UK

Global Day For Kobane Sends Islamic State A Powerful Message From The Streets Of London

01/11/2014 18:35 GMT | Updated 01/11/2014 18:59 GMT
PA

Hundreds of people have gathered in central London in a powerful display of support for the Western Kurdistan city of Kobane which is under siege from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Protesters, including several families, congregated in Trafalgar Square, waving flags and chanting against the terrorist group as part of a day of protests across the UK and worldwide.

kobane

kobane

Husyin Guler, from Turkey, was at Trafalgar Square with his daughters said they attended "to support the Kurdish people."

"The Kurdish people need more money and healthcare, which western governments can provide - but they aren't doing anything."

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Mr Guler said the rally was also about drawing more attention to the plight of those living in Kobane.

"When one man in Canada was shot that was front page news but hundreds of people are being killed in Kobane by Isis and nobody is paying attention," he added. "What's the difference? I don't see a difference."

Saman Rashi, 17, from south London, said more protection was needed for Kobane because it is one of the few border crossings between Turkey and Syria.

"We are here to try and muster up some support and protest against Turkish reluctance to allow forces to cross into Kobane," he said.

"The people in Kobane are very under-armed compared with Isis. Isis have advanced weaponry and tanks, they are using everything that they can. We want more support for the city so it doesn't fall into the hands of Isis."

Rodi Ozcelik, from Lewisham, said: "We are here because of Isis. The Turkish government is supporting Isis, and Isis is killing Kurdish people, they're killing women and children. We want countries to bring troops into the Kurdish state to stop this."

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Two friends from the Kurdish region, living in the UK, said they were at the rally to "show the world that we care about the people in Kobane and that we want this genocide to stop".

Arda, 18, from Turkey, who did not want to give his surname, said: "Isis has been attacking people; it's genocide of all the minorities in the region. We are here mostly for Kobane but also for all the minorities, to protect their rights and support them. We are not just against Isis, we are against terrorism. We want people to have their freedom."

The rally, organised by the Kurdish People's Assembly and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, follows a call for action signed by hundreds of well known academics, writers, lawyers, politicians and activists, including Noam Chomsky and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Kurdish activists in Britain have been resorting to increasingly more controversial stunts to bring attention to their cause, including recreating a 'sex slave' market in Westminster.

The protest saw a group of chained veiled women being led in front of the Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square and Downing Street - where costumed men urged the public to bid on them.