Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! says Long Live Kurdistan! Biji Kurdistan!

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Kobane

Speech by Trevor Rayne from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! to the demonstration to support the Kurdish resistance forces of the YPG and YPJ in Kobane called by the Kurdistan National Congress in Parliament Square, London on 11 October 2014.

Today, the struggle of the Kurdish people in Kobane is on the front line of the struggle for all of humanity. They are not just fighting the Islamic State they are fighting the forces of barbarism, of ignorance and intolerance, the forces of mass murder and those who, like the Turkish state, would excuse them and use them for their own short term and selfish ends.

People in Britain have a particular responsibility for the fate of the Kurdish people. At the end of the First World War there were two great losers when the British and French imperialists carved up the old Ottoman Empire; the Palestinians and the Kurds. Their suffering endures down to today. Enough! It must end, it must be stopped.

As we are here on this historic site opposite the Houses of Parliament shall we have a little history? At the Treaty of Sevres in 1920, agreed by among others the gentleman represented by that statue there, Winston Churchill, the Kurds were promised a homeland. By 1923 and the Treaty of Lausanne all such promises were broken. The Kurds were partitioned between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. These four states were founded upon the oppression of the Kurds. The Kurdish people’s struggle for rights stands at the heart of any movement towards democracy in the Middle East, it is inextricably intertwined with its fate.

Today, the Turkish state has tried to set a trap for the Kurds in Kobane and Rojava. It intends to use ISIS to destroy the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and self-determination. Turkey blockades Rojava, West Kurdistan, but allows ISIS to travel across its border to Syria to fight the Kurds. Turkey uses its army to stop Kurdish people crossing to help defend Kobane, but it has transported weapons and fighters to ISIS. According to London’s own prestigious Financial Times ISIS smuggles oil from northern Iraq for sale in Turkey, thereby funding ISIS.     

Turkey’s President Erdogan says the PKK and ISIS are both terrorist organisations. What a hypocrite, what a Janus, two-faced liar he is. We demand that the PKK be decriminalised in Britain and Europe; it is not a criminal organisation – Turkey is the international pariah! Secondly, in keeping with the demand of the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria made yesterday, we demand that the British government demands that Turkey allows Kurdish volunteers to cross the border to defend Kobane and Rojava – with weapons. Humanitarian and medical aid supplies must be sent now.

Today, now, right now, the people of Kobane, the Kurdish people have provided the world with a pinnacle of resistance. New peaks will arise and you will see the land you have fought for and deserve, a free and independent Kurdistan. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! says Long Live Kurdistan! Biji Kurdistan!