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DAY-MER’s 35th Culture and Arts Festival Concludes with Park Celebration

09.07.2024
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The 35th Culture and Arts Festival organized by DAY MER in the UK concluded with a lively park celebration, continuing its tradition of vibrant community engagement.

The celebration began at 2 PM on Sunday in Clissold Park (N16) and continued until 7pm.  Despite heavy rain, the event attracted nearly 5,000 visitors. Local and guest artists, along with stalls selling books, authentic food, drinks, and souvenirs, added colour to the festival. The DAY MER Culture and Arts Festival is considered the community’s longest-running event.

Performers included Miraz, Don Kipper, and Kontrast. The event featured speeches from various notable figures such as Sevda Karaca, Hackney Mayor Caroline Woodley, Independent MP Jeremy Corbyn, Hackney Labour MP Diane Abbott, DAY MER President Aslı Gül, and DAY MER Youth members Elina Canpolat, along with representatives from the Anti-War Coalition and unions.

Starting on June 4, the festival included exhibitions, theater and film screenings, arts and youth nights, a football tournament, and panels, culminating in the park celebration.

Speaking at the Park Celebration, Independent MP Jeremy Corbyn highlighted the dire conditions in the UK: “Poverty levels are at an all-time high, with many relying on food banks. Meanwhile, a small group lives in ignorance of this poverty. I will be a voice for justice, peace, and freedom in Parliament.” Corbyn thanked the Turkish and Kurdish communities for their support in the elections and praised DAY MER’s focus on labor struggles.

EMEP MP Sevda Karaca also spoke, stating, “Capitalist exploitation is increasing worldwide. As it grows, workers become poorer, women face more violence, discrimination, and xenophobia rise. Everywhere, employers make huge profits while workers face worsening conditions. Capitalists are aware of and hear our anger. They create new tools to misdirect this anger towards refugees, women, and the LGBTQI community. They know that the workers’, women’s anger directed at them can change the world.”

DAY MER President Aslı Gül addressed the ongoing massacres in Gaza, saying, “Israel, with the cooperation of the US and the UK, continues these massacres. As Turkish and Kurdish workers, we must stand with the Palestinian people.” Gül demanded that the UK cease military and logistical support to Israel, recognize the state of Palestine, and ensure the perpetrators of these massacres are tried in international courts.

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