The following letter has been sent to us:
To the secretary of the CWI, The German, Swedish and Irish and British
sections, the Moscow organisation and all others who have expressed their
solidarity with our struggle.
We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support you are sending us. The
hated Nazarbayev regime continues to swing its hatchet of repression and
pressure on all workers' protests. The new labour laws that have just been
passed increase the oppression of workers and practically legalise slavery.
One of our main tasks on the international arena is to try and break the
information blockade and to stop the silence that currently surrounds
Kazaxstan. In effect we are forced to work underground as the government
refuses to legally register the Workers' movement and other trade union
organisations. And because the government's policies are so bankrupt, they
are trying to divide workers on national lines.
In our turn we are continuing to organise protests. The strike at the
Metallist factory is continuing, demanding the annulment of the new labour
law, the payment of age arrears and the nationalisation of the factory. We
are also actively working with the womens movement fighting for child
allowances, with pensioners struggling to get their pensions on time and
with the youth movement.
We consider that the campaigns of protest against the Kazakstani regime have
been very effective and ask you not to let up pressure.
With warm proletarian greetings,
President of the Workers' movement of Kazakhstan and Member of the Worker's
fraction of the City Maslaxat (Council) Uralsk, V T Podjidaev.
The response to the latest wave of protests has been unbelievable. Protests
from Germany and Sweden have been reported on National Television. Madel
Ismailov has been interviewed on National TV about the CWI, what it is and
what it does. Comrades in Moscow picketed the embassy and thought no-one had
noticed. But that night, Ionur was visited by the KGB in Kazakhstan for
questionning, he was then phoned by national television who carried a live
interview with him about the strike at the Metallist factory and our work.
Unknown to us, the director of the Metallist was in the Moscow embassy while
we were picketing, the Ambassador tried to persuade to come and talk to us
but he refused, saying he was afraid we would physically attack him.
Madel has been told that the government will probably register the Workers'
Movement. Our paper is distributed in the Parliament and is featured in
items such as What the Papers Say on TV.
Work in restoring the organisation is developing well. Local conferences
have taken place and preparations are well under way to organise a national
conference. Up to 100 could attend but we are restricted by finance. A
programme and platform is being drafted. As we expect the authorities to
move to block the conference we will ask comrades in other countries to
organise pickets of solidarity on same day.
There are two immediate concrete requests for solidarity.
The strike at the Metallist is continuing and economic conditions are
desperate. The comrades are asking if we could organise trade union -
humanitarian support. Partly to ease the position, as much to score
political points against the regime who argue the country is self
Secondly, the Independent Miners Union at the Saransk Coal Mine continues to
face repression. The trade union has been banned. Comrades are asking for
messages of protest to be sent to the Leninskii uchastok Sovetskovo painnovo
sud (City Court) at 470000 Kazakhstan, ul. Yerubaeva dom 30 and with copies
to the trade union at 470000 Kazakhstan, ul Gogolya dom 47 kv 26.
News from the Ukraine.
Comrades picketed the russian embassy over the Chechnen war - shown on 6
national TV stations.