ADGB campaign against fascism launched in Europe
Across Europe, many people took to the streets on Saturday at the start of the campaign "All Together Against Fascism" initiated by the "Alliance of Democratic Forces in Europe".
In numerous countries, many people took to the streets on Saturday to kick off the "All Together Against Fascism" campaign initiated by the "Alliance of Democratic Forces in Europe" (ADGB). The campaign pursues the goal of joining forces and forming a united front against fascist positions. The alliance of 22 migrant organizations in Europe wants to stop fascist developments through a unity of all democratic forces. The campaign puts a special focus on the conditions in Kurdistan and Turkey.
There were rallies and demonstrations in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Sweden, Canada and Cyprus, among other places. In Germany, too, numerous people took part in the campaign's various actions to send a signal against fascism.
We report on a small selection, for example from Nuremberg. The numerous participants there made up for what was missed during the visit of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel to the palace in Ankara the other day: A loud and substantive criticism of the AKP/MHP regime, which despises human (rights). While the EU prefers to be outraged about the seating arrangements in the Palace of Ankara because von der Leyen was banished to a sofa, resistance is forming in the streets against Turkey's drift into an Islamofascist dictatorship and the EU's silence about it.
Nursel Aydoğan: Great Resistance to Fascism
The guest speaker was Nursel Aydoğan. The former HDP member of parliament from the constituency of Amed (tr. Diyarbakır) is one of the 686 HDP politicians who are facing a ban on political activity in Turkey. She was previously stripped of her mandate for attending a funeral and calling with others "Enough, no more deaths, may freedom grow". To escape imminent arrest and torture, she left Turkey and has since been living in exile in Europe. The 62-year-old's combative speech moved the audience. She addressed the threat of a ban on the HDP, the deposal of elected mayors and the mass arrest of party members. She also addressed the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on the Protection of Women against Violence. The exiled politician called on all women to stand up against this. She said this year’s Newroz has shown that the resistance against fascism is great and will continue to grow if the democratic forces stand together.
Selahattin Demirtaş and political prisoners saluted
Kerem Schamberger was the next speaker. He first congratulated Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been held as a political hostage for 1620 days, on his birthday on April 10 and expressed his hope about the former HDP co-chair being able to celebrate his next birthday in freedom. Schamberger also saluted the PKK and PAJK prisoners who have been on hunger strike since November 2020 because of the isolation system in the detention centers and for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan. Afterwards, he addressed the unspeakable role of the EU and especially Germany, which are courting the dictatorship in Ankara and for whom economic relations are more important than human rights and democracy.
Following the rally, a demonstration marched with loud slogans such as "Shoulder to Shoulder against Fascism", "All Together against Erdoğan" and "Long Live HDP Resistance" to the Turkish Consulate General, which was protected by numerous police officers. The event ended with a joint halay of Kurdish, Turkish and internationalist people who showed that they stand together as they shouted: “All together against fascism”.
Demonstration in Düsseldorf
In Düsseldorf, the NRW-wide Kurdish Federation FED-MED had invited to a demonstration for the HDP and women's rights. The motto of the action was: "Stop the criminalization of the HDP - re-entry into the Istanbul Convention is a must!" Speeches were given, among others, by former HDP deputies Besime Konca and Ziya Pir, as well as Ilayda Bostancieri (Green Youth NRW), Jan Schiffer (federal spokesperson of the Left Youth, Feminist Action Düsseldorf and MP Özlem Alev Demirel (DIE LINKE).
The demonstration started in the late afternoon in front of the DGB house and moved to Corneliusplatz. In a speech, the co-chair of FED-MED, Engin Sever, addressed the so-called counterinsurgency of the Turkish state against the Kurdish population and democratic forces. "In recent years, as part of the government's war against the peoples' and women's freedom movements, thousands of HDP members have been detained and jailed, and quite a few have suffered torture. But this has not stopped the democracy forces from their resistance. The struggle will continue until we win."
Fascism initiates new capital accumulation
On behalf of the ADGB, Çiğdem Devran said that fascism today was initiating a new accumulation of capital. According to her, this is the root of the attacks against liberation movements and emancipatory forces. Devran described the ban on the HDP, the waves of arrests against those involved in the student protests for Istanbul's Boğaziçi University, the withdrawal from the women's protection agreement "Istanbul Convention" and the repression of HDP deputies as "clear steps towards the institutionalization of fascism" in Turkey. This is a mechanism that we will firmly oppose and bring to a halt, she underlined.
In Munich, a rally took place on Sendlingerstrasse. Speeches criticized the ignorance of German politics in the face of "fascist conditions" in Turkey.
The ADGB also organized a rally in Darmstadt.
Rally in Hamburg
An event at the Gänsemarkt in Hamburg began with a minute of silence for the martyrs of democratic and freedom struggles. Yüksel Koç, co-chair of the Europea-wide Kurdish umbrella organization KCDK-E, was present as a speaker. In an address, Koç elaborated on the goals of the ADGB campaign, stating that fascism can be defeated together. "We need to organize better and carry out our anti-fascist struggles shoulder to shoulder to catapult this nationalist, anti-democratic and right-wing ideology to the dustbin of history everywhere in the world."
A rally was also held in Berlin. The first to speak was the spokesperson of the Kurdish Federation FED-KURD, Mehtap Erol. The activist took the opportunity to express clear criticism of the distancing demand made by the Foreign Office in connection with the HDP ban. In addition, Erol addressed a few words to Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). It is not the HDP that has to distance itself from anyone, he said. "We say as women, as LGBTIQ+, as Kurds and Turks; distance yourself from the fascist and misogynist Erdoğan!"
Criticism of Appeasement Policy by Hakan Taş
Berlin city council member Hakan Taş (DIE LINKE) was also in attendance. Taş condemned the ban on the HDP and expressed his solidarity with the students in Turkey who have been protesting against the trustee administration at universities since the beginning of the year. In addition, Taş criticized the EU's appeasement policy towards Turkey, of which the German government is the driving force. Mustafa Şener, spokesman for the German branch of the association "Academics for Peace," stated with regard to the criminalization of politically active Kurds in Turkey that the "resistance of a people for peace" would not allow itself to be sacrificed on the altar of the so-called "fight against terror." Other speeches were given by politicians Sibel Yiğitalp and Ahmet Yıldırım.
Among others, Altey Bischoff from the Kurdish Women's Movement, the left-wing politicians Behiye Uca and Mizgin Çiftçi, as well as representatives of the Turkish-Kurdish alliance Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement (HBDH), the Confederation of Workers' Associations from Turkey (ATIF), the Revolutionary Youth Movement TCŞ, MLPD and NAV-YEK participated in a rally in Hanover.
Another rally was held in Mannheim at Paradeplatz. The meeting was opened with the reading of a statement by the ADGB.
Afterwards, Emin Deniz took the floor on behalf of the Federation FCDK-KAWA. Deniz called on all concerned groups of Turkish fascism in Germany to form a unity. "This is the only way to achieve success in our anti-fascist struggles." In addition, the activist pointed out that the actions for an end to the isolation of PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan, who is imprisoned in Turkey, will continue.