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Al-Qamishli/Amudah: Conflicts with the Kurdish Patriotic Conference lead to division of protest movement

KURDWATCH, November 7, 2011—Nationwide protests on November 4, 2011 again resulted in numerous dead and injured. Throughout the country, demonstrators united under the slogan »God is great« took to the streets to demand the fall of the regime. Protests also took place in al‑Qamishli, ʿAmudah, Darbasiyah, and Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê).
In al-Qamishli and ʿAmudah, conflicts arose between the groups of the Kurdish Patriotic Conference in Syria and independent Kurdish revolutionary groups. In ʿAmudah the independent groups chanted, among other things: »No to the parties, our revolution is a youth revolution.« In both cities divided demonstrations took place.
Since the founding of the Kurdish Patriotic Conference in Syria on October 27, the Kurdish parties represented by the conference and their youth groups have been actively involved in the demonstrations and are trying to present themselves as the only legitimate mouthpiece of the Kurds. In previous months, most of the Kurdish parties not only avoided participating in dissident demonstrations, but some also tried to hinder the protests. In contrast, independent Kurdish revolutionary groups have been organizing demonstrations since the spring; many of their members were arrested or must live in hiding. There are also conflicts over content: While the independent groups demand Bashar al-Assad´s resignation, the Kurdish Patriotic Conference advocates for a »change of the system«.

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