Friday, July 24, 2015

Perth solidarity with Suruç

45 people gathered in Perth on July 24 to express solidarity with a group of young people who were victims of an Islamic State suicide bombing in the Kurdish town of Suruç on July 20.

At least 32 people were killed and over 100 injured in the attack which was directed at young people gathered in a community centre on the Turkish side of the border with Syria. They were planning to travel to Kobane in the Kurdish liberated zone in Syria.

The protest was addressed by Brin Aslan from the Kurdish Association which organised the action. Nyoongar activist Marianne Mackay compared the oppression of Kurdish people to that faced by Aboriginal people in Australia.

"People are being labelled 'terrorist' when they're not," she said, referring to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) which is on the Australian government's list of terrorist organisations.

"In this country, the biggest terrorist is the Australian government," she said.

Alex Bainbridge from the Socialist Alliance called on the Australian government to pressure Turkey - a NATO member - to stop giving support to the Islamic State group. He also raised support for the campaign to lift the ban on the PKK.

A solidarity message from Greens senator Scott Ludlam was also read to the rally.

[This article was first published in Green Left Weekly 24 July 2015.]