Save Rojava: Protest in Leicester City Centre 24 March 2018

Protest in Leicester City Centre 24.3.2018 – About 100 people gathered at the Leicester Clock Tower, organised by Leicester Kurdish Solidarity Campaign and local Kurds:

Press release for the demonstration:

Kurds in Rojava valiantly prevented ISIS from extending its power in Syria. Kurds in Syria are now being targeted by the Turkish State and its allies while the world stands by. Turkey has focused on Afrin but intends to move further along the border to take other Kurdish towns in Rojava, Syria.

Leicester Kurdish Solidarity Campaign and local Kurds are  holding a protest as the world stands by while Turkey launches its assaults on Kurds in Syria. The protest has been called at short notice, for Saturday 24 March 2018 at 2pm in the area of the Clock Tower, Leicester.

It has been organised after Turkey and its allies finally took over the Kurdish town of Afrin in Syria last weekend, after weeks of attacks and the indiscriminate bombing of civilians. Turkey has now threatened to continue its clearing of Kurds from their homelands along the Turkey/Syria border.

Afrin is a historically Kurdish area in Rojava, Syria that lies on the border with Turkey, and it became a place of relative safety to many non-Kurdish internally displaced people who have fled the fighting in their own areas of Syria.

The Turkish Government labels Kurds in Syria as terrorists, and has used this argument to work together with its allies, which includes ISIS-related groups, who have traditionally been hostile to the Kurds to kill, bomb and destroy in Afrin, claiming that it is defending its own borders. Kurdish groups in Rojava, Syria have not been listed as terrorists by UK but the UK Government agrees that Turkey has a right to protect itself – this is most likely to be about politics and trade, including the continuing sale of weapons by UK to Turkey.

We stand with the Kurds and make the following demands:

– UK Government to publicly condemn Turkey’s campaign against the Kurds and its invasion of Kurdish areas in Syria directly and through its allies

– UK Government to tell Turkey to leave the Kurdish area in Rojava, Syria taking its allies with them so the Kurds can rebuild their area

– to support the Kurds in the rebuilding of Afrin

– to encourage UK allies to take the same action

– to publicly recognise PYD and YPG/YPJ as legitimate Kurdish bodies (Turkey calls them terrorists) and to engage appropriately and supportively with them regarding a political solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Jon Ashworth MP for Leicester South was unable to attend, but sent a message of support … click on the link:

2018 March 23 Jon Ashworth MP_Afrin Statement

It attracted the attention of the Leicester Mercury: