People’s assemblies are the people’s unity, solidarity, willpower, organisation and capabilities.
People’s assemblies are the mass organisations where people who, are not happy with the regime, who believe in togetherness, struggle for their common interests, and from a different nationality, religion, creed, profession, tradition, culture and political thought.
People’s assemblies are the organisations where all the problems and demands of people are debated and the opportunities to solve them are found in order to benefit the people. On the agenda of the assemblies there are hundreds of subjects including, roads, water, electricity, transportation, parks, schools, demolition of the shantytowns, health, unemployment, education, police terror in the local areas, destruction of villages in Kurdistan, tyranny, etc. In the last couple of months, new people’s assemblies were opened and they are spreading among the people in the shantytowns of major cities, workers, civil servants and students. People are establishing their own organisations and developing them.
THE PEOPLE’ S ASSEMBLIES DEMAND JUSTICE
After the Susurluk accident [in November 1996] the real face of the state was revealed, and people organised the “one minute of darkness for eternal light” action against the contra-guerrilla fascist state to demand justice. In this period, People’s Assemblies and their initiators came forward more and more and developed their initiative by means of directing the actions and affecting the masses at the end of “the first black-out action” and during the “second black-out action”.
Again, during the same period, the draft of the People’s Constitution which was prepared by the people for the benefit of the people and aimed at achieving independence, democracy and a free country, was distributed widely all over the country and debated by the masses with the help of People’s Assemblies. At every opportunity, People’s Assemblies and their initiators spoke out the demand of the People’s Constitution.
The Gazi People’s Assembly announced demands for an “independent, democratic country, a people’s constitution, and people’s justice for the people once again”. During the black-out actions, the members of People’s Assemblies were inviting people to protest in the streets against the state and its parliament where the mafia mobs, murderers and thieves reside were taking the initiative by showing its power to be an alternative and were reflecting the traditions, power and rebelliousness of the people.
ASSEMBLIES ON MAY DAY!
People’s Assemblies cried out the demands of the peoples of Turkey and Kurdistan on May Day. They marched behind the banner of “Long live May Day!” and called out as one voice; “Susurluk is the state, let’s interrogate it!” “Long live people’ s justice!”, “People’s Assemblies are our power!”
PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLIES ARE OUR POWER AND OWNERSHIP TO THE CAUSE.
Fascist mobs were threatening the revolutionary-democratic students even in the classrooms and those who resisted were taken to the dens of fascists and tortured. In order to protest the intensified oppression, a People’s Assembly initiative in Okmeydani organised a press conference in front of Beyoglu Trade Occupational High School on March 25, 1997. They stated that “We demand a scientific, independent, democratic education and we will not let fascists oppress our children”.
Aid (books and clothes) for the village primary schools were given to the chairman of “the association for solidarity and communication with teachers in village primary schools” on the initiative of the student’s assembly in Mimar Sinan University.
The initiative of the Sarigazi People’s Assembly, organised a meeting in April 4, 1997 with the participation of 350 people. In the meeting, the people of Sarigazi stated their problems on the subjects of health, transport, culture, education, electricity, water, etc. and what they expected from the assembly. The “electricity commission” was elected to solve the electricity problem of the area and the outcome of the meeting was unity and sheer exhilaration.
In order to support the TODEF congress, People’s Assemblies organised a press conference in the Turkiye Tabipler Odasi (Chamber of doctors of Turkey) in May 21, 1997. Gazi and Okmeydani People’s Assemblies and initiatives from Nurtepe, Sarigazi and Alibeykoy supported the scientific and democratic university struggle of students by sending greetings to the student congress in May 23, 1997.
While the struggle of the Bergama people were continuing against the gold contaminated by cyanide and imperialism, their rightful resistance was owned by People’s Assemblies as their struggle. Okmeydani and Gazi People’s Assemblies, the assembly initiations from Nurtepe-Guzeltepe and Alibeykoy were supporting the struggle of the Bergama people by organising a press conference under the title of “the Bergama people are not alone!”
on July 5, 1997. 150 people participated in the conference organised in Nurtepe’s Sokullu Street. People’s Assemblies sent greetings as women, men, youth and elderly people to the people of Bergama.. During the protest march, “Cyanide company, leave Bergama!”
“Bergama people are not alone!”, “People’s Assemblies are our power!” were the main slogans, and the action ended with applause and protests against the company using cyanide for gold production.
WE SHALL NOT SUBMIT TO STATE TERROR!
On July 19, 1997, the People’s Assemblies and the relatives of martyrs and captives gathered in Gazi to protest the Gazi massacre and the protection of the murderers by the state. People’s Assemblies of Gazi and Okmeydani and Nurtepe-Guzeltepe, and Alibeykoy, Kucukarmutlu, Gulsuyu initiatives by People’s Assemblies, together with the relatives of martyrs and captives, stated that the systematic state terror in Gazi will not be the destiny of the people.
THE PROTESTS AGAINST PRICE INCREASES
Okmeydani People’s Assembly protested the newly increased bread price which was first brought in by the Refah-Yol government, a coalition between the Refah Party (Welfare Party) and the Dogru Yol Party (True Path Party). They organised a press conference in Piyale Pasa District. The slogans on the banners were “Unite against price increases and tyranny!”, “The mobs were acquitted, bread prices were increased”, “The Susurluk state is responsible for increasing prices”. After that, people started to a protest march by declaring, “We are starving”, “The mobs will be interrogated by the people”,
“Long live independent and democratic Turkey”, “People’s Assemblies are our power”, “Susurluk state, do not prevent us from earning a living”.
The march ended with the halay (a traditional folklore dance indicating the unity of the people).
People’ s Assemblies are the legal power of people in Turkey and Kurdistan and recently, initiatives took place in Europe as well. The regulations of the People’ s Assembly in Graz, Austria were accepted by the initiatives in July 6, 1997 and started to function, same as the sister assemblies in our country, on the basis of the problems of people.