Commander Arian film screening, in Lewes 14th June.

There will be a screening of Commander Arian at the Depot Cinema in Lewes on June 14th at 6.15 pm. After the screening, director Alba Sotorra Clua will take questions from the audience with Elif Sarican and Dirk Campbell.

On the front line of the Syrian war, 30-year-old Commander Arian guides a female battalion towards the city of Kobane to release its people from the grip of ISIS in an empowering tale of emancipation and freedom. When the war in Syria broke, a group of women from the Kurdish resistance assembled the YPJ – Women Protection Units. Arian, who witnessed at a young age the nefarious treatment of sexual assault victims, leads the unit and dedicates her life to battling ISIS. As the YPJ inches closer to their target, she implores her comrades to discover the true meaning of their fight: freedom for the next generation of women. With unprecedented access to the commander and her troops, including delicate scenes of her recovering from multiple bullet wounds, Sotorra brilliantly crafts an enthralling portrait of a woman on a mission.

Anna Campbell from Lewes chose to support the Rojava revolution by going out and fighting alongside the brave women of the YPJ. She met and was interviewed by Alba Sotorra Clua. After the YPG/YPJ defeat of Daesh in the autumn of 2017, Anna went to defend civilians from the Turkish incursion into Afrin in January 2018 and was killed by a Turkish air strike on 15 March.

Proceeds will be donated to the charity Kurdish Red Moon

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President Erdogan is as dangerous as President Trump. By Zaher Baher

From zaherbaher.com where you can also find it in Kurdish.

The system is always able to create dangerous people but the real danger is the system itself. The system also makes the people powerless, helpless and slaves too through its dark forces of which the Media is one.

Media is a part of this system, portraying heads of state, powerful people and celebrities as either good or bad. In this way Media does a great job in protecting and preserving the system. It does this by diverting people’s attention from real problems. It is always better for the state, the United Kingdom (UK) that its people do not take important issues they are facing seriously. Health services, education, housing and homelessness, immigration, racism, the railways and Brexit are just a few of them.

Since Trump came to power, Media almost everywhere tries to discredit him and dismiss him as the most dangerous man in the world and call him any name. There is no doubt that most of what the Media says about Trump is right but no doubt the system from time to time needs people like him.

Is president Trump dangerous and a real threat to the world?

Many of President Trump’s polices from beginning to the present are wrong and inhuman from cutting health care, racist and inhuman immigration policy, continuing the global “war on terror”, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, abortion restrictions, cutting taxes on the rich and corporations, withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear agreement, to moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition of Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital.

He is an extremist, sexist, bigoted, prejudiced, anti-Islamic and can be fascistic too. He is the most powerful person in the world and the head of the most powerful state as well.

Many of us because of the above reasons think he is the most dangerous person and is a major threat to the world and peace. Certainly he can be. But the words ‘can be’ are very much different from ‘is’ and also we should know that he is very fragile and weak although he became powerful through the election process. And his support can be limited by the wealth of corporations and only extends to a certain degree. At most, his power may be extended to six more years while there is the possibility of having only two more years as it is doubtful that he will be elected again even that is what he wants. Whatever he wants he still cannot reshape the fate of the Middle East as a whole let alone of the world.

How about President Erdogan? Is he less dangerous or less of a threat to the world or at least to the Middle East?

Let me remind the readers about him and his polices and the actions of his political party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), then I leave it for the readers to make their own judgement.

President Erdogan from the very beginning was an extremist and fanatical as he came from an Islamic background and described himself as a conservative democratic. He was the Mayor of Istanbul form 1994 to 1998. He was stripped of his position, banned from political office, and imprisoned for four months, for reciting a poem that promoted a religious point of view of the government during a speech in 1998.

He founded the AKP in 2001 and won three general elections in 2002, 2007 and 2011. He was the Prime Minster from 2003 to 2014 and then became the President of Turkey.

Like Trump he is a sexist, bigoted, prejudiced, extremist and racist. He is fanatically religious, nationalist and certainly a vicious dictator and fascist. He and his National Intelligence Organisation, (MIT) is the creator of Islamic State with the help of Qatar and the US.

He tried to expand his Kalifate beyond Turkey and dreamt of bringing back the times of the Ottoman Empire. He intervened viscously in Syria and Iraq and tries to play a major role in the whole region to consolidate his power. He abused his power to restart war not just with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) but with all Kurdish people in Turkish Kurdistan (Bakur) after two policemen were killed in June 2015 which the PKK always denied. He banned active members and supporters of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and the PKK. Thousands of activists and politicians including many HDP MPs and both heads of the HDP are in prison. Since July 2015 so many Kurdish civilians have been killed or injured, over 400,000 people displaced from their own homes and so many towns and villages destroyed.

He justified the military coup of July 2016 in order to imprison many thousands from the military, politicians and civilians including judges, prosecutors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, academics and journalists and dismissed many more thousands from their jobs. On 16th April 2017 he held a constitutional referendum to approve 18 proposed amendments to the Turkish constitution in order to create an executive presidency and presidential system. This would allow him to stay in power as head of the state until 2029. On January 20th, of this year he ordered an attack on Afrin, one of the Kurdish Cantons in the North of Syria, a most peaceful place, commonly known as Rojava. It was invaded after 58 bloody days of fighting, on 18th of March. Recently he brought the Turkish general election forward from Nov 2019 to 24th of June fearful of losing power.

While he still supports terrorist groups, especially Isis, financially and logistically he is a very big threat to innocent people in the US, UK, the rest of Europe, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and also to peace in the Middle East. So the longer his stay in power the more dangerous it will be for Turkey, the region, Europe and the US.

The question here is why a man with this character and terrible record is not seen as being dangerous? Why was he not faced by hundred of thousands of angry protesters when he visited the UK on 13th of May?

Of course he should have been made unwelcome by a huge number of angry protesters. But the Media and the State in the UK did not want that to happen to avoid embarrassing both the Prime Minster and President Erdogan. The Media here usually silent or only very covers the atrocity that has been going on for so long against Kurdish and activists in Turkey.

As for the Prime Minster and her government, it was not just a matter of being silent about Erdogan and his government. It was business as usual. In fact, the failed coup and suppression of the Kurdish and others by the state of Turkey were beneficial for May’s government. On the same day, she met Erdogan she made a declaration of support for him and denounced the Kurdish as “terrorists” and, since 2016, the UK sold over £1bn of weapons to Turkey.

For those of us who did not know before, we should now know it is not in the interests of the UK to denounce Erdogan as Turkey is one of the strongest members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), of being an important key ally in the fight against “terrorism “and an indispensable partner for future trading in a post-Brexit world.

So the recent demonstrations and protests against the visit of Mr Erdogan on 15th May and of his government have been left for the Kurdish, Turkish and a tiny minority of leftists, Trade unionists, socialist and anarchists. I am not surprised.

Zaher Baher, May 2018

STOP TURKEY’S WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

#DefendAfrin #NoFlyZone4Afrin

Download 2-sided pdf A5 Leaflet

On 20 January, the Turkish state together with Salafist groups (Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, FSA, Heyet Tahrir El Şam and former IS terrorists) launched a military assault against the Kurdish region of Afrin/North-Syria.

This invasion of another country is a blunt violation of international law.

  • Crimes against humanity; Serious violations of international law; Aggression
  • It is an action of genocide – the attacks are aimed at an ethnic group as such

Erdogan’s current attack on Afrin is to be put into the context of Turkey’s longstanding racist hostility towards any prospect of Kurdish self-determination, including democratic rights within existing states.

The US, the EU and their allies tacitly approved the operation by claiming that it is Turkey’s right to defend its borders. Russia, meanwhile, consented to the assault by allowing Turkey to use the Syrian airspace. They are the same powers whom have not managed to organize peace talks for Syria over the last seven years. Since the war in Syria started in 2011, Afrin has been among the safest areas of the devastated country. Afrin has been a shelter for Yezidis, Christians, Alevis, as well as Muslims from all ethnic backgrounds.

And now; Turkey is killing civilians, committing a war crime and genocide in Afrin

  • Until now tens of civilians have been killed, most of which are women and children, and hundreds have been injured.
  • Turkey, not satisfied with only killing civilians, has now started erasing what is left of the history in Northern Syria. Turkish war-jets destroyed a 3.000-year-old temple – the Ain Dara Hittite temple complex.
  • Turkey is using weapons such as NAPALM and cluster bombs on civilians which were

banned internationally by the United Nations’ Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

Stop Turkey`s war against Kurds

  • The people of Afrin are facing genocide. The situation is sensitive and urgent. We call upon all people with a conscience to support Afrin and to stand in solidarity.
  • We call upon the US, EU, UN to understand the reality on the ground and take a clear stand against the Turkish state’s attacks.

DEFEND THE PEOPLE OF AFRIN PLATFORM
defendafrinplatform@gmail.com