AMSTERDAM, 24-26 JANUARY, 2014
The first session was held under the title of “advanced democracy” on 25 January 2014.
Computer expert Jeromin explained how the system secretly listens people and sells their information using computer technology. He advised that people should stay away from quiz games and social media that overexposes personal information.
Deputy president of IADL Jan Fermon and his colleague Ties Prakken who were there while the people’s lawyers put fascism on a trial, shared their observations.
Lawyer Ties Prakken said that he was banned from entering Turkey because he visited Abdullah Öcalan in Roma. He also said that he learned that this exclusion order was still in force and when he wanted to enter into the country to observe the trial of lawyers of People’s Law Office (PLO) he was sent back with the same plane without being able to get off.
Jan Fermon had been in KCK trials before and he said that the Turkish state always invented fake evidences against the lawyers but in this PLO case it did not even feel the need to do so.
He said that the only ‘evidence’ against the lawyers of PLO was that they reminded their clients of their right to silence. He stated that there was no evidence in the file.
Taylan Tanay had been defending a case in Belgium with Fermon but even this was used as an evidence of him being a member of RPLP-F.
Another accusation made against lawyers was that they were working as a courier between the organization and the prisoners.
Fermon said that he was really impressed by the solidarity among the lawyers.
He said that 500 lawyers defended their colleagues and 3000 lawyers protested with their robes.
Saying that the accusations turned out to be a comedy, Fermon indicated that the lawyers are accused of singing the songs of Grup Yorum. He stressed that the solidarity among the lawyers was strengthened as a result.
Thomas Eipeldauer was also an observer in the same hearing.
He said that the accused lawyers declared that they were fighting against state and their struggle was legitimate.
He added that the lawyers have been defending the poor, Alewis, workers, students who demanded free education and all the oppressed. He stressed the police terror in Turkey.
Thomas Eipeldauer pointed out Karl Marx.
According to Hegel’s definition of the state, the state is above classes.
But Marx said that the state is the representative of a class.
This was what Mr. Kozagacli said in his defence.
He ended up his talk quoting from Kozagacli: “It is a good thing that our enemies attack us. This shows that we hurt them.”
Introducing the Art Assembly in Turkey, Grup Yorum member Caner Bozkurt talked about the pressures on the artists who participated to the Gezi Uprising. He said that the Art Assembly in Turkey was formed before June Uprising but it became stronger together with Gezi.
He talked about the oppression faced by Grup Yorum.
According to him, the artists’ assembly is growing day by day and the artists will stand firmer against the oppression.
Neslihan Kızıl Şimşek, a member of people’s architects and engineers, explained the urban transformation.
She said that the urban transformation project is nothing but pillage and looting.
She indicated that the state is resorting to the law of disasters and earthquakes in order to demolish Küçük Armutlu district of Istanbul. But, she said, they also carried out some research and discovered that Armutlu is not one of the earthquake zones in Istanbul.
She also said that even if Armutlu is affected by an earthquake, it still will not be harmed as much as the skyscrapers.
They have projects to restore the buildings instead of evacuating the people.
She stressed that if there is an attack against Armutlu, they would fight behind the barricades with the people.
NEW FORMS OF STRUGGLE
The second session of the first day was titled “New Forms of Struggle”.
It began with a small surprise for the audience.
Betül Nazan Vangölü Kozağaçlı and Şükriye Erden, the “People´s Law Office” lawyers who were released participated the conference through an online call.
They expressed their regrets for not being able to participate to the symposium.
They informed the audience about their case.
They said that they will never be intimidated and they will continue struggling.
Şükriye Erden said that their case was defended by 3000 lawyers and stressed the solidarity.
From Antakya, Meltem Halaceli, who is a graduate of Arabic Language and History, said that she was in her hometown for a research and that she found herself in the midst of an uprising.
She said that three of the Gezi Martyrs were from Antakya and in Antakya people, even those who were apolitical, went outside to the streets to protest.
She talked about the German anti-fascist organization ALB Bloccupy Frankfurt.
Bloccupy Frankfurt’s basic idea is ”to occupy the European central bank that is located in the heart of the monster”, she said.
She said that the number of participants is growing, while the oppression and violence of the state grows as well. We expect a wide participation this year as well, she said.
She also made a call for the audience to participate.
Türkan Albayrak from Revolutionary Workers’ Movement (RWM) explained the Kazova resistance.
Waiting for their 4 months unpaid wage, the workers had found themselves thrown outside the factory, instead. The workers did not even know how to make a press declaration before but they started a resistance under the leadership of RWM.
They set up tents in front of the factory. Deciding to occupy the factory for three times, the workers were successful in their occupation in the third attempt. They tried to sell the equipments and machinery inside the factory but when they failed to do that, they decided to continue production after repairing the machinery that was destroyed by the bosses.
The occupation turned out to be a well-known resistance inside Turkey. Thanks to the great support of our people, they sold the sweaters they produced.
Thanks to the solidarity of the workers, Kazova resistance showed that the struggle must be based on legitimacy not legality.
Metin Yeğin, the journalist and writer, pointed out the links between June Uprising and Kazova resistance.
Gezi Uprising is considered to be an uprising of space, identity and ecology and this is a revolution, he said.
According to him both the oppressors and the oppressed had the same conception.
It was an uprising of space, because the issue was the Gezi Park.
It was an uprising of identity, because all the martyrs were of Alevi origin.
For example, in Tuzluçayır, there was a resistance and there were clashes with the police.
It was an uprising of ecology, because everything began with the people’s desire to protect the park and trees.
Then everyone stood by the resistance.
Metin Yeğin talked about how to make policemen angry. They are not angry when the protesters shout “Killer Police”.
Instead, they get really angry when the protesters shout “Spray, spray the gas. Take off your helmet, leave your baton. Let’s see who’s the real tough guy.”
Metin Yeğin talked about his personal experiences during the resistance. He said that people from every section, every layer of the society, who normally will not stand side by side resisted shoulder to shoulder. Nationalist symbols and left-wing symbols were next to each other.
Main slogans were “shoulder to shoulder against fascism” and “we will resist and we will win”.
Kazova had born thanks to this resistance and then the factory occupation began.
A lecturer, Michael Marchman who is also a representative from Occupy Wall Street talked about the uprisings in USA.
Initially what the workers wanted to do was to express their discontent about unemployment. But they managed to spread the resistance throughout the country.
They were really happy when 1000 people participated to the first protest.
Then a wave of protests was all around USA.
Marchman said that for the first time 1 million people participated to the protests in USA and that they are looking for ways to revive this because it withered somehow.
Lerzan Caner, a representative of TAYAD and a witness to the uprising, talked about the march that started in the Anatolian side of Istanbul and ended up with people crossing the Bhosporus bridge and the police attacked that met them in Beşiktaş.
There were also clashes with the police in the neighbourhoods of Istanbul, especially in Gazi and May Day district. She said that a car ran over a protester named Mehmet Ayvalıtaş during a demonstration in May Day district.
She said that we put lots of efforts to prevent the Gezi Uprising from going down and that we carried out some protests and activities in order to ask for justice and to reveal the murderers of Gezi martyrs. She said that they wanted to form a chain of justice for Berkin Elvan who has been in coma for more than 200 days but the police tried to prevent them with armoured vehicles. She said that they organized some actions together with Taksim Solidarity in front of Çağlayan Courthouse but the police attacked once again.
Neslihan Kızıl Şimşek, the representative of People’s Architects and Engineers, introduced their new project to the participants.
– People’s Gardens: They are trying to produce organic seed.
She said that they would test this in Armutlu and then they would disseminate it to other neighbourhoods.
We are not obliged to use the seeds, chemical medicines and fertilizers produced by the imperialist monopolies. We are not obliged to eat the foods produced in line with the GMO based agriculture and food policies that bring immense harm to the people and the nature. Thanks to People’s Gardens that we will establish in Küçük Armutlu, Esenyurt/Kıraç, Altınşehir Filistin neighborhoods, we will grow and eat our own food, she said.
– Cemevi Project in Küçük Armutlu:
– Energy Generation project: We will not let the electricity distribution companies to steal from the people.We will produce our own electricity. Wind and solar energy will be used to generate electricity in a pilot slum located in Küçük Armutlu and owned by the parents of Hasan Ferit Gedik.
This is a concrete example of on-site restoration.
– Computer game: The establishment is stupefying our children and our youth, by making them addicted to the computer games.On the other hand, it is trying to impose their corrupt rotten culture.
Against this, we are programming a computer game that is about the revolutionaries and that exposes the corruption of the establishment. We will bring our own alternative to our children.
She also said that they would buy a caravan.
She said that they would buy a caravan so that they would be able to go wherever there are some protests about the dams, demolitions, wherever they are needed.
Finally, Ramona Africa, the representative of the MOVE movement took the floor.
30 years ago MOVE occupied some houses they legally rented. The police had violently dispersed them.
First, they tried to buy the protesters buy offering money. After failing to do so they dropped bombs (made of the plastic military explosive C-4 and the commercial product Tovex TR-2) on the occupied home that killed 11 MOVE members (five of whom were children)! When those in the home tried to run out they faced so many bullets they had to return to the fire. The police and fire department conspired to “let the fire burn” in order to kill the MOVE family. The raging inferno destroyed 61 houses and injured many. No city officials were charged criminally, although the one adult survivor, Ramona Africa, served time. In a 1996 civil suit in US federal court, a jury ordered the City of Philadelphia to pay $1.5 million to a survivor and relatives of two people killed in the bombing. The jury found that the city used excessive force and violated the members’ constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Today the MOVE family is growing and vibrant, their beautiful, healthy, happy children a testimony to John Africa’s teachings.
The title of the third session was “Popular Uprising”.
Popular Front representative Ahmet Kulaksız said that Gezi Uprising did not emerge out of nothing and that it was actually a result of an accumulated tradition of resistance.
He said that Istanbul experienced numberless resistances and uprisings long before Gezi.
“Istanbul has been a city where the American marine corps were thrown into the sea.
Istanbul stood against the oppression of September 12.
You cannot think Istanbul without May 1, 1977 when 37 people were killed.
Taksim is one such place.
There are places that revolutionaries will never give up, and Gezi Park is one of them”, he said.
Istanbul has always been a kind of city that paid heavy prices and created resistances.
He emphasized that we were already in a continuous war in the poor neighbourhoods of Istanbul.
He talked about the process before the Gezi Uprising.
He talked about May Days of 1977 and 1989. Gezi Uprising is the result of 15-16 June, Gazi Uprising and all the other uprisings before it, he said.
Julian Cortes explained the landless peasants are landless because the paramilitary, drug cartels and the state oppression and terror.
In Colombia, there is no democracy, the left-wing parties take up very little space in the parliament and the state tries to destroy them with massacres and repression, he said.
The media is owned by the ruling classes, the bourgeoisie.
The majority of the country’s income is transferred to USA.
He said that the peace talks between FARC and Colombia state is held for the landless peasants but the state does nothing to solve this problem.
Cortes also talked about FARC and he said that the organization has emerged from the villages.
He claimed that if the land problem is solved then the organization will lay down arms.
He was asked about the form of international solidarity they want to see.
He said that the international struggle against the imperialist monopolies that exploit us should be strengthened.
Journalist Thomas Eipeldauer indicated the international character of the uprisings.
He showed that the protests in Argentina, Spain, Greece, Turkey have some common forms and methods.
– Urban transformation: Who will determine the cities and architectural designs? Capital, or people? Ali Ağaoğlu or RPLP-F?
– Increasing state oppression.
– The revolutionary organizations always take place in these uprisings.
Not only the demands but also the forms of resistance are very similar.
Of course, there are other people without any organization or experience in these uprisings, not only revolutionary organizations.
Among them there are people who have been protesting on the streets for the first time. They must be won to the side of the struggle in a permanent way.
They are trying to create some liberated zones in the neighbourhoods free from police intervention.
We should find ways to win over people who are not organized yet.
Like in Küçük Armutlu.
But the state will attack and the people must be trained in terms of their self-defence.
Please click this link to watch these discussions:
JANUARY 26, 2014
Imperialist intervention was discussed at the first session.
Mohammed Safa took the floor. Imperialism is dividing the Arab peoples, he said.
He pointed out that the Arab uprising ended up with no gains because the class perspective was missing. He said that the violence in the Middle East is still going on and Israel is happy with this.
He talked about Georges Ibrahim Abdallah who has been imprisoned for 30 years in France. He said that USA prevented France from releasing him. He concluded his words saying that the prisoners in isolation should not be forgotten and the solidarity must be strengthened.
Then June Kelly took the floor. She said that in Syria USA lied about the weapons of mass destruction and its actual purpose is to capture the resources of the country. She said that education and health is free in Syria.
She compared the wars in Serbia and Syria. She said that imperialism pursues a neo-colonial policy by confiscating the resources of the countries and provoking crises in order to arm itself better.
Saying that the wars in Syria and Irak tore the countries apart, historican and writer Karam Khella said that we should concentrate on what we can to together.
He said that the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was not criticized by the Northern countries, that the socialism has collapsed in the Northern countries but that there are still socialist countries in the South.
He pointed out that the actual warmonger is NATO itself. He stressed that we should work to take European countries outside NATO and today’s war are war between corporations.
He said that we should do something for Syria, otherwise Algeria, Mali and South Africa will be next. He said that every country will make its revolution according to its own traditions.
Desmond Ferrnandez from CAMPACC said that USA has direct intervention teams for Yemen, Pakistan, Baluchistan, Philippines, Turkey, Mexico and that these teams murder or forcedly disappear people.
He said that Obama continued the plans of Bush.
He pointed out that an article that appeared in Washington Post 4 weeks ago wrote that USA spent millions to eliminate FARC guerrillas. He said that FBI is tapping phones, that in England policemen stopped the Muslims and Kurds to interrogate them.
Imperialism is oppressing everybody, tapping everybody’s phones, that is why we should struggle against imperialism altogether, he said.
Algerian author Ahmed Bensada tried to prove with documents that the Arab uprisings were not spontaneous movements and that they were organized by US funded peaceful organizations.
Ade Banjoko from All-African People’s Revolutionary Party said that they are for the united struggle of the all Africa. He pointed out that they are divided by the colonialists.
He reminded Amilcar Cabral’s words about the national liberation can only be realized when the forces of production are liberated. He said that imperialism is stealing the richness of African countries and leaving them with hunger and poverty.
He has given the example of Congo. He quoted Amilcar Cabral: “Imperialism has two weapons. One of them is violence, the other is lies.” He said that imperialists made decisions on behalf of Africa without inviting them in Berlin Conference. He noted that Africans became migrants because of poverty. He concluded his words by saying that we should organize, we should answer imperialism in an organized fashion and down with imperialism in Africa.
The representative of NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) explained how Haiyam storm was utilized by imperialism. Taifun storm had a speed of 315 km/h on November 8th and it affected 40 million people, killing 6 million. 4 million people lost their homes, 6 American warships and 10 thousand American soldiers arrived. What does this mean?
8 out of 110 regions in the Philippines are in the hands of guerrillas. U.S. wants a strategic area. It wants to take control of the Indian Ocean. There are problems with China. Also they want the nickel and gold of Philippines. International solidarity is very important for us. He said that they have supported the Ireland’s struggle for independence, Palestine and the Middle East.
He said that they are supporting Latin America as well.
He said that we use knowledge and education to work together. He concluded his words by saying that imperialism will be beaten and the peoples will win.
In the second session topic was immigration issues.
Vincent de Jong from the initiative All Included talked about the cruelties of Frontex. He explained how it controlled the borders. He said that Europe and Turkey undersigned an agreement about sending the migrants back to Turkey who were trying to reach Europe via Turkey.
Refugee Yoonis Osman Nuur from Somalia took the floor. He said that he has been in Netherlands for 10 years but his asylum requests are rejected.
He said that there is an organization called “We are Here” which occupies the houses. He said that they have established a cooperative.
Savaha Koolen: He talked about the assistance they provide to the asylum seekers, that they are working as lobbyists to raise awareness and providing education. He said that they are working in order to bring the asylum seekers into the society not to exclude them.
At the end of the Symposium’s first day, the movie F-Type was viewed.
Click on this link to watch videos:
Political Prisoners was the title of the second session of the second day.
At the end of the session, a documentary depicting the life of Mumia Abu Jamal called “A Long Distance Revolutionary” was shown.
Diarmuid Mac Dubhghlais represented the Irish Republican Sinn Fein. He said that Ireland is under occupation for 850 years. The isolation became heavier because of the new laws and the Irish prisoners are actually prisoners of war, he said.
He said that the Irish prisoners can only leave their sells for about 1 hour per day.
He pointed out that among the political prisoners there are people imprisoned for 4 years without any accusation.
He said that we should struggle for peace, freedom and justice and we should set up a network.
Faiz Baluch said that Baluchistan was independent until 1948 before it was invaded by Pakistan and that they were attacked by England in 1939.
After the invasion of Pakistan in March 27, 1948, Baluchistan was divided into three, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan claimed the parts of the country, he said.
He said that they escaped from Baluchistan to Afghanistan to continue the struggle and that they were imprisoned, 1500 people were killed, among them teachers, artists, lawyers, students, poets.
He said that the artists were poured some chemicals down their throats so that they were unable to sing once again.
Finally, he said that 24 families started a long march on October 27, 2013 and this march will continue. Telling that they will make a protest in front of the UN building, he asked for support from the symposium.
Colombian lawyer Lucas Restrepo said that he came from Colombia where50 lawyers were killed during 1980s. Although the lawyers are not killed nowadays, they are still prevented from getting into contact with their clients and their rights remained on paper, he said. He pointed out that the US is killing the guerrillas or isolate the prisoners with High Security Prisons in North America. The notebooks and pens of the prisoners are taken away and they are not allowed to read any books apart from the Bible. He said that a woman was imprisoned because her husband was a FARC member and her 7 year old daughter was killed.
If we do not want to perish, we must stay in contact in our fight, he concluded.
Tuncay Yılmaz from the Anatolian Federation mentioned about 129 a + b.
He said that laws became more strict after the RAF movement in 1970s.
He said that Ulricke Meinhof experienced a white torture and murdered afterwards. But they claimed that she hanged herself.
He talked about the operations that were carried out against them. He said that operations took place against them after the anti-racist concert on June 26.
Sevcan Adıgüzel spoke on behalf of the Solidarity Committe with Political Prisoners.
She informed that political prisoner Özgür Aslan lost his memory, saying that after 2008 this year a 2nd operation took place and the prosecutor asked for 1-7 years in imprisonment.
She mentioned that one of the prisoners in Europe was imprisoned because of selling the tickets of Grup Yorum, selling magazines and participating to democratic protests. And she reminded that one of the prisoners in France has Wernicke Korsakoff disease.
She said that “We are escaping from fascism, and we are put on trial by imperialism”.
She concluded by talking about the resistances of Şadi Özpolat and the prisoners in Greece. She said that we should write letters to the prisoners, we should be in solidarity with them.
Click the following links to watch:
Antonio Carmona Baez, scholar of International Relations, Puerto Rican independence activist (Oscar Lopez Rivera Puerto Rican PP), Dutch solidarity group “Vrienden van Venezuela” conveyed the Venezuelan ambassador’s message.
Carlos Ernesto Rodríguez Etcheverry, 2nd Secretary to Cuban Embassy said: “After 1959 the methods of USA became harsher, because they could not tolerate the revolution. And they tried to destroy the Cuban revolution.
More than three thousand people died. Attacks have been made to the hotels in 1977. An Italian citizen died. And the Cubans wanted to go to Miami to collect information and to stop terrorist attacks. They wanted to get into contact with FBI in order to learn what is going on. They were caught and put into prison in 1988. They were given extremely long prison sentences, despite the lack of evidence.
The courts asked for a life sentence several times. Currently, one of them is together with his family, the other one will be released in 2015, but the others are still in prison.”
Gustavo Conde participated via video conference on behalf of the Marcha Patriotica. In his message he said: “We send greetings and solidarity from Colombia. We were humiliated during the talks in Havana. We are struggling for the freedom of our comrade Simon Trinidad.
We are fighting for our independence.”
Guillermo Moncada of the National Resistance Front of Honduras said: “Our organization was declared a terrorist organization. Paramilitary forces in Honduras are killing students and teachers on the street. There is anger in the people against imperialism. The imperialists never stop, so we should never stop. I would like to salute all the political prisoners. We should talk about our victories as well. Imperialism is trying to control our brains as well.
The military coup divided us into two: You are either for or against it.
Oppression grew, people were disappeared. We’re setting up a new party, it will be political organization of the the National Front.
We have 13 parliament members and 1 majors.
The ruling parties always cheated in the elections.
USA brought Fernandez to power. They are creating a disinformation with the aid of USA in order to show the dictatorship as democracy. People are fighting against the dictatorship.
People are dying in the street. Our country wants change. The national front is active since 2009, we should not remain silent.”
Leonardo Anton, photographer and popular educator from Brazil said: “In Porto Alegre World Social Forum was held in 2005.
120 thousand people were affected by the construction works of the world cup. They are trying to evacuate people by using this as an excuse.
World Cup and the urban transformation are intertwined issues.
He said that the Brazilian state evacuated people from their homes in order to be able to hold the World cup. They even do not leave football fields for the youngsters.”
Click the following links for the Latin America session: