Inspiring call for solidarity with Kurdish freedom struggle

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[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

Ambitious Rojava conference planned

YPJ women 4[By Dave HolmesThe Rojava Revolution in Northern Syria: An experiment in radical democracy, feminism & ecology is the title of a conference to be held in Melbourne on Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1. The event aims to spread knowledge about the Rojava Revolution and to build support for it.

The conference is being hosted by the Victoria University College of Arts & Education and organised by Honorary Professor John Tully with the assistance of the Kurdish Democratic Community Centre of Victoria  and Australians for Kurdistan. It will be held at the city campus of Victoria University (300 Flinders Street, Melbourne). Continue reading

Greens leader speaks out for Kurdish rights

di-natale[By Dave Holmes] Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale expressed his strong support for the embattled Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey. The left-wing party has a strong base among the country’s oppressed Kurdish community.  Speaking at a November 17 Kurdish solidarity meeting at Melbourne’s Trades Hall, Dr Di Natale condemned the current crackdown by the regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The HDP’s joint leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag, have been arrested along with a number of the party’s other MPs. Continue reading

Public meeting to call for dropping of Lelikan charges

The Australian government’s prosecution of Kurdish-Australian journalist Renas Lelikan will be the focus of a public meeting to be held at Melbourne’s Trades Hall on November 17. The meeting will also call for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be removed from the government’s list of terrorist organisations. Imposed in 2004, the ban has been kept by successive Coalition and Labor governments to curry favour with the Turkish regime. Today Turkey’s Erdogan regime is waging a brutal war against its Kurdish minority and the Kurdish-led liberation forces in northern Syria.

The gathering is being organised by Australians for Kurdistan and the Kurdish Democratic Community Centre. Speakers so far confirmed include civil liberties lawyers Jessie Smith and Rob Stary.

Thursday, November 17, 6:30pm. New Council Chambers, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. Entry $5/$3. For more information email Australians for Kurdistan.

Renas Lelikan supported at bail hearing

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[By John Tully] The second bail hearing for Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan was held in Sydney on October 6. NSW Supreme Court Judge Natalie Adams reserved her decision on his appeal until October 14. Lelikan, who is charged with membership of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been remanded in custody since July 20. Continue reading

Tasmanian Times article hits at Renas Lelikan arrest

Kurdish solidarity activist John Tully has had a lengthy and informative article on the Renas Lelikan case published in the online journal Tasmanian Times. Lelikan has been charged with being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).Tully’s article is entitled Australia panders to a despot and a loyal citizen pays the price ….It provides an overview of the case, vital background to the Kurdish freedom struggle and exposes Australia’s shameful support for the Turkish dictatorship. John is an honorary professor at Melbourne’s Victoria University and the author of a number of works of history as well as several novels.

NTEU president addresses Kurdish protest rally

download[The following speech was delivered to a Kurdish protest rally in Melbourne on September 17 by Jeannie Rea, National President of the National Tertiary Education Union.]

I wish to begin by acknowledging that we are rallying on Aboriginal land and pay my respects to the elders past and present, as well as emerging leaders. I bring you greetings of solidarity from the National Tertiary Education Union who are unwavering in our support for academic freedom and freedom of speech and political opinion. Continue reading

Drop the charges against Renas Lelikan!

6882556-3x2-700x467[By John Tully] On July 20 this year, Kurdish-Australian journalist Renas Lelikan was charged with membership of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK. He was refused bail and has since been detained in Sydney’s Silverwater Prison. He returned to Australia last October after spending nine months trapped in the Makhmur refugee camp in Iraq after being denied a passport by the Australian government. If he is found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment. Continue reading

Meeting given an inspiring glimpse of Rojava’s revolution

[By Dave Holmes] An August 11 meeting at the Melbourne Trades Hall heard a truly inspiring report on the rebuilding of Kobanê and the progress and problems of the Rojava Revolution. Hawzhin Azeez, a former University of Newcastle academic and now a central figure on the Kobanê Reconstruction Board, spoke for almost an hour outlining the significance of Kobanê to the Kurdish freedom struggle and the importance of the rebuilding effort. Continue reading

A court case that could affect the future of every Kurdish family in Australia

6882556-3x2-700x467[By Peter Boyle] July 28 — A bail hearing in Sydney Central Local Court today opened an extraordinary and an important political trial. Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan, 38, who spent the last five years reporting from the war-ravaged Iraqi Kurdistan, silently watched the proceeding via video link from the high security section of Silverwater jail while the prosecution opposed bail. He was arrested on July 20 and charged with being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is on the Australian government’s list of proscribed “terrorist organisations”. Continue reading