Condemn Police Repression of Socialist Activists in Kazakhstan

The statement below was approved by the Political Committee of Socialist Action-US
 
The world economic crisis has sparked the beginnings of a fightback against poverty and austerity enforced by the pro-capitalist regime of Nursultan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev, the former Communist Party head of
Kazakhstan when it was a Soviet Republic, has presided over a repressive capitalist-restorationist regime. This regime has allied itself with the US “war on terror” and engaged in repression of oppositionists and Muslims. Opposition figures have been beaten, jailed, intimidated and even assassinated. The emergence of social movements and independent trade unions in the recent period has meant that finally a challenge to the regime can come from a left and anti-capitalist alternative.
New workers’ groups coming together to oppose the impact of unemployment, food price hikes, and neoliberal economic policies of the regime evokes parallels with the Arab Revolution. As with the Arab Spring our solidarity extends to workers the world over as they fight for justice.

The
Kazakhstan regime  faces a left challenge in 2012 elections.

Kazakhstan 2012 was formed as an alliance of socialist and other working class forces to challenge the regime in the upcoming elections. It’s program calls for the nationalization of the banking and construction sectors, for full democratic rights, and for capitalism to be replaced with socialism. The response of the regime has been intimidation of activists and to try to postpone elections to 2020.

This past May Day members of Kazakstan 2012, social movement activists and supporters of Socialist Resistance (Kazakh section of the Committee for a Workers International), having been denied permission to hold their own May Day event, decided to join the official festivities. 


When they unfurled their red flags and banners, cops waded in attacking the protesters. Ainur Kurmanov, a leader of the CWI section, and Bakhytgul Ukteshbaeva, a leader of the Leave People;’s Homes Alone campaign were injured. Kurmanov was hospitalized with a concussion and is faced with possible criminal charges stemming from the scuffle. Another activist was attacked after the incident by cops intent on getting a camera away from him. One of the organizers of the protest contingent, Dmitry Tikhonov, is already on trial for “organizing an unauthorized protest.”

Socialist Action, the US organization in fraternal solidarity with the Fourth International, condemns all police attacks and intimidation of the social movements in Kazakhstan. We call for an end to the firing of workers who organize independent unions and build resistance to wage and job cuts.


We call for an end to any trials of activists and for the immediate and unconditional release of Dmitry Tikhonov. We oppose any criminal or civil charges against Ainur Kurmanov or any other activists.
 
We condemn the attempts of the regime to stifle the opposition press. Hands off the Respublika and Vremya newspapers! We offer our full solidarity to the workers of
Kazakhstan in their struggle for democracy, justice and socialism.
Please protest urgently.
Protests against the trial of Dmitry Tikhonov can be faxed urgently to the court on the number ++7727 2715802 or the court can be phoned on ++7727 2715807/
Other protests should be sent to
1: Press office of the KNB
Email: press@knb.kz
2: Press office of the Almaty Police
2: Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Email: mid@mid.kz
3: The Head of the President’s Administration
Tel: ++7 (7172) 74 55 24
4: The Embassy of Kazakhstan in your own country.
Please send copies of all protests to robert.cwi@gmail.com and ainur1917@gmail.com