On Wednesday, 5th June, supporters of La Riposte and Fightback magazines in Montreal organized a discussion circle to discuss the movement that has recently rocked Turkey. More than half a dozen Turkish youth showed up to the discussion circle. About 20 people came out, including more than half a dozen Turkish youth. The Turkish movement has not only inspired the millions of youth in Turkey, but also across the world, and this was made clear with the attendance of youth from Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, and of course, Canada, present at the discussion circle.
The discussion circle was initially organized to discuss the recent developments in Syria and the crisis in the Middle East in general. However, when the movement exploded in Turkey, as a internationalist group we could not ignore it and proceeded to include Turkey as part of the discussion. While the movement in Syria that started two years ago has entered into an impasse with brutal consequences for the Syrian people, a new magnificent movement is being born across its border. This is breathing new hope to the movement of the youth and workers in the Middle East region, especially coming from a country that has a proud, strong, and militant tradition of working-class struggle. Within less than a week of the movement, hundreds of thousands of workers have participated in the movement with strike actions.
The discussion was lively, as people shared their experiences and knowledges about what is happening in Turkey. Comradely discussion took place about the root causes of this insurrection, and the similarities and differences with the past movements in the region. While every country has its own peculiarities, supporters of La Riposte pointed out that there are root causes for the insurrections that have been taking place in the past four or five years, not only in the Middle East region, but also in the USA (Occupy), Spain (Indignados), and Quebec (the 2012 student strike). It is not a coincidence that all of these magnificent movements are taking place now, one after another. The root causes can be found in the global crisis of the capitalist system, with obscene wealth held by a few alongside terrible misery for the majority. In suppressing what was initially just a handful of activists who were camping to defend the trees in the Taksim Square, the regime was defending the right of a handful of capitalists to build a mall for the interest of their profits. In this particular case, the mayor of Istanbul owns a retail chain what will profit a lot from the building of the mall, and the man holding the contract from the building of the mall is no less than Erdogan’s son-in-law. This sparks the anger that has building up amongst the youth in particular.
The discussion went on for more than two hours, with everyone excited about what is happening in Turkey. One youth, who shared with us that he was once very pessimistic about the prospect of change in Turkey, has now seen what is possible and only has optimism now. At the end of the discussion, a comrade spoke up and pointed out that the movement has to learn from the mistakes of the past movements of the Arab Spring, that the movement has to have a clear political program and leadership. It has to know what it wants to do after it overthrows Erdogan so that it doesn’t repeat the mistakes in Tunisia and Egypt, whereby the removal of Ben Ali and Mubarak only opened the way for another set of thieves to come in.
Supporters of La Riposte enthusiastically welcome this movement and will do whatever it can to build solidarity, linking the struggle in Turkey to the struggle all over the world.
Workers of the world, unite!