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Tree planting on April 4, an act of struggle

On the birthday of Abdullah Öcalan, people have gathered and thousands of trees have been planted.

Planting trees in not just a symbolic action, it’s an act of resistance, a promise, an affirmation of life. The thousand of trees that have been planted in Rojava and all over Kurdistan on the 4th of April also were planted with this consciousness.

Now one can ask, why is the 4th of April of such importance for the ecological revolution and the changes that has been made in the region, as well as the long-term projects that are going to be realized?

On the 4th of April 1949 Abdullah Öcalan was born in the village of Amara, in the region of Riha in Bakûr, North Kurdistan. This day, for the Kurdish people, represents the beginning of a search for freedom, not in an individual sense but for the whole society.

Researching on the history of Middle East, Mesopotamia and Kurdistan in particular, Abdullah Öcalan understood the importance of the relation with nature, and how this was cut with the raising of hierarchical and exploiting systems. On these roots he developed a paradigm in which ecology is one of the fundamental pillars, together with democracy and women’s freedom.

Society, like a tree, in order to survive and grow, cannot be cut away from its roots. Life cannot be distanced from its source. Abdullah Öcalans thoughts have been like seeds, making us aware again that we are part of nature.

Coming back to the history of the region, planting trees was not allowed there under the Syrian regime. This would have strengthened the relation between the people and their land, and therefore their spirit of resistance. Defending the land means to defend culture, identity, memory, it means to defend the possibility of a democratic life, and for a future, in balance with nature. People of the region have taken from this their strength to resist to genocides, attacks and assimilation. This is the spirit of welatparezi ( “welat” – country, land “parêz” to defend),

With the revolution of Rojava, reforestation has been one of the most important ecological perspectives for the region.

Source: Ajansa Nûçeyan a Jinê

On the 4th of April 2024, people all over North-est Syria, Middle East and further had celebrated the birthday of Abdullah Öcalan planting trees. From Sêrt and Kobane to Şengal, from Şehba to Dêrik, local trees have been planted. Pines, olive and fruit trees, almond, pomegranates, apples, oranges and lemons. These will give fruits to the community, shadow to sit under, will make improve air and soil.

People from all the institutions of the Autonomous Administration took part in this action. Health, education, self-defense, culture, showing that there is no separation but that ecology interconnects every part of society. From preparing the soil, digging, planting and watering, everyone has contributed. Especially children and women have been at the center of these actions, while the elders have shared knowledge about the plants, their properties and uses.

Abdullah Öcalan, with his philosophy has open the way for a new life not just for the Kurdish people, but for women, youth, all oppressed people in the world. With his example, planting trees means to understand that the struggle for a free life has to start now, and requires our everyday effort, in order to grow and strengthen.

The transformative potential of these ideas constituted a threat for the forces that based their wealth and profit on the exploitation and destruction of nature. For this reason an international conspiracy was organized against Abdullah Öcalan and on February 15, 1999 he was kidnapped and brought to the turkish prison-island of Imrali. 25 years have passed since then. In this time Abdullah Öcalan has been subjected in a state of solitary confinement and torture, and since 3 years no contacts with him have been allowed. Against this violation of human rights people all over the globe are raising their voice and demand an end of his imprisonment.

Abdullah Öcalan gave enormous efforts for a free life and society in Rojava and the whole region. The progress we witness today is the result of his efforts and engagement. Therefor struggling for his physical freedom and the freedom of his thoughts are intrinsically intertwined with the struggle for ecology. The responsibility of everyone who is in favor of an ecological revolution in the Rojava, the Middle East and beyond, is to take the seeds that has been planted and make them growing.

Source: Ajansa Nûçeyan a Jinê

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