Last weekend students of the University of York, including members of the York Socialist Society, took part in a protest to show solidarity with the Kurds in Syria and Iraq against ISIS.
The protest, which took place outside the Minster on Saturday afternoon, was organised by Kurds living in York and included Kurds from across the Yorkshire region. During the event, leaflets were distributed detailing the situation in Kobane and Kurdish areas across the Middle East.
Kobane has seen severe conflict recently. On Sunday, the Islamic State suffered heavily in the Kobane region. This was seen as a “step forward” in the fight against ISIS by John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State.
The ISIS forces endured severe losses in the battle for the town. Thirty one jihadist fighters died on Saturday, and Sunday morning.
The York protestors argued that the Kurds have been an oppressed minority group in these Eastern countries for years. Banners and signs made by the protesters included slogans such as, ‘Terrorist ISIS’, ‘Save the Kurds’, and ‘Stop Turkey from helping ISIS terrorists’.
Speaking for the University of York Socialist Society, Beth Curtis, Treasurer of the society told Nouse: “ISIS are far more motivated by profit and rampant misogyny and genocide.
“The group, plundered from the Iraqi army, have sought to behead and rape en masse not only Kurdish muslims, but Shia Arabs, Christians, and Yadizis, or anyone who dares disagree with them. We offer our complete solidarity and support to the Kurdish fighters who have taken up arms to protect their communities.
“We also condemn the hypocriscy of western intervention to date – it was western imperialism, with the desire to control the oil supply, that birthed al-qeada, and from that, ISIS. United States air-strikes have simply diverted ISIS forces into Kobane, and they offer no tangible support to the fighters on the ground.
“We also condemn the role of Turkey, who has been an active participant in the oppression of the Kurdish people for decades, and has sought to prevent the desperately needed arms and aid being sent to the Kurdish protection forces in Kobane.”