Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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Sky News: “Riot Police Clash With Protesters In Turkey”

cegrab-20130622-184125-211-1-522x293Police push back against thousands of protesters in Istanbul as unrest returns to the city’s Taksim Square.

Riot police have fired water cannon to clear protesters from Istanbul’s Taksim Square, in the first clash at the site for nearly a week.

The demonstrators had converged at the square for a memorial to those killed in nearly three weeks of anti-government protests.

The protesters laid carnations and shouted anti-government slogans in remembrance of three protesters and a police officer killed in the unrest. Continue reading

Turkey: Court bans reports on intelligence data collection, penguins printed in protest

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News,
Monday,June 17 2013

A local court has banned reporting and broadcasting of claims that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had collected and filed data on companies owned by businessmen close to opposition parties, with the aim of stopping them from bidding in public tenders.

On Sunday, Taraf came out with a front page that included photos of penguins.....a reference to a documentary Turkish mainstream TV network CNN Türk controversially broadcast about penguins while protests were growing in Taksim on Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday, Taraf came out with a front page that included photos of penguins…..a reference to a documentary Turkish mainstream TV network CNN Türk broadcast about penguins while protests were growing in Taksim on Friday and Saturday.

The Ankara 2nd Magistrate Court decided on the ban June 14, according to a demand from the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office, which acted following a complaint from MİT itself.

Daily Taraf claimed on June 13-14 that MİT had “illegally” collected data and kept records about the political tendencies of a number of businessmen, regarding their affiliation with the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The court ruling stated that the reports were “targeting the institution” and could not be republished or broadcast in any other print or electronic media, including the paper itself.

MİT, which reports directly to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, declined to make any comment on the Taraf stories when they were printed.

Taraf allocated its front page to the court decision on June 16, showing a picture of a number of penguins in protest at the ruling. Penguins have become the symbol of Turkish mainstream media’s slowness in reporting the Taksim protests, after a prominent news channel broadcast a documentary on the antarctic animals at the same time as mass protests and police interventions were taking place. Taraf also opened a Twitter and Facebook account asking readers to “vote” on whether to carry on the claims about MİT despite the court decision, echoing the government’s recent decision to offer a potential referendum on the future of Taksim’s Gezi Park.

June/17/2013

“We Are All Turkish Democrats”: Solidarity from South Africa

“We Are All Turkish Democrats”: a Statement of Solidarity with the Turkish
Struggle

Abahlali baseMjondolo is a democratic, membership based movement of shack dwellers and other poor people in South Africa. In 2005 our experience of suffering and injustice led us to decided to organize ourselves and to represent ourselves. We are struggling for land and housing as a vital step towards the restoration of our dignity and the recognition of our equality. We have been severely punished by those who want to keep us in our place and we have faced serious repression.

When we have come under attack we have received solidarity from across the world – from Auckland to Istanbul, Nairobi, London and New York. We have stood with comrades facing repression in places like Haiti and Palestine. Today we stand with our comrades in Turkey and with all Turkish democrats.

We keep over movement strong by making sure that it always remains in the hands of its members and that we take forward the struggles that affect people’s everyday lives. We call this a living politics. But we take very seriously the fact that the system that has marginalized and oppressed us here in South Africa is the very system that marginalizes and oppresses the people of Turkey. And we have not forgotten that the first people to be in solidarity with our struggle outside of South Africa were the comrades at Sendika and People’s House in Turkey. Continue reading

Hürriyet Daily News: “Thousands of Turkish lawyers protest detention of their colleagues” | VIDEO

click this link to see lawyers protest — Hürriyet Daily News | VIDEO.

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

More than 2,000 lawyers staged a massive protest June 12 inside Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse. DHA photo

More than 2,000 lawyers staged a massive protest June 12 inside Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse, where nearly 60 lawyers were detained in a police raid after protesting the government over the Gezi Park unrest.

“Everywhere Taksim, everywhere resistance,” “Resign, prosecutor,” “Prosecutor, look here, count how many we are,” were among the slogans the lawyers chanted.

Dozens of lawyers were detained for several hours by police at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse on June 11 for joining the Taksim Gezi protests, which have been raging across the country for 17 days now. Continue reading

TURKEY: “Seeds of a Turkish spring”

[Some call it the dawn of a Turkish Spring, but time will tell. 

Some, within hours, will call it a revolution.  But it is not a revolution.  If it deepens and grows, some will say it is phony, “another Velvet Revolution” instigated by the US, Assad. or

Israel, or al Qaeda.  But they had nothing to do with it.  The

sparks have long been bursting from many quarters wherever

the sting of Erdogan’s fascist rule has been felt, among

women, workers, students, among Kurds.  Now the kindling

is dry, and rebellion is in the air.   Does it threaten the regime?

No, not now, not yet.  Does it threaten the role of US and the

EU andNATO and especially Germany, as dominant

imperialists? No, not now, not yet.  Is it a dependable force

for Kurdish people?  No, not now, not yet.  But can it become

a force that changes the country and the region?  None can

say,not yet.  But unlike Egypt, or Tunisia, or Libya or Syria,

there is a significant and organized revolutionary force in

Turkey.  While they may have had no role in the beginning

of the Taksim Gezi park rebellion, proletarian revolutionaries

may move the events in a direction beyond where other

Springs could go.  Time will tell. — Frontlines ed.]

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Istanbul park protests sow the seeds of a Turkish spring

Protesters in the capital, Ankara. Turkish politics is almost exclusively male-dominated. Photograph: Burhan Ozbilici/AP

Protesters in the capital, Ankara. Turkish politics is almost exclusively male-dominated. Photograph: Burhan Ozbilici/AP

A protest in a small Istanbul park has become a lightning rod for grievances against the government, and it could be explosive
Richard Seymour
guardian.co.uk, Friday 31 May 2013
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/31/istanbul-park-protests-turkish-spring

This morning, Turkish police surrounded protesters in Taksim Gezi park, the central square in Istanbul, blocked all exits and attacked them with chemical sprays and teargas.

An Occupy-style movement has taken off in Istanbul. The ostensible issue of conflict is modest. Protesters started gathering in the park on 27 May, to oppose its demolition as part of a redevelopment plan. But this is more than an environmental protest. It has become a lightning conductor for all the grievances accumulated against the government.

Police have waited until the early hours of each morning to attack, just as police in the US did when dealing with Occupy protesters. They set fire to the tents in which protesters were sleeping and showered them with pepper spray and teargas. A student had to undergo surgery after injuries to his genitals.

The occupiers adapted and started to wear homemade gas masks. More importantly, they called for solidarity. In response to yesterday’s assault, thousands of protesters turned up, including opposition politicians. But this morning’s attack allowed no defence or escape. The park, and the area around it, is still closed, and still under clouds of gas. Continue reading

Turkish protesters have long list of complaints

02 Jun 2013
ANKARA (AFP)turkey 6-1-13  What started as a small group opposed to an development project in Istanbul has become an outpouring of national anger over how the Islamist-rooted government treats its citizens, testing Ankara’s quest to be a model country in its neighbourhood.Turks are increasingly frustrated about what they see as restrictions on their freedom after a series of last-minute reforms were rushed through parliament by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which enjoys an overwhelming majority.”This is a movement which is a result of growing frustration and disappointment among secular segments of society who could not influence politics over the last decade,” said Sinan Ulgen, visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe.

“This is an unprecedented, abrupt and unplanned public movement that has not been manipulated by any political party. It is a big surprise,” he told AFP.

A small park and its 600 trees at Istanbul’s iconic Taksim square was the spark for the protests that snowballed into one of the biggest nationwide campaigns against the ruling party’s tturkey taksimen-year rule.

Critics say that Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s rule has left Turkish society more polarised than ever, with opponents of the AKP government openly voicing concerns that Turkey is moving toward conservative Islam.

The ruling party has passed a series of reforms which have outraged many citizens who complain of a “fait accompli” and say it shows a slide toward an authoritarian and conservative agenda.

In 2004, the party attempted to submit a controversial amendment on banning adultery but had to back down amid criticism from opposition parties and women’s groups.

Last year, Erdogan provoked outrage when he likened abortion to murder, and his contentious education reform allowing clerical schools for the raising of what he described a “pious generation” was approved by the parliament in 2012, spreading fears among secularists.

More recently, Turkey’s parliament passed legislation curbing alcohol sales and advertising, which would be the toughest in the republic’s history if the president, a former AKP member, signs it into law.

In April, an Istanbul court ordered a retrial for world-renowned pianist Fazil Say, who was convicted earlier to 10 months in prison for blasphemy over a series of social media posts. The 43-year-old virtuoso has accused the AKP of being behind the case against him.

Critics accuse Erdogan’s government of using courts to silence dissenting voices.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists worldwide, imprisoning even more than China or Iran, according to rights groups.

Hundreds of military officers, academics and lawyers are also in detention — most of them accused of plotting against the government. Continue reading

Turkish prison authorities beat Kurdish political prisoner suffering from cancer

by Alliance for Kurdish RightsTaylan Çintay, a Kurdish political prisoner suffering from cancer, was hospitalized one day after his medical operation. He started bleeding as he was beaten at the entrance of the prison and was taken to the emergency room. The prison authorities launched an investigation against him, alleging that “he got wounded by hitting himself against the wall,” Bianet reported.

36-year-old Taylan Çintay, a seriously ill cancer patient, has been in prison for 15 years. He underwent five medical operations due to bladder cancer during that period.

Çintay was transferred to Sincan Prison in Ankara from Diyarbakır Prison where he had been held and underwent an operation at Ankara Numune Hospital on May 19. He was discharged from the hospital on May 20 and taken back to Sincan Prison. Continue reading

Power Politics 101: Promoters of butcher Assad, Beware — Russia follows capitalist realpolitik

[Seeing the writing on the wall–that the days of their “ally” Assad of Syria are numbered–capitalist-imperialist power Russia (a growing imperialist contender to US’ imperial hegemon) seeks to ensure and preserve a piece of post-Assad Syria for its own regional interests.  Those who have made spurious claims that the Russian/Assad-ist Syrian alliance is somehow an anti-imperialist front, will have to adjust their framework, substantially…..Meanwhile, talks between US imperialists and the “official” Syrian opposition have, simultaneously, been held.  The fragmentary and formative revolutionary people’s forces have, to all indications, played no role in either set of talks with imperialists, as they have been either decimated or, driven underground or into exile, are making difficult preparations for the future. — Frontlines ed.]

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Russia in ground-breaking talks with Syrian opposition

03 Feb 2013 – MUNICH, Germany (AFP)

[Photo:  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov]
Ground-breaking talks between the Russian foreign minister and the Syrian opposition leader have bolstered a global push to narrow sharp differences over how to end the conflict in Syria.

Moscow said Saturday it wanted to keep in regular contact with the Syrian opposition, after its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz al-Khatib met for the first time.

“I reminded Khatib that after the creation of the coalition and the appointment of their leader, we immediately demonstrated our interest in maintaining regular contact,” Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying after the meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

“We will make that happen,” he added.

[Photo: A rebel fighter poses in front of a Soviet-made T55 tank abandoned by pro-Syrian regime forces in al-Yaqubia in northern Syrian, on February 2, 2013. Ground-breaking talks between the Russian foreign minister and the Syrian opposition leader have bolstered a global push to narrow sharp differences over how to end the conflict in Syria.]

Lavrov had earlier Saturday held talks with US Vice President Joe Biden and UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi amid strong disagreement between Moscow and Washington about ways to end the 22-month Syria conflict, which according to the United Nations has claimed upwards of 60,000 lives.

Khatib, who became the head of the coalition late last year, reiterated on the opening day of the Munich talks Friday an earlier surprise announcement that his group is ready for dialogue with the Damascus regime — subject to conditions including the release of 160,000 detainees.

Lavrov said Moscow welcomed the initiative, adding: “If we take into account the fact that the coalition was founded on a refusal to engage in a dialogue with the regime, it’s a very important step.” Continue reading

Three Kurdish activists killed in Paris, France — statement of migrant workers from Turkey

3kurdsWe abhor the murder of the three Kurds in Paris!

ATIK | 15.01.2013 | In the evening of the 9th January 2013 was a barbaric attack on the Kurdish Information Bureau in Paris, capital of France, by people that have still not been identified. Through this cold-blooded murder, the co-founder of the PKK Sakine Cansiz, the Paris representative of the KNK Dogan Fidan and the youth activist Leyla Söylemez were executed. This attack Sakine Cansiz and Dogan Fidan were killed by head shots and Leyla Söylemez with shots to the head and abdomen.

This attack was discovered on 10 January 2013. A journalist of Kurdish newspaper Özgür Politika could not reach Dogan Fidan, so he and some other people decided to go to the Kurdish Information Office. On entering the office, they were confronted with the bodies of three Kurds. As the office is located in a busy street, this murder was unnoticed, which could be a sign that this attack was planned and carried out by professionals.

Thousands of Kurds mourned the activists killed in Paris -- Funeral in Turkey, 16 January 2013

Thousands of Kurds mourned the activists killed in Paris — Funeral in Turkey, 16 January 2013

Sakineh Cansiz the women who was murdered in Paris, was born in 1957 in Dersim. In her youth, she was active in the pupils and students movement of Elazig. She is also one of the founders and a cadre of the PKK.  She was arrested during the 1980 military coup in Turkey in Amed, severely tortured and imprisoned for years in prisons in the fascist Turkish state. Since her first day of participation in the political struggle, she always led a revolutionary life and was therefore one of the first women cadres of the Kurdish national liberation struggle.

Dogan Fidan, was born in 1982 in Maras-Elbistan, emigrated in childhood with her family to Europe. Since 1999, she was active in the revolutionary struggle in Europe. Dogan had long been active as a Parisian representative in the National Congress of Kurdistan. Also murdered in the attack, Leyla Söylemez was an active member within the Kurdish youth movement.

It is well known that in the past many times such murders were carried out by the fascist Turkey. That the fascist Turkish government and its representatives, the current AKP try to portray this as an internal party dispute, is no coincidence. As long as the real perpetrators of this massacre are not found, France will have to bear the responsibility for it.

We as ATIK abhor this massacre and press the Kurdish national movement, its sympathizers and relatives of the victims of our sympathy. We call upon all democratic-minded people and our members to be on the side of the victims. The people will one day bring the murderer to justice.

Sakineh Cansiz, Dogan Fidan, and Leyla Söylemez are immortal!

ATIK-Confederation of Workers from Turkey in Europe

10th 01. 2013

Syrian people’s just rebellion needs people’s war–not FSA, Assad, or imperialism

[The conflict in Syria has been the subject of much  twisted coverage by the US and EU and its surrogates, by supporters of anti-US bourgeois nationalists, by partisans of Russian imperialism against US hegemonists, by advocates of the regional power of the Iranian Islamic Republic, and by “pragmatic opportunists” who wink at the role of Saudi Arabia/Bahrain/GCC.  Many people, outraged at the mass suffering and mass killing of Syrian people, have been justifiably confused, especially as the issues have been distorted by imperialist and reactionary medias which serve these interests.  And to confuse even more, many of the reactionary medias proclaim themselves as anti-imperialist, though careful reading reveals these to be promoting one reactionary power versus another.

We recently received the following statement and analysis of the situation in Syria from revolutionary Maoists in Brazil.  Views of revolutionary internationalists have too rarely been heard on this issue, and so we present these views as a good counterpoint to the prevailing revisionist and reactionary accounts.  We believe these comrades in Brazil have done significant groundwork toward the analysis needed. 

There are some aspects of this analysis which require more work and debate, in our view.  In particular, their argument that People’s War–if defined as China’s revolutionary military strategy–is universally  applicable to all countries, is a view we do not share.  Our understanding that the Maoist strategic conception of People’s War, (as summarized by the phrase, “surrounding the cities from the countryside”), only applies to feudal, semi-feudal, colonial and semi-colonial societies, where repressive power in the countryside is sufficiently weak that people’s revolutionary war, seizing and expanding significant liberated areas is an accurately applied historic strategem.  In other countries, where reactionary state power is effectively deployed everywhere, a long period of amassing revolutionary political forces through primarily political , not military, struggle, must precede the armed struggle for state power.  These general categories and strategies have often been taken literally, without detailed investigation and analysis, at great and disastrous cost to revolutionary forces.  The need for detailed study of concrete conditions is especially indicated by the ongoing changes in capitalist-imperialist production, distribution, and state power–and the distribution and growth of people’s forces.

But some use the term People’s War, not in the sense of the “countryside-overtaking-city” strategem, but synonymous with people’s armed struggle for power in all variety of circumstance–as a statement of principle, in opposition to the revisionist and social-democratic notion of the “peaceful, electoral” road to power.  In this sense, People’s War (where the masses take up the gun against reactionary power, and where the gun is led by revolutionary politics) is a universal revolutionary principle.  —  Frontlines ed.]

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Proletarian and oppressed peoples of the whole world, united!

Statement of the Revolutionary Front in Defence of the People’s Rights, RFDPR, Brasil, on the present situation in Syria

DOWN THE IMPERIALIST ALLOTMENT IN SYRIA!

LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE’S WAR OF THE PEOPLES IN ALL COUNTRIES!

“The combat to imperialism and reaction without the inseparable combat to opportunism is nothing but empty phraseology”.

Lenin: “Imperialism and the splitting of socialism”.

The nation of Syria has been suffering a bloody imperialist plundering war in the shape of  a civil war. Assad’s armed forces and the so-called free army of Syria are the contestants of this inter-imperialist dispute for the Syrian territory. Syria has been converted into a new treachery for the anti-imperialist world resistance and the newest enclave of the inter-imperialist struggles.

At the present conditions of this struggle development any result will not bring any advance for the Syrian people and nation; it will only deepen the imperialist dominance over the country and oppression on the people since until now an independent and organized intervention of the armed masses has lacked of a proletarian vanguard even very little constituted.

The March 2011 revolt was a spontaneous mass uprising against a fascist regime led by Bashar al Assad and it is part of an overwhelming wave of people’s rebellions that happened all over the North of Africa and Middle East. The mass rebellions awakened in those countries, despite being developed in an unconscious form and not having a proletarian leadership, have the same root: they are antifascist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist ones.

The revolt is a just rebellion against a bureaucratic comprador regime at the service of imperialism mostly Russian that has been controlled for decades by the Assad dynasty.

The Yankee imperialism has taken advantage from the situation, as for instance in all Arabic countries rebellions, manipulating the mass struggle, deviating them from the revolutionary path, to guarantee their interests in the region. The intelligentsia services for the imperialist coalition forces have formed and armed a mercenary army self-named Syria’s Free Army –SFA, directed commanded by their agents with the aim of changing the Syrian regime. Thus the USA wants to change the Russian control over Syria, breaking with the relationship with Hezbollah, surround and isolate Iran and prepare the grounds to attack it.

All this complex plan in the Middle East and North of Africa is part of a new war of imperialist plundering and allotment against the peoples. The Yankee imperialism, still being an unique and hegemonic superpower in the world, has declared its objective to create a map of a “New Middle East”, that is, a Middle East totally controlled by the USA, without the influence and interference of other imperialist powers and mostly without the people’s armed resistance of the masses.

The Yankee imperialism, amidst a deep and protracted crises, hit by the people of the world, mostly in the main front of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the people’s wars in India, the Philippines, Turkey and Peru, with its hegemony questioned by the inter-imperialist struggle, is more and more at the verge of an unprecedented war.

In this context, the events in Syria are firstly and mostly part of the contradiction between oppressed peoples/countries and imperialist powers; secondly, the inter-imperialist contradiction that could convert into the principal contradiction. This one happens through the dispute for the control of colonies and semi-colonies accumulating and being able to develop into a direct confront in the form of a new world imperialist war. Continue reading

The Nepalese Revolution in the Clasp of Reformism and Revisionism

[The following is a statement from the Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist Leninist on the current situation facing the international communist movement, with special attention on the effect of the Nepalese abandonment of the People’s War.  It is a very timely assessment based on seriously probing issues that affect not only the Nepalese, but revolutionaries throughout the world. — Frontlines ed.]

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Communist Party of Turkey / Marxist Leninist (TKP/ML), October 2012

Following the death of Comrade Mao Zedong, similar to the process that took place after the death of Comrade Stalin, modern revisionism seized the party and the state power, and caused serious damages to the world revolutionary front. Having suffered heavy blows in the hands of modern revisionism, the International Communist Movement (ICM), despite having benefited from a series of class war and struggle practices, including the one waged in Turkey, has not been able to stand against the ideological offensives of imperialism, which gained considerable momentum especially during the 1990s.

In the circumstances where resistance was not organized strongly enough, communist forces sustained severe injuries throughout the process. While some of them sank in their capsized ships, yet some were swept to the opposite shores. Only the few “lucky” survived, considering the survival a major success in the given circumstances. There were several exceptional development by those who came up with accurate analyses and correct policies to advance the people’s war. Even these, however, found it impossible to advance without getting caught by the storm.

The most important defeat in people’s war experiences in recent history was suffered by Gonzalo led Communist Party of Peru (CPP). Despite having shown serious advances in revolution, the CPP failed to carry its success through the final stage. Those who explain the defeat in practical and tactical matters, which led to a severe blow in the leadership, or even in political approaches, are missing the chance to see the reality. Assessments regarding the revolution and people’s war that were revealed by the leadership under the conditions of captivity point out to a drift away from the fundamental philosophical principles of MLM science.

The same situation appears to be present in the process of Nepalese revolution as well. What is even more concerning is the fact that similar dangers are reproduced in the cases of certain components of the ICM, which inevitably leads to serious negative consequences in terms of absorbing and practicing Marxist ideology. As an action guideline, the Marxist ideology must first be correctly understood as a philosophy; as a reasoning method. Based on this comprehension, it can be applied for the analysis of class struggle and transferred to political arena.

Truth must be derived from the facts but in order to achieve this one needs appropriate methods and know-hows.   The materialist character of dialectic is shaped according to the correct conception of economic, social and political laws. Marxism is not a heap of dogmas but rather a science that breaks down the codes of today’s system; it contains a set of thesis and diagnoses that are proven to be correct and valid. Thanks to its ageless essence, its power to explain the transformation, and its structure that is open to further development, its light hasn’t dimmed; its mission as a guide is still on. Continue reading

10,000 More Prisoners To Join The Kurdish Hunger Strikes In Turkey

Turkish riot police fire water and tear gas as they clash with Kurdish demonstrators during a protest in support of a hunger strike movement by Kurdish prisoners, on November 4, 2012, in Istanbul (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

By Kurd Net, Ekurd.net, 06 November, 2012

ANKARA— Shortly after the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) announced that thousands of more prisoners were to join a collective hunger strike, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç made an open call to all prisoners to end the strike.

On Sunday BDP deputy Sabahat Tuncel said 10,000 more prisoners currently held in the country’s prisons for various crimes, including membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Iranian offshoot, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), would join the hunger strike on Monday.

Around 700 Kurdish prisoners began the hunger strike on September 12, with a host of demands including the release of the Kurdish (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan and demanding the right to receive an education in their mother tongue, Kurdish, and the right to address courts in Kurdish.

Protest in support of Kurdish hunger strikers in Berlin. Image by Thomas Rossi Rassloff via Flickr

Tuncel said on Sunday during a press conference she called after attending an Istanbul demonstration by pro-BDP protestors in support of prisoners on hunger strike, “Ten thousand more prisoners are going to join the hunger strike on Monday [Nov. 5] without a time limit or the possibility of backpedaling [before their demands are met by the government].” Continue reading

Hunger Strike: The Irish Experience

by DENIS O’HEARN

When people ask me, “what is the most important thing you learned about Bobby Sands?” I tell them one simple thing. The most important thing about Bobby Sands is not how he died on hunger strike, it is how he lived.

New York – Bıa news agency, 5 November 2012

The hunger strikes of 1980/1981, in which ten men including Bobby Sands died, are the most famous use of that political weapon. Yet hunger striking has a long history in Irish political culture. It is said that the ancient Celts practiced a form of hunger strike called Troscadh or Cealachan, where someone who had been wronged by a man of wealth fasted on his doorstep. Some historians claim that this was a death fast, which usually achieved justice because of the shame one would incur from allowing someone to die on their doorstep. Others say it was a token act that was never carried out to the death – it was simply meant to publicly shame the offender. In any case, both forms of protest have been used quite regularly as a political weapon in modern Ireland.

The history of Irish resistance to British colonialism is full of heroes who died on hunger strike. Some of the best-known include Thomas Ashe, a veteran of the 1916 “Easter Rising”, who died after he was force-fed by the British in Dublin’s Mountjoy Jail. In 1920, three men including the mayor of Cork City Terence MacSwiney died on hunger strike in England’s Brixton Prison. In October 1923 two men died when up to 8,000 IRA prisoners went on hunger strike to protest their imprisonment by the new “Irish Free State” (formed after the partition of Ireland in 1921). Three men died on hunger strike against the Irish government in the 1940s. After the IRA was reformed in the 1970s, hunger strikes became common once again. IRA man Michael Gaughan died after being force-fed in a British prison in 1974. And Frank Stagg died in a British jail after a 62-day hunger strike in 1976.

Unlike in Turkey, the Irish make no distinction between a “hunger strike” and a “death fast,” although many hunger strikes have started without the intention of anyone dying. In 1972, IRA prisoners successfully won status as political prisoners after a hunger strike in which no one died. They were then moved to Long Kesh prison camp, where they lived in dormitory-style huts and self-organized their education (including guerrilla training), work (including cooperative handicrafts production), recreation, and attempts to escape and rejoin the conflict. The prisoners used their relative freedom to raise their collective and individual consciousness about their struggle against British occupation of Ireland. They read international revolutionaries like Che Guevara and Irish socialists such as James Connolly. This was, in turn, a foundation for rebuilding the IRA on a basis that included a less hierarchical and more participative structure, with a higher emphasis on community politics as a part of armed struggle.

As the IRA rebuilt their organization in prison the British government also changed strategy. The main pillar of the new strategy was a “conveyor belt” of security operations that included widespread arrests of young Catholic males, heavy interrogation including torture, and juryless courts in which a single judge pronounced guilt often on the sole basis of verbal or written statements under interrogation. Continue reading

Partizan analyzes Arab uprising and Syrian opposition, imperialism, and Turkey

[As part of our ongoing coverage of people’s struggles against reactionary and oppressive regimes in the middle east, we are posting this new statement from Partizan, a revolutionary periodical from Turkey, which analyzes the current struggles in the middle east, focused on Syria, Turkey, borders, and Kurdish areas. — Frontlines ed.]

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AGAINST IMPERIALISM, FASCISM, COMPRADOR CAPITALISM AND ALL KINDS OF REACTIONARIES

PARTIZAN

The Arab uprisings and the opposition against Assad in Syria -­- The correct position in the light of a class analysis!

In North Africa and the Middle East a period, also expressed as the “Arab spring”, arised and still continues. In many occasions we have expressed our approach about the situation in these areas and towards the people’s movement. Current Syria based agenda is advancing fast with an inclusion of and shaping in direct relation with our country.

Hence, from the ruling classe front to the front of the revolutionaries, democrats and patriots all express their views, formulations and evaluations on this issue. Also the Marxist‐-­Leninist-­‐Maoists have shared their views with the public about Syria in the context of the Assa d government, the oppositional movement and the triangle of the imperialist occupation together with its subcontractors. Nevertheless, as Maoists from our country we feel the need that we must once more state our comments on this issue in a period in which many facts become interlocked with each other.

…There cannot be any just reason for such an intervention, and reasons given from imperialism are definitely not convincing nor can they be accepted…

After expressing this aim, we can start with some general definitions on the specifics of the topic: to have a country that faces an attack from the outside and which has been designed by the imperialist states, needs without a doubt, an open and clear opposition from all revolutionaries, democrats and patriots. Besides this, there cannot be any just reasons for such a intervention, reasons given from imperialism are definitely not convincing nor can they be accepted. We would like to begin with stressing that this is unquestionable. Furthermore, in a situation of an imperialist occupation, in standing firm in concern of the characteristic of the aspiration and the struggle for independence, in a national front policy’ it becomes a fundamental task to form an alliance of anti-­‐occupation forces. The position behind this is the fundamental principal that all people and every nation have a right to determine their own future.

Together with this, the main point of the discussion of many problems we are facing is that such a situation isn’t there. We can say that the interventions of imperialism, their effort to cover the reality of what really happens, makes it complicated for us to understand the essence of what happens. “Anti-­‐imperialism” could be a strut to underestimate the revolts of the people against the tyrannical powers. Thus it is beneficial to look at the current developments in Syria from that perspective. Continue reading

Confederation of Workers from Turkey in Europe (ATIK) statement against war moves by Turkey and Syria

Avrupa Türkiyeli İşçiler Konfederasyonu

      Konfederasyona Karkerên ji Tirkîye li Ewropa

Konföderation der Arbeiter aus der Türkei in Europa

Confederation of Workers from Turkey in Europe

La Confédération des Travailleurs de Turquie en Europe

Confederatie van Arbeiders uit Turkÿe in Europa

To Press and Public!

US imperialism and other imperialist forces have intensified their administrative policies on the Middle- East and the recent developments in Syria. In order for the imperialists to practice such policies they gave/give an important role to the fascist Turkish state. The Turkish state has mobilized an “opposition against the human rights violations in Syria” and PM R.T. Erdogan tries to show himself in public as an advocate of human rights. The fascist AKP government applies on every provocation in order to open a war against Syria.

The recent incident is an open example for this in the border village Akçakale five people were killed by a rocket coming from the Syria borders and now Turkey uses this to complete its war mongering policies which are designed by imperialism. There is a great possibility that this bomb was thrown by the imperialists themselves or an anti-Syria opposition in Turkey, which was nourished by the AKP government, and now the state is calling upon the UN and the NATO. It is very clear that Turkey and the imperialists try to use the incident in Akçakale to initiate an open war against Syria. We all know that a war against Syria is only going to affect the oppressed Syrian people, instead of freedom this war will bring blood and exploitation. The main purpose of the fascist Turkish state is it to march into Syria and for this it shows the Esad fascism as a excuse but we all know that Esad and Erdogan used to be close friends initiating common policies against the progressive revolutionary movements in both countries and against the Kurdish national movement. Continue reading