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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

"In Kazakhstan, there is now a real popular uprising"

Statements from the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan, Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Communist Workers' Party of Russia (RCWP) and the Communist Party of Mexico.

Protestors in Almaty, Jan. 5 -- image via Twitter

As the uprising in Kazakhstan is being met with intense violence and repression the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan, Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Communist Workers' Party of Russia (RCWP) and the Communist Party of Mexico have issued statements in solidarity with protestors.

All of these statements call for international solidarity with the uprising, the release of all political prisoners and demonstrators, an end to the country's anti-union and anti-worker laws and the legalization of the banned Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan and the Communist Party of Kazakhstan.

The Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan statement provides much background about the uprising and is reproduced here (translated from the Russian) in full. After that statement are the statements of the KKE and Mexican party and an excerpt from the RCWP.

In Kazakhstan, there is now a real popular uprising and from the very beginning the protests were of a social and class nature, since the doubling of the cost of liquefied gas on the stock exchange was only the last straw in the overflowing cup of patience. After all, the protests began just in Zhanaozen on the initiative of the oil workers, which became a kind of political headquarters of the entire protest movement.

And the dynamics of this movement is indicative, since having begun as a social protest, it then began to expand, and labor collectives used rallies to put forward their demands for a 100% increase in wages, cancellation of the results of optimization, improvement of working conditions and freedom of trade union activity. As a result, on January 3, the entire Mangistau region was covered by a general strike, which spread to the neighboring Atyrau region.

It is noteworthy that on January 4, the oil companies of Tengizchevroil went on strike, where the control of American companies reaches 75 percent. It was there that 40,000 workers were laid off last December and a new series of layoffs was planned. They were subsequently supported during the day by oil workers of Aktobe and West Kazakhstan and Kyzylorda regions.

In the evening of the same day, strikes began by miners of the ArmelorMittal Temirtau company in the Karaganda region and copper smelters and miners from the Kazakhmys Corporation, which can already be regarded as a general strike in the entire mining industry of the country. And then there were also demands for higher wages, lowering the retirement age, the right to their own trade unions and holding strikes.

At the same time, indefinite rallies on Tuesday began already in Atyrau, Uralsk, Aktyubinsk, Kyzyl-Orda, Taraz, Taldykorgan, Turkestan, Shymkent, Ekibastuz, in the cities of the Almaty region and in Almaty itself, where the closure of streets resulted in an open clash of demonstrators with the police, as a result of which the city akimat was temporarily captured. This gave grounds for Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev to declare a state of emergency.

It should be noted that these speeches in Almaty were attended mainly by unemployed youth and internal migrants living in the suburbs of the metropolis and working in temporary or low-paid jobs. And attempts to calm them down with promises, reducing the price of gas to 50 tenge, separately for the Mangistau region and Almaty have not satisfied anyone.

The decision of Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev to dismiss the government, and then removing Nursultan Nazarbayev from the post of Chairman of the Security Council, also did not stop the protests, since from January 5 mass protest rallies began in those regional centers of in Petropavlovsk, Pavlodar, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Semipalatinsk. At the same time, attempts were made to storm the buildings of regional akimats in Aktobe, Taldykorgan, Shymkent and Almaty.

In Zhanaozen itself, workers at their indefinite rally formulated new demands – the resignation of the current president and all Nazarbayev officials, the restoration of the 1993 Constitution and related freedoms to create parties, trade unions, the release of political prisoners and an end to repression. Immediately, the Council of Aksakals was created, which became an informal body of power.

Thus, the entire movement was broadcast the demands and slogans that are now used in different cities and regions, and the struggle received political content. Attempts are also being made on the ground to establish committees and councils to coordinate the fight.

At the same time, troops were gathered in Almaty, Aktau and Zhanaozen, and if in the Mangistau region everything went peacefully so far, and the soldiers refused to disperse the demonstrators, then shootings began in the southern capital, and on the night of January 5-6, special units arrived, which began a force sweep of the airport and neighborhoods captured by the rebels. According to various sources, there are already dozens of deaths of demonstrators.

In this situation, there is a danger of forceful suppression of all protests and strikes, and here it is necessary to completely paralyze the country with a general strike. Therefore, it is urgent to form unified action committees on the territorial and production principle in order to provide organized resistance to military-police terror.

In this regard, the support of the entire international workers' and communist movement, leftist associations is also necessary in order to organize a large-scale campaign in the world.

The Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan demands:

Immediate cessation of hostilities against the people and withdrawal of troops from the cities!

Immediate resignation of all Nazarbayev officials, including President Tokayev!

Release of all political prisoners and detainees!

Ensuring the right to form trade unions, political parties, to hold strikes and meetings!

Legalization of the activities of the banned Communist Party of Kazakhstan and the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan!

We call on all workers and working people of the country to put into practice the demand of the executed oil workers of Zhanaozen – to nationalize under the control of labor collectives the entire mining and large industry of the country!

On the people’s mobilizations in Kazakhstan

The KKE salutes the large-scale workers’ strikes and people’s demonstrations in Kazakhstan against high prices, unemployment, poverty, misery, and other major social problems to which the capitalist system has led millions of people 30 years after the counter-revolutionary overthrow and the dissolution of the USSR.

We express our solidarity with the thousands of workers who, in defiance of the police-state and repression regime, took to the streets demanding the improvement of their standard of living and expressing their opposition to the looting of the country’s energy wealth by monopolies.

We demand:

  • The release of all protesters detained by the police, as well as the release of all political prisoners.

  • The abolition of all anti-union and anti-labour laws, which have outlawed hundreds of trade unions in recent years, in an effort to allow the government control the labour–trade union movement.

  • The legalization of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan and the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, which have been banned by the country’s authorities.

International Relations Section of the CC of the KKE

The Communist Party of Mexico expresses its solidarity with the working class and the people of Kazakhstan in their just struggle against exploitation and oppression, as well as against excruciating misery.

We condemn the government's repressive measures, and demand the immediate release of all those who have been detained.

We call for an end to the anti-communist measures, and for an immediate end to the ban on the activities of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan and the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan.

Proletarians of all countries, unite!

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Mexico

We know that every step in the class struggle is a step forward. Today they will learn to make limited demands, they will feel their strength, having achieved a reduction in prices and the resignation of the government, tomorrow, you will see, the party with knowledge of the way will be found - they will understand and go further - to socialism.

We protest against the use of CSTO forces as gendarmes!

We protest against Russia's interference in the affairs of Kazakhstan and the possible use by the Russian authorities of the experience of the bloody suppression of people's indignation in October 1993.

We demand that the Authorities of Kazakhstan end repression against the people, demand the release of all political prisoners, including those convicted of participating in the Zhanaozen protests in 2011.

We demand the freedom of action for trade unions, the abolition of bans on the activities of the Communist Party of the Republic, the legalization of the actions of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan;

No to the fascism of the CSTO regimes and authorities!

Long live class solidarity!

Long live proletarian internationalism!

Workers of Russia! Rise up to fight against the power of capital together with Kazakhstani class brothers!


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