Thursday, March 24, 2011

Appeal to the World Public

The Russell Foundation has today received an important appeal from a friend in Turkey who has requested its wide dissemination. Today, in Diyarbakir, Kurdish activists commence a sit-in as part of their long campaign for political rights (see below). Our Turkish friend also urges us all to keep a close eye on developments in Turkey.

Appeal to the World Public

Mothers for Peace have erected Democratic Solution Tents in all cities of the Kurdish region on 18 March 2011. Kurdish people, embracing the Democratic Solution Tents and keeping watch over them 24 hours a day have directly and most powerfully displayed the determination and the will to put an end to war.

Kurdish people have declared their demand and will for peace, democracy and freedom once more in a most splendid fashion to the world in the Newroz demonstrations of 2011. Millions of Kurds holding freedom marches from Newroz fields to Democratic Solution Tents scores of kilometers away have shouted out their democratic demands for all ears to hear.

AKP government that keeps misleading Turkish and world public with its “democratic initiative” rhetoric has once more reacted with grave intolerance to the Democratic Solution Tents and freedom marches of the Kurdish people. State “security” forces have, using high dose gas grenades, pepper gas and trucheons, most flagrantly attacked our mothers, elected representatives and Kurdish people who were trying to exercise their universal democratic civil rights. They have detained our elected representatives, members and people.

AKP Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who offers counsel and advice to the dictators of the Middle East, here in Turkey once more threatens the representatives of the Kurdish people and the Kurdish people as a whole saying “we will do what is necessary”.

As BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) we wish to once again share our concern that these attacks will further aggravate the political crisis and social chaos in Turkey and escalate violence. The solution is NOT to attack the Kurdish people itself and its political bodies and representatives, BUT to recognize and acknowledge the will brought out by the people. We believe it is our responsibility to inform the public in Turkey and world public of the situation. The AKP Government’s mentality of solving the Kurdish issue without the Kurds is dragging Turkey into a deadlock and war.

The Kurdish people who have been resisting and struggling against policies of denial, assimilation and liquidation for 30 years will continue to exercise its rights to democratic civil resistance deriving from international law, in order for the war to end and for the creation of a democratic and free country.

In this context, we once more list below the demands of the Kurdish people that have already been declared several times to the whole public:

1. Immediate end to military and political operations

2. Constitutional guarantee for the right to education in mother tongue and the right to use mother tongue in the public sphere

3. Cancellation of the 10 per cent election threshold that blocks Kurdish people’s representation in the parliament

4. Freedom to all political prisoners without discrimination

At 12.00 o’clock on Thursday, 24 March 2011, we will start a sit-in at Diyarbakır, the stronghold of resistance, peace and freedom that will continue until we get a response to our demands.

We call on the international public to act in solidarity with the Kurdish people against these unjust and unlawful attacks and to support the Kurdish people’s legitimate demands that find clear expression in the watchword: “Freedom or Freedom”.

BDP - Peace and Democracy Party

March 23, 2011

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan: An Appeal

The Russell Foundation has received the following appeal from our friends in the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo).

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for your warm messages and support to us. Your messages are of great encouragement to us and all victims of the disaster. We have translated your messages into Japanese and passed them on to the victims and all Japanese people.

The damage caused by earthquakes and subsequent tsunami is so horrible. All buildings were swept away. Thousands of bodies are found every day. The number of those dead and are missing is expected to be more than 11,500. The evacuees have increased more than 450,000. They are forced to stay at shelters with not enough food, water, cloths, oil for heaters and gas for cars, etc.

In addition to that, the frightening accident of Fukushima power plants is threatening the safety of people and their uneasiness is growing.

The municipalities and citizens of the damage struck areas have so far given strong support to our signature campaigns for abolition of nuclear weapons, our peace marches and the World Conference against A and H Bombs. We have to help them when they are suffering.

Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) set up an account and called on Japanese people to donate to help the victimized people and areas.

Postal Money Order
Account No.: 00110-9-1780
Account Name: Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo)

If you wish to donate or send support to the victims, we can accept your donation at the above account. We will transfer your donation to the victims or/and we will send necessary goods and services to the victimized people and areas.

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation. If there is any questions/requests, please do not hesitate to ask us.


Yayoi Tsuchida
Assistant Secretary General
Japan Council against A & H Bombs (GENSUIKYO)
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464 JAPAN
phone: +81-3-5842-6034
fax: +81-3-5842-6033

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Victory for Peace Movement

Press Statement 8/3/2011 - Peace & Neutrality Alliance

Victory for Peace Movement in new Programme for Government

The Peace & Neutrality Alliance (PANA) welcomes the statement in the new Labour/Fine Gael Programme for Government, promising to implement international law in terms of the use of Irish airspace and airports by foreign powers. Under the section Foreign Affairs, ODA and Defence, the Programme says: "We will enforce the prohibition on the use of Irish airspace, airports and related facilities for purpose not in line with dictates of international law."

PANA Chair, Roger Cole, a delegate to the Conference, asked for clarification of this statement in the Programme for Government. He pointed out that a key part of international law governing the behaviour of Neutral States is the Hague Convention of 1907 which prohibits the use of a neutral state's territory to prosecute a war. Switzerland quotes the Hague Convention to explain why no US planes land at Zurich Airport on their way to and from their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Cole asked: " Does this mean the termination of the use of Shannon Airport by US troops in these permanent ongoing wars?" citing Afghanistan and Iraq.

Eamon Gilmore in his closing speech to the Conference, replied to Roger Cole's call for clarification. The Labour Party Leader stated that: "Yes, Roger Cole has pointed out an area where there is a difference" and "that it may be hard to believe" but that the statement in the Programme for the Government "does mean what is says".

In the context of the question asked and the reply given, this means the new government will, like the Government of Switzerland, implement the Hague Convention, and terminate the use of Shannon Airport by US troops on their way to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We would hope the new incoming government would do so on Easter Monday, the 95th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. PANA will also seek an early meeting with the new Minister for Foreign Affairs.

For more information contact Roger Cole, Chair of PANA Tel: 087-2611597 or Seamas Ratigan Tel: 086-8369793

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