(Eng.) Kurdish Demonstration in Hamburg

R.W. Wogatzke (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
21 Jun 96 09:00:16 EDT


Peacefully for Peace now

Under the motto Peace now! a demonstration took place on Saturday, the 15th of
June for an end to the war and an equal social life of the kurdish and turkish
people. According to the organizers around 80.000 people - mainly Kurds -
attended the demonstration, the police spoke of 40.000. The two processions
brought the center of Hamburg to a standstill for several hours. At the
finishing rally a message of greeting by the leader of the Kurdish Workers Party
(PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, which he had recorded on tape was transmitted via
loudspeakers. In it he held the established politics in Germany responsible for
heating up the situation through a conscious, aimed and extreme incitement
which in the end led to not only the PKK but the whole Kurdish people being
part of the ban. During the demonstration the Germany government was also
attacked for supporting Turkey: German weapons out of Kurdistan!. A tank-dummy
with label Made in Germany accompanied the procession.

According to the police, there was no violence at the protest. As agreed with
the organizers, the demonstration was kept untouched by the police. Even were
flags of the illegal PKK and its leader Ocalan were shown, the police did not
interfere, but according to their own statements, they made recordings for later
proceedings. The organizers - an alliance of kurdish organizations, individual
unions, the regional sections of the GRUENEN (Green party) and the PDS (Party of
Democratic Socialism), church and autonomous groups, as well as members of the
SPD (Scoial-Democrats) - called the demonstration a success, although there were
problems in mobilizing. The Kurdish-German solidarityorganization in Bremen said
that many people did not come because of the ban of kurdish organizations. Also
many traveling-bureaus refused the transports to Hamburg.

Several thousand Kurds traveled in busses from France, Belgium, the Netherlands,
Switzerland, England and Scandinavia too. At the border from Denmark clashes
between curds and the police took place, after several people from three busses
were denied entry to Germany because they did not have visas. In protest, they
blockaded the highway for a short time. One Kurd dowsed himself in gasoline and
set himself on fire. A police spokesman said that the fire was quickly
extinguished and the man did not require hospital treatment.

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