On 16 March people gathered for a demonstration to remember Anna Campbell, who was martyred in Afrin, Syria, a year ago. Anna joined the Kurdish revolution in 2017 and fought with the YPJ (Women’s Protection Unit), who have been at the forefront in the fight against ISIS. She was killed by a Turkish airstrike. Women’s liberation, direct democracy and the environment are central to the Kurdish movement and echoed Anna’s own politics.
Around 150 people marched on the streets of Bristol, some having travelled from Belfast, Liverpool, London, Cornwall and Brighton to show their love for Anna and their support for all she believed in. Banners read ‘Remember Anna, keep fighting’, ‘Sehid Namirin’ (martyrs never die) and ‘Anna lives on in our hearts and our actions’. Many of the groups she was part of also came with their banners. The demonstration blocked roads around the city centre as it travelled down Bond Street, Bearpit roundabout and Bristol Bridge. Cops on horses and in riot vans attempted to block the march at several points.
There was a gathering at Hydra bookshop afterwards where the book ‘Immortal: mourning, martyrs and murals’ was launched. The book is a series of poems, photos, drawings, letters and other writings made by friends and comrades of Anna. Buy the zine here: immortalbook.bigcartel.com or support the crowdfunder: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/immortal
The following day there was also a demonstration in Cardiff, with banners hung from an occupied building. Other demonstrations have taken place around the world in the last few days, including in Rojava.
Thanks to everyone who came and supported the day in various ways. It was incredible to be amongst so many people who loved Anna, to walk and shout together. Seeing all the banners and people from different parts of Anna’s life was a powerful reminder of everything she did and stood for and everything we can, and do, achieve together.
Remembering is fighting! There’s lots going on to get behind. Imam Sis, a 32 year old Kurdish refugee living in Newport, South Wales, has based has been on an indefinite and irreversible hunger strike since 17th December 2018 along with many Kurdish activists in Europe, Kurdistan, and in Turkey and he will continue until the isolation of Kurdish leader, Abdullah Öcalan, ends. There are events coming up to support Imam and other hunger strikers coming up in the next weeks. Follow Bristol Kurdish Solidarity Network for more info: https://www.facebook.com/BristolKurdishSolidarity/.
On 28 March the Arms Fair is taking place in Farnborough. This will include UK arms companies supplying arms to Turkey. The fair has been forced to stop holding events in Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff by massive protests. Join others to show the fair, and all it represents, is not welcome in Farnborough or anywhere! https://www.facebook.com/events/329767240996725/