Unite the Union, Britain's largest union with 1.3 million members, expressed their solidarity by displaying Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan’s posters to demand his freedom at its 2021 conference.
700 delegates from the UK and Northern Ireland who attended the union's 2021 conference stood up and showed their solidarity by displaying the picture of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan demanding his freedom.
The first session of the conference during which the union members discussed international issues started with this solidarity action with the Kurds.
Sharon Graham, the newly elected first female Secretary General, was among the delegates who raised Öcalan’s poster. The Secretary General shared on her Twitter account the solidarity action which demanded “freedom for Öcalan”.
“Unite policy conference delegates say #thetimeisnow for the Turkish state is give #freedomforOcalan and return to peace talks with the representatives of the Kurdish people,” the union tweeted.
In a panel of the conference held on Thursday, members of the union voiced the demand for the freedom of Öcalan, removal of the PKK from the terrorist list, and a democratic-peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem.
The international ‘Freedom for Öcalan Campaign’ was launched with a statement made in the House of Commons in 2016 by Unite the Union, the largest union in England and Wales with 1.5 million members, and the General Trade Union (GMB) with more than 600,000 members.
The campaign is currently carried out by the unions UNITE, GMB, FBU, ASLEF, TSSA, RMT, USDAW, PROSPECT, GFTU, PCS, EIS, TUC, THOMPSONS SOLICITORS, CWU and NEU, which officially have millions of members.
In September 2018, thousands of delegates of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) unanimously supported the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign at its 150th congress meeting.