Press Release: American Kurdish Association (AKA), Emergency Committee for Rojava (ECR), Outlive Them NYC and Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC)

For Immediate Release  –  October 11, 2019

The American Kurdish Association (AKA), Emergency Committee for Rojava (ECR), Outlive Them NYC and Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC) today called upon Congress and the United Nations to press for the immediate implementation of a No-Fly Zone along the Syrian border with Turkey.

“Already dozens of innocent civilians have been injured or killed, thousands of people are being displaced. ISIS terrorists have escaped from prisons, Islamic State women are trying to seize the over-crowded Al-Hol camp — the Turkish invasion of Rojava is turning into exactly the catastrophe predicted,” said Kurdish ECR member Ozlem Goner, an assistant professor of sociology at CUNY Staten Island.

“Turkey has crossed the border into Syria, a sovereign nation, and has unleashed a massive assault against a completely peaceful region to try to obliterate the Kurdish people and a political system that is based on grassroots democracy, feminism and ecology. This is a war crime. It is impossible to understand how the Congress, UN and nations of the world are standing idly by.”

AKA, ECR and a coalition of Rojava support groups have called for a rally at Union Square Saturday October 12 at 2PM, with speeches and protest to begin at 2:30 pm. The rally is one of dozens being called around the country Saturday — from Albany to Portland, Oregon, as citizens express their indignation at the decision by President Donald Trump to abandon the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), our Kurdish-led partners in the fight against ISIS. Trump gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the green light to invade Rojava after a Sunday evening phone call between the two. His decision has provoked widespread outcry, including among many Republican members of Congress, but they must take urgent action to stop the bombing. The AKA, ECR, Outlive Them and MACC called for:

1)  Immediate implementation of a no-fly zone, which would prevent Turkish air forces from inflicting massive damage on civilians by bombing homes, schools, hospitals and water treatment plants, as happened when Turkey invaded the largely Kurdish canton of Afrin in January 2018.

2)  The cessation of all Turkish hostilities against Rojava and initiation of US- and UN-sponsored negotiations. Until such negotiations are finalized, the US should keep its people and equipment in Northeast Syria to protect the 6 million people of Rojava from further aggression by Turkey, the al-Qaeda linked militias it sponsors, or Damascus.

“Turkey is sowing death and destruction, using former captives and Free Syrian Army militias to attack the Kurdish people, Yazidis, and other ethnic minorities in the region,” said ECR member Debbie Bookchin. “Turkey will drive the local population out of their homes as it did in Afrin and subject those who remain to the rule of jihadis. This is a war crime in which Trump and NATO are complicit. It must be stopped before it is too late.”

The demonstration will take place in the plaza on the south side of Union Square (14th Street) on Saturday, October 12th, at 2 PM: https://www.facebook.com/events/464064444198579/

For press inquiries, please contact us at: press@defendrojava.org or (914) 222-1587.

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