Travels in Kurdistan (part 1): Massacres in North and West Kurdistan

Anarchism & Activism, Kurdistan, Turkey
Polen Ünlü, an activist in the conscientious objector movement, died in the bombing in Suruç on 20th July. (Photo taken from JINHA women's news agency)

Polen Ünlü, an activist in the conscientious objector movement, died in the bombing in Suruç on 20th July. (Photo taken from JINHA women’s news agency)

It’s June 2015, and we arrive in North Kurdistan (the part of Kurdistan within the Turkish borders) at election time. The Kurdish population is ecstatic, because for the first time in the history of the Republic of Turkey, the pro-Kurdish HDP party has won 80 seats in parliament. The HDP could only have any seats if it gained at least 10% of the total vote (a rule that was put into place in 1980 to stop Kurds from ever being represented), and it achieved this. Although I’m an anarchist, I can’t help but be a bit impressed by the HDP, with their promises of women’s and LGBT rights, and their attempt to represent all ethnicities and religions.

Compassion, fascism and CCTV: rediscovering England

Anarchism & Activism, England

I have returned to England after spending most of the last three years in foreign lands. I want to keep an open mind and try not to let past prejudices cloud my judgements about England. Whilst travelling, I was pretty critical of the land where I am from, but was I being unjust?

On my return, I discover that the obsession with consumerism, celebrity and image is as prevalent as ever, that the media is just as untrustworthy and sexist, and that the government is just as horrific. But I discover two amazing things: that England’s nature is beautiful, and secondly, that people are friendly! As I walk through the streets of Brighton, people smile at me! Some even say hello. People like to chat here. I realise that a decade of living in London had given me the wrong impression of people in this country.