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(en) Turkey, 2004 Mayday - None can isolate anarchists! (tr)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 3 May 2004 14:42:35 +0200 (CEST)

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Shouting their own slogans, carrying their own banners & flags and also
distributing their own leaflets, anarchists all around Turkey marched in
separate corteges in 2004 Mayday demonstrations. As far as we know,
anarchists joined demos in 5 different cities as separate groups: Istanbul,
Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and Malatya. In general Mayday demonstrations were
"silent" but as usual there were some clashes, some arrests, police
brutality etc. In Diyarbakir the march was banned, that's why cops found a
pretext to attack demonstrators and arrested few hundreds of protestors. In
Istanbul 56 left-wing protestor got arrested while they were trying to enter
the "banned" Taksim Square, a day later all were released. In Izmir there
were some clashes but no arrest, in Ankara a few people got arrested though
all were released soon. Workers' participation was not so effective;
students and younger people seemed more eager and crowded.

In Istanbul, anarchists and anti-authoritarians walked within Libertarian
Coordination Against NATO. Some of the banners that were carried were
[mentioning NATO Summit] "We will not welcome", "Capitalism kills",
(Liberter group's) "A world without bosses" etc. Different leaflets and 9th
issue of Black Paper were distributed. Participators were differing from
libertarian socialists, anarchists, anti-authoritarians to
anti-civilizationists. Istanbul Anti-Militarist Initiative has prepared a
"bus" which had a numberplate of 34 RET 1886 [34=city code of Istanbul,
RET=REJECT, 1886=Haymarket] and distributed introduction leaflets of
"Militourism Festival" that will be held two weeks later. Starting from
50-60, the number of participators passed 100 during the march. There were
two different gatherings in Istanbul; one was organized by TURKIS
(mainstream trade-union) in Sisli Abide-i Hurriyet Square and starting from
Sarachane moving towards Yenikapi the other one was organized by DISK and
KESK (left-wing trade-unions). Anarchists preferred to be nearby DISK & KESK
gathering like most of the leftist groups, students and NGOs did. The
problem was that it was not organized at all, there was no place to "gather"
and people just walked. For this reason a while after reaching Yenikapi,
anarchists and anti-authoritarians "symbolically" burned their own flags,
then left away.

Ankara Mayday march started from the main train station and moved through
the gathering field of Sihhiye Square. Political parties, trade-unions,
student groups, NGOs, leftist "periodical circles" and we were among the
participators. Reaching over 50 people, our group [Ankara Anarchy
Initiative] carried black flags and also two big banners; one of them was
circled A and the other "Let the state not be". During the march we have
distributed the leaflet of Libertarian Coordination Against NATO and more
than 1500 copies of our own leaflet titled "army is the organization of our
FEARs". After entering the square, with the slogans of "Burn the Flags,
Smash the States" we have "symbolically" burned our own flags. Later we have
left the square and with participation of friends with whom we have recently
met during the march, an own inner-meeting in which we have discussed some
issues that were in the agenda -particularly anti-NATO process- was
organized. Apart from us 10-15 people carrying black-red flags were also
present but they have walked separately. As usual the meeting was legal.

Despite this, as we even have never introduced ourselves as "periodical
circle" like the most illegal leftist groups did, we had no place in
"orderly" rows. Firstly a "bureaucrat" of arrangement committee wanted us to
obey the order of the march. Afterwards we have quarreled with some
"periodical circle"s. So, for a while we have preferred to walk from the
"empty road on the more left of the leftist groups". At last, arrangement
committee bureaucrat's attempt -who was "more cop than cops (more statist
than the state)"- was prevented and we have found a place. One of the main
reasons' of this isolation policy against us was probably gay & lesbians'
presence who were walking behind our cortege with their own organization
[anti-capitalist, anti-hierarchical KAOS GL group]. It seemed that gay &
lesbians were facing more isolation in life than we have faced and an
important part of our leftists had the same opinion with Bush the 2nd:
hostility against gay & lesbians [homophobia]! With the words a comrade of
ours' especially wanted us to emphasize: None of the arrangement committees
can represent anarchists! None can isolate anarchists!

Compared to the recent years' meetings, relatively there were more people in
Antalya Mayday. People marched from Calli Junction to the Closed space.
Entering the space anarchists have shouted as REBEEELL! and ran forward.
About 30-35 anarchists have participated the demo (some left, some joined
etc.). The black banner with A sign was "Let the state not be" and the red
one with A sign "Imagination destroying the government". We have carried 3
red flags having A signs.

As it's usual for the last 3 years, anarchists in Malatya (a city in
mid-east Anatolia) marched with their black-red flags and actually put their
own mark on Mayday demo. Although there were just 12, leftists started
threatening them days before the action. 3 years ago they have also
threatened but for now probably related with weakening of the left and
anarchism's rooting in Malatya they have got worried. The march started at
11:30 and anarchists started to walk behind trade-unions with their flags
shouting their own slogans. Some unionists warned and asked them to walk at
the very back of the demonstrators, but anarchists have opposed and some
union members also supported them. Anarchist slogans were effective, even
the cops tried to ask questions but they got no answer. Later Labor Party
[nationalist-socialist Isci Partisi which has started a campaign against
anarchists] appeared and anarchists started to boo. Trying to chat with
anarchists, many people started to ask questions like who you are what you
think etc. They did some anarchist propaganda and even they made some fun
with ignorant people. Cops were trying to take video shots; other groups
were trying to keep themselves away from the group. For a while anarchists
have even thought that how powerful they are. Right before the meeting was
about the finish, anarchists have left the square.

In Izmir, anarchists walked under the name of Black Block-Izmir. [Yet no
report on internet but via phone we got some info from comrades] The group
was about 40 people. Entering the square there were some clashes between
Kurdish groups and cops. Anarchists were also nearby but none got arrested,
cops were forced to leave away and protestors managed to pass through the
police barricade. Well-known mainstream newspaper Hurriyet reported that a
group of people calling themselves "anarchists" have also joined Mayday
march in Izmir.

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