19TH DAY OF HUNGER STRIKE NEAR SEVEN SISTERS UNDERGROUND STATION, LONDON
RACIST ATTACK TOOK PLACE ON JANUARY 6
Over three years ago (in December 2000), the government of Turkey sent in thousands of soldiers and police into over 20 of the country's prisons. The aim was to force inmates into new F-Type isolation prisons. 28 prisoners were killed and hundreds wounded during this process. Hunger strikes in protest at the attack and against extreme forms of prison isolation have continued since then. In all, 107 people have lost their lives opposing the prison policies of Turkey's government, and the deaths are continuing.
Protests have continued outside prisons as well, and also outside Turkey in countries like Britain which have a significant Turkish-speaking minority. A 45-day hunger strike in a tent started on December 22 near Seven Sisters, one of several such protests throughout Europe. Several people there are on hunger strike throughout this period, while others are on hunger strike for shorter lengths of time. The aim is to increase public awareness of the highly oppressive prison policies of Turkey's government and to register opposition.
But if there is massive state repression in Turkey, there is racism and xenophobia in the UK. Early in the evening of Tuesday January 6, Ulas Kecis, one of the hunger strikers, was stabbed in the chest by two racists. He was taken to North Middlesex Hospital and later was able to rejoin the protest, which will continue whatever threats or attacks may occur, whether they be from "homegrown" racists or members of Turkish fascist groups.
HOC (Front for Rights and Freedoms)
Contact details: 07765 165491
Or 07966 739061