14 Apr 2015

Green Party candidate endorsed by Democratic Union Party (PYD)

Press Release:  Windsor General Election candidate endorsed by Syrian Political Party

Dr Derek Wall, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Windsor has been endorsed by Dr Alan Semo, UK representative of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

This follows ongoing contact with the Green Party, of which Dr Wall is International Coordinator, and the PYD.

The PYD is the largest political party in Rojava, the autonomous region of Northern Syria.  The PYD is a mainly Kurdish political party which shares a number of key ideological stances with the Green Party.

The Kurds and their allies have been fighting the so-called Islamic State and creating a democratic, self-governing and secular form of governance.

Dr Semo stated 'We would be privileged to endorse you and support your candidacy in Windsor! We trust that you would be successful at least to raise Green Party values, social justice, grassroots democracy, ecological sustainability which we are implanting in Rojava alternative model.​

Long live joint struggle for fairer and more just society !'

Dr Wall stated, 'I am proud and humbled to be endorsed by the PYD, I have been hugely inspired by their work especially in challenging fundamentalism and defending freedom.  There has been increasing contact between members of the Kurdish community and Green Parties, for example, the Turkish Green Party has joined the pro-Kurdish HDP to contest the Turkish General Election this June.'

Dr Wall organised a meeting at the Autumn 2014 Green Party conference in Birmingham where Dr Alan Semo spoke about the crisis in Syria and Iraq and the fight against Isis.

'I am horrified that Shilan Ozcelik, a young women from Croydon, is currently imprisoned on remand in Holloway for allegedly wanting to travel to Rojava to fight against ISIS as part of the People's Protection Units (Kurdish <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_language> : Yekîneyên Parastina Gel)) known commonly as the YPG.  I will use the General Election to call for  her freedom and to raise awareness of the situation in Rojava.

The PYD is a party that promotes ecological sustainability, grassroots democracy and women’s leadership, along with a celebration of diversity and religious freedom. These are all values that the Green Party supports.'

Green Party General Election candidates in North London have recently held meetings with the Kurdish community http://another-green-world.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/green-party-general-election-candidates_6.html

Links http://www.pydrojava.net/en/index.php/about




8 Apr 2015

WWF condemned for restrictions on indigenous in Cameroon

Dear WWF Director,

I am extremely concerned to learn that Baka men and women in Cameroon are regularly victims of violence and intimidation by wildlife officers and the soldiers that accompany them on patrols.
WWF provides essential funds and support to these patrols via the Ministry of Forests and Fauna. It therefore has a responsibility to make sure that these funds are not used to violate the rights of the Baka and their neighbors.

I am also concerned by the fact that WWF continues to support protected areas and restrictions on subsistence hunting on Baka land, despite the fact that the Baka have not consented to these. This violates WWF’s principles on indigenous peoples.
I urge you to take immediate action to ensure that WWF’s funds are not being misused for this kind of abuse, and that WWF’s work in Cameroon complies with its own principles on conservation and indigenous peoples.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Derek Wall, International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales.

Background from Survival International here http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10708

6 Apr 2015

Green Party General Election candidates pledge solidarity with revolutionary Kurds

North London Greens pledge support for Kurdish autonomy 
Green Party General Election candidates from six North London constituencies have called for the British Government to lift the ban on the Kurdistan Workers Party (the PKK) and for the PKK to be removed from the list of banned ‘terrorist’ organisations. Speaking at a meeting of North London’s Kurdish community with London Green MEP Jean Lambert, candidates agreed that the PKK poses no threat to the people of Britain. The PKK has never been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and most European Union governments have not listed it as a terrorist group. The British government has taken a particularly harsh stance, which is closer to that of the US. 
‘Kurdish peoples across four Middle Eastern countries have been striving for self-determination and democracy for many years,’ said Dee Searle (candidate for Tottenham), who came into direct contact with Kurdish human rights activists during her years working for Amnesty International.  ‘Their bravery and determination left a lasting impression.’ David Flint (candidate for Enfield North), who visited Kurdish areas in Turkey last year, spoke of his positive experiences of Kurdish society. 
The meeting, held at the Kurdish Community Centre in Portland Gardens in Harringay last Thursday (2 April), was arranged to discuss Green Party policies for the General Election. High on the agenda was the threat from Islamic State militants to the autonomous canton of Kobane in northern Syria, where around 100 Western volunteers - including some Britons - are fighting as part of the 30,000-strong Kurdish forces. Members of the audience asked for international military and humanitarian aid to help Kobane’s residents defend themselves from Islamic State and to rebuild areas that were destroyed by the US-led bombardment that helped to drive out the militants. 
Kobane was a city of more than 200,000 people who had to flee for their lives,’ said Michelle Allison, of the Kurdish Community Centre, who chaired the meeting. ‘They are now living in very bad conditions in refugee camps in Turkey with inadequate food. They need to be able to return to rebuild Kobane and to be able to defend themselves. They need weapons to protect themselves.’ 
Gordon Peters (candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green) applauded the Kurds’ resistance against Islamic State, saying that he admired the people of Kobane for their participative democracy with a commitment to preserving the environment. Jean Lambert paid tribute to the society of Rojava, the Kurdish Syrian region, for its emphasis on women’s equality. Heather Finlay (candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington) recalled collaborating locally with members of the Kurdish community to protect health services. Caroline Russell (candidate for Islington North) described working with Kurdish people and other community members on local traffic issues. 
Representatives of the Kurdish Community Centre said their existence was under threat because the UK Charities Commission frequently accused them – erroneously – of political activities which contravene charity laws. Charlotte George (candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch) said this was unfair and that the Charities Commission needs to do more to address genuinely bogus charities. 
Green Party policies to introduce a living wage of £10 an hour by 2020, create good jobs, ensure fair rents and secure tenancies in private rented accommodation, build council homes, preserve the NHS and other public services, and tackle climate change were warmly received by the meeting. ‘Many Kurdish people support Green policies’, said Michelle Allison.   

Dee Searle, PPC for Tottenham, 07504 963053 
Gordon Peters, PPC for Hornsey and Wood Green, 7866 770718 
Charlotte George, PPC for Hackney South and Shoreditch; charlotte.george@greenparty.org.uk 
Heather Finlay, PPC for Hackney North and Stoke Newington; heather.finlay@greenparty.org.uk  
Caroline Russell, PPC for Highbury East and an Islington Councillor; carolinerussell3@me.com 
David Flint, PPC for Enfield North; david.c.flint@outlook.com 
Jean Lambert, MEP; jeanlambert@greenmeps.org.uk 

PS people in attached pic are, from left to right; Michelle, David, Jean of course, Charlotte, Gordon, Dee, Heather. Full names and constituencies on p. 2 of PR. Caroline Russell came later and sat on Michelle's right so not visible in photos of 'platform'. Photo Esra Turk 

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