May 1st Resistance--Turkey, Berlin, Zurich

Zeynep Tufekcioglu zeynept at turk.net
Thu May 2 16:37:23 MDT 1996


Just wanted to correct a few things in the AP report. I know everyone on the
list is aware that the AP report may be falsified. Consider this an
emotional need-to-say-it. I saw the police aim at the crowd. I can't stand
this "police fired into the air" bit.

>
>May 1st Resistance World-Wide
>
>Three Die In Police-Leftist May Day Clashes In Turkey
>
>Istanbul, Turkey (Associated Press - May 1, 1996) Outlawed
>leftist groups clashed with police during May Day rallies
>Wednesday. Three protesters were killed and 69 people were
>injured.
>     Two members of the illegal leftist Revolutionary People's
>Salvation Party Front [sic] were shot and killed during the melee
>that began when police tried to search some of 100,000 people
>arriving to hear union leaders speak.

Zeynep:
Most of the participants were revolutionaries, even though the legal
permission was obtained by the Trade Union Confederations. (I don't use the
term revolutionaries make a distinction between revolutionaries and workers.
At least two of the murdered revolutionaries were workers.) 

May Day was outlawed for a decade, during which the revolutionary groups
took to the streets anyway. Some were killed, paralysed, injured each year.
The action was so persistent, year after year, killing after killing, the
government allowed the TUs to sponsor the May Day rallies, hoping they would
turn it into a "peaceful" event with shallow speeches by TU leaders, none of
whom drive anything less than a top of the line BMW or Mercedes. Real
working class representation.

>     Istanbul Gov. Ridvan Yenisen told state television that 52
>policemen were among those injured in the demonstrations on the
>traditional labor holiday, usually marked by socialists and
>communists.
>     Some protesters wearing masks and carrying flags with the
>communist hammer-and-sickle symbol seized the speakers platform.
>Others carried flags of the illegal Kurdistan Workers Party, or
>PKK, which is waging a guerrilla war in southeastern Turkey.

This is the case every year, though. Again, "some protesters" should be
noted as "most".

>     After the speeches, some protesters went on a rampage,
>damaging banks, stores and vehicles and attacking police with
>sticks and stones.

The police first fired on the crowd in the morning, killing two with bullets
in the head and chest. This isn't shooting to stop, this is shooting to
kill. Then, the organising committee refused to announce the deaths. That's
when the crowd pushed the organising committee out and occupied the
platform, after repeated calls to announce and honor the dead. From
Haymarket to Turkey 1996.

>     Police fired into the air, and a least one bullet struck and
>killed a protester, a government official said, speaking on
>condition of anonymity.

Fired in the air? And shot people in the head, from the air? Many are still
in hospital suffering bullet wounds in the head, chest, upper body. Yes, the
crowd attacked the police and broke the windows of nearby banks. In a
country, where a few disappear per month under police custody and turn up
dead, isn't it awfully surprising the people seem to hate the police. And
just after they had killed two persons a few hours ago.

>     In the resort town of Izmir, dozens of people including six
>     policemen were injured in a clash after police tried to stop
>     demonstrators from jumping over barricades. Several demonstrators
>     were detained, the Turkish news agency Anatolia reported.

Btw, that "resort town" is the third biggest city in Turkey, 3 million
strong,  heart of industrial activity, a big port and a huge working class
population.

>     During a 1977 May Day gathering in Istanbul, unidentified
>     gunmen opened fire on tens of thousands of demonstrators, killing
>     37.

No charges were ever brought against whoever opened fire on 500,000
demonstrators in 1977. We're not even allowed to commemorate May Day in the
place where the 1977 massacre occurred. There is much circumstantial
evidence that the shooting was government sponsored, but, as usual, never
could be proven.

I think we had the bloodiest May Day in the world again, a record Turkey
seems to hold.

Finally, this is how it sounds in Turkish:

ENTERNASYONAL

Uyan artik, uykudan uyan,
Uyan esirler dünyasi.
Zulme karsi hincimiz volkan,
Bu kavga olum-dirim kavgasý.
Mazi ta derinden silinsin.
Biz baþka alem isteriz.
Bizi hice sayanlar bilsin,
Bundan sonra hersey biziz!

(Chorus):
Bu kavga en sonuncu kavgamýzdýr artýk,
Enternasyonalle kurtulur insanlýk



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