On Tuesday 4th June, 500-1000 people rallied in London in solidarity with the movement in Turkey. The majority were from London’s huge Turkish community, who had brought hundreds of youth. They gave the protest an explicitly Communist and revolutionary message, with hundreds of red flags and revolutionary chanting.
Socialist Appeals supporters had a stall with literature and leaflets, and were given an extremely warm reception. A lot of papers were sold and we spoke to many people. The overriding impression we got was of solidarity, confidence, joy, a determination to win and a clear understanding of the movement’s working class and revolutionary character.
At one point some of the school students we met asked someone from Socialist Appeal to speak on the microphone. In the speech, we expressed our enthusiastic support for the movement in Turkey. We said that the movement in Turkey is part of a global process - the international reawakening of the youth and working class. The beginnings of a worldwide struggle against capitalism are clear. The Turkish working class is an extremely powerful and important one; socialists must welcome not only the protest movement but the fact that the trade unions have unequivocally come out to lead the movement with a general strike. This, we explained, is an example for all the other movements worldwide.
We also said how positive it is that Kurdish and Turkish workers are united in this process. The development of Turkish capitalism has thrust Kurds and Turks side-by-side in the factories. But it has also made Turkey the 3rd most unequal OECD state. Turkey has the same problems as Europe and the rest of the world - poverty, unemployment, privatisation and crude consumerism for the small super rich.
We finished by pointing out that we need not just a general strike, but a revolutionary overturn in the situation. The IMT stands for nationalisation of the means of production under workers' control. Capitalism is the root cause of this movement, it must be overthrown. We need to replace it, in Turkey as elsewhere, with a socialist planned economy, democratically run by the working class. This received a huge cheer from the crowd.
The protests will be taking place in Trafalgar Square every evening from now. Socialists must offer it their active support. Resolutions should be presented in Trade Unions and Student Unions in solidarity and linking the problems in Turkey to the problems in Europe and elsewhere.
Workers of the World, Unite!