Syrian community show solidarity in Piccadilly Gardens

By Iram Ramzan

Manchester’s Syrian Community gathered in Piccadilly Gardens on Saturday afternoon to condemn the violent tactics carried out by the regime in Syria, especially towards children, and to protest against Bashar al-Assad’s continued rule.

Approximately 50 people, Kurdish and Arab Syrians alike, came from across the North-West to attend the demonstration, conducted in Arabic and English, chanting “Bashar get out”.

The demonstration was held in wake of fresh attacks from government troops on Friday, close to the Turkish border. At least 4,300 people have now fled violence in Syria to seek refuge in Turkey.

Mohammed Ali, of Syrian origins and organiser of the event, said: “We are here to show support to our people being massacred. There are human rights violations and mass killing.

“We want to put pressure on the regime to allow outside media. We have no media. Even the UN delegations are not allowed in.”

Mr Ali explained the Kurdish Syrians, who comprise 15-20% of Syria’s population, had come too, as they are also being oppressed by the current government.

He said: “About 100,000 Kurds are being denied nationality. They’re classified as stateless. This has been happening since 1962.”

Mr Mitan, a Kurdish Syrian from Chorlton, agreed with the sentiments, stating that the Kurds demand to be recognised under the constitution.

Faten Abdul, from Wakefield, said she came to show support for the families involved in Syria.

She said: “The regime is killing 30-40 people each day. We want to stop violence against children.”

Muhammad Baath, 37, came from Liverpool in the hopes that his homeland will one day be free.

Barry Woodline, from Salford, a member of the British Libyan Solidarity Campaign (BLSC), said there were parallels between what is happening in Libya and Syria.

“Both are subject to brutal tyrannies,” he said. “People are not prepared to tolerate violence.

The Syrian community will be demonstrating again outside the BBC on Wednesday 15th June, at 6pm, and another event will be held in solidarity with the Arab Spring on Friday 17th June at 5.30pm.  

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