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Women Unfree Shall Never Be At Peace

category derry | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Monday March 07, 2005 18:32author by Derry IRSP - Irish Republican Socialist Partyauthor email derryirsp at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

March 8th: International Working Women’s Day

In its annual March 8th message the Irish Republican Socialist Party has hit out against the Turkish Regimes state forces, during what can only be described as a brutal assault on protesters over this years International Working Women’s Day demonstrations, at which least 70 people were beaten and arrested.

Irish Republican Socialist Party Derry

Tel. 02871 262999

March 7th 2005

Press Release

Re: Women Unfree Shall Never Be At Peace

In its annual March 8th message the Irish Republican Socialist Party has hit out against the Turkish Regimes state forces, during what can only be described as a brutal assault on protesters over this years International Working Women’s Day demonstrations, at which least 70 people were beaten and arrested.

In a statement a spokesperson for the IRSP, Yvonne Dalton said "International Women’s Day in one of Europe’s newest bedfellows, dramatically turned in to a virtual whirlpool of violent assault on innocent protesters and onlookers.

"Several hundred political activists from women’s groups, prisoner support groups to human rights organisations participated in the demonstration through the Turkish capital of Istanbul. The scenes that followed were brutal, with men and women pushed to the ground, kicked in the head and sprayed with gas in the face. Many were left crouching in a ball with their hands protecting themselves.

“Unfortunately this is a scene which is played out on an all to familiar bases by this Fascist regime. Despite what the Godfathers in Brussels would have us believe, Turkey in 2005 is truly in the grip of patriarchal traditions and violence against women from its westernised cities to is sunny holiday resorts and it remains a serious problem. It is something that cannot be overlooked in the power houses of the Euro state.

"Throughout the past four years, the Turkish state has been unable to break the resistance of the political prisoners and their supporters in what can only be described as one of the largest a high profile prisoners campaign for political status since the 1981 hunger strikes. Despite solitary confinement, torture, arrests, force-feeding of hunger strikers, brutal assaults, and more, the fight continues.

"As a republican socialist, I would like to pay tribute to those activists who have taken to the streets and in the prisons of Turkey to demand equality, justice and an end to this regime. We can clearly see that once again Turkey, your terror mask has slipped.

“On March 8th can I state that it is not about middle class coffee or wine parties or superficial art classes. It is about real class struggles of the past, present and future struggles of working class women and the liberation of our class. As a gesture of international working class women’s solidarity on this day, our party call upon all those who believe in equality and social justice, all those who oppose fascism, to join us in supporting Kurdish and Turkish political prisoners in Turkey, and the continued fight against that regimes campaign of isolation in the prisons, in the homes and on the streets at home and abroad."

STATEMENT ENDS

author by Ciaran G ONeillpublication date Mon Mar 07, 2005 20:17author email ciarangoneill at hotmail dot comauthor address Amsterdamauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Quite disingenuous of you not to mention the PKK in this article. Bad as theTurkish regime may be you are guilty of twisting the facts (by omission) and your contributon would surely have been more meaningful if you had referred to what sparked the clampdown. It's not like a reference to the Turkish regime's treatment of its Kurdish minority would have set them near in any more an endearing light. Furthermore, it is difficult to defend your views on the motivation for the brutality displayed knowing that another (larger) Womens' day march in the same city on the same day passed off without incident.

author by Barrypublication date Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I dont believe this march was solely conncerned with the PKK or Kurds. The main group behind the protests in the jails are socialist, secular and multi ethnic (turkamen, turkish, kurd etc , basically all the ethnic groups within turkey). The article refers to Kurdish prisoners also, so I dont see what Ciaran is complaining about. The fact is that women have been to the forefront of this struggle. Young girls in the prisons and their mothers on the outside have paid with their lives. Some have been murdered in horrific circumstances. Set on fire, burned with chemicals and crushed with bulldozers.

There is absolutely nothing disingenous in this article at all. Could Ciaran explain what axe he is grinding here ?

The clampdown (or to be more precise mass-murder) in these jails began as a result of the Turkish regimes decision to introduce F Block isolation wings, similar to the H Blocks in this country. I hope Ciaran is not attempting to blame the victims , or trying to justify the use of facist brutality by the Turkish regime.

author by Major Woodypublication date Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I state that it is not about middle class coffee"

You'll find in Turkey that it is not just the middle class who drink coffee!

author by CiaranG ONeillpublication date Tue Mar 08, 2005 20:14author email ciarangoneill at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Barry,
You may have a point. I felt that the gist of the article (the Turkish state's oppression of women - personally I think this is as much a manifestation of culture as politics - and its patriarchal nature) was avoiding the fact that the violence began when at this particular Women's Day demonstration (as I said others, one in the same city which was larger, passed off without incident) PKK banners were unfurled. Also, the "EU's new bedfellows" reference irked because, if anything, eventual admission to the EU would imply that many of the human rights abuses known to be current in Turkey would have to have been solved for this to come to pass (if you believe the rhetoric, that's another story), that's the (purported) reason that negotiations on the negotiations have gone on for so long and why Turkey can expect to have to negotiate (in actual admission negotiations) for longer than any other prospective member, past or present.

 
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