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Posted on 8 March 2016 at 17:20 GMT

Stop the war on the Kurds, demo assembling in Portland Place, London, 6.3.16, photo Judy Beishon

Stop the war on the Kurds, demo assembling in Portland Place, London, 6.3.16, photo Judy Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Thousands march in solidarity with Kurds in Turkey

Mira Glavardanov, Haringey and Enfield Socialist Party

The first national demonstration against Turkey's war on the Kurds, called by the Kurdish movement in the UK, took place on 6 March in London. Thousands from the Kurdish community, trade unionists, socialists and other supporters marched to Trafalgar Square.

The appalling treatment of the stateless Kurds in Turkey and other countries where they have a sizable population is nothing new. However, the recent developments in the Middle East have brought about renewed atrocities by the Turkish state. It has imposed curfews on towns and cities, deployed tanks, bombs and snipers, killed hundreds of people and burned villages.

Portland Place, London, 6.3.16, photo Judy Beishon

Portland Place, London, 6.3.16, photo Judy Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

There has been no condemnation of the atrocities by the UK government though, and no reporting in the British media about the attacks.

The silence was certainly broken for several hours in central London at the demonstration, with loud chanting in both Kurdish and English.

London, 6.3.16, photo Judy Beishon

London, 6.3.16, photo Judy Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

There were several speeches at the beginning of the march, including by Paula Mitchell from the Socialist Party and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), who emphasised the need for working class unity across the ethnic divide against all imperialist and reactionary regimes, as the only way to achieve peace and fight for a decent life for all.

The march from outside the BBC centre in Portland Place, finished with a rally at Trafalgar Square. There were speakers from the RMT union, Green Party and others. A speaker from the Kurdish women's movement spoke of the role of Kurdish female fighters and sent solidarity messages for International Women's Day.

The Socialist Party supports the Kurds' right to self-determination, solidarity with Turkish and other workers in the region, and a socialist Middle East.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 8 March 2016 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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