Bulletin 145 – Turkey: No option but to Rebel

June 6, 2013 in Bulletins, Protest, Reports, Strikes

Bulletin 145 –  Turkey: No option but to rebel!– A statement from Day-Mer, a Turkish & Kurdish community organisation

What is happening in Turkey?  On 27th May 2013, a police escorted demolition team arrived at the Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul Turkey to flatten the entire park and destroy all the parkland, including the trees. Despite resistance from local people and environmentalist groups, the site was cleared and demolition work proceeded. The police then clashed with protesters who began to occupy the Park. The activists have been camping there for three days in an attempt to stop the destruction. The demolishing soon grounded to a halt after Sırrı Süreyya Önder, an MP for the Peace and Democracy Party, stood in front of one of the bulldozers for three hours. This led to a wider resistance building up and galvanised a massive stand against the demolition of the site. The determined environmentalists, community groups, members of political parties and trade unionists continued to occupy the park until 30th May 2013.

On the morning of 30th May 2013, approximately around 5am in the morning, the police have used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. This only increased the support for the protesters and attracted hundreds more from all sorts of backgrounds to make the resistance stronger. Turkish riot police continued to fire tear gas and water cannons into crowds of demonstrators gathered in Istanbul’s Gezi Park on Friday 31st May 2013. Despite the order by an Istanbul court for the temporary suspension of the project to uproot trees in the park, the extensive use of tear gas and water cannons on crowds resulted in serious injuries. Amnesty International has called Turkish government to halt the brutal police repression and investigate all abuses.

Despite this hundreds of working people, students, environmentalists, socialists, trade unionists, ordinary people continued to gather at the Taksim Square to oppose and show their anger against the excessive use of power by the police and the state. The standoff between security forces and protestors, now numbering thousands, has continued well into early hours of Saturday, with its end not yet in sight. Most media organisations have turned a blind eye on what is happening and stopped reporting news to the world. The government have tried to block all 3G mobile phone signals to stop the news spreading over social network sites. But there is now a wider anger against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the police in Turkey.

The unrest has spread to many cities such as Ankara, Izmir, Kayseri, Izmit, Bodrum and many more. Slogans such as ‘Erdogan must go’, ‘Erdogan out,’ and ‘Chemical Erdogan’ have been echoed by thousands of people around the country. Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan and the Istanbul Mayor, Huseyin Avni Mutlu, have denied any wrongdoing and defended vehemently the actions of the police. They went as far as labelling the protestors ‘trouble makers’ with designs to use the protests for advancing their political interests. At the time of writing this statement 3 people were confirmed to be killed and resistance of people getting bigger in every city in Turkey.

What sparked this rebellion? Turkey over the past decade has been ruled by the AKP party which is known to be an Islamic-leaning and conservative political party in Turkey. The AKP government, now in its second term in office under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came into power with promises of EU membership, ‘zero-problems with neighbours’ foreign policy, as well as better and peaceful living conditions for all citizens. Over the first term the AKP government has failed on the assurance of EU membership primarily because of having a poor record on civil liberties, as well as not resolving the Kurdish and Alevi issue. Erdogan in his second term in office has failed dramatically over the promises of better relationships with neighbouring countries by either being in war or on the verge of war with countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria and other Middle Eastern neighbours. Most of these issues were a result of the foreign policy demands of the US from Turkey. Despite making some efforts on the Kurdish issue, the AKP governments’ hesitance to completely resolve this issue have raised questions concerning its honesty and willingness to resolve this major issue of Turkey. This is in spite of the fact that Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) calling a ceasefire after almost 30 years of guerrilla fighting. Its promise of a prosperous and wealthy society has seen workers up and down the country taking strike actions for better pay and working conditions.

Major strike actions taken by Turkish Airline workers and DHL workers have raised international concerns regarding how workers have been treated by the employment laws imposed by the AKP government. In addition, high profile strike actions have been taken by workers in the manufacturing, coal mining and agricultural sectors against the pay and working conditions imposed by the AKP government. The biggest attack during the AKP reign has been the attacks on civil liberties, particularly on the freedom of expression. Thousands of journalists, lecturers, writers, politicians, intellectuals and ordinary people have been imprisoned and made to wait for trial in prisons in Turkey. Most recently Erdogan and his AKP party has put a ban on alcohol sales after 10pm and continued their transformation of turning the Republic of Turkey into an ‘Islamist heaven’. We need your help in stopping this state and police brutality. Given these important developments, we are urging all our friends in UK to show their solidarity by signing our online petition. This is a petition which demands the end to the violence and release of all people in custody. SIGN HERE A statement from Day-Mer, a Turkish & Kurdish community organisation

KESK & DISK also now striking in anti government protests.

 

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NSSN News

Wales Shop Stewards Network Conference – “All out together – TUC call a general strike!” – from 10-4 on Saturday June 8 in The Maldron Hotel, 100 yards from Cardiff Central station, St Mary Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GD

Join us at the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) 7th national annual conference – Register  ONLINE NOW!  11am-5pm, Saturday June 29th, Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE – initial speakers confirmed: union general secretaries Mark Serwotka PCS, Billy Hayes CWU and Steve Gillan POA. We will have 4 workshops – Fighting for the NHS, Building the Housing front, Fighting the Blacklisting & ‘Sick of your Boss’.   *Latest speaker confirmed – Tommy Sheridan chair of the Scottish Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation*

£6. Cheques can be made payable to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’  or BACS a payment through – info@shopstewards.net or reply to PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE Leaflet & letter for union branches, shop stewards committees, trades councils, anti-cuts campaigns is on the resources page of the website. This is the conference to organise the urgent fightback in the unions with a clear NO CUTS policy!

NSSN NHS Bulletin (no.3) NOW AVAILABLE.  Plus updated NSSN conference flyer HERE! Please let us know if you need supplies.

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PCS

HMRC and DWP announce week of joint regional strike action continues (20 May) – PCS members in DWP, HMRC and VOA are to take part in joint regional strike action from 3 -7 June. The first day of strike action coincided with the launch of a pilot to close 13 HMRC enquiry centres in North East England and Yorkshire & Humberside. The joint regional strike action is designed to cause major disruption and put pressure on the government to negotiate as part of the union’s national campaign read more

Joint action causes significant disruption (5 June) – Large numbers of members walked out this morning causing disruption on the third day of joint DWP/HMRC action read more Strike rallies details here

Fighting justice cuts (31 May) – The threat of the cuts to our justice system is being highlighted in parliament and on picket lines read more including strike details

Victory against MoJ privatisation (5 June) – Following a successful campaign the post and stationery functions in the Ministry of Justice headquarters have been saved. The union campaign, supported by the local branch and the group executive committee and the national union, started a year ago when management announced plans to privatise these facilities. Read more

Losing face (4 June) – Protestors have handed over a 5,000 strong petition to save face-to-face HMRC advice centres read more

Send messages of support to PCS members in all these actions – solidarity@pcs.org.uk

 

RMT

Firm that left East Coast Mainline in chaos cleared to bid for route again (June 5) – RMT revealed today that National Express, the company that threw back the keys as their contract on the East Coast Mainline collapsed into chaos four years ago, have been cleared to bid for the route again as the Government speed up plans to re-privatise the service that is currently being successfully run in the public sector read more

Stop the closure of Whitechapel Ticket office- read more

Unite

One Housing employees vote for strike action over pay cuts (3 June) – Staff at housing association, One Housing Group (OHG) have voted overwhelmingly for strike action, following management’s decision to impose wage cuts to 200 frontline supported housing staff from February 2014. Unite, the country’s largest union, is highly critical of OHG’s chief executive, Mick Sweeney for accepting a £31,000 hike in pay and bonuses, while asking 200 support workers to accept cuts of up to £8,000-a-year, averaging £2,000 for most. Unite members voted by a margin of 83.7 per cent in favour of strike action. Strikes are likely to take place from mid-June. Read more

Carling workers to vote on deal in pay dispute (30 May) – Employees at the Molson Coors brewery in Burton-on-Trent, who faced being sacked and reinstated on inferior pay and conditions, will vote on a radically improved offer next week read more

 ‘Yes’ vote for strike action by Unite and GMB members employed by ISS at eight RAF stations in pay dispute (29 May) – The next step is for the two unions to meet to consider the ballot result and if there is no movement to fix dates for strike action at the eight RAF stations. Read more

Construction workers lobby of Parliament – Tuesday 11 June 2013 at 13:00-15:00David Cameron has declared that he is “waging war against the excessive health and safety culture that has become an albatross around the neck of British businesses”. Yet in 2011/12, 49 construction workers were killed in accidents at work. Read more

Unison

UNISON holds strike ballot in Scotland over pay (June 5) – Local government workers across Scotland are being balloted on strike action, after rejecting a 1% pay offer. Read more

Mid Yorks NHS members vote for more action (May 30) – UNISON is calling for urgent talks at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust after members voted for more industrial action in a dispute over plans to downgrade and cut jobs. Members at hospitals in Wakefield, Dewsbury and Pontefract have already taken nine days of strike action over Trust plans to cut £25m by April next year. UNISON will ballot 75,000 members working for Scotland’s 32 local authorities. Read more

UCU

Strike on at Chesterfield College in jobs row (5 June) – Members of UCU at Chesterfield College will be on strike tomorrow in row over job losses. Read more

Strike action vote in jobs cut row at Grimsby Institute (3 June) – Members of UCU at Grimsby Institute are today being balloted for strike action in a row over job losses and cuts to staff pay and conditions Read more

CWU

Pension changes ring alarm bells (30th May) – Royal Mail Group and Post Office Limited have this week submitted controversial proposals to the CWU on further changes relating to the on-going funding of accrued and future benefits within the Royal Mail Pension Plan Read more

**New video:** Strike ballot over o2 outsourcing (3rd June) – CWU is holding a strike ballot for members working in Telefonica o2 call centres in Bury, Glasgow, Leeds and Preston Brook over plans to outsource jobs to Capita. Rumours of site closures and off-shoring work to South Africa and India have exacerbated attempts to achieve guarantees on job security and the future of these centres. The result is due on June 18. Read more

GMB

GMB Wiltshire refuse collectors to ballot for strike action (05 June) – The GMB have today notified FCC environment LTD, in Trowbridge Wiltshire, of their intention to ballot their members for industrial action. Read more

GMB publishes correspondence with Brighton Council in relation to strike busting tactics (04 June) – GMB has published e-mail correspondence with Brighton & Hove City Council with regard to strike busting tactics. Despite repeated requests, neither the Chief Executive nor the leader of the Green Administration has been willing to confirm and rule out the use of agency labour or contractors during any period of strike action Read more  Sign petition/ donate to strike fund

Huntingdon Strike Monday (May 30) – GMB Members to Strike at VIP Polymers Huntingdon on Monday 3rd June in Dispute Over Cuts in Pay and Conditions Read more

GMB argue ‘invest in social housing’ £411 Billion of taxpayers money spent on housing benefit has gone to private landlords, ‘corprate welfare’. More than 80,000 new homes could have been built with just half of that money. Read More

NUT / NASUWT

NASUWT and NUT Put Employers on Notice of Joint Strike Action – June 27 – press release (5 June) – The NASUWT and the NUT have now served notice to employers that NUT and NASUWT members in the North West of England* will be called upon to take strike action on 27 June 2013 in furtherance of the dispute with the Government over pensions, pay and conditions. This escalation of action is a further step in our on-going campaign to protect teachers and defend education Read more

Stop Gove – Build for Strike Action! (June 4) – Gove’s attacked your pensions, he’s after your pay – and now he wants to cut your holidays too! MICHAEL GOVE’s announcement that he plans to attack our holidays and conditions, on top of his plans to cut pensions and drive through performance-pay, has angered teachers’ right across the country. Read Martin Powell Davies (NUT NEC)

FBU

London firefighters in a protest against fire station closures. Mayor’s Question Time, City Hall, 19 June from 9am

Blacklisting & victimisation

GMB Lodge 70 Claims in High Court on Blacklisting (June 4) – GMB High Court Compensation Claims for 70 Members Blacklisted by Carillion and other Construction Employers Read more

Blacklisting demo outside Dumfries Council See photo

Blacklisting workshop at NSSN conference at lunchtime on June 29th details

OTHER

Thousands attend anti-bedroom tax protest in Glasgow – Over 2,000 people attended the anti – bedroom tax rally in Glasgow’s George Square on June 1 called by the Scottish Anti Bedroom Tax Federation. The mobilisation, only a few weeks since the national conference at which the federation was founded read more

IWGB protest for Living Wage outside showing of ‘Spirit of ‘45’ in Barbican this Saturday from 2.30pm here

Bosses told to support ‘hidden army of carers’ read more

Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers response to Threatenting legal aid. Read more & More How the bedroom tax will transfer housing stock from taxpayers to the banks. Read more

SERTUC FILM CLUBA new documentary feature film by Michael Wayne & Deirdre O’Neill – THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING CLASS – Runtime: 82 mins

Thursday 20 June, 7- 9.30pm – FREE ADMISSION Screening + Director Q&A

Everything changes and yet everything stays the same. 1844: Friedrich Engels writes his book ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England’, a classic denunciation of the appalling living conditions for working people living at the heart of the industrial revolution in Manchester, England.  In 2012: a group of working class people from Manchester and Salford have the job of devising a theatrical show from scratch based on their own experiences and Engels’ book. They have 8 weeks before their first performance. The Condition of the Working Class follows the process from the first rehearsal to first night and situates their struggle to get the show on stage in the context of the daily struggles of working people facing economic crisis and austerity politics. Review:

LOCATION              TUC Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

FREE ADMISSION    Booking essential sertucevents@tuc.org.uk  or 020 7467 1220

INTERNATIONAL – also see Labourstart

Sri Lanka Solidarity Day 8 Jun 2013 – Time: 4pm -8pm – Organised by: Tamil Solidarity and the British Tamils Forum

This important solidarity day provides an opportunity to register your opposition to the genocidal slaughter that took place in Lanka in 2009. We urge all who stand for the rights of Tamil-speaking people, opposition to continuing repression and for international workers’ solidarity to participate in this very important initiative.

Place: SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), Vernon Square Campus, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, London, WC1X 9EW

Contact: info@tamilsolidarity.org , Keerthika @  07778327044. To register here

Cambodia Strikers rally for jailed leaders. more

Egypt – (June 4) Riot police wielding batons beat and dragged disabled workers in the Egyptian provincial town of Zagazig last week. Hundreds of disabled people who are employed by the Education Department in Sharqiyya province on poverty pay are continuing their sit-in on the steps of the local government buildings despite the attack from DPAC

Turkey – Mass movement challenges Erdogan government (June 4) – Public sector workers take strike action against police violence – For a one day general strike as a next step to bring down the government! here

Portuguese unions set stage for broad anti austerity strike on June 27th. Read more

Greece – IMF admits mistakes made in Greece bailout. Read more

DIARY

JUNE

5 Lincoln TUC meeting will be taking place at 6.30pm at Lincoln Labour Club. On the agenda will be an update on plans for the “Unity against Racism” demo that was called as a result of the public meeting we held on Wednesday

6 Hands off our Homes: Brighton Hollingdean Community Centre

8 Wales Shop Stewards Network Conference – “All out together – TUC call a general strike!” – from 10-4 on Saturday June 8 in The Maldron Hotel, 100 yards from Cardiff Central station, St Mary Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GD

Sri Lanka Solidarity Day 4pm -8pm – Organised by: Tamil Solidarity and the British Tamils Forum – SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), Vernon Square Campus, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, London, WC1X 9EW

Confronting the Climate Crisis – Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union group, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PDT) London Metropolitan University, Stapleton House 277 Holloway Road N7 8HN London more

‘Fighting Cuts’ by Banner Theatre Greenwich & Bexley & Bromley Trades Council. 8pm, lynne.windeatt@btopenworld.com

March to stop the closure of 12 London fire stations – save Kingsland & Clerkenwell fire stations. Assemble Highbury fields at noon. Rally at Spa Fields EC1 @ 2.30pm More

Lincoln “Unity against Racism” demo. It will assemble at 1pm at the Cornhill

10 Independent Living Fund 10 years old 1.30 Deans Yard London SW1P More

11 Health & Safety Lobby of Parliament 11am Trafalgar Sq.

Crawley Independent Tenants Association Bedroom Tax meeting 7pm St Johns Town Centre

14 UK Uncut callout – they owe us! Canary Wharf Action 12.30 Jubilee Plaza (Canary Wharf)

15 Birmingham Bedroom Tax, In memory of Stephanie Bottril 12, Chamberlain Sq, B3

18 Bournemouth Axe bedroom tax protest 6pm Town Hall

Poole lobby council over the Bedroom Tax.

19 London FBU firefighters in a protest against fire station closures. Mayor’s Question Time, City Hall, from 9am

22 People’s Assembly – Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London, Westminster, London SW1H 9NH more

23 Time for Action Bin the Bedroom Tax 1pm CSHC host conference on further actions. The Albert, Albert Rd, NW6

25 Stand up for Schools London NUT regional Rally 5pm March to DoE. Rally  6.30pm Emmanuel Centre, Marsham St, SW1P 3DW

Lobby Housing providers against the Bedroom Tax, Manchester

29 7th annual conference of the NSSN

11am-5pm Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE more

JULY

6  Matchgirls strike festival of East London FREE

13 Durham Miners Gala

19 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

19th – 21st – Hazards Conference in Keele University

The national conference for union safety reps and community campaigners

Hazards run the online blog for the Blacklist Support Group and there will be blacklisting speakers at the Friday plenary session  More info

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CONTACT US Info@shopstewards.net   or look on our Website

TWITTER FACEBOOK STOP THE CUTS or NSSN Group

Secretary: Linda Taaffe
Email: lindataaffe66@btinternet.com or info@shopstewards.net

Phone: 07952 283 558

NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE