[The following is the text of a letter submitted to the Melbourne Age. It was not published.] Kurdish MP Leyla Güven has now spent 90 days on hunger strike, calling for an end to the total isolation of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. Despite being released from prison by a recent court order, Güven’s hunger strike continues. Over 300 Kurdish political prisoners – including MPs, journalists and academics – are following her example, at various stages of indefinite hunger strikes. Continue reading
[By Peter Boyle] NSW Supreme Court Judge Lucy McCallum discharged the jury on December 6 after it failed to agree on a verdict in the trial of Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan on “foreign fighter” charges under Australia’s draconian “anti-terrorism” laws. Continue reading
Wednesday, October 31, 6:30pm. Purple Room, Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St, City (opposite Victoria Markets). Organised by Australians for Kurdistan. Continue reading
Three submissions were made in August-September to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) calling for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be de-listed as a terrorist organisation.
- Australians for Kurdistan‘s submission is posted below.
- The law firm Stary Norton Halphen (associated with the well-known Melbourne criminal lawyer Rob Stary) made a submission on behalf of the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre of NSW and the Kurdish Democratic Community Centre of Victoria.
- Dr Vicki Sentas, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of NSW in Sydney also made a submission.
In the event the PKK was retained on the list of terrorist organisations. The government’s extremely flimsy and unconvincing rationale can be found here.
[The following submission was made by Australians for Kurdistan to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on August 31, 2018 for de-listing the Kurdistan Workers Party as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code Act 1995]
1. Australians for Kurdistan
Australians for Kurdistan (AFK) is an unincorporated solidarity group of non-Kurdish Australians drawn from all walks of life who come together to support the Kurdish liberation struggle in Australia. AFK liaises closely with members of the Kurdish community and is responsible for organising and undertaking a range of activities including public meetings and conferences; the preparation and distribution of written materials such as information brochures and longer publications; contributions to the media on relevant matters; and engagement with elected representatives and others in the Australian political system. Continue reading
[By Peter Boyle] Solidarity groups, sympathetic NGOs and Kurdish Associations are planning a global campaign across Europe, Australia, Canada and the US to materially support the people displaced from Afrin following its invasion and occupation by Turkish military and allied Islamist militia groups. Continue reading
An emergency organising meeting to discuss action responses to Turkey’s invasion of Afrin was held at Melbourne’s Multicultural Hub on April 20. The meeting resolved to hold a series of big information stalls at key transport hubs in the city.
The first will take place at Flinders Street Station on Friday, April 27 from 4:30 to 6pm. We will hand out leaflets to commuters and talk to people about the issue and the utterly shameful silence of the Turnbull government. We will also have all the usual paraphenalia and will do some spruiking.
If you support northern Syria’s feminist, democratic, pluralist revolution and are appalled by Turkey’s brazen invasion and ethnic cleansing of Afrin, come along on April 27! The more people participating the bigger impact we will make.
[The following is the text of a leaflet issued by Australians for Kurdistan.] Afrin is a small region in northwestern Syria, on the Turkish border. During the seven-year civil war Afrin was the most peaceful part of the country. Before the war it was mainly populated by Kurds. It took in hundreds of thousands of refugees (mainly Arab), giving them security and full rights. Afrin was the geographically isolated, most western canton of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. The DFNS is organised on the principles of feminism, ecology, communal democracy, and ethnic and religious pluralism. Continue reading
Australians for Kurdistan and Rojava Solidarity (Sydney) are appealing for people to endorse a sign-on statement condemning Turkey’s war on Afrin in northern Syria. Initiated by John Tully, Honorary Professor/Educator at Victoria University’s College of Arts, the statement calls on the Australian Government to take a strong stand against the Turkish invasion.
Please add your name to the statement online via the page on this website. Alternatively you can email Australians for Kurdistan.
[By John Tully] Solidarity with the Kurdish freedom struggle was stepped up at an inspiring conference held in Melbourne over the June 30-July 1 weekend. The conference, which was held at the Flinders Street campus of Victoria University, discussed the bold experiment in radical democracy, feminism and ecology that is taking place in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS). Most importantly, the conference resolved that “it is a duty of supporters of the liberation struggle in northern Syria to make determined efforts to publicise its inspiring achievements and build practical solidarity with it”. Continue reading