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Public Meeting Forms, “Friends of Kurdistan Hull Trade Union and Socialist Solidarity Group”.

A cross community Public Meeting last week agreed to form a Solidarity Group to bring together local residents whose aim is to support the people of Kurdistan in their struggles with ISIS, the Erdogan Regime and the threats posed by Assad and other proxies for the Capitalists in the region.


A Steering Committee will meet at UNISON on Wednesday 20th April 7pm to work on a programme of objectives and to build for  Public Meeting in early summer.


Solidarity was expressed with the people of Brussels, Cizre, the Ivory Coast and all under attack including 20,000 people who die across the Globe each and every day from the effects of avoidable poverty.

Fraternal congratulations were extended to our Kurdish friends in recognition of the Mesopotamian peoples new year holiday of Nowruz in Kurdish society this week.

The meeting was addressed by a local Kurdish resident who made the following points. 

“We need to do more locally to educate everyone as to what is going off in the Middle East as a whole and in Kurdistan in particular.

“The international situation means the Paris and Brussels attacks could be replicated any time and anywhere.

“There must be a Third Way to solve problems which does not involve either extreme Islam or neo liberal capitalism.

“The UK and Cameron are backing the Saudis who are fighting and facilitating genocide by proxy against the Kurds, and directly in Yemen.

“Some Kurds feel obliged to look to Cameron for help against ISIS and as bulwark to protect them from the Turkish Regime led by Erdogan. There are some who support UK air strikes.

“Erdogan is happy to facilitate ISIS against the Kurds.

“When PKK fighters free a village they begin on social reform right away.”

The comrade described how by fighting Saddam he had began to realise that the role of women was imposed and shackled them. The PKK have women officers and equality. The militia elect their officers. There is a strong parallel with Spain here in the Civil War era.

“One of the most grotesque sights in the Mediterranean is seeing luxury cruise ships with up to 3,000 passengers in opulent conditions floating parallel to overcrowded dinghies full of desperate people.

“The media coverage does not reflect what is going on. The BBC is failing everyone.”

The Socialist Party sent a speaker. Mike Whale described how in the field it is the Kurds who are taking the daily fight to ISIS, something that NATO is desperate to suppress due to the membership of Turkey who are trading with ISIS.

“The three Cantons in the Kurdish Region are like a beacon of hope in the region and across the world.” More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rojava_conflict

“The Cantons have a democratic system in place, place a strong emphasis on secularism and decry any from of sectarianism” (placing one religious or ethnic group above another).

“The Cantons are safe havens for women who have suffered disproportionately, as is usual in these conflicts.

” Abdullah Öcalan is the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) leader and his writings, whilst not always perfect deserve wider discussion in the region and indeed internationally. This is because the PKK recognises that the working class have the political solutions. The betrayal of the Kurds by George H.W. Bush in 1991 was a powerful lesson. The 2003 G.W. Bush invasion was an imperialist adventure which directly led to the creation and rise of ISIS.”

Mike concluded by challenging the view that Cameron has any future role in helping the Kurds. Capital always acts in self interest and the Prime Minister’s current actions are about trying to forge a role in the vanguard rather than the rearguard of international capitalism.

Points from the floor included statistics disproving the UK’s role against ISIS. The RAF is simply operating to protect oil installations and not help the Kurds or fight ISIS.

There was a call to unite the Kurdish struggle with the working class struggle in Turkey. Another Kurdish friend pointed out that in Hull the community is not yet at this point, hence the need to educate and be active to promote Socialist ideals in the local area. Nationalism has some traction in the Hull community.

Whilst there is a political vacuum the ideas of ISIS are gaining attention amongst those who see Capitalism as a failure, producing such glaring inequality and oppressing women.

Facing barbarism on a daily basis means that people will turn to anyone offering hope, however false. We need a positive, hopeful message that Socialism can provide a better future.

PKK inspire hope because it is inclusive and this is feared by the US and the ruling class as a whole.

It was resolved to: Form Hull Trade Union and Socialist Friends of Kurdistan Solidarity Group and re name the Facebook Page accordingly.

Hold a Steering Committee Meeting with the aim of building for a major Public Meeting in the early summer once the Local Elections are over.

Build links with Trade Union and political party branches and provide speakers for such forums.

Despite the timing just before Easter and a freezing night over 20 people turned out. Thanks to everyone and just imagine what we can do in the summer!




About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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