PKK ban: Submissions to PJCIS

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.

Submission: Why the PKK should be de-listed as a terrorist organisation

[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

Join us at Flinders Street Station, Friday, April 27

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.

West silent as Turkey wrecks most peaceful part of Syria

AfrinTurkey: Get out of Syria! Australia: End the silence about Turkey’s ethnic cleansing in Afrin!

[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

Turkey’s war on Afrin: Sign-on statement launched

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.

Inspiring call for solidarity with Kurdish freedom struggle

RC03

[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