Saturday 22 June 2013

Turkish Embassy insults our trade union delegation

Arm-in-arm to deliver our letter of protest (Martin on the left)
Yesterday, the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation), IUF (International Union of Food workers), the TUC and UK unions UNITE, RMT, PCS, CWU, Prospect, ASLEF and NUT amongst others, joined forces with the Taksim Solidarity Committee to demonstrate outside the Turkish Embassy in London against the ongoing oppression of protestors in Taksim Square and throughout Turkey.

UPDATE: See this ITF video of the protest - where I am able to point out how Turkish police are using chemical agents in the water-cannon sprayed on protestors:

I was part of a delegation of union and community representatives that had hoped for a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador. Insultingly, but perhaps not surprisingly given the Turkish Government's record of repression against trade union activists, the Embassy even refused to open the door to accept our letter of protest.

Despite their refusal to meet us, a noisy demonstration gathered outside the Embassy, finishing with a silent 'duranadam' standing protest. 

I was one of a number of speakers who were able to bring our messages of support and solidarity to the assembled members of the Turkish and Kurdish communities in particular. However, I also pointed out to UK trade unionists that, as the victory against price-rises in Brazil had shown, sometimes the best way to show solidarity is to give workers internationally your own examples of successful struggle. British trade unions urgently need to co-ordinate strike action to oppose cuts and attacks on jobs, pay, pensions and conditions.

The demonstration coincided with other actions taking place around the world. Get more info:

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