Global day for Kobani: Thousands march to support Kurds’ fight against ISIS

Global day for Kobani: Thousands march to support Kurds’ fight against ISIS
Thousands of protesters from across the globe – including Turkey, France, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Australia – marched to show solidarity with Kurdish fighters battling ISIS in the strategic city of Kobani, located on Syria's border with Turkey.

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Hundreds gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on Saturday to support the Kurds, who are fighting against Islamic State militants in Kobani for the second month.

The protesters chanted “Down with ISIS” and “Hands off Kobani” while Kurdish flags fluttered in the air. The central London rally was the largest to take place in the UK. It was organized by the Kurdish People’s Assembly and Kurdish community organizations throughout the country.

“The purpose of the event in London will be to let the world know, and more importantly let Kobani know, that we are with them!” said a statement from the organizers.

Hundreds gathered in Turin, Italy, holding signs that read “Free Kobani” and “Stop ISIS.”

The international campaign was joined by Germany’s largest cities, Berlin and Hamburg. Thousands of Kurds took to the streets waving flags. They held signs calling to stop the jihadists, as well as photos of iconic Kurdish fighters such as the woman warrior known as ‘Rehana.'

Even children joined the rally, putting up “V” hand signs in the air and shouting slogans calling for peace.

Pro-Kurdish protesters take part in a rally in solidarity with the people of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani in Athens November 1, 2014 (Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis)

The streets of Paris were also filled with protesters on Saturday. The demonstrators held signs reading “Support the resistance” and “Save Kobani.”

Australian cities, including Sydney and Melbourne, were also gripped by protests. Demonstrators held banners which read, "ISIS Attacks, Turkey supports, Kobani resists.”

Kurds demonstrated in central Athens on Saturday as part of the World Day of Solidarity with Kobani. Some carried banners reading “IS = Turkey.” Ankara has been accused of not making enough effort in trying to stop ISIS and turning a blind eye to foreign radicals passing through the country en route to Syria to join the extremists.

Nevertheless, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Istanbul and in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir to support Kurdish fighters. Some were holding flags supporting imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, one of the founding members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The PKK is banned in Turkey as a terrorist organization for leading a 30-year struggle against Ankara in order to create a Kurdish autonomous region in the country’s southeast.

Demonstrators gesture as they gather to protest against Islamic State during a rally in solidarity with the people of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, in Diyarbakir, in the Kurdish dominated southeastern Turkey November 1, 2014 (Reuters / Sertac Kayar)

The Saturday rallies came as Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters entered Kobani from Turkey to join the battle against the militants, who have killed thousands and took control of large territories in Iraq and Syria proclaiming it as their caliphate.

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