Rallies back Kurds

Issue 

Rallies back Kurds

Brisbane

By Bill Mason

The plight of the Kurdish people in northern Iraq was the focus of a rally and march organised by the Kurdish Association of Queensland here on April 20.

Some 100 people gathered in Roma Street Forum and later marched to Albert Park, stopping to protest at the Bush administration's betrayal of the Kurdish nation outside the US consulate.

Kurdish Association president Fathal Rostan slammed US policy and called for "international help to allow the Kurdish people to go back to their homes", and the goal of "autonomy for Kurdistan".

Rostan told the audience in Albert Park that Saddam Hussein's attack on the Kurds was "the latest stage in a horrific tragedy that began 70 years ago when Britain and France divided the Kurdish nation" between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran.

Australian Democrat Senator Cheryl Kernot condemned the "New World Order" as it currently affected the Kurds, and supported the Kurdish demand for autonomy within Iraq, at the same time explaining that the situation was a direct result of the war against Iraq launched by the US and "coalition" forces.

The Kurdish Association has launched an appeal for funds to help the suffering Kurdish refugees. Contributions can be deposited directly in the Commonwealth Bank Account No 4118 1000 1191, in the name of Kurdish Refugee Aid, or sent to: Kurdish Association of Qld, PO Box 5, Mt Gravatt East Qld 4122.

Melbourne

By Ray Fulcher

"Support free Kurdistan!" was the most popular chant at a rally of some 100 people here on April 26. Speakers from the Kurdish community and supporting groups condemned the hypocrisy of the United States government in abandoning Kurds to their fate after calling on them to rise against the Iraqi regime.

The Hawke government also came under fire for having contributed only $1 million to relief for the refugees after paying $600,000 daily for seven months to support Bush's war.

The rally called for an independent Kurdish homeland, opening of the Turkish border to refugees, more Australian aid and Australian acceptance of Kurdish refugees as a matter of urgency. n