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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 May 2011

May Day in Kazakhstan marked by attacks on socialists

The ruling parties in the former Soviet countries usually use May Day, international workers' day, in a cynical manner, organising official events to which people are expected to turn up to wave balloons and listen to speeches and pop music.

Having been prevented from organising their own event, activists of the opposition 'Kazakhstan 2012' movement and Socialist Resistance Kazakhstan (the Socialist Party's counterpart in Kazakhstan), decided to participate in the official event.

However, once the red flags had been unfurled the police waded into their part of the demonstration to remove any opposition activists. Socialist activist Ainur Kurmanov received head wounds after being kicked by police whilst on the ground. The leader of the 'Leave People's Homes Alone' campaign, Bakhytgul Ukteshbaeva, was also hurt.

As the oppositionists chanted "shame" and "stop police repression", other participants began to shout out their disgust at the police actions. Later a section of workers who had joined the official parade broke away in protest.

Through the night the KNB (political police) consistently harassed Ainur and his friends and comrades who had come to the hospital. Firstly they tried to pressure the doctor to change his diagnosis, to say he had not been hurt and then attempted to get Ainur to admit that he had organised an "unsanctioned protest".

Activists of Kazakhstan 2012 organised a round the clock presence at the hospital to protect Ainur. During the night prisoner rights activist Vadim Kuramshin was attacked by police. The authorities say they want to charge Ainur with organising an unsanctioned protest - he faces yet another 15 days in prison.

This attack comes against the background of an increase in strike action in the country, a new wave of prison disturbances and even more harassment of the opposition. On 2 May, the trial of Dmitry Tikhonov, charged with organising an "unsanctioned protest", began.

A video of the attack can be seen on: www.socialismkz.info/

For details of solidarity action and addresses for letters of protests, see www.socialistworld.net

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In The Socialist 4 May 2011:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS Cuts: Stop the Con-Dem wreckers

NHS: Stop the Connaught closure


Youth fight for jobs

Join the Jarrow march!


Socialist Party editorial

Cracks grow in Con-Dem coalition


Socialist Party feature

Cuts hit disabled people hard


Socialist Party news and analysis

Review: The monarchy - reserve weapon of the ruling class?

May Day in Kazakhstan marked by attacks on socialists

Coventry residents' victory over Academy land snatch

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

More teachers vote for pensions strike ballot

Rotherham teachers strike again to defend their union rep

National Shop Stewards Network


Socialist Party feature

Paris commune 1871: When workers "stormed heaven".


Already posted on the Socialist Party website

Osama Bin Laden - killed by US forces

Socialists elected to leading positions in Greenwich Unite

Solidarity action builds for BP/Vivergo Saltend workers


 

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