PANCYPRIAN PEACE MARCH
Sunday, 10th June 2018
Thousands of people, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, people of all ages from all walks of life and from all corners of Cyprus, marched together on Sunday 10th June 2018 in the Pancyprian Peace March to the British Base of Akrotiri organized by the Cyprus Peace Council. This sea of people sent out a powerful message for Peace in Cyprus, Peace in the World. It was a mass popular mobilization with unity in action embracing broad masses that came together around common goals.
The hot sun, strong wind, as well as the sound of two British fighter jets which flew above were not enough to break the will and dampen the passion of the marchers for peace. Thousands of people marched 4.5 kilometers, demonstrating against the atrocities of the criminal wars and ongoing NATO imperialist interventions against the peoples. They denounced the use of Cyprus through the British Bases as an aggressive launching pad against our neighboring peoples. They demanded the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cyprus, the withdrawal of the occupying army of Turkey which continues to occupy almost 40% of Cyprus’ territory, the abolition of the British bases and the dissolution of NATO. They demanded peace in Cyprus and the world.
An event was held before the march begun with a cultural program which was addressed by the President of the Cyprus Peace Council Stelios Sofokli, the General Secretary of the World Peace Council Thanassis Pafilis, the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union KTOS, the representative of the Syrian National Council of Peace Samir Masad, the Palestinian Committee for Peace and Solidarity Hassan Mahareeq, the Peace and Solidarity Committee of Israel Aida Touma-Sliman, the British Council of Peace Steve Johnson, the former President of the Confederal Group of the European United Left (GUE/NGL) Francis Wurtz, the former Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Yovanovic and finally the General Secretary of the Central Committee of AKEL Andros Kyprianou. Representatives from the fraternal movement of the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation and the peace movement in Spain also took part in the event and March, while the peace movements of Turkey and the Czech Republic sent messages of support and solidarity. It should also be noted that over 160 people of the arts and letters, of culture in general, including cultural movements and agencies, signed a declaration supporting the aims and goals of the Peace March.
Just before the beginning of the March, the renowned actor Stelios Kafkarides, read out excerpts from the lyrics of the “Peace March” written by communist Cypriot poet Theodosis Pierides: “And the great army of the people is now as big as our great land and deeper than our great sea, stronger than a thunderbolt… Peace is not awarded – it is won. Peace is a battle and a victory.”
The Peace March arrived at the gates of the Akrotiri British air base, from where the British fighter jets were taking off to bomb the neighboring people of Syria. Life jackets were symbolically scattered, as well as an inflatable boat, a moving artistic intervention aimed at sending a message against the death of thousands of people who have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in their efforts to avoid the horrors of war and imperialist interventions. A delegation, headed by the President of the Cyprus Peace Council delivered a resolution to the representative of the Akrotiri British Base.
Address of the President of the Cyprus Peace Council, Stelios Sofokli
Fellow campaigners for Peace,
Brothers and Sisters,
We welcome you to this mass gathering of Peace. We welcome you to the 8th Peace March organized by the Cyprus Peace Council, together with the progressive democratic masses of Cypriot society.
We have once more gathered in front of the NATO British Bases to shout out loud “BASES OF DEATH OUT OF CYPRUS”. Our people is “condemned” since its existence to struggle against occupiers. The struggle against imperialism is common for all the peoples of the world.
The political and military situation in our region is very difficult and harbors the dangers of a major regional war breaking out. With the volume of weapon systems that have been accumulated in our region and on our own island, a “careless act or an accident”, as experts say, may trigger a new terrible war that for sure will not be restricted just to the Middle East.
The possession of nuclear weapons by Israel, but also the Israeli President’s war-mongering rhetoric against Iran, as well as the other countries in the region, reveal real images of war and destruction.
The occupation of 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by the Turkish army. Turkey’s invasion of Syria. The anticipated invasion by Turkey in Iraq. The ongoing threats issued by Turkey against Cyprus and Greece. As long as this situation continues without any real denunciation by the international community in a way that would have serious consequences for Turkey itself and so long as the stalemate with regards the solution of the Cyprus problem continues, the danger remains that we may be led to situations that will be undesirable and unpredictable for our people and the peoples of the region.
Fellow fighters for Peace,
The Cyprus Peace Council once again expresses its solidarity with the struggling Cypriot people, towards the people of Palestine who is being massacred daily by the troops of the occupier of its lands. We express our solidarity with the suffering people of Syria, Iraq and all the peoples who are struggling against the imperialists for their right to live in their own countries as they themselves choose, far from any threats and aggressions.
Finally, I would like to thank and welcome our brother and sister fellow combatants from the various peace movements from the Middle East and Europe. We also express our gratitude to all the comrades and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to organize this event.
We demand that our children get around to growing up and struggling for peace, as their fathers, mothers, grandparents and their grandparents did so that their own children can live without wars and disasters.
“ALL TROOPS OUT OF CYPRUS – INDEPENDENT ISLAND”
“BASES OF DEATH OUT OF CYPRUS”
Address of the National Council of Peace Partisans Movement delegate, Samir Masad
From steadfast Syria, I convey to you the greetings of the National Council of Peace Partisans Movement and people of Syria, and their high appreciation for your solidarity with our struggle in the face of the most cruel and unjust imperialist war waged against our beloved country, that refuses submission and confides in victory.
Yes dear comrades, today and after more than seven years for the most brutal imperialist aggression in the contemporary period which the most important American and European imperialist centers participated, and used in it the dirtiest tools from the terrorist organizations with their multiple names called ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al Nousra Front and the Muslim Brotherhood and dozens of other organizations with their various names, which are supplied the latest weapons and opened for it the Gulf vaults and transferred hundreds of thousands of fighters to Syria
The brave and proud Syrian people and their courageous leadership, headed by President Bashar al-Assad, are still resisting this unjust war. Rather, they are achieving successive victories ,breaking and defeating terrorism and its bloody organizations, and when the western imperialist powers and their terrorist tools failed to subjugate Syria, they fabricated false pretexts about the Syrian state’s use of chemical weapons against its own people before the arrival of the investigation teams of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons organization into Syria. Then the British, French and American planes set out to bomb Syria, to aggress its people and to destroy its infrastructures. The western aggression is a blatant challenge to the laws and charters of the United Nations and violate of international law, and Syria has not and will not use chemical weapons against its people, because it simply do not own it and did not use these weapons during the crucial battles with the armed terrorist groups in many parts of Syria, so how can Syria use it against children and women as the western imperialist countries pretexted.
Dear comrades, allow me again to express to you and through you to all members of World Peace Council about our appreciation for your principled positions in supporting the struggle of our people in the face of the dirty imperialist war that is waged against it. I call you for more solidarity, organizing activities and events that supporting the struggle of Syria and serving our international struggle against imperialism.
Address of the Palestinean Committee for Peace and Solidarity, Hassan Mahareeq
I would like to thank Cyprus Peace Council for giving me this opportunity to address the Palestinian cause in international platform.
In Palestine “Our goal isn’t outrageous. We simply want to live in dignity on our own land, see a just solution for the refugees, and closure to 70 years of injustice and denial of our own existence.”
In Palestine. We are the only people on Earth asked to guarantee the security of our occupier…while Israel is the only country that calls for defence from its victims.
In Palestine. There are people starving in the siege, there are children traumatized and terrified. There are men women and children dying. This is a situation that has reached the proportions of a tremendous humanitarian crisis. It is a tragedy and every minute that passes we lose lives and more people are brutalized and traumatized.
In Palestine, we condemn the United States Recognition of Jerusalem, in the occupied State of Palestine, as Israel’s Capital. The consequences of such failure are grave, and risk escalating hostilities throughout the occupied State of Palestine, which will have serious regional implications.
Address of the Peace and Solidarity Committee of Israel delegate, Aida Touma-Sliman
Dear Comrades in the Cyprus Peace Council
Our Region is under a big threat, conflicts are accelerating and encouraged by the imperialist involvement of the USA and its allies in our region. A Regional great war can be only a matter of Time.
The Unlimited support given by the Trump’s administration- by moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem and withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran- this support to the Israeli Government lead by Netanyahu is a green light for the continuous occupation of the Palestinian land for annexation and settlements policy and aggression.
It’s a green light for the repeated Military aggressive attacks by the Israeli Army against Syria.
We are here not only to express our solidarity but to tell you the we- the peace forces in Israel – Jews and Arabs – are part of your struggle against USA – Nato military bases in the region
We are part of the struggle for peace for all peoples of the region.
Address of the British Peace Council delegate, Steve Johnson
I would like on behalf of the British Peace Assembly to bring our warmest greetings to the Cyprus Peace Council on this occasion of the Pancyprian Peace March in which we are honoured to participate.
The British Peace Assembly expresses full support for and solidarity with the Pancyprian Peace March in expressing opposition to the ongoing wars being committed in this region against the Peoples of Syria and Yemen and against the Palestinian people. We also show solidarity in our opposition to the British bases in Akrotiri and attempts to use Cyprus as a launching pad for imperialist war.
As a peace organisation in Britain, we have a special responsibility to the people of Cyprus due to the colonial legacy of Britain’s ruling class in your country and its ongoing role as a key NATO power, ally of the US and promoter of imperialist intervention and conflict. We will continue to join with progressive peace forces around the world in calling for an end to the continued bloodshed and for the peaceful reunification of Cyprus.
Address of the Former Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia, Zivadin Jovanovic
Dear Friends of Peace,
The Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, as well as all friends of brotherly people of Cypruce, from Serbia, expresses their utmost solidarity with organizers and participants of Pancyprian Peace March 2018.
In this turbulent era of growing tensions, global mistrust and daily violations of international law we demand to end all ongoing wars, to stop bloodshed being committed against peoples of the region such as the peoples of Syria, Palestine, Yemen and others. We demand that all disputes be resolved by peaceful means only, through negotiations under the auspices of United Nations. Use of force or threat of use of force is contrary to UN Charter and never leads to just and sustainable solutions and therefore are absolutely unacceptable.
We join you in marching on the path of Peace in order to express our opposition to Cyprus being used through the British Bases as an aggressive launching pad. Foreign military bases are relics of the Cold War era and in the interest of peace and freedom should be dismantled.
We fully support just demands for the resumption of talks on the Cyprus problem and peaceful reunification of Cyprus, so that Cyprus becomes a bridge of peace, development and cooperation for the peoples of the region.
We are eternally grateful for solidarity and great humanitarian assistance of the brotherly people of Cyprus to Serbian people in the years of Yugoslav Crises and 1999 NATO aggression.
Long live peace.
Long live eternal friendship and solidarity between Serbia and Cyprus.
Address of the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL A. Kyprianou
“And I am again every time you hear me a march running like a river through the streets…to bite the rocks of injustice, the roots of hunger…a great peace that will embrace the world in its bosom as a mother, as a loved one, as a sister…”
Cypriot poet Pierides’ lyrics today have become our slogan, banner and flag. We are here today to raise our voices for peace. For Peace in Cyprus. For Peace in the world. We are here today to raise the voice of resistance to imperialism that is dividing and re-drawing the world, charting borders over and over again by shedding the blood of the peoples.
We have gathered here today to raise our voices that we want peace. The horror of war is literally next to us. In Gaza, over a million people do not have even elementary human rights. More than half a million people have been killed over the last eight years in Syria. Millions have been uprooted as refugees, including children. Meanwhile Yemen is being bombarded continuously, with the horror of destruction and war haunting millions of people.
While all this is happening, the Anastasiades-DISY government instead of adhering to positions of principle, instead of projecting for the peoples of the region all that it should supposed be projecting for the Cypriot people, is focusing on other things. Right next to Cyprus, Syria is drowning in blood, but the government is sinking into a guilty silence. When we called on the government to give a clear reply with regards the use of the British bases in Cyprus, it insisted that it isn’t taking a position on the war in Syria. However the Anastasiades government went to Brussels and fully aligned itself with the US and British strikes on Damascus.
AKEL stresses that the use of the British bases or other facilities on the island for military raids makes Cyprus an aggressive launching pad for waging attacks and therefore part of the war against Syria and its people. The Anastasiades government has the crucial responsibility to clarify that our homeland stays out of this war.
The government says one thing and does another, and means another. They have demonstrated this stand on the Cyprus problem as well. Instead of focusing on how the talks should resume, they just make statements for internal consumption purposes. They fabricate spectacles, indeed even accusing AKEL for adopting Turkish positions. Turkey’s position on the Cyprus problem is partition. We will never compromise with this scenario. If other circles and forces have reconciled themselves with partition, if some of them in the back of their minds have compromised with the idea of a two state solution, they should say so honestly and very clearly to the Cypriot people.
We are struggling and we will continue to struggle for peace in Cyprus.
We will never accept to hand over half of our country to Turkey.
We will never consent to the legitimization of the crime that imperialism ordered to be executed in 1974 against our homeland.
Generations and generations of Cypriots were nurtured with the ideal of common struggles of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
Generations and generations of Cypriots struggled against imperialism and nationalism.
Generations and generations of Cypriots were raised by the vision of peace.
Today’s March is yet another link in the chain that unites us with the future.
It is yet another solid foundation of our struggle for peace and social justice in Cyprus and in the world; the struggle from which the peoples will be victorious
Long live peace!
RESOLUTION OF THE PANCYPRIAN PEACE MARCH
- The peoples of the wider region are witnesses to the tensions imperialist aggression is provoking daily, which is expressed in the waging of new wars and interventions. The continuous violation of International Law and of the UN Charter can be added to the existing unresolved international problems, as well as the catastrophic consequences which the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have provoked. We demand an immediate end to the hostilities in the area. The drastic and dangerous militarization has made our region a theatre of geopolitical and energy confrontations of our times. The peoples are paying the price of the competition for the control of the energy reserves, pipelines and commercial routes with their blood and uprooting as refugees.
- We denounce the bloodshed and all the foreign interventions in Syria and demand the respect of the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of the country. We express our solidarity with the suffering people of Syria who is has been subjected for several years to the military intervention of the US-NATO-Turkey and the Gulf Monarchies, aiming at the overthrow of the country’s government and the promotion of the geopolitical and energy plans of the West.
- We condemn the new wave of murderous aggression conducted by the State of Israel against the people of Palestine, which is being cultivated by the inflammatory US policy. We demand the termination of the Israeli occupation and colonization in Palestine, the end to the inhuman and illegal blockade of Gaza, the release of the political prisoners and demolition of the Wall of Shame. We stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as the capital that will coexist peacefully next to the State of Israel. We call on the EU to freeze the Association Agreement and cancel any kind of inter-state military co-operation with Israel.
- We condemn the ongoing 4 year military raid of Saudi Arabia against Yemen, which has caused one of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world and brought enormous destruction in the country’s already rudimentary infrastructures. We condemn the silence shown by international organizations and the global mass media surrounding the developments in this dirty war and we vehemently denounce the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia by a number of Western countries.
- We denounce the aggression waged by the Turkish state both internally, as well as against neighboring states. We are struggling for a solution of the Cyprus problem that will lead to the termination of the Turkish occupation and division of Cyprus; to the liberation and reunification of the island and people of Cyprus; to the peaceful coexistence of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in their common homeland on the basis of the agreed framework of bicommunal, bizonal federation.
- We are fighting for the dissolution of all the foreign military bases in the countries of our region, which operate as launching pads for conducting raids and interventions against our peoples. We denounce the use and involvement of the British bases in Cyprus in imperialist raids and the existence of the spying facilities on the island. We are struggling for the abolition of the British bases in Cyprus and the full demilitarization of the island.
- We demand that our region free itself from nuclear weapons and call for the convening of a UN Conference that will proclaim the Middle East a region free of weapons of mass destruction, including Turkey which has nuclear weapons on its territory. We denounce the US decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran nuclear program agreement and condemn the cover-up provided to the State of Israel, which has a nuclear arsenal and refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
- We call for solidarity and the humane treatment for refugees coming from the countries of the region. We demand the replacement of the military operations to suppress the refugee flows with search and rescue operations in order so that the ongoing tragedies in the Mediterranean be reduced. We call demand from the EU the establishment of legal and safe routes for asylum seekers and a permanent mechanism for accommodating refugees in all the EU Member States, depending on their possibilities. We denounce the “externalization of the control of EU borders” by means of agreements with neighboring states so that the refugees are kept outside Europe by any means.
- We denounce the extensive arms trade conducted by EU Member States to countries at war and authoritarian regimes of the Middle East, an element which fuels or/and provokes the tensions, conflicts and bloodshed.
- We affirm that the peoples of our region have nothing to divide between them. Our common enemy is imperialism which generates wars, chauvinism and militarism. The struggle for the respect of International Law, for peace, for the recognition of the right of every people to determine the future of its country is the path of struggle which unites the peace-loving movements and peoples of our neighborhood.
RESOLUTION OF THE PANCYPRIAN PEACE MARCH ON THE CYPRUS PROBLEM
The Cyprus Peace Council, political parties, movements and people participating in the Peace March which is taking place today 10 June 2018, considering that the current partitionist status quo continues to crush any prospect for real peace, prosperity and progress for the Cypriot people as a whole, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and that the effort to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem is a stage of struggle against the generalized imperialist aggression which humanity and our entire region is facing very violently, concludes the following:
- Points out that the creation and perpetuation of the Cyprus problem is the result of illegal foreign interventions and plans seeking the control of the Eastern Mediterranean region and the wider region of the Middle East. Denounces that 44 years after the twin crime committed in July 1974 – namely the treacherous coup d’état and the illegal Turkish invasion engineered by the NATO powers in full co-operation with undemocratic forces in Cyprus – the Cyprus problem remains unresolved. At the same time, it also denounces the support towards the consolidation of the status quo by anyone from whatever quarter, since this is how the final partition of Cyprus is promoted that serves first and foremost Turkey, which continues to occupy 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.
- Stresses that the unwavering goal remains the liberation and reunification of Cyprus and its people.
- Demands the immediate withdrawal of the occupying Turkish troops from Cyprus, the termination of the anachronistic and imposed Treaty of Guarantee and any intervention rights, as well as the demilitarization of the Republic of Cyprus on the basis of the unanimous decisions of the National Council of 1989 and 2009, and numerous resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council.
- Considers that the dismantling of the British bases is an integral part of the struggle our people is waging to regain their territorial integrity and the unimpeded exercise of its state sovereignty. At the same time, it underlines that the characterization of the bases as “sovereign” reflects unacceptable remnants of a colonial regime, illegal according to international law. Considers that the two communities, with the Cyprus problem solved, can together more effectively continue the struggle for the withdrawal of the Bases.
- Stresses its support for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution based on International Law, the UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus, the High-Level Agreements and EU principles; Reaffirms that the solution of the Cyprus problem, as provided by the joint communiqués of the leaders of the two communities and the agreed convergences, will safeguard that there is a one state in Cyprus with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship, an independent and territorially integral state, consisting of two politically equal communities as provided for in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The solution must exclude the union of all or part of the island with any other state, as well as any form of partition, secession or annexation by another state.
- Underlines that the solution of the Cyprus problem must safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, while expressing concern about the existing treatment of the enclaved persons. At the same time, denounces the Turkish side’s long-standing reluctance to cooperate to the greatest possible degree for the completion of the effort to verify the fate of the missing persons, and calls on all to contribute to this procedure.
- Supports that the appropriate way of achieving a peaceful, just, mutually acceptable and viable solution to the Cyprus problem continues to be through substantive intercommunal talks under the auspices of the UN. It points out that the unsuccessful ending of the talks in Crans Montana last July has led the Cyprus problem to a dangerous stalemate, while at the same time underlining that the way to avoid the final deadlock and for the negotiations to resume is the one proposed by the UN Secretary-General in the Report he submitted last September.
- Warns that the continuation of the deadlock in the talks consolidates dangerously the fait accompli of the occupation and leads us step by step towards the final partition. It therefore calls for the immediate resumption of the negotiations as a necessity and calls on the leaders of the two communities to work together and substantially in this direction.
- Demands from Turkey that it ceases to engage in divisive policies against the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot people, as well as to put an end to any action that inflames the climate and limits the chances of resuming the dialogue.
- Calls on the international community to show solidarity with the struggles of the Cypriot people, support the effort for the resumption of the dialogue and finding a solution on the agreed basis and to exert all possible influence within this framework on Ankara.
- In conclusion, it once more reiterates that the solution of the Cyprus problem is the only real guarantee for the consolidation of peace in Cyprus and creation of prospects for sustainable prosperity and progress to the benefit of the Cypriot people as a whole, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. At the same time, peace in Cyprus can become a beacon of hope for curbing the imperialist aggression in our region.