Friends of a female British fighter who was killed by Turkish forces are 27 hours into an occupation of the roof of an Airbus facility in Filton, Bristol, after camping on the roof overnight. They are protesting at the company’s ongoing sale of military hardware to the Turkish army. Bristolian Anna Campbell was killed in an airstrike on 15th March as she tried to protect civilians fleeing the invasion of Afrin in Northern Syria.
The action coincides with a meeting in London between Turkey’s President Erdogan, and Theresa May.
The occupiers are rotating three large banner portraits of women who have been killed fighting for freedom with the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) of North Syria/West Kurdistan.
A spokesperson for the group said:
“Anna died protecting fleeing civilians along with two other women from her unit. Their names were Serhildan and Sara Merdîn. We know that Anna would have wanted us to show their faces too, but we don’t have the photos of them because of the difficulties being experienced by the YPJ forces remaining in Afrin. So instead we went looking for two other YPJ fighters killed in combat, to represent the remarkable heroism of the women who’ve been fighting for freedom in one of the world’s harshest war zones.”
“Barîn Kobanê, who fought to free Raqqa from ISIS last year, was killed while defending civilians in Afrin. There have been widespread reports that Turkey has been employing former ISIS and Al-Qaeda fighters on their border territories, with all the atrocities this will inevitable entail. Either way, there is graphic evidence in Barîn’s case that the soldiers who killed her hated women. They filmed themselves with her mutilated body and proudly posted the footage on social media.”
“Arîn Mîrkan is one the greatest fighters against fascism you’ve never heard of. Her sacrifice in the resistance against ISIS during the invasion of Kobane in 2014, and the military advantage it secured, is now widely regarded to have been the turning point in the battle. Today her family is among the civilians displaced from Afrin by the Turkish military invasion.”
A number of companies in the Filton area have contracts to supply the Turkish military. Airbus manufactures the wing for the A400M there, a multi-role transport aircraft that are sold to the Turkish military. So far Turkey has had delivery of four A400M planes of a total order of 10.
The Turkish President is currently on a three day visit to the UK.
The trio have not said how long they intend to stay in occupation but are believed to have supplies for several days. They will be sending out updates on #ErdoganNotWelcome and #airbusoccupation
A protest was held yesterday in central London by around Kurdish community groups and supporters, and was attended by about 1000 people.