Brighton Kurdistan Solidarity Festival Friday, 26th October 2018

Save the date!

Kurdistan Solidarity Fest 2018 is coming up on Friday, 26 October at the Cowley Club.

Music lineup and further details to be announced soon, but will include a minimum of two musical acts and delicious feast.

Donations will benefit the Anna Campbell (Hêlîn Qereçox) memorial mural fund.

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/253271658668160/

BKS

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Book Launch. ‘Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey’. 11th July SOAS

“Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts… I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I and you, the people, are not free. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”

—Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment, 10 February 1985

Join Black Rose Books, Peace in Kurdistan, Kurdistan National Congress UK, Kurdish People’s Assembly in Britain, Freedom for Ocalan Campaign – UK for a special event marking the release of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey Edited by Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Dr Federico Venturini.

Wednesday, 11 July, 6.30 – 8.30pm at SOAS, Russell Square, College Main Building, Room DLT, WC1H 0XG Register for the free event here:

A solidarity donation of £2 is suggested to help cover our costs. Copies of the book will be available for half price! £12.50 Paper back

Speakers include: Dimitrios Roussopoulos political activist, ecologist, and publisher; Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley lecturer of political sociology at the University of Cambridge; Dr Radha D’Souza Reader in law at Westminster University; Julie Ward MEP (TBC); Jonathan Steele veteran journalist and author; Simon Dubbins UNITE international director; Joe Ryan Chair, Westminster Justice and Peace Commission. In addition, Adem Uzun, member of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), will send a video-message.

The event will be chaired by: Dr Federico Venturini independent activist-researcher

About the event

 “It is an objective, extremely well-documented analytical report of Turkish state terrorism against Kurds. Shocking revelations make this an emotionally powerful book.”

Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, researcher and author.

A revolutionary imprisoned on an island fortress may hold the key to peace in the Middle East. From the confines of his Turkish prison cell, Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdish Freedom Movement, has proposed a political solution to the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, leading many to describe him as the ‘Kurdish Mandela’.

His ideas on direct democracy and women’s liberation are what inspired the Rojava Revolution in northern Syria.

As Syria exploded in civil war and Turkey descended into tyranny, an international peace delegation of European luminaries led by Mandela’s lawyer twice attempted to meet with Öcalan at his prison on İmralı Island. This book is the fruit of these momentous delegations.

Your Freedom and Mine offers crucial insight into the dramatic history, reality, and prospects of the Kurdish Question in Turkey by combining historical survey, human rights reports, interviews, personal accounts, geopolitical analysis, and political philosophy. The volume is the remarkable work of 25 contributors, including politicians, academics, journalists, Iceland’s former minister of justice, veteran war correspondent Jonathan Steele, and key leaders inside the movement.

For information in UK contact Peace in Kurdistan:

e-mail: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

Mobile 07846 666804

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

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

IMPORTANT ANOUNCEMENT ABOUT Bristol Anarchist BOOKFAIR 2018

From Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2018 has had to cancel the booking with our venue. As a result the full-scale bookfair has been postponed, and a smaller event will run on the same day at the Black Swan.

The primary reason for this is that it has been brought to our attention that the Academy Trust who manage City Academy have a sponsorship deal with arms-selling dickheads Rolls Royce. Rolls Royce do very big business with the Turkish military, who are currently blasting the Kurdish region of Afrin, in northern Syria, to pieces. They also blew up the convoy that resulted in the recent tragic death of the Kurdish womens army (YPJ) British volunteer Anna Campbell, along with many Kurdish revolutionaries. We had a chat, and decided there was no way we were comfortable going ahead with the Bookfair in that venue. We’re a small collective running at reduced capacity, at this difficult time for Bristol’s anarchist community, and the loss of our venue means our only realistic option has been to radically downsize the event. We did have a last minute search for alternative venues available on the day, but there were none free that would allow us to run the full bookfair extravaganza we had planned.

But don’t be too downhearted, as the committed and the anarcho-curious amongst you will be able to get a flavour of Bookfair on the 12th. Our afterparty venue the Black Swan (at 438 Stapleton Road in Easton) has stepped into the breach and during the day we’ll be cramming the venue with as many book, zine and campaign stalls as we can and hosting a tasty vegan bbq in the garden! Plus 30 seconds up the road at BASE (formerly Kebele social centre) we’ll be choosing some of our favourite workshops for you to get involved with and along with all this there’ll be a kids space. We have our party all set to be a banger long into the night in the same space and we hope to see you there.

In the evening the Black Swan will play host to a bookfair after party of epic proportions taking us all the way through till 6am,  and raising money for anti-arms trade campaigning.

Outside the bookfair, of course, the weekend before, the Bristol Radical History Festival takes place on Sunday 6th May. You may also be interested in attending  radical/anarchist bookfairs around the UK throughout 2018

Massive apologies to stallholders, workshop hosts and anyone else that has been inconvenienced by this – we could have spotted this earlier, but it passed us by. If you have contacted us regarding a stall or a workshop, we will be in touch separately.

The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair will return in all its glory – and if you want to get involved in making sure that that happens, please contact bristolanarchistbookfair[at]riseup.net!

Useful links:
1. City Academy is managed by an Academy Trust known as Cabot Learning Federation, sponsored by Rolls Royce.
2. Rolls Royce and the Arms Trade, – see as mapped by the Campaign Against The Arms Trade.
3. Rolls Royce interview in Defence Turkey magazine.
4. Anna Campbell killed by the British armed Turkish military
5. Bristol anarchist bookfair 2018

Bristol remembers Anna Campbell.

From Brighton Antifascists’ Facebook page

Today [24th March] a small demonstration was held in Bristol in memory of Anna Campbell. Anna died fighting against ISIS and the Turkish state in Afrin last week.

Simultaneously in London people took to the streets. Today demonstrations were held all over the world in support of Afrin for world Afrin day, but the demonstration in London was dedicated to Anna’s honor and was headed by those closest to Anna.

Anna was an anarchist, antifascist, squatter, hunt sab, prison abolitionist and all round radical revolutionary who had travelled to Rojava to fight with the YPJ for the Kurdish revolution. In Bristol 200 + of Anna’s friends, family and other comrades who had not had the pleasure of meeting her marched in solidarity to honour Anna’s life. The march lasted for two hours taking the main roads and disrupting business as usual throughout the city.

Afrin has been besieged by the Turkish state for the past two months. And from today has been fully occupied by Turkish forces though resistance continues. The YPG and YPJ have been fighting ISIS in Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish Kurdistan. Yet the British state continues to arrest international fighters who return to England under terrorism laws and arming the Turkish state in its offensive against Kurdish-held areas.

We stand in solidarity with Anna’s fight and that of Kurdish revolution.

We send our deepest condolences to Anna’s friends and family.

Anna is with us!
We fight on!

Stop Arming Turkey – Stop Arming Israel – Stop Arming Saudi Arabia – STOP the CARDIFF ARMS FAIR 27th March

Demonstration tomorrow Tuesday 27th of March from 8am – 5pm outside Motorpoint Arena, Mary Ann St. Cardiff, CF10 2EQ

What will be Happening throughout the day:

MASS CHOIR alternating with a NOISE DEMO and ACOUSTIC MUSIC

FOOD NOT BOMBS serving tea/coffee and food

COMMUNICATION BLOCKADE – Details below

Bring BANNERS, PLACARDS, POTS & PANS, WHISTLES – BRING YOURSELVES. STOP THE ARMS FAIR CARDIFF Supported by Campaign Against the Arms Trade UK

Make tomorrow count – if you can’t make it to Cardiff please get involved in the Communications Blockade.

As Turkey’s assault on the Kurdish people continues, Saudi Arabia’s war on the people of Yemen worsens and we continue to arm Israel, we really need to make our opposition to the arms trade felt.

The Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff needs to know that this ARMS FAIR (disguised by the name DPRTE) is not wanted in Cardiff or anywhere else. The event, proudly advertised on their website as ‘The Defence Procurement Event of The Year’, has BAE Systems as one of its main exhibitors, the same company who supplies Saudi Arabia with all the weapons it needs to bomb the defenceless country of Yemen.

Let’s overwhelm them phone calls, emails, Twitter and Instagram messages telling them this. Keep it polite, just state clearly your opposition to the event. You can also leave a message on their FB page.

Box Office: 029 2022 4488 (Opens 9:30 – 17:30)
Complaints: 02920 234 500
Press Team: 029 2023 4551
Hospitality: 029 2023 4555
E-mail: gabrielle.gifford@livenation.co.uk
E-mail: motorpointarenacardiff.sales@livenation.co.uk
Instagram: Mortorpointarenacardiff
Twitter: @MotorpointDiff

Any one who uses FaceBook or Twitter please share / tweet the event link below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/482045962209828/