As many as a few thousand demonstrators formed a ring around the European Union Commission building today in Brussels while we were walking by.
The peaceful group, all wearing T shirts supporting a jailed leader of the Patriotic and Democratic Party of Kurdistan (PKK) chanted, sang and let off balloons. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with history. Knowing we were Americans, they gave us balloons supporting Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence in Turkey after having his death sentence commuted as part of a deal for Turkey to be admitted to the UN. But we have read that Ocalan was arrested with the help of the CIA; and his PKK group, which tried to create an independent Kurdish state, is considered a terrorist organization by the US.
While in jail, this man described as a political prisoner today, has reportedly changed ideology and has worked with Turkish officials on a peace plan. But, so far, that hasn’t resulted in any help for Ocalan, and his supporters today were pressing the EU to get after Turkey.
One of the protesters, in very halting English, urged us to get Obama to help them. This Kurd apologized because he could only fluently speak his native language, French and Dutch. he didn’t seem like a terrorist.
Greg and Sue have seen some type of demonstration almost every time they have been to Europe. It was ho hum to most of the locals. Just another day in Brussels.