Celebrating 10 years since the opening of the Ledras-Lokmacı crossing point

published on March 31, 2018 by G/c and T/c Teachers' Platform "United Cyprus"

Political celebration on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the opening of Ledra-Lokmaci checkpoint. Join us to celebrate our victories with music and political interventions. On Tuesday 3rd of April we gather at the Ledra/Lokmacı passage at 17.00 and liven up the buffer zone with a celebration.

Here comes our victorious April again

For all those of us who struggle for the reunification of Cyprus, the opening of the first checkpoint at Ledra Palace in April 2003 has been indubitably the most significant event in our recent history. It is by far the hardest blow against nationalism, which was being nourished under “secure conditions” behind the barrels of segregation imposed by the political and military elites, both in the north and in the south of Cyprus. That first opening revealed the “other Cyprus”, that of the north or the south respectively. For some people this was indeed the first time to experience something like that, but the greatest apocalypse was that of another Cyprus and that has been the feasible peaceful and reunited country. Yet, it is five years later, besides the drawback of 2004, that we can achieve our first essential victory: After our activist mobilizations both in the north and the south of the green line, the opening of the Ledra/Locmatzi checkpoint on the third of April 2008 was materialized. The reunification of Nicosia is not only symbolic, it is essential as people have multiplied their contacts with others from the “other side” by meeting, talking having fun, organizing together and furthermore organizing social, political and movement actions, thus creating a symbolic-real, common/bi-communal continuum of bonded life that surpasses in action the existing segregation.

Yet now we are just entering a new era that concerns the Cyprus issue. The collapse of the talks and the power games we witness both on land and the sea create a war frame which allows the nationalist packs on both sides to sharpen their teeth. The idea of formalising the partition of the island instead of an agreement for a solution that unifies Cyprus again has already started to leaked by both sides. The G/C leadership thinks that they can extend the model of the Cyprus problem as a state of exception to the sea as well. This means that they, as the state continue to exercise exclusive control while dividing horizontally the sea between the ‘ΕΕΖ of the Republic of Cyprus’ and the ‘EEZ of the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus’ as schematically and not accidentally stated by Anastasiades a few months ago. Turkey surrounds south Cyprus with warships, demanding an immediate ending of drilling, while at the same time the T/C leadership presents the issue of co-management of the Cypriot energy program with or without a solution of the political issue. This is the first time that we have heard so clearly and loudly from a large part of the G/C leadership, including the President of the Republic of Cyprus “possible measures” that include the withdrawal of documents from all officials of the northern “false” state and/or the closing down of all the barricade passes. It is clear that this policy of tension solidifies partition on land along with its extension to the sea. This creates an even more suffocating frame, as the reactionary forces in both sides of the green line are fortified. The consolidation of the ultra-right in both parliaments as an autonomous presence, the extension of the Turkish control in northern part of Cyprus and the “upgrading” of the church in the southern part, which now openly functions as a state within a state, are a “bouquet” of connected course of negative developments.

To this absurdity and adventurism, the sole answer is our commitment of non-participation in any clash of any sort and to continue the struggle so as to build the reunification of the island from the bottom up. In reality, this de facto reunification is difficult to achieve, but it is the only dignified way available for all those who believe in peace. We must create federal structures on a society level, and we must thicken our lines in terms of bi-communal contacts and action. Also we must open more passes on the barricaded wall and eliminate the green line in our minds.

On Tuesday 3rd of April we gather at the Ledra/Lokmacı passage at 17.00 and liven up the buffer zone with a celebration. At this time again we must gather all our strength and together look for collective ways of resistance against the newly imposed situation, as April is the month that the absurdity of partition was knocked down. For, as Costis Achniotis (whom we never forget as a year ago, on the 4th of April, he passed away) would say, “we should celebrate our victories”, especially those that have changed the form and context of our struggle.

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