The demonstrations which began on May 31, 2013 have been entirely peaceful and speak to the conscience of vast numbers of the population of Turkey. The Turkish government’s response to the myriad grievances against its policies has been beyond disproportionate, with security forces using armored personnel carriers to engage in mass-arrests, firing high pressure water cannons filled with pepper-spray, and utilizing tear-gas guns to fire large projectiles. Thousands of demonstrators have been arrested and injured, some critically.
The Executive Committee of CUPE 3903 stands in admiration of the pluralistic composition of the demonstrations throughout Turkey, and is hopeful that such expressions will be an example to follow in our own country. We are struck by the fact that a population of a democratic country is choosing and able to draw attention to a diverse range of political wishes outside of a routinized electoral cycle which, in practice, is often the only available venue for political expression in democratic countries. Indeed, people in our own country face similar grievances as the brave people of Turkey. There exists throughout Canada, an increasingly autocratic push to: gentrify our cities and neighbourhoods, degrade our environment, limit civil-liberties and mask government corruption, and formulate foreign policies which destabilize other countries; all in the name of narrow corporate and financial interests.
The Executive Committee of CUPE 3903 adds its voice to the international chorus of support for those brave demonstrators throughout Turkey who are looking for nothing less than to better their own and their neighbours life-opportunities.
The Executive Committee of Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3903) http://3903.cupe.ca/executive