Free speech for Turkish workers on May Day?

This is a video from Istanbul, Turkey, about the May Day demonstration of 2007.

From Labornet in Turkey:

Turkey/Istanbul – Even the May Day posters of Freedom Solidarity Party are banned!

April 29, 2008

The posters and banners prepared by the socialist Freedom and Solidarity party were banned by the governor of Istanbul. The posters wrote, “To stop the Friend of the Rich, Enemy of the Poor (governing) JDP, All Out at May Day

The governor has not allowed the May Day celebrations to take place in its traditional place, the Taksim Square, citing security concerns. Yet, only last night soccer hooligans were allowed to demonstrate at the same square without any government intervention. Taksim square has become the contested ground between the government and the May Day celebration organizers. In 1977, the largest ever May Day celebration at the square was attacked by a combination of US snipers and their collaborating Turkish security forces from the surrounding buildings killing more than 30 people and injuring hundreds. The ITT owned Intercontinental hotel had officially closed to allow only the US citizen snipers to take positions in the hotel prior to the massive celebration that year. Only few years prior, the owner of the Intercontinental Hotel, ITT had been involved in toppling the Allende regime in Chile to bring a brutal fascist military dictatorship. Except for the banned years after the fascist Turkish military coup, organizers have insisted and tried to celebrate the event in this most central place in Istanbul, while the government has attacked all attempts.

In a statement the President of The Freedom Solidarity Party Istanbul branch said, “Istanbul Governor Muammer Güler is not only against May Day, he is also preventing us from criticizing the government”.

The statement continued, “For years, the Taksim square is being used for many different social events from national soccer celebrations to ‘police weeks’; from new year celebrations to ‘Tulip festivals’. The square is only closed to the workers and the laborers. The governer said yesterday that there is no security at the square and Taksim is not an appropriate location for the celebrations. He indicated that if we celebrated there he will have the police attack us.”

Update: here.

8 thoughts on “Free speech for Turkish workers on May Day?

  1. From New York City in the USA:

    Thursday MAY 1st

    Stop the Raids & Deportations – May 1st Coalition
    Stop the raids and deportations!
    Legalization Now — Justice for ALL
    Justice for Sean Bell

    On May 1, we will march to One Police Plaza, NYPD Headquarters

    12 pm: Gather at Union Square, 14th Street & Broadway
    4 pm: Rally & March

    We Say:

    * Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, Arab, White – In Unity there is strength.

    * ICE raids are racist, anti-union and violate immigrant and US workers’ civil rights & divide families.

    * Jobs & homes, not lay-off and foreclosures. Stop demolition of public housing in New Orleans & everywhere.

    * No war in Iraq. Bring the troops home now.

    * Political asylum for Victor Toro. No deportation for Flor Crisostomo.

    * Money for levees in New Orleans, not the US / Mexico border wall.

    * Repeal NAFTA, no more U.S. trade agreements that force migration & cause lay-offs here.

    May Day 2008 is critically important. Will the optimism and hope expressed around the Presidential elections translate into an end of immigrant raids and deportations? Will it bring an end to the foreclosures of homes, the lowering of gas and food prices, or an end to lay-offs?

    Whatever the outcome in November, the May 1st Coalition for Immigrant and Workers Rights will be marching once again on May Day, International Workers Day to say no to all the attacks against workers here and around the world.

    We call on the progressive community, the anti-war movement, the women’s & LGBT movement, and especially the labor movement, to come out for May Day 2008. March for solidarity, because an injury to one is an injury to all!

    Rally called by May 1st Coalition for Immigrant & Worker Rights


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