Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

About 6 or 7 vans, loads of police piled out and marched to the Kurdish centre. No idea what's going on, can hear chanting.

Tags for Forum Posts: kurdish community centre, portland gardens, territorial support group

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And suddenly the police and the vans were gone. I heard  'shame on you' being shouted out. Police moved in heavily but for what?  Why? And then were gone. 

The Kurdish Centre, above all, is a place for Kurdish people to meet and celebrate their cultures.  However, some members of the community have ties to political movements both in Turkey and here which occasionally bring them to the attention of the authorities. This is not conjecture, rumour or speculation. You can do a google search with the terms 'harringay', 'Kurdish centre', 'PKK' and 'police' and you will see a host of results from various news media sources explaining some of the connections and why the police occassionally visit. Be aware that some of the sources are linked to Turkish government backed media outlets which are bound to paint an unfavourable opinion but others are well known for quality journalism.

hi Gordon,

I've lived here a long while (25 years) so I'm informed of all the things you mention above and I keep on top of local and international issues. And of things that can trigger the attention of the authorities and bring them to the Kurdish Centre. I've seen a lot over my years living so near to it, including the many community events there with families and children. 

Last night the response of the police, with so many vans and groups of police marching down the street looked very serious, they looked set for action, more serious than some on previous occasions. That's why I posted. But clearly it wasn't a major issue going on in the Centre as the police as they dispersed within half an hour.

Is your intention with that comment Gordon, to criticise the police  and media for making undue scrutiny of a community centre as I'm sure many would do? Or are you invoking the name of the PKK to invoke fear and infer wrong-doing?

For my part, the whole situation in Kurdistan is so complex and most of us understand so little about it, that I would hesitate to make any casual comments about about the PKK or the situation in general.

I have sympathy with the Kurds wanting a homeland they call their own and for freedom from persecution the countries in which they are a minority. I condemn any terrorist organisation that targets civilians.

Not at all Hugh. My intention was to provide a helpful response at face value to Ruth's question.

There are a host of possible reasons why the police could be present there in force and some of those may have no relations to the typical Kurdish issues at all. For instance, the centre has and continues to be used as a meeting place for a range of left wing political groups. So the police could have been there to deal with some of those elements who take things a bit far. The same groups draw the ire of some of the les pleasant right wing groups who at least a couple of times in the past have mobilised in response to activities in the centre so the police could equally have been seeking to protect the centre from that lot. 

We'll never know for sure. The police wouldn't publicise the intelligence that informs their actions but in such febrile times we're bound to see more of it which is unfair for the everyday Kurdish folk who just use the centre for social and cultural reasons.

As you say Gordon, there are a host of possible explanations. Odd then that you focussed on just one. You could normally be given the benefit of the doubt, but your whistles tend to have just one pitch.

I suppose we ought to be grateful that you didn't equate those at the community centre to 'dangerous dogs'

What do you think they were doing there then James?

Police don't usually turn out like that unless they believe they're likely to encounter dangerous individuals or escalations from ill informed or opportunistic bystanders. Or are you of the view that we should simply look away when there might be something iffy going on within a particular community because to do otherwise might cause 'offence'? I would have thought that lessons learned recently in some of our northern towns had shown the flaws in that way of thinking.

There he is.

JamesN :I can't believe you actually read Gordon's post which, to me, seems reasonable and balanced.

Here is a link to an article about last night. With 5 min video of events.


Thanks for posting this. I alone and other residents were nearby on the corner of Stanhope but couldn't see what was happening at the centre. It was all very worrying and disturbing seeing so many police marching down from Stanhope to the Centre in Portland Gardens. I hope no-one was hurt. 

It's useful to look at the About Us section of that website and to make your own assessment about whether an openly Anarchist publication is likely to show balance when repoting any interaction involving the police.

Ruth - iys safe to say that with that number of police on your road you were entirely safe.



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