Union Syndicale Solidaires condemns French state attack on Kurdish protest camp in Strasbourg

The French trade union federation Union Syndicale Solidaires has sharply condemned the attack on the Kurdish protest camp in Strasbourg: "Once again the state has decided against the just struggle of the people and in favour of repression."

The French trade union federation Union Syndicale Solidaires has sharply condemned the brutal attack on the Kurdish protest camp by the police in Strasbourg and expressed its solidarity with those affected. "In view of this violent repression, we side with the Kurdish organizations and assure them of our support. We wish the injured a speedy recovery," said the trade unionists on Sunday in Paris.

The tent commune was set up by Kurdish and internationalist activists on Saturday as part of the ‘Take Action for Öcalan’ rally. The tents were torn down and the contents were thrown across the square. Several people were injured by pepper gas and batons, and one activist was taken into custody.

The rally in front of the Council of Europe was directed against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan on the Turkish prison island of Imrali. A total of fourteen different organizations issued an emergency appeal to the Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee (CPT), the European Court of Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The package of demands includes points such as the lifting of the solitary confinement conditions for Öcalan and his fellow prisoners, as well as visits with lawyers and family members, sanctions against Turkey and political steps for the release of the Kurdish leader from hostage custody.

The Strasbourg administrative authorities previously tried to ban or relocate the rally and the protest camp. The organizing action committee prevailed with an urgent motion in front of the court and obtained the lifting of the ban on demonstrations. The tent camp originally planned on a square in the Europaviertel was then set up on the Place Arnold in front of St. Mauritius church in Strasbourg's Neustadt. “Under the benevolent gaze of the residents, dozens of blue tents were set up in the square in a calm and disciplined manner. Many elderly people, young people and some disabled people took part in this event”, said the Union Syndicale Solidaires.

The aim of the camp was to bring isolation in Imrali, which is defined as “torture”, into the focus of the French public for a month with a peaceful sit-in and events such as panel discussions, performances and other activities, and to demand action from European institutions. With the brutal use of the police, however, the French state has "once again decided against the just struggle of the Kurdish people for their freedom and in favour of repression," emphasized the trade union federation. “This is strongly condemned. Because the struggle of the Kurds is legitimate. Together we will win,” said Union Syndicale Solidaires.