The following is an interview with Alessandro Orsetti the father of anarchist fighter Tekoşer Piling (Lorenzo Orsetti), a member of Tekoşîna Anarşîst, who died, fighting in the final battle against ISIS in Baghouz.
Mr. Orsetti, who was Lorenzo?
Lorenzo was one of the many young people who feel that many things do not work, but that they do not resign themselves to this extinction of values and ideals. In these days, I have known many people who are not happy with this society, this lack of community and sharing.
Lorenzo was looking for something. He worked; he had a house and friends, but it wasn’t enough. One day someone told him about the Kurdish people and he decided to go to Syria. He became one of them; he felt part of their Social Revolution: at that moment a new chapter in his life began, a life that put him in danger.
In a letter his friends gave me, he wrote: “For freedom, you must be ready to pay.”
Had he changed in Syria?
He had found what he was looking for in the society of Rojava, founded on bottom-up democracy, in which there are self-managed villages, where decisions are taken together, involving men and women, in which respect for nature and an economy is fundamental–not capitalism, but rather an economy of sharing.
To defend this revolution, Lorenzo decided to join the YPG, which are self-defense units that use weapons only to protect the territory.
Lorenzo in Syria had changed: he was pacified and that can be seen in the testimonies of his friends. He was very tender and gentle; he was fine. He had found what he was looking for.
What do you think of Lorenzo as a father?
He had already told us two or three years ago that he wanted to leave, but we were able to dissuade him. We, as parents, were not happy because we knew that his was a risky choice and for a year and a half we were in suspense. Then, when it seemed that everything was quieter, when it was just before the end of ISIS, he returned to fight because he wanted everything to end.
But we share Lorenzo’s values; we are proud of our son because he made an important choice in line with what we also believe in, namely internationalism, the fight against fascism.
Many associate the young people who fought in Syria to the partisans. What do you think?
I think a partisan is anyone who chooses to take part, to stand up to defend values and principles, such as those of democracy, freedom, care for the humblest–all discussions that our society is struggling to realize. For this reason, to those who exalt Lorenzo, I say ‘Well then let’s go ahead; let’s concretize these ideas and let’s do it.’
Lorenzo had also received the honorary card of the Partigiani section of Florence for the new resistances. The last time we talked to him, he asked me for the photo. He didn’t want any recognition, but he wanted to do that.
There have been many gestures of solidarity, especially from civil society.
I think that Lorenzo’s struggle belongs to all of us. I’m happy and amazed by all this attention on him, I think he moved something. We realized that we were barbarizing, that individualism and consumerism were cutting our legs.
With his death he touched something that was in the hearts of so many people. There have been many initiatives to remember it. I’m happy for Lorenzo.
His death also brought attention to the young people for whom special surveillance was requested.
This is the absurdity of our society: as long as they fight ISIS everything is fine, but then if they come back, they are tried. In my opinion, it is because they do not fight only against ISIS: they take part in the Kurdish experiment, and in many of the young people who participate in it there is a new ferment that scares many politicians and our institutions. Ordinary people heard Lorenzo’s message; he understood what was behind him, unlike the political world.
So doesn’t politics understand Lorenzo?
I see no changes: the political and economic mechanisms with respect to Turkey and Syria have remained unchanged, just as we continue not to fight ISIS. I do not say with weapons, but with culture and integration.
The strongest answers came from ordinary people.
When will Lorenzo’s body return to Italy?
Lorenzo is still with the Kurds; it is not clear whether they are waiting for the Italian consulate to request it or if the consulate has applied and has not yet been answered.
It will still take months. We would like a tomb to close the circle, to process mourning.