Around 300 Kurds from across Kurdish territory in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria demonstrated outside City Hall on 12th October.
The rally was lively and, whilst there were few speeches, protestors engaged passers-by with leaflets and with clear demands on Turkey to allow fighters, aid and weapons in to Kobane through a corridor across the Syrian border.
This rally followed a demonstration the week before in which 3 Kurdish protestors were arrested by South Yorkshire Police under the Terrorism Act, for vocal support of the PKK, before being released.
Feminist and leftist Kurdish activists will be speaking at Sheffield AWL branch public meeting “Solidarity with the Kurds - how do we defeat ISIS?” on Thursday 30th October, 6:30, United Reform Church, Norfolk Street.
On October 17th, there was mid-sized demo through the city.
After some Kurds took part in a “say no to anti-semitism” rally on 19th October which was largely populated by Israeli flags. There were — perhaps not oddly — Israeli flags on the Kurdish demo with some of the local Zionists making capital out of the “left” ignoring the plight of Kobane and equivocating over intervention and the character of ISIS.
A Facebook group has been set up by young lefties to show solidarity but again, like in London, while the communication between the Kurdish community is very good, the rest of us find out second-hand.
On Thursday 16th October, Youth for Kobane held a demonstration outside the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Youth for Kobane brings together various Turkish and Kurdish youth and community groups in London, in solidarity with the Kurds resisting ISIS in the Syrian town of Kobane.
In their flier, the group expressed its anger with Turkey which at the time had been preventing Kurdish fighters from crossing the border, and expressed no confidence in the “coalition” put together by the United States who are intervening for their own strategic reasons. It also called for the recognition of “the autonomous cantons in Rojava Kurdistan (Northern Syria).”
At the same time, as one speaker said, if the US was hitting ISIS with airstrikes, they would not agitate against that.
A speaker on behalf of Workers’ Liberty said that much of the left was focusing purely on agitating against intervention, and stressed instead the need for positive demands and solidarity with the Kurds.
While we do not give support to the US or Turkey intervening, the most important thing is to demand Turkey allow aid and fighters into Kobane to take on ISIS, and open the humanitarian corridor for refugees.