Our leaflets were disappearing like hot cakes at today’s rally. World Resistance Day coincided with the big Indy rally in Glasgow, called by the National Newspaper, so Indy-supporting Kurds and friends joined the rally with flags and leaflets. The square was jam-packed, but our specks of yellow red and green could be spotted amidst the saltires.
As soon as we mentioned the Kurds, folk responded with heartfelt support, and we heard unprompted promises to Boycott Turkish holidays. One man described how he learnt about the nature of Turkey’s persecution of the Kurds from a Turkish man he had got talking to on a boat trip, who cried as he recalled how he had been forced to murder Kurds as an army conscript. This man’s understanding was longstanding, but for many people, awareness of the Kurdish situation is new. It’s awful that it has taken Turkey’s genocidal attack and Trump’s betrayal to bring the Kurds into public consciousness, but we must make every use of this to build solidarity, and to ensure that people see beyond the images of genocide and betrayal, and also understand the hopes and possibilities embodied in Rojava’s radical democracy.
If you would like to provide practical help by contributing to Heyva Sor, the Kurdish Red Crescent, you can do so here
For those not included in the 1500 people who got one of our leaflets, we reproduce it here. (We should note that this was not an official SSK action, although organised by individual SSK members, as we do not, as an organisation, have a position on Scottish Independence.)
FOR AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND AND SOLIDARITY WITH THE KURDISH STRUGGLE
Decisions that affect the people of Scotland should be made by the people of Scotland. That is a fundamental democratic demand. But our campaigning cannot stop there. We need to ensure that when we get our independence we use it to create a fairer, kinder society at home, and a force for good in the wider world. In fact, if we hope to see a better world and not just a change of flags, our campaigns for the society we wish to see must run alongside our campaigns for Indy, and must inform all our actions.
That means showing solidarity with everyone everywhere who is campaigning against oppression and for a better future. This is not only the right and human thing to do, it benefits us all, because united we are stronger.
A central struggle in this turbulent world is taking place in Northern Syria. Here, surrounded by war and destruction, the Kurds and their neighbours have created an autonomous region that is run through a grassroots democracy, which enables communities and neighbourhoods to be actively involved in shaping their own futures. Here priority is given to women’s rights, to ecology, and to respect for cultural difference. The region provides a vital example for everyone looking for a better way of organising society.
At first it looked as though the autonomous region would fall prey to ISIS, but the Kurds’ determined resistance, with the loss of 11,000 comrades, succeeded in liberating all the Syrian land ISIS had taken. Now, though, everything that they have achieved is under attack from the fascist Turkish state, who have combined with gangs of former Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters to invade Northern Syria and remove its Kurdish inhabitants through terror and genocide. This area has become a central battleground in the struggle against fascism and for a better world. Eighty years ago, many Scots showed their solidarity with the Spanish Republicans fighting Franco. The Kurds need similar solidarity today.
We can show solidarity with the Kurdish struggle by:
- Demanding our politicians call for an internationally protected no-fly zone, meaningful sanctions on Turkey, and a full ban on arms exports.
- Boycotting Turkey, and especially the Turkish tourist industry, because a weak economy is Erdogan’s Achilles heel. (see boycott-turkey.net)
- And helping keep alive and strengthening the vision for a better world that the Kurds and their neighbours were making a reality.
To find out what’s happening in Scotland, check facebook.com/ScottishSolidaritywithKurdistan