CWI placard on the demonstration
Thursday 12 March was the 5th anniversary of a massacre conducted by the Syrian state against Kurdish protestors, who took to the streets after some Kurdish football fans were shot dead by the police in 2004.
This year’s demonstration to commemorate this suffering of Kurds in Syria, mostly composed of Syrian Kurds living in Germany, took place at a time when thousands of Kurdish-Syrian refugees are faced with the threat of deportation.
The German and Syrian governments have agreed on a so-called ’repatriation treaty’. This means nothing but an agreement on the deportation of Kurdish refugees from Germany back to Syria. Ten Kurds have begun a hunger strike in fron of the ministry of the interior, to put pressure on the German authorities not to conduct deportations. One of them has already been put into hospital. They are being harrassed by the police, who did not allow them to put up a proper tent and, on one occasion, even took away an umbrella from them!
The demonstration on 12 March brought about 500 people together, who marched from the ministry of the interior to the Syrian embassy. Unfortunately, very few non-Kurdish demonstrators participated.
Representatives of Sozialistische Alternative (SAV –CWI in Germany) participated and spoke at the demonstration. Our speaker called for a stop to deportations from Germany and for the unity of workers and youth from all nations to fight together against racism and for a dignified life. He also made the point that the Kurdish people who are effected by the treaty are workers, school students and unemployed, who face the same problems as others in Germany and that, therefore, it is also the duty of the trade unions and other German-based organisations to organise in solidarity. The only other ’German’ speakers at the demonstration were a representative of a MP from the Left Party and a speaker from an NGO.
Kurds in Syria are not recognised as a separate people with a distinct language, culture etc. They also have less rights and 400,000 are not entitled to Syrian citizenship. They are also not allowed to get a job in the public sector. Some of the protestors in Germany are members of the Yikti party, which is banned in Syria. Children threatened with deportation do not even speak Arabic and were born in Germany!