Apo has mobilized people from all races, religions and nations and united them. Now all these communities are waging a struggle for his freedom. The Leader's birthday is the birthday of all oppressed peoples, and also symbolizes the advent of a new system opposing the existing state system."

YJA-STAR guerrilla Azime Botan said that April 4 was an important date for them, and that the Leader's birthday also marked the emergence of women.

HPG guerrilla Azad Cizre said, “We too celebrate April 4 by planting saplings. We will wage a struggle for the freedom of the Leader in return for the values he has created for humanity and the possibilities for free life he has propounded. We will give him the biggest gift by developing an ethical and political society."

Women’s Guerrilla Army YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops) guerrillas staged a Freedom March in the Medya Defense Zones to mark Abdullah Öcalan's birthday today. Hundreds of women guerrillas joined the march, including KCK Co-Presidency Council Member Sozdar Avesta, YJA Star Central Headquarters Commanders Delal Amed, Çiçek Botan, Hemrîn Dêrsîm, Azê Malazgirt as well as a number of YJA Star Commanders and guerrillas.

A speech given on behalf of the YJA Star Central Headquarters Command before the march celebrated all peoples and women on this day which it described as "the birth of free tomorrows and hope of the peoples." he speech said that April 4 has a particular meaning for Kurdish women as it also means their rebirth and existence and stressed that, "The birth of the Leader on April 4 became a hope for the women and peoples, and created a bright future for them. Our Leader defines the women's march in mountains as a 'Freedom March.' To this march, which started with the birth of the Leader, we, women guerrillas, have been joining from the mountains of freedom for dozens of years. This march of ours is not only a physical but also a morale one for freedom. This march, which is growing more and more every day with a passionate participation of women, will never end." The speech also saluted the march of the Kurdish people to Amara, the birthplace of the Kurdish leader, in the Halfeti district of Urfa. Following the speech, women guerrillas staged a march, chanting slogans “Bê Serok Jiyan Nabe” (No Life Without the Leader) and “Jin Jiyan Azadî” (Women, Life, Freedom).

In Kandil, liberated territory, the April 4 celebration was organized by RJAK (Free Women's Organization of Kurdistan) and attended by people from all four parts of Kurdistan. The celebration began with a minute of silence for those who have fallen in the struggle. Following that, Xelat Agirî spoke on behalf of the organizing committee and said, "We celebrate April 4, our day of rebirth, the birthday of Leader Apo, the architect of democracy and freedom. The birth of Leader Apo marks the emergence of free Kurds."

A message from RJAK was read out that said that the Leader has shown women the way forward and that society cannot be free without the liberation of women. "If today Kurdish women can determine their own destiny it is due to the great struggle created by Leader Apo," the message concluded. Speeches there were followed by performances by musical groups, including the Koma Sonya Qendil Children's Group, Zübeyir Biradostî, Zikrî Zirek, Rizgar Mistafa, Koma Penaber a Maxmur, Dilo Doğan, Hamit Diyana and Mistafa Serdeştî. People shouted slogans such as "Long live President Apo" and "North, South and East, Apo is the President of the country."

Books by Abdullah Öcalan attracted great interest at the celebration and hundreds of signatures were collected by KJAR (Komalên Jinên Azadê Rojhilet) for Zeynep Jalalyan, who is being held in an Iranian prison and has serious health problems.

While massive celebrations on the occasion of the birthday of the Kurdish leader are being held in North Kurdistan and Turkey, despite the attempts of the Turkish state to prevent them, celebrations have also taken place in recent years in South Kurdistan, despite the efforts of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to stop them there. The birthday of the Kurdish Leader was celebrated in Hewler (Erbil) with mass participation, with the people frequently chanting slogans for Abdullah Öcalan's liberation. There was also a celebration in the Qeredagh district of Suleymaniyah, attended by hundreds of people coming from all 4 parts of Kurdistan. The celebrations there were also organized by the Kurdistan Free Women’s Movement. Following the reading out of the messages there the crowd planted trees in the village, chanting slogans for the freedom of the Kurdish Leader and the unity of the Kurdish people.

The speeches during the celebrations both in Hewler and Suleymaniyah stressed that the birthday of the Kurdish Leader Öcalan symbolizes the rebirth of the Kurdish people and that the freedom of the Kurdish Leader is a means of bringing peace to the Middle East. Speaking on behalf of RJAK, Ciwana Kurdistani stressed that the freedom of Öcalan means at the same the freedom of Kurdish women, adding that Öcalan’s views and ideology played a leading role in the struggle for liberation.

I'm always looking for signs of us meddling. While the us pretends to fight isis, in a broader context the corporate fascist interests of the dictating clique in washington has more in interest with them than with the real enemies of isis, the kurdish liberation movement. Is the apparent split between the rulers of the autonomous northern iraq kurdish, the KDP, and the kurdish people a sign of us meddling?

Does anyone havea link to any english kurdish information? Particularly any that explain the concepts they fight for?

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