Radical GHG emissions policies need radical social movements to back them

December 11, 2013

Policies to counter global warming effectively “will only advance if accompanied by radical social movements”, socialist writer and activist Naomi Klein has told the Radical [greenhouse gas] Emissions Reduction conference in London. “Transformative policies […] must be backed by transformative politics.”

Advocates of radical action have to face the fact that pro-market ideology is dominant in mainstream political fora and that “we are the marginal ones”, Klein said yesterday, on a web link from Toronto, Canada.

“It’s not that our ideas [about cutting greenhouse gas emissions] are not popular. But they are not powerful, not dominant. They are not winning.” The movement needs to “turn the popular into the Read the rest of this entry »

“Roza is a leader: that’s why they jailed her”

December 7, 2013

On 16 December, worker activists across the former Soviet Union and western Europe will mark the second anniversary of the police massacre of oil workers at Zhanaozen, western Kazakhstan, with protests.  The massacre put an end to a seven-month strike movement demanding better pay and conditions and the right to organise independent unions. (Details about a protest in London here.)  

The Kazakh government admits that 16 were killed and 60 injured in the


Roza Tuletaeva. Photo from Ak Zhayik

Zhanaozen massacre. But activists in Kazakhstan believe the numbers were much higher.

In this interview, TATIANA M., an activist in an independent trade union in another part of Kazakhstan, talks about Roza Tuletaeva, the woman oil worker activist serving one of the longest sentences, and how solidarity can be rebuilt.

GL. Is it correct to say that the issue of forming independent union organisations was central to the oil workers’ movement?

TM. Yes, certainly. Quite a few independent unions sprang up in the oilfield during the strike. They weren’t pushed from the outside, they just took shape among the oil workers.  “Negotiators” appeared: people from the Read the rest of this entry »

Zhanaozen: worker organisation and repression

December 7, 2013

People & Nature today publishes an article on the history of the Kazakh oil workers’ strike of 2011 – as activists across the former Soviet Union and Europe prepare to mark the second anniversary of the Zhanaozen massacre, when security forces opened fire on unarmed demonstrators, killing at least 16 and wounding at least 60, and bringing the strike to an end. Protests are planned for Monday 16 December.

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