Rise up for Rojava demo report

Members of Bristol Antifascists joined a 300 strong demonstration in London on 27th January as part of the international days of action under the banner of “Rise up for Rojava”. Despite the driving rain and bitter cold the demo was fired up, loud and defiant as it was led by Kurdish youth and women. Inspired by the bravery and determination of the Kurdish hunger strikers (one of whom was on day 82!) and the ongoing resistance to the Turkish state, ISIS and the forces of fascism and capitalism in Rojava, we added our voices to the worldwide solidarity with the Rojava revolution. We heard how the previous day hundreds of protesters entered a Turkish military base in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, setting fire to the facilities and vehicles and sacking the base after Turkish airstrikes killed civilians.

The demo started with a rally at the BBC, loudly and clearly condemning the corporation for it’s silence and complicity with the war on the Kurdish people. Shouts of “Wake up London, wake up UK!”, “Stop supporting terrorism, stop arming Turkey!” and “One solution, revolution!” amongst others went up all the way to Trafalgar Square, accompanied by Kurdish resistance music, speakers and plenty of flares. When the cops started massing numbers to snatch some Kurdish youth displaying their flags, word quickly went around to form a protective circle around them to prevent any arrests. The police thought better of it and backed down. Solidarity is our best defence and this was a very clear example of how we share the same enemies, from ISIS and genocidal states such as Turkey and the UK, to capitalism and it’s uniformed protectors. For international solidarity and antifascist resistance.

For more info and to get involved:

Here is the original callout for the international days of action. The call for action and solidarity still stands:

# RiseUp4Rojava – Call for global days of action on 27 and 28 January 2019


Solidarity with Russian antifascists

Members of Bristol antifascists joined a sizable solidarity demonstration in London last weekend to let antifascists in Russia know that they are not alone and not forgotten. Some 200 comrades met at the awesome Cable Street commemoration mural in East London where there were speeches about the severe repression and state brutality being endured by our comrades in Russia and the urgent need for international solidarity. Accompanied by a sound system blaring out motivational antifascist tunes and flares, the demo then went through residential and shopping areas distributing information, talking with local people about the situation and showing our solidarity. There were more speeches and a rally at Altab Ali park in Whitechapel. This park is named after a 25 year old Bangladeshi man murdered in a nearby street by racists in 1978. It was a fitting place to hold our rally, standing together in the face of an upsurge of fascist and racist demonstrations, violence and murders worldwide.

Russian anti-fascists and anarchists are being arrested, framed and tortured in a brutal wave of repression which has put eleven Russian anti-fascists behind bars, facing obviously fabricated charges which could see them jailed for five to twenty years each.

The repression began in autumn 2017 when six anti-fascists were arrested in Penza and had weapons and explosives planted on them. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) tortured the anti-fascists in the pre-trial detention facility by electrocuting them, beating them and hanging them upside down. While torturing them, security chiefs forced the activists to memorise the testimony the FSB wanted them to give: that they were part of a fictional terrorist group called ‘The Network’.

Two more anti-fascists were arrested in St. Petersburg at the end of January 2018 and were also beaten, electrocuted and forced to incriminate themselves by saying they were members of ‘The Network’. A third person was accused in St. Petersburg and two more from Penza have also been arrested for supposed involvement in this make-believe organisation. The FSB claims that the detainees planned to arrange explosions during the presidential elections and the World Cup to “further destabilise the political situation in the country”.

After knowledge of the fabricated court cases and horrific torture became widespread, solidarity actions started to take place, but this led to more repression. Some Russian activists who took part were detained, electrocuted and had criminal proceedings started against them – just for expressing solidarity.

This repression of anti-fascists comes at a time when the Russian state are working with gangs of far-right thugs to repress the whole of civil society. One poignant example of this happened ten years ago, two Russian anti-fascists, journalist Anastasia Baburova and lawyer Stanislav Markelov, were murdered by fascists in broad daylight on 19 January. Every year, Russian anarchists and anti-fascists gather to remember them.

More info about the situation here: https://rupression.com/en/

Hundreds turn out in solidarity with Russian anti-fascists