Unions and business chambers held a press conference yesterday as a reaction to the heavy police intervention against demonstrators during the meeting of IMF and World Bank in Istanbul on 6/7 October. Chair of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Public Employees (KESK) Sami Evren declared: "The police intervention in Taksim is the product of the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) intolerance to democratic opposition". The press conference, also attended by chair of the Turkey Union of Chambers of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) Mehmet Soğancı, took place in the DİSK headquarters.
"The police attacked the crowd with tear gas, tanks and truncheons when the demonstrators made a press release. We will file a criminal complaint about the people responsible for the incidents".
On Tuesday and Wednesday the police went in hard against a meeting of 2000 people on Taksim Square, organized by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), KESK, Turkey's Union of Bar Associations (TTB) and TMMOB. 95 people were arrested according to official numbers. The Contemporary Jurists Association (ÇHD) informed bianet that the total number of arrested people amounts to 200. Shop owner İshak Kalvo died of a heart attack in the course of the clashes.
Representatives of unions and business chambers indicated: "Workers expressed their objections against IMF and World Bank, the police showed no tolerance for the demonstrations".
Evren argued: "The one who is politically responsible for the attacks and who said in the summit that 'We have to listen to the people protesting outside this meeting room' was the Prime Minister himself".
Evren reminded that the members of IMF and World Bank were imposed to the workers' protests wherever they went:
"They meet to strengthen global exploitation that brings our planet to the brink of ecologic disaster, they will wipe out workers on a global scale, they will make three quarters of the world's population victims of poverty - and we keep quiet. That is impossible".
Evren claimed that the protest actions echoed the voice and the conscience of all people in this world, and that the people objecting global capitalism were expressing their aspiration for global justice. Erven repeated his call once more: "IMF and World Bank have to be abolished. They have to pay the people back the profits they made by exploiting the countries they occupied. You have to stop the neo-liberal war you are waging against the people".
"This meeting did not pass by like a walk in the park. Workers of Turkey raised their voice against institutions executing global financial control, just like workers in other cities of the world came together and raised their voice against imperialistic organizations. And they will continue to raise their voices under any circumstances".
When Gürsoy mentioned in the press conference that the civilians that attacked protestors had been provoked by the police, Evren criticized the media's version that these were just "marginal groups" within the protests:
"I do not agree with the definition of marginal. There can be radical groups but they are the conscience of this society as well, they are the society's voice as well. They are the ones showing their reaction most clearly. If you eradicate them you eradicate the change and transformation of society". (BÇ/VK)