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Kazakhstan: Oil and gas strikers force release of arrested colleagues

Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by dennisr, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Bet you cannot wait for the latest news from sunny Kazakhstan....

    So whats been happening - well 15,000 oil and gas workers have been on strike for over two weeks in the Mangistauskaya region demanding a wage increase and the nationalisation of the oil and gas company, as well the right to organise independent trade unions.

    the background:
    http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5097 (Solidarity needed for striking oil workers)

    "Apart from a widespread slander campaign in the press against the strikers, the management of in Karazhanbasmunai is attempting to organize the physical beating of the strike leadership. They have hired a band of unemployed sportsmen and hooligan elements to attack the protesters. But these measures are only provoking the strikers to establish bigger and better organized defense squads. "

    Their lawyer Natalia Sokolova has been arrested and charged with “stirring up class conflict”....

    The state then moved against the strikers themselves.
    see: http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5107
    "Oil workers demonstration broken up"

    Hundreds were detained and beaten. 27 were held. Its backfired through - as those still free arrived to protest in the regional capital - the state had to back down

    see: http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5111
    Oil and gas strikers force release of comrades from police detention

    Its far from over though and solidarity is still needed - especially for Natalia, who is still detained and faces 4-7 years in in appalling conditions (if convicted - in jail).

    The mass strike, including hunger strike and other protests is continuing.

    Details for Natalia's situation here: http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5103

    Urgent protests can be sent to Kazakhstan embassies and to the following: doverie@kmg.kz, info@mangystau.kz, ppo@s-k.kz.

    We call on all trade union and left organisations to send urgent solidarity to the striking workers at: doverie@kmg.kz, info@mangystau.kz, ppo@s-k.kz
    with copies to solidar@socialismkz.info and Robert.cwi@gmail.com

    Good coverage of the strike, including interviews with Natalia Sokolova and members of the Kazakhstan and Russian CWI can be seen on K+ TV
  2. xes

    xes F.O.A.D

    Love it. i've got a bit of a soft spot for Kazakhstan. It's like a sleeping giant. Rich in resources, and the capital city has some great buildings :cool:
  3. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    shame I can't understand a bloody word of the kazakh tv prog linked too... :)

    the state tv and company owners have desperately tried to use the ethnic card to try and divide strikers - "you cant trust these russians" (playing on old divisions between kazakhs and russians) - but, combined with the vicious treatment of some of those leaders it has all backfired and resulted in the opposite effect to that intended. On the other hand - its an awful fight these people face - one striker is already dead from thug violence - other strikers have desperately hurt themselves in protest - heroic people. silence about this struggle
  4. Captain Hurrah

    Captain Hurrah STALINIST Banned

    Astana? The new buildings look a bit tacky. I've never been though. Only a connecting flight at Almaty airport.
  5. xes

    xes F.O.A.D

    They have the largest tent in the world! And this (not sure if/when it's finnished) is the fucking library!!

    And the palace of peace and reconsiliation is cool too :cool: (if a little "illuminati" ;) )
  6. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    For many years local activists have fought, despite vicious and violent repression, a campaign - “Leave the people’s homes alone” - against the forced evictions of locals to build much of that new housing (housing for the rich)

    Here's a recent update (2011): Hundreds of opposition activists march in Astana http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/4934

    And some earlier links (2007): Well-known Kazak socialist jailed again for protesting against forced evictions http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/2788
    (2006) Shanyrak shanty town in revolt: Residents resist brutal police repression http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/2378
    (2006) “Shanyrak in flames”: Police and bulldozers repelled by shanty town residents http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/2230

    "The Alma-Ata City authorities are determined to destroy the homes of settlers who have built poor but dignified living quarters on the outskirts of the city. Many of those who live in Shanyrak were driven out of their last homes by the collapse of industry in Kazakhstan, in the early and mid-nineties. With nowhere else to live, they moved to Shanyrak, and used old and second hand building materials to build modest homes in formerly uninhabited regions of the city. Now the Alma-Ata City authorities want the land, to build ‘entertainment complexes’ and elite flats for Kazakhstan’s ‘new rich’. But the Shanyrak residents’ determination to fight back, on 5 April, meant the city authorities would not get away with this barbaric act."
  7. Captain Hurrah

    Captain Hurrah STALINIST Banned

    A shopping centre inside a tent. Class. :cool:
  8. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Nazarbayev and his gang are reknowned for their class (and their strange approach to 'peace' and 'reconciliation') :)
  9. xes

    xes F.O.A.D

    Sorry, I sort of derailed your thread dennisr.

    Keep up with the info on this struggle. I'm interested :)

    I may not have much to add, but I'm interested....
  10. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    you really don't have to apologise mate - anyway, I reckon, in the case of these folk, any attention and awareness of what is going on is better than none :)
  11. Captain Hurrah

    Captain Hurrah STALINIST Banned

    Indeed. Not arguing with that. The hollow metal pillars made to look like marble, are as flimsy as his commitment to the well-being of ordinary people.
  12. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Authorities take revenge against striker’s wives and female workers

    CWI Kazakhstan calls for pickets of Kazakhstan embassies worldwide (for those countries who do not have an embassy, to flood the system with email protests. Embassies are listed in the link above

    UK: Embassy of Kazakhstan in United Kingdom - Thurloe Square London SW7 2SD U; (4420)-75814646 (4420)-75848481 london@kazakhstan-embassy.org.uk Embassy (London) (Ambassador cross-accredited to Irish Republic, Norway, Sweden) Thurloe Square London SW7 2SD U; Uzbekistan 23 ekhov St.; Embassy (Tashkent) (Ambassador cross-accredited to Tajikistan).
  13. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

  14. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Yep, Kazakhstan ain't 'sexy' - but it is real people - heroic people - facing difficult odds. Please spend a little time in support - it means a lot to those folk firstly
  15. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Striking oil workers attempt to break news blockade

    Oil workers strikes in West Kazakhstan are now into their second month of taking strike action. The employers appear to have decided to hold back from more repression and instead are attempting to exhaust workers. The Kazakhstan media are putting forward a wave of propaganda in an attempt to undermine support for the strike, claiming that most workers have “returned to work”.


    "Even more worrying is the letter printed by the ‘Respublika’ newspaper, which reveals that a meeting of foreign investors was recently held at which they were ordered by the government to sort out the ‘social conflicts’ in their corporations. But rather than promise to pay higher wages and to improve social conditions to resolve workers’ grievances, the government and corporations promised to ‘weed out’ the “trouble makers” amongst the workforce. According to Respublika, first on the list is Ainur Kurmanov, whose organization, Socialist Movement Kazakhstan, is the main opponent of injustice and inequality. It appears Ainur is now followed in the streets by not just by the Komitetshiki (the political police) but also by the security forces belonging to the corporations."

    Solidarity messages and protests needed - full list of embassies at end of this article
  16. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Ha - so Sting supports the Kazakh Oil Workers (I just hope thats a good thing... :))


    "Less than a week after oil workers from Kazakhstan tried to break a media blockade about their dispute, British musician Sting announced a cancellation of his concert in Astana, the Kazakh capital, in solidarity with them."


    “Hunger strikes, imprisoned workers and tens of thousands on strike represents a virtual picket line which I have no intention of crossing,” Sting said in an online statement.
  17. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

  18. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    MEP visits oil strikers

    "16,000 workers in the oil industry have been on strike. This strike started at the end of May and has now been ongoing for over two months. These are workers for the national oil company, KazMunaiGas, the national oil giant which is closely linked to the government and President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The strike also involves workers from subsidiary companies and contractors for KazMunaiGas.

    The workers face desert conditions where in the summer, temperatures can rise to 50° degrees C and in the winter drop to -40° C. Workers reported the serious neglect of health and safety standards and they claim that a number of workers have unnecessarily died in the last years as a result of industrial accidents and illnesses brought on by the working conditions. A wage agreement was signed two years ago between the company and the union, which the strikers claim has not been fully implemented by the company."
  19. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Urgent Solidarity: 50 Dead & 500 wounded by riot police in Kazakhstan
    Today, at Kazakhstan’s independence day, more than 3000 people assembled peacefully in Zhanaozen, to promote the demands of the oil workers who have been on strike since May. Police and special forces attacked the meeting and opened fire on the strikers and their families. By around 10 a.m., London time, 50 had already been killed, with at least 500 more wounded.

    CWI reporters currently post live updates on www.socialistworld.ru in Russian.
    Please send immediate protests to the Embassies in your own country and to the Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry email: mid@mid.kz and message of support to: Otekeeva0103@mail.ru with copies to kazakhstansolidarity@gmail.com
  20. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

  21. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

  22. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Zhanaozen workers strike demanding release of comrades from prison

    The continuing repression is causing an ever bigger backlash...


    "If the authorities continue to persecute leaders of last year’s strike, an all-out political strike could develop across the region."
  23. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    Vadim Kuramshin, human rights’ activist, starts hunger strike
    Vadim Kuramshin, a human rights activist and lawyer for prisoners’ rights, who was falsely accused of bribery and corruption in Zhambylskaya Oblast, Kazakhstan, has started a hunger strike. This is a desperate and valiant attempt to get justice. Vadim insists on his basic democratic rights after being held in jail for six months.

    Moscow News Editorial: Nazarbayev’s dirty Olympic secret
    While Kazakh cyclist Alexander Vinokourov was making headlines in London this weekend by winning an unlikely gold medal, the country’s authoritarian president was also in town, facing an even tougher assignment....

    ....This protest comes on top of a wave of successful strikes by workers in other parts of Kazakhstan that won pay raises for ArcelorMittal steel workers and Kazakhmys copper miners. Also, independent trade union Zhanartu and Socialist Movement Kazakhstan, increasingly the main opposition to Nazarbayev, are leading an international campaign to free leading human rights activist Vadim Kuramshin, who faces a prison sentence of up to 15 years for exposing corruption in the judicial system.
    Despite the promises to skeptical investors that their money is safe with him, the City of London must be wondering how long Nazarbayev will last amid a rising tide of discontent. The next few months could well prove decisive.
  24. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

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