Sunday, May 04, 2008

Who is Francisco Caraballo (video in Spanish)

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May Day Celebration was Tarnished in Lefkosia

We republish the following article written by Yusuf Alkim, GS of the Socialist Party of Cyprus.

As in all countries, May Day, the day of unity, struggle and solidarity of the international working class, was also celebrated in Cyprus. One of the celebrations took place in Elefteria Square in Lefkosia where Greek and Turkish Cypriot workers celebrated May Day together.

The workers, laborers and the revolutionaries first assembled in front of the headquarters of the All Cyprus Workers' Union (PEO) in Lefkosia, before the May Day procession. As the procession started AKEL Central Committee member Yorgos Lukaidis approached the General Secretary of Socialist Party of Cyprus (SPC) Yusuf Alkim and demanded that SPC remove the banners of our comrade, the leader of the world communists and proletarians, the Great Leader of the USSR, Stalin, which were carried by the SPC members. He claimed that the demonstration was not a political one and that this May Day demonstration was also not related to Stalin. When Yorgos Lukaidis was asked if this was the decision of AKEL, he informed SPC that it was his personal opinion. General Secretary of Socialist Party of Cyprus informed Yorgos Lukaidis that his personal demand to remove Stalin posters could not be accepted since this was his personal wish, that the 3 banners of Stalin in question were not being carried by individuals as personal choice, but by the Socialist Party of Cyprus as an ideological choice.

Having received such a reply, Yorgos Lukaidis left SPC group, but than returned with another reply. This time he said that the decision to ask SPC to remove Stalin's banners was AKEL's decision. On hearing this, and determined not to give up Stalin due to AKEL's pressure, and having to abide by the decision of the organizers of the demonstration (AKEL and PEO), the group of members of Socialist Party of Cyprus stayed well behind the procession, thus ensuring that Stalin banners were carried during the procession all the way to Elefteria Square.

As the Socialist Party of Cyprus group entered the Elefteria Square after everybody else took their place in the square, it was welcomed by the applause of the worker comrades who were present in the square-this was a large section of those who were present at the square. Socialist Party of Cyprus group in return saluted them with \"Zhito Stalin\" (Long Live Stalin) and \"Long Live Red May Day\" slogans and left the Eleftria Square rather than give up comrade Stalin and accept the suppression of their communist ideology by AKEL and PEO.

Socialist Party of Cyprus fights for independence of Cyprus, for an anti-imperialist Cyprus, for the elimination of all foreign military presence and getting rid of the three imperialist guarantors (oppressors) of our island. It believes that the solution of Cyprus question can be achieved not by appeasing the imperialists but by destroying them, kicking them out of our island. It demands the nationalization of all big lands and private companies, and that the bourgeois nationalism and the bourgeois nationalist propaganda should be outlawed so that the working people of Cyprus can live without the interference of the so called "motherlands" and the UK and NATO and thus the traitorous local bourgeoisie and thus in peace.

The decision of AKEL to ban the banners of Stalin being carried by SPC procession at the May Day celebrations was an insult not only to Socialist Party of Cyprus but to world communism and to world proletariat, and thus to all the Cypriot patriots, For a Cypriot patriot can only be either a communist or a close friend of communism. Who else is left to fight world imperialism and reaction?

Socialist Party of Cyprus strongly protests this decision taken by AKEL leadership at the beginning of the May Day procession. This action of AKEL was an anathema to the spirit of the day, the Day of Unity, Struggle and Solidarity of the International Working Class.

Long live Stalin!
Long Live Communism!
Long live independent and free Cyprus!
Down with the traitors to the Soviet Motherland!

Yusuf Alkim
General Secretary of Socialist Party of Cyprus
On behalf of the Central Committee

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Turkey: “Proportional Fascism”

May Day was celebrated in Turkey like in many other places all over the world. The Turkish workers planned to gather in Taksim Square in Istanbul and hold a peaceful demonstration. All the main labor unions of the country participated including the Turkey Labor Unions Confederation (Turk-Is), the Revolutionary Labor Unions Confederation (DISK) and the Confederation of Public Employees Labor Unions (KESK). Among the participants there was also the Labor Party of Turkey (EMEP) and other left-wing parties and organizations. But they all confronted the government’s stern will to prevent the demonstration through brute force and violence. For a second consecutive year, worker’s demonstrations were not allowed in Istanbul. The authorities have banned May Day celebrations in Taksim Square after 36 people were killed on May 1, 1977; a date since referred to as the "Bloody May 1." This event is seen was a turning point in Turkish history and an important factor that paved the way for the military coup in 1980. As in last year, the Erdogan government tried to prevent the rally of thousands workers and youth in the Taksim Square in Istanbul. Over 30,000 policemen along with military forces were in and around Taksim completely blocking the access to the square. They were there to terrify the masses of the workers, trade unionists and youth.

A group of demonstrators were repeating slogans like "Resign, Governor!" against Istanbul Governor Muammer Gόler, who had declared the government would use "proportional force" against protestors. What this actually meant became clear from the early morning. At 8:00 am, the police raided and looted the DISK union offices. At 10:00 am, police and security forces launched their main attack. Using copious amounts of tear gas, pepper spray, as well as water cannons, they managed to disperse the crowd of demonstrators marching towards Taksim. The police chased the retreating workers in the surrounding streets, continuing to throw tear gas and beating with batons almost everyone that was on their way. No distinction was made between demonstrators and passers-by. Citizens without the power to resist were beaten while falling to the ground and helpless women were kicked. The police did not hesitate to throw tear gas canisters into the Şişli Etfal Hospital where injured demonstrators were brought to receive first aid. Thirty-eight people, including eight policemen and one journalist, were injured and, in total, 530 demonstrators were arrested. According to the Anatolian Agency, 519 were released the following day, and the remaining 11 sent to the office of the public prosecutor.

The way “Rizospastis”, the newspaper of the Greek revisionist party “K”KE, covered the May Day events in Istanbul was totally misleading. For example, it mentioned that “among the 500 detainees there were 130 members of TKP while 30 others suffered serious head injuries”. Not even TKP itself makes such “heroic” claims in its official website. What in reality happened was that the TKP bloc approached the Taksim square almost unchecked whereas the EMEP bloc and other demonstrators were confronted by strong police forces. As a matter of fact, the people in the TKP bloc faced the least of police violence compared to all others.

Movement for the Reorganisation of the KKE 1918-55
May 2008

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