Isis in Kobani: Thousands march in London, urging action to help Kurds

Protesters want Turkey to do more to help in the fight against the militants besieging the town just across their border with Syria

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The Independent Online

Thousands took to the streets of London yesterday to protest against the plight of Kurdish people trapped in the grip of Islamic State (Isis) terrorists.

Demonstrators marched on Downing Street. They want Turkey, a Nato member, to do more to help in the fight against Isis, and want the Kurds fighting in Kobani, Syria, near the Turkish border, to be sent "arms and humanitarian supplies". Protesters accuse President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of supporting Isis by blocking access for Kurds to pass through Turkish borders.

Among the supporters in Parliament Square were the Socialist Workers Party and Stop the War Coalition. Both organisations echoed protesters' calls to allow the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) – designated a terrorist organisation by the United States and European Union due to its insurgency against Turkey – back into the region to fight against Isis.

 

John Read, an SWP speaker, said: "Many feel that the Turkish government is allowing this to happen – that's why they're protesting. It has closed borders to Kurdish people who want to help defend Kobani, because of PKK."

In the midst of the Kurdish rally, protesters were also demonstrating against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a trade agreement that critics say will compel public organisations, including the NHS and the BBC, to allow private corporations to bid for services. The London rally was part of a Europe-wide protest. Campaigners 38 Degrees have collected more than 180,000 signatures against the agreement.