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(en) France, UCL AL #324 - International, Kazakhstan: The revolution threatens the mafia in power. (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 13 Mar 2022 09:30:12 +0200


In early January, the popular classes of Kazakhstan revolted against their oppressors. This uprising, crushed by the dictator Tokayev and his Russian ally, is now followed by repression and palace maneuvers. A look back at those bloody days that ushered in the year 2022. ---- In Kazakhstan, overnight, the price of LPG doubled, from 60 to 120 tenge. Consequence of the president's decision to put an end to subsidized prices on hydrocarbons and to "let the market set the prices". As in Iran, Ecuador or even France, rising fuel prices have angered the working classes. In three days, the country was set ablaze like never before.

On January 2, a few workers occupied a roundabout near the local governorate of Janaozen and broadcast their demands on video on social networks. The next day, the strike spread to strategic industries (particularly hydrocarbons) throughout the region.

These are the most assertive and best-structured professional sectors in the country. The memory of the Janaozen strikers murdered in 2011 is very vivid there and has already been expressed in the strikes that the region has experienced, especially since 2019.

The demands are above all social: lowering the retirement age, wage increases, union rights... But the protest is also political, as evidenced by the flagship slogan of this uprising: Shal ket! (Old man, get out !)[1]. The state and the employers initially tried to put out the fire by partially responding to the demands. But nothing helps. On the night of January 4 to 5, the uprising reached Almaty, the capital. Between more educated urban layers and marginalized young people, the crowd is very heterogeneous.

Some indulge in looting and ransacking. Others, with the support of part of the security forces who have rallied to the movement, occupy strategic buildings: town hall, Ministry of Defence, presidential residence, airport, etc.

Radicalization of protest
This is too much for Tokayev. He instituted a curfew, declared a state of emergency, cut off all Internet communications and ordered fire without warning. Finally, he calls on the member states of the CSTO[2]to quell the revolt.

While the organization had not moved an eyelash during the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Russian bourgeoisie and the others do not hesitate to intervene. Meaning in the eyes of the world that they fear not so much war as revolution.

The repression is ruthless: 10,000 arrests, at least 225 deaths, massive use of torture and accumulating prison sentences. The state is tightening its grip on the media, militant circles and the working class. Tokayev is now strengthening his position at the top of the Kazakh state by pushing aside the clan of the former dictator Nazarbayev.

For his part, Putin is ensuring his hold on this neighbor with a generous basement, while he is massing his troops on the Ukrainian border. If their victory seems overwhelming, the speed and power of this uprising have not finished haunting the nights of the autocrats of the region. Under the ashes of an aborted revolution in blood, the embers can smolder for a long time.

Gio (UCL Sarthe)

To validate

[1]Slogan that refers to Noursultan Nazarbayev, autocrat and first president of Kazakhstan after the dismantling of the USSR.

[2]Organization of the collective security treaty, under Russian influence.

https://www.unioncommunistelibertaire.org/?Kazakhstan-La-revolution-menace-la-mafia-au-pouvoir
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