Coppola: The demand for Abdullah Öcalan's freedom is part of our struggle

Maurizio Coppola, who took part in the conference "The Art of Freedom" in Basel as a representative of the Italian movement Potere al Popolo, stated that Abdullah Öcalan's paradigm is an important source of inspiration for struggling movements.


From 17 to 19 November, the Academy of Democratic Modernity held a conference in Switzerland entitled "The Art of Freedom - Strategies for Organising and Collective Resistance". Almost 200 representatives of organisations from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia took part in the conference at the Kurdish Community Centre in Basel. The three-day event discussed possible solutions to the growing crisis of capitalist modernity. They discussed how the gaps between social movements from different continents can be closed, common perspectives expanded and strategic lines of resistance interwoven. At the centre of the discussions was the importance of the paradigm of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan for a grassroots democratic and ecological society based on women's freedom.


An opportunity for a fundamental exchange of views and a common struggle

Maurizio Coppola, a representative of the Italian movement Potere al Popolo (Power to the People, PaP), spoke to ANF about the conference which he also attended. "The conference was very significant in terms of the content of the discussions and the international participation. Different realities, different political, trade union and social organisations took part in this conference. It was an opportunity for a fundamental exchange of views and a common struggle of different political organisations in the 21st century. The exchange of views here centred on perspectives on how to change the world. I think that the diversity that comes together at such conferences is important to create unity in this diversity. In this context, it was very important for us to participate in this conference from Italy and present our point of view."

The paradigm of Abdullah Öcalan is a source of inspiration

Referring to the importance of Abdullah Öcalan's paradigm, which was at the centre of the discussion at the conference, Coppola said: "In our organisation and with our comrades, we have read the texts written by Abdullah Öcalan and translated into Italian and other languages. Öcalan's texts and paradigm are a source of inspiration for us. An inspiration that comes from the liberation struggle of the Kurdish people against colonial and imperialist oppression. Therefore, Öcalan's ideas are for us an experience that brings a renewal of discourse and paradigm. We also know that it is not possible to copy an idea that was developed on the soil of Kurdistan and place it in a new context, in our context. Thanks to these ideas, we learn to renew our thinking, but it is important to always take a critical approach. Is it possible to simply transfer Abdullah Öcalan's paradigm to Italy? We don't believe it is, but it is a fundamental source of inspiration for progress in our ideology and practice."

The defence of Öcalan's freedom is essential

Commenting on the international campaign launched for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish question on 10 October, Maurizio Coppola said: "It is important for us to defend democracy and demand Öcalan's freedom. This campaign is also important for us because Italy has close relations with Turkey and the Erdoğan regime. There are military relations; Italy sells weapons to Turkey, which are then used in the war against the Kurdish people. Italy maintains diplomatic relations with Turkey. The European Union (EU), of which Italy is a member, gives money to Turkey to keep refugees in Turkey and prevent them from coming to Europe. This is an inhumane and undemocratic situation. So, we have an enemy that we have to fight together in different ways. The demand for Öcalan's freedom is part of this common struggle. That is why we support this campaign and are trying to involve Italian and European society in general in this campaign."