By Mark Thomas:
This was the message by the comedian Mark Thomas to Sunday’s UK national ‘Stop Turkey’s War on Kurds! Break the Silence!’ demonstration:
Comrades and friends, I am sorry not to join you today but despite my best efforts the vagaries of privatised public transport have prevented me joining you.
I am massively disappointed not to be with you as I consider it an honour to be asked to speak and stand in solidarity with the Kurdish people and their struggle for freedom.
I stand with the Rojova revolution and the fight against Isis and Assad.
I am proud to stand in solidarity with the brave men and women who organise together and fight as equals.
I stand with the Kurds fleeing Cameron’s partner in war the dictator Assad. I stand with those who are literally across the channel living in mud and make-shift shelters. I pledge to help you.
I say to Cameron these people are not just “a bunch of immigrants” these are human beings fleeing the consequences of your actions. We must open the doors and let them in.
I demand that the British government recognise the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, this man is the Nelson Mandela of the Kurds. I am old enough to have stood in this square and called for the release of Nelson Mandela and so too today we must raise our voices to cry out ,release Abdullah Ocalan now!
I have stood in this square and I have heard Nelson Mandela speak and I hope one day to stand here again to hear Abdullah Ocalan address this place as a free man and leader of the Kurds.
It is time , it is long past time that the British government recognise the rights of Kurds to defend themselves against aggression and to un-ban the PKK.
The Kurdish Workers Party can no longer be ignored and suppressed here. The PKK must come off the terror list.
If Cameron and his friends are so committed to fighting terrorism then there is a simple thing the can do, go to the Turkish embassy and shut it down.
I call on Cameron to stop arming the Turkish military.
And I call on all of us to take action to stop this vile trade.
I call on us to campaign, to blockade and obstruct the arms fairs that supply Turkey with its weapons of barbarity.
I stand in solidarity with the Turkish journalists and Turkish workers of Zaman whose critical examination of their government has led to the government taking over their newspaper.
I wish I could be with you, but when the victory party takes place I hope to be on the guest list with a plus 1.
Yours with love, Mark Thomas