Stop Turkey's war on the Kurds demo - 6 March

On Sunday 6 March branches of the Revolutionary Communist Group supported the 'Stop Turkey’s War on the Kurds' national demo, a march from the BBC headquarters to Trafalgar Square that aimed to 'break the silence' of the British state and media with regards to recent Turkish state atrocities committed against the Kurdish people.

The estimated 10,000 people marching, made up predominantly of the Kurdish community residing in Britain, were anything but silent. The Kurds demanded freedom for their people and nation, and carried placards carrying the powerful slogan 'ISIS: made in Turkey'. Indeed, the most recent atrocities committed by the Turkish state came as a punitive reaction to the PKK’s brave defeats of ISIS on Turkish territory. Demands to unban the PKK – shamefully listed as a terrorist group by Britain – were also heard.

As the march progressed, the bemusement of shoppers and passers-by underscored the silence of the British state and media. President Erdogan has himself boasted of emulating Adolf Hitler’s ‘style of government’, and yet much of the British public is totally oblivious to Turkey’s fascistic turn. This when we were told just a few months ago by Labour’s Hilary Benn in parliament that 'fascism must be defeated' when Parliament voted for airstrikes on Syria under the pretence of bombing ISIS.

The RCG ran an open ‘people’s’ microphone throughout the march, taking the opportunity to state that this was not just Turkey’s war on the Kurds, but imperialism’s. Britain – which makes hundreds of millions of pounds selling Turkey the weapons with which it kills Kurdish civilians – is silent on the crimes of the Turkish state because Turkey defends British imperialist interests in the Middle East. Britain is silent because speaking out would be to confess to its own crimes. RCG speakers highlighted the importance for the British working class to support the Kurdish people’s right to self-determination, and put out the call to build the anti-imperialist movement in this country necessary to create effective, concrete solidarity with the Kurds and other oppressed peoples around the world.

RCG speaker Trevor Rayne was well-received as one of the speakers at the endpoint of the protest in Trafalgar Square. His rousing speech listed the litany of brutal crimes the British state – under both Tory and Labour governments – has committed against the Kurdish people, starting with the carve up of Kurdistan through the Sykes-Picot treaty 100 years ago, and concluding: 'Enough is enough.'

Victory and self-determination to the Kurdish people! Unban the PKK! Britain out of the Middle East!

Join London RCG for more discussion of the importance of the Kurdish liberation struggle for people all over the world on 22 March:

'Kurdistan: war and liberation in the Middle East' - Tuesday 22 March, 7:30pm, The Apple Tree, Mount Pleasant, WC1X 0AE

Guest speaker - Erdelan Baran - Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)

RCG speaker - Trevor Rayne - FRFI editorial board