6 Occupied nations who cannot celebrate their independence today:
1. Palestine: West Bank and Gaza have been under Israeli occupation since the Six Day War in 1967. Israel seized back Jerusalem form Jordan, and has since controlled the borders of the two disjointed territories of Palestine. Palestinians have faced extreme Israeli apartheid conditions, including restricted movement, unlawful detainment, house & town demolitions, restricted water & healthcare, terrorism by Israeli police & horrific violence.
2. Kurdistan: The Kurds are a distinct ethnic group in the Middle East. Large communities of Kurds live in eastern Turkey (Anatolia), Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria. This is due to the Treaty of Sèvres and partition of territories formerly ruled by the Ottoman Empire prior to WWI. There is a major discrimination against Kurds in their native regions, because they are not allowed to form any advocacy groups, political parties or any kind of representation of the Kurdish identity, not even a flag.
3. Kabylia: Kabylia is a Berber-ethnic or Amazigh (English for “free men”) region in Northern Algeria. The Kabylia people are a distinct ethnic group from Arabs. They’re not native Arab speakers; their native language is the Kabyle language, or taqabilit. Most Kabylians loathe Pan-Arabism as they feel that it’s imposed on them by the Algerian government. French colonization of Algeria left the country in a severe identity crisis. The Algerian government is obnoxiously authoritarian and has oppressed any non-Arab movement since independence in 1962.
4. Tibet: Despite being geographically, culturally and linguistically distinct from China, Tibet is still not recognized by the People’s “Republic” of China as a separate state. During the 1960s, between 200,000 and 1,000,000 people died in Tibet under Mao Zedong’s government. Separatist movements are not allowed. Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso removed himself from heading the care-taker Tibetian government in March 14th, 2011.
5. Western Sahara: The Western Sahara is an issue in North Africa between Arab countries that share many cultural ties. It is a disputed territory between Morocco, who has claimed it since 1957 after its independence, and the armed indigenous front, Polisario, proclaiming a Sahrawi Arab Democratic state. The Western Sahara has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories since 1963, but, to this day, it is still majorly controlled by Moroccan army. The Moroccan government has moved many of its citizens to the Western Sahara and blocked them from going back in attempt to claim legitimately the territory.
6. Northern Cyprus: Turkey has been occupying the Northern part of Cyprus, 36% of the region, since 1974 after a military coup by the island’s Turkish neighbors, who invaded the country. Turkey’s military invasion of Cyprus was primarily to protect the interests of the Turkish Cypriots in the island. During the conflict between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, about 80% of Greek Cypriots who left the northern part of the island were displaced, and some 60,000 Turkish Cypriots were displaced from the southern part as well. The island was partitioned by the UN and negotiations of Turkish removal of the island are unheard of at the moment.
July 4th protest news.