Under bright blue skies and sunshine and in a good mood, the demonstration "Defend Kurdistan - against the Turkish occupation" started at noon in Düsseldorf. Several thousand people took part in the protest organized by the initiative "Defend Kurdistan" against the invasion of parts of Southern Kurdistan that has been led by Turkey for almost four months with the help of NATO resources and Islamist mercenaries. The international community ignores this renewed breach of international law and the accompanying war crimes, displacement and destruction of nature by Ankara. Defend Kurdistan does not want to allow this. The initiative called on the public to show broad civil society solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement. It called on the German government to stop supporting the Turkish regime and to enter into a dialogue with Kurdish politicians.
Already at the meeting point at Karlstraße, a militant mood prevailed among the demonstrators, loud slogans against the military aggression in Kurdistan were chanted, there was singing and the Kurdish dance govend was danced. The organizing committee criticized indiscriminate harassment and provocation by the police in the form of unconstitutional checkpoints in advance. "Thus the freedom of assembly has been restricted today in Düsseldorf relatively early," said an alliance spokesman. Several police officers searched the two speaker cars and controlled banners. A not insignificant number of posters and flags were confiscated. A banner with the inscription "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan" attached to a pavilion initially had to be covered. Later, the police had the entire tent taken down.
Martin Dolzer: Setting an example for peace in the Middle East
For about an hour, the demonstration has been moving through the city center of the Rhine metropolis. At the beginning there were several short speeches. The alliance "Stop the Assembly Law of North Rhine-Westphalia - Preserve Basic Rights!" said: "At the demonstration [on June 26], we sent a joint signal that we will not allow our basic rights to be taken away. Standing up together for basic democratic rights!" Hamburg sociologist Martin Dolzer, who is also a member of the International Peace Delegation #Delegation4Peace, called on the public to "set a sign for peace and respectful coexistence of people in the Middle East."
Final rally with music and speeches
The demonstration procession consists of several blocks, including a feminist block, a youth block, an internationalist block and an ecology block with activists from the Make Rojava Green Again campaign and the KuloKo Festival, who will march under the slogan "Stop Ecocide! In the Rhineland! In Kurdistan! Everywhere!" to draw attention to the international destruction of natural global commons. The destination of the demonstration is the Rhine meadow at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring where there will be a concluding rally. Music will be provided by Kurdish artists Hozan Canê, Hozan Dîyar and Şîvan Perwer, among others. Speeches will be given by the co-chair of the Hamburg Left Party, Cansu Özdemir, a delegate of the Zapatista "Journey for Life", the Ya Basta Network and the Bundestag candidate of the Lower Saxony Left Party, Mizgin Ciftci.