Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Dangerous to be in a Union.

      We should never take for granted that which our forefathers suffered and struggled to gain. So many things in today's society that we take as part of a civilised society, weren't there a generation or so ago. Most of what the ordinary people fought and struggled to achieve has to be guarded or it will be taken away from us. In this type of society it is an endless fight to move forward and to hold onto what we have achieved. Here in the UK being a member of a trade union is accepted as your choice, and once a member you don't expect to be punished. However in some parts of the world, being a union member can mean beatings, torture, prison and in some cases even death. The state will go to great lengths to crush any attempt by the people to organise to control their own lives, such ploys as labelling them terrorists, or shouting "national security", allows them to repress such movements. We don't have to go to the darkest corners of the world to find an example of how the state will try to destroy attempts by ordinary people who organise to improve their conditions. Most people see Turkey as a modern civilised country, but being a union member there is fraught with danger.
       In the early morning of Tuesday, 19 February, Turkish police targeted members and leaders of the public sector union KESK, arresting at least 100 of them, including members of the teachers union.  
      Overall, 167 arrest warrants were issued for trade unionists.  The police have accused the trade unionists of links with terrorist organizations.
      This is not the first time that the Turkish authorities have used anti-terrorism laws to crack down on trade unionists. On 10 April, the a trial will begin against 72 additional KESK members and leaders who were arrested in June 2012.
       The International Trade Union Confederation, the Education International, Public Services International and the European Federation of Public Service Unions, representing tens of millions of organized workers around the world have launched a major new campaign demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all the arrested union members.  They also demand that the Turkish state stop harassing and labeling trade unionists as terrorists. 
        And please make sure that your union shares this message with thousands of its members -- this is the only way to grow this campaign into something so massive that we cannot be ignored. If thousands of us send off messages, and soon, we may be able to get the Turkish government to back down and to release our brothers and sisters from jail.
Thank you.  And - solidarity forever!

Eric Lee
ann arky's home.

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