“I send my solidarity to the Kurdish people of Syria and all over the world. What is urgently needed is a ceasefire, de-escalation and a negotiated political solution – not further escalations and interventions in a conflict that has already led to huge numbers of deaths and refugees. Multiple interventions by outside powers have increased the suffering and destruction and intensified tensions in the region. Turkey’s air and ground assault in the Afrin region is already causing civilian casualties including among refugees from other parts of Syria. The British government has failed to consistently oppose foreign interventions in Syria and is itself involved in the US-led bombing campaign. We have instead a moral obligation to throw our weight behind pressure for a lasting peace and political settlement in Syria, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces engaged in the conflict.”
The London protest with about 1000 present was partly focused on criticising the way the BBC has been reporting Turkey’s aggression against Afrin. Other protests took place in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and in Leeds – though unless you are receiving news from the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign or Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan, you probably aren’t aware of them, or of the huge numbers demonstrating elsewhere in Europe.
In Cologne, tens of thousands broke through a police barricade as part of the international day of action in support of Afrin. In Cyprus, thousands marched in Nicosia after an attack by nationalist Grey Wolves on a Turkish Cypriot newspaper, Afrika, which carried a story criticising Turkey’s action – and drawing parallels with their actions in Cyprus in 1974.
Did you know that Kurdish women occupied the Conservative Party HQ on Monday 28h January in protest at Turkish forces targeting civilians in Afrin as had been detailed in Robert Fisk’s article in The Independent that day. The occupation went on while negotiations continued for the government to receive a dossier of evidence detailing human rights abuses and war crimes committed by Turkey in Afrin. A spokeswoman met with Conservative Party representatives in parliament and handed over the dossier which, iit was promised would then be given to foreign secretary Boris Johnson.. Having won their demands the Kurdish women’s group left
As well as keeping your eyes out for further protests and raising the issue wherever you are active, you can also sign and circulate the petition here