All posts by sheila

Margaret Owen returns from solidarity visit to Rojava

1075604_653746481334321_197652154_oPeace In Kurdistan Campaign PRESS RELEASE – 30 December 2013

Margaret Owen, a well-known human rights lawyer and women’s rights advocate has returned from a solidarity visit with women’s groups in Rojava, northern Syria.

Margaret spent eight days in the region, which is also known as Western Kurdistan and is currently under the administration of a broad coalition of civil society and political organisations led by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). The region was largely peaceful until clashes with Al Qaeda affiliated groups began this year, and has seen a massive influx of Syrian internal refugees fleeing violence elsewhere in the country. Continue reading Margaret Owen returns from solidarity visit to Rojava

Politics Arts Culture = People’s Arts Collective – Leicester

This is an exciting new organisation bringing politics, arts and culture together to effect change. It was initiated by left Unity – Leicester but now has its own momentum.

We need to think about:
o Who, what and why we are
o What are we going to do
o How
Ø We need to find a name for the group that is simple and reflects what we are and want to do
and this is the priority for our next gathering.
Key words that have been used include: Provoke, delight, excite, inform, challenge, and – we need better words with these … – re-framing, re-forming Continue reading Politics Arts Culture = People’s Arts Collective – Leicester

A Different Kind Of Love Song – Dick Gaughan – YouTube

A Different Kind Of Love Song – Dick Gaughan – YouTube

Published on Oct 6, 2012

“One night in 1982, I had just finished playing in a folk club somewhere in the southeast of England when a woman came up to me and proceeded to ask me all the questions in the first verse of this. When I replied, she looked at me sadly and said, “Oh, you’re still at the political stage, then”, and walked off.

When I had stopped laughing I wrote this.”

International Support Kurds in Syria Association – SKS

skslogo-1Daily news updates: Wednesday 27 Nov 2013 –Final death toll for Wednesday 27/11/2013: Approximately 190 people were killed. The SOHR documented the death of 5 doctors and 4 hospital staff members (nurses and paramedics) who were killed during the clashes between the Khadra battallion/ISIS and the regime forces in the Deir Attiya hospital, which took place on the 21-23rd of this month. The dead: 44 civilians (9 women, 6 children), 42 rebels, 7 rebels executed by ISIS, 7 unidentified rebels, 19 NDF, 36 regular soldiers, foreign fighters (2 Hizbullah*, 9 Abu al-Fadel, 14 ISIS).  – See more at:

Left Unity is about to be launched

BannerLeft Unity is an exciting opportunity for us all to work together for change.

We will be holding our Founding Conference on 30th November 2013 at Royal National Hotel in Bedford Way, London WC1H 0DG. The venue is fully accessible. If you have child care requirements please contact us.

The conference will be tasked with deciding the policy and structure of the party/organisation, as well as making decisions regarding ongoing anti-austerity campaigns and electoral strategy.

Please note that in order to fully participate in the founding conference you must first join to become a Founding Member of Left Unity. Continue reading Left Unity is about to be launched

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network – QARN

qarn logo sm  Destitution and indefinite detention of people in the asylum system – see reports and articles here:

Quaker statement on indefinite immigration detention

[The QARN statement (see below) has now been adapted by Quakers in Britain and may be used in correspondence with press and local MPs:] Continue reading Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network – QARN

Quaker Meeting this morning

quaker_home_theme1 War and peace,  turning weapons into ploughshares.  

I was mindful of the violence being carried out in Syria,  the 100 or so people who are still dying every day;  the West’s persistence on dividing and so weakening the Kurds which has finally succeeded; the West’s promotion of the Syrian National Coalition which calls for weapons … those who are credibly and adamantly promoting a non-violence resolution to regime change have little voice in the midst of this mess.

Haytham Manna should have everyone’s ear …

Some of the people at Quakers are amazing

Yesim music, poetry and story-telling circle

YesimThis was fun, but has now run it’s time.  Please do go to Yesim and taste their lovely food.  We met on Sunday evenings at Yesim in Narborough Road, Leicester with our songs and music, poems and stories, cultures and languages,  and instruments from different lands. Just from memory we’ve had people/language/instruments from England, Scotland, Ireland, (Wales – can someone remind me?), Kurdistan – Turkey and Syria, Turkey, China, France, Iran,  USA, Caribbean, Korea, Romania, Poland, Spain, Somalia, India.

Have a look at the Facebook page for information:

The Circle was started through the energies of Chris Starbuck  and continued after he left. It’s been a very special place for lots of us.

PYD statement

2013 May 7 PYD-leader-Salih-Muslim-MohammedFirat News: Statement on the declaration of the interim joint administration in Kurdish region in Syria

The Arab Spring has extended to Syria, triggering an uprising against the tyrannical regime that has perpetrated all kinds of the injustices against the Syrian people throughout last decades, obliterating security and civil peace in the country. Most of the components of Western Kurdistan actively participated and played an important part in the uprising. Since the withdrawal of Syrian regime forces from most of the regions of Western Kurdistan , which was due in part to the people’s great straggle to oust them, and also to the regime’s exhaustion in its war against the Free Syrian Army and extremist Islamic groups in the big cities like Homs, Aleppo and Damascus . Continue reading PYD statement