Tens of thousands of protesters demanded an end to the barbaric attacks on the Kurdish people by the Turkish army, reports Shabbir Lakha
An estimated 20,000 people marched through central London on Sunday calling for an end to the Turkish invasion of Syria and the mass murder of Kurdish people.
The rain didn’t dampen the angry and defiant spirit of the protesters. Murad Quereshi from Stop the War, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP and speakers from Unite, the RMT and the Kurdish community called on the government to end arms sales to the Turkish state.
Since Turkey began its military offensive in Syria a few days ago, dozens of civilians have been killed in indiscriminate airstrikes and brutal violence by ground troops entering northern Syria. On Saturday, Kurdish political leader Hevrin Khalaf was pulled out of her car by Turkish-backed militias and assassinated along with 8 other civilians.
The savage treatment of the Kurds has proven yet again that the West is not interested in human rights or freedom and will never be a progressive force for change. That’s why it would be wrong to once again argue that the West should intervene to protect the Kurds through a no fly zone or anything else.
Instead, as protesters in London today did, we need to be arguing for Britain and the US to stop arming Turkey, for the PKK to be removed from terrorist organisation lists and for a full withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria. We also need to counter Erdogan using Syrian refugees in Turkey as a bargaining chip by demanding that they are allowed into Europe.
Turkey is the second biggest military in NATO and has its backing for its attack on the Kurds. When Trump and Erdogan come to London for the NATO summit in December, we need a big mobilisation and opposing the attack on the Kurdish people must be a central feature.
Shabbir Lakha is a Stop the War officer, a People's Assembly activist and a member of Counterfire.
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