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Raising the flag for Abdullah Öcalan's freedom with the Guarani and Kaiowá peoples

On October 30th, members of the Comité Lêgerîn Abya Yala gathered for a collaborative project in Guarani Kaiowá ancestral territory, recovered from the hands of large landowners in the region of Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil). The objective of this project was to commemorate five years of resistance in this tekoha - as the Guarani Kaiowá refer to their ancestral territories, meaning "place where we can realise our way of life." This resistance has taken form through common tree planting, the recovery of land damaged by monocultures, the seeding of medicinal plants, the digging of wells to strengthen water autonomy, and the organising of solidarity between city, countryside and indigenous territories in the context of the profound violence exercised by large landowners and the Brazilian State against these peoples. This territory has been subject to constant attacks by landowners and the military since 2018, and many of its community members were seriously injured. Just this year, in 2023, more than ten attacks were recorded, including night attacks with firearms, the destruction of houses, and chemical attacks with pesticides.The Guarani Kaiowá are the second largest indigenous group in Brazil, with about sixty thousand people, and their territory is divided between four nation-states: Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. In the late 1970s they began to organise themselves in popular assemblies - the Aty Guasu, large assembly of the people, as well as the Kuñangue AtyGuasu, assembly of the women, and the Retomada AtyJovem, of the youth - and to advance the recovery - "reposession" - of their ancestral territories. This they organised after the intense genocide and ethnocide they have suffered since the 19th century, in the context of the War of the Triple Alliance and the formation of "indigenous reserves" in the first decades of the 20th century. In this context, the aim was to forcibly remove them from their lands to make way for the advance of colonisation in the central-western region of the country. This region is one of the centers of neo-extractivism and monocultures in Brazil and, for this very reason, where the rates of violence and murders against the peoples are the most alarming, in addition to a context of extreme vulnerability, hunger, and the overexploitation of indigenous labour.

In the area surrounding the Indigenous Reserve of the city of Dourados alone, there are approximately ten territorial recuperations. It was in this context that the Lêgerîn Committee participated in the organisation of collective work with other social movements, collectives and solidarity workers. In defense of Mother Earth and in defense of the Guarani Kaiowá territorial recuperation, the importance of internationalism and solidarity among peoples was also discussed. Thus, the dialogues on Abdullah Öcalan and his role in the liberation struggle of the Kurdish people and the peoples of the world were opened. On this occasion, we collectively waved the flag for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, a gift and memory of the long march for the freedom of Reber Apo, in which some members of Lêgerîn Abya Yala participated. This action is part of the international campaign "Freedom for Öcalan. Political solution for the Kurdish question" and, for that reason, it also takes place as a demand for immediate news of his health and well-being, so that he can talk to his family, his lawyers, and get out of the absolute isolation he has been facing for 24 years.

We understand the Kurds as an indigenous people, and from there we also understand that all struggles are only one struggle. The Guarani Kaiowá comrades, from their political prisoners and their historical and contemporary martyrs, join the efforts to liberate the land from the catastrophic effects of capitalist modernity that began more than 523 years ago. It was stated that from the Guarani and Kaiowá territorial recoveries and their revolutionary allies, we will also fight for the freedom of Reber Apo, because liberating him is part of the liberation of humanity.

In memory of Alex Lopes, Vitor Fernandes, Marcio Moreira, Vitorino Sanches and the spiritual leader Estela Vera, assassinated in 2022 in massacres [the Guapo'y Massacre] and ambushes. In memory of Sebastiana Gauto and Rufino Velasquez, spiritual leaders burned alive in an attack in September 2023, for defending their territory; in memory of all the Guarani and Kaiowá martyrs, and the martyrs of the revolutionary struggle of the Kurdish liberation movement, we will continue to weave and sow resistance.



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