We publish below the public statement of the campaign Kasma birak / Μας σκάβουν τον λάκκο / Don’t dig it about the 1st of September which was established as World Peace Day*.
The peoples of Turkey, Cyprus and Greece celebrate World Peace Day. We send our greetings, not to those who spread hatred between us, but to the environmental and peace movements that raise the flag of solidarity between our peoples.
After announcing that more than 80 million people in the world had been driven away from their homes by the middle of 2020, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, stated:
“In the last ten years that number of people being forcibly displaced has doubled. This shows that the international community has been unable to preserve peace. With this frightening tableau we have passed another threshold, and as long as world leaders fail to say no to war, this situation will only get worse”. When the multiple crises facing our world forces even those who bear responsibility to use such words to describe the situation, anyone can imagine the magnitude of the problem we face.
The multiple crisis triggered by Covid-19 has further deepened the problems faced by the forcibly displaced. In the whole world, the governments rather than seeking solutions for the problems that create war conflicts, they are attempting to divert anger against the people with anti-refugee racist policies. Instead of solutions based on the principles of human rights, they try to channel peoples’ feelings of frustration against the oppressed by using slanders and lies.
We have seen in the course of the recent forest fires that have been devastating our region, that the governments of Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, who have been continuously fanning the flames of racism and fomenting enmity between their respective populations, can find billions of dollars for armaments, but when it comes to personnel and equipment for fighting fires, they claim that there are no resources available.
Against the zombie politicians who see nothing beyond war and profit, defending the common interests of nature and humanity requires us to say no to the destructive policies of capitalism now.
In this period in which we confront disasters one after another, leaving the question of peace to the tender mercies of the governments and the multinationals would clearly be suicidal. We will continue to organise solidarity from below for a world in which peoples are not being provoked to enmity, where billions of dollars are invested, not on armaments, but on puıtting out the fire that is destroying our planet, where humanity and nature coexist in solidarity and peace.
Because the futures of both nature and humanity are inextricably tied.
Ζήτω η ειρήνη
Long Live Peace
Note: The campaign was launched in September 2020 against fossil fuel exploration efforts in the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. A call for peace and climate justice has found an echo in a relatively short time and 70 environmental organizations mainly from Greece, Cyprus and Turkey have signed the initial statement. The campaign is still open to individual and collective signatories and you can view existing signatories here: https://www.kazmabirak.org/
We would like to further discuss details of the ideas in this document. You can always reach us through the address firstname.lastname@example.org
*PS: Is September 1 World Peace Day?
In September 1, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland World War II started. The anti-war movement and labor unions in Germany, after the end of WWII, established September 1 as World Peace Day. This day was adopted by the labor movement and the left in many countries around the world.
In 1981, in an attempt to change the character of the day that had a class content, the United Nations General Assembly announced that World Peace Day would be every 3rd Tuesday in September, and in 2001, they designated September 21 as World Peace Day. Today, the ruling class tries to erase the history of September 1 from collective memory.
However, in several countries, including Turkey, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and other Asian countries, September 1 has been preserved as World Peace Day, as a day when workers take to the streets against war, demanding peace. In many cases, workers, especially in countries that are in constant war, fight a battle to be able to carry out their actions.