Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Solidarity with Kobane

by New Worker correspondent

THOUSANDS of Kurds living in London, along with their comrades and supporters, filled Trafalgar Square last Saturday to express solidarity with the Kurdish people of Kobane, on the border between Syria and Turkey, from the well-equipped army of ISIS, the brutal and fascist Islamic State army.
ISIS was created by rich and powerful allies of the United States in the Middle East to bring down the government of Bashar Assad in Syria, which has always resisted the power and influence of western imperialism in the region.
It quickly became notorious for its atrocities but the West continued to support it covertly until the Syrian army succeeded in driving it out of a large part of Syria.
It retreated into Iraq where it continued to rampage against the army of the puppet Iraqi state, which melted away in front of it. ISIS also began publicly beheading western hostages, journalists and aid workers and so came to the attention of the western media.
Currently ISIS is engaged in a prolonged battle to take the Kurdish town of Kobane.
The West was forced to condemn ISIS publicly and now is engaged in bombing and infiltrating its “advisers” into the region, ostensibly to combat ISIS but their main aim of overthrowing the Syrian government has not gone away.
Arms caches dropped by the United States “to help the resistance against ISIS” have “accidentally” fallen straight into ISIS hands.
The Turkish government has played a duplicitous role, refusing to allow Turkish Kurds to cross the border to help the Kurdish resistance against ISIS in Kobane.
Turkish President Erdogan recently described the battle in Kobane as: “One group of terrorists fighting another”.
The western media predicted that Kobane would fall to ISIS in a few days but the Kurdish fighters there, who are ill-equipped, have been holding out for six weeks and the battle continues to rage.
The Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG) and YPJ (the women’s fighting units), mainly young men and women, are proving to be courageous and successful fighters. They know a terrible fate awaits them if ISIS were to take their town.
Those gathered in Trafalgar Square last Saturday were in a positive and determined mood. A long list of speakers included comedian and activist Mark Thomas, veteran campaigner and friend of the Kurds Margaret Owen, Peter Tatchell, Steve Headley of the RMT transport union and many others.
They made unanimous demands:
           Support and solidarity for the young fighters in Kobane;
           Censure for the role of the Turkish government in giving tacit support to ISIS;
           For the PKK – the communist party of Kurds in Turkey – to be removed from the British government’s list of banned “terrorist” organisations;
           And for the release of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, held in a Turkish jail now for a decade.
The rally was part of a worldwide Day of Action for Kobane with rallies Brussels, Hamburg, London, Munich, Paris and other places.
In Istanbul thousands of people on took to the streets in a show of solidarity with Kobane which has been besieged by jihadists for six weeks.
The rallies in Turkey were largely peaceful, following deadly unrest in October pro-Kurdish protests and warnings from the authorities they would not tolerate any disorder.
The advance of ISIS jihadists on Kobane in mid-September forced some 200,000 refugees to flee across the border to Turkey.
YPG and YPJ commanders Mahmut Berxwedan and Roza Kobane saluted everyone that joined the "World Kobane Day" demonstrations across the world. The commanders said: "We promise victory in Kobane to the millions that have expressed their support and solidarity.”
The commanders also said that the scenes that came through from across the globe has boosted the morale of the YPG and YPJ fighters and that the resistance of the fighters in Kobane and the activities of the millions of supporters of the resistance were complimentary to each other.
YPJ commander Roza Kobane especially thanked all the women in the world who participated in the 1st November activities by saying: “We give our word to the women of the world to continue our struggle for the liberation of women.”

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