15 people joined a symbolic picket of Turkey’s Embassy in Wellington on Friday, answering the call from demonstrators in Turkey for solidarity.
The action was called by the International Socialists, but drew support and participation from local anarchists, other socialists and trade unionists.
The protests in Turkey are fighting for democratic rights and the control of public space against an aggressively neoliberal government.
Our action was small, but was one of many around the world showing support for the movement in Turkey. It gathers together Kurdish groups and Turkish socialists, LGBT groups, secular and Islamic currents, and trade union power, all united against the government’s savage repression.
At the picket we read out of this message of support from the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, passed on by Peter Conway:
“The NZCTU condemns the actions taken by the Turkish government which began as attacks on people including unionists complaining about the demolition of a city park to replace it with a shopping centre, and has grown into repression of widespread public protests. We are informed that it is now becoming general repression against legitimate opposition to the government’s actions. Along with the International Trade Union Confederation, Turkish national trade union centres KESK and DISK, and many others, we call on the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to release the many trade unionists, journalists and others the government is unjustifiably holding in detention, and begin dialogue to find a just resolution of the concerns of the thousands of people protesting. We join with a coalition of Turkish organisations including trade unions in calling on the Turkish government to free all those arrested; drop all charges against them; hold accountable those responsible for the police violence; and lift all bans on meetings and demonstrations.”