By a Manchester Correspondent:
Today Kurds and their supporters all around the world have shown their solidarity with the historic and remarkable resistance of the Kurdish YPG/YPJ army against the ISIS jihadi-fascists. In sunlit Manchester UK several hundred women, men and children joined a lively march through our city centre streets, followed by a rally and dancing in Piccadilly Gardens.
‘We are all Kobani!’
‘Down, down, ISIS terrorists!’
‘Today Kobani, tomorrow UK!’
These were some of the slogans. ‘Kobani is the heart of the world’, declared a speaker, who explained that Kurds have resisted the ISIS offensive there for 47 days. The US and its allies didn’t get seriously involved until Day 23, when at last they grasped the strategic and emblematic significance of the Battle for Kobani. The penny had dropped that these magnificent Kurdish warriors really would sooner die than surrender.
Let’s hope there are more solidarity protests in Manchester, during what could prove to be a long, hard war, fought on many fronts, against ISIS and its sponsors. Next time, however, it will be heartening to see more solidarity from Manchester – a city with a proud history of championing democracy, the Rights of Man, women’s rights and internationalism. Our local Labour MPs, council leaders and trade unions should be speaking out and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Kurds. Beyond this, surely many more young people, mostly of no political affiliation, and of all ethnicities (more than 200 languages are spoken in Manchester), could be drawn into broad-based solidarity with this inspiring, humanist cause? And couldn’t this be repeated in cities across the UK, Ireland and beyond?