LGBTI people march against Hate Crimes and Worker Deaths

Source: Yıldız Tar, “LGBTI’ler Nefret ve İş Cinayetlerine Karşı Yürüdü,” (“LGBTI people march against Hate Crimes and Worker Deaths,”) bianet.org, May 18, 2014, http://www.bianet.org/kadin/lgbti/155764-lgbti-ler-nefret-ve-is-cinayetlerine-karsi-yurudu

The ninth Anti-homophobia Meeting organized by Kaos GL concluded with a march against homophobia, transphobia, hate and workplace murders.* Thousands joined the march dedicated to the hundreds of workers who were killed in the Soma Mine. Signs such as “Soma: We know the Murderers” and “Either we will be emancipated together; or we will rot together” were carried at the protest that began at the Ankara University’s Cebeci campus.

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Those who joined the protest included representatives of LGBTI organizations from Ankara, Istanbul, Mersin, Adana, Diyarbakır, Kars, Dersim, Malatya, Antalya, İzmir, Eskişehir and Antep as well as representatives from HDK (the Democratic People’s Congress), ESP (The Socialist Party of the Oppressed), SYKP (the Socialist Reconstitution Party), SDP (the Socialist Democracy Party), SGD (Socialist Youth Associations) and ÖGK (Free Young Woman). LÖB (High School Students Union) and IHD (Human Rights Association) were present with their uniforms. And the red flag finally reached out for the rainbow.

The march was marked by rebellion and mourning

Black clothes and miner’s helmets were worn in the protest where the only flags that were carried were black and pink. The signs and slogans condemned the massacre of the miners. Protesters demanded justice.

Slogans included “we will hold you accountable for Soma,” “ From Roboski to Soma; murderer state will answer,” “Homophobic state, of course we will eliminate it,” “We are transvestites, we are here, get used to it, we ain’t going anywhere,” “No liberation for one, liberation for all or for no one,” “Berkin Elvan, a 15 year old young soul.” Voices rebelled against homophobia, transphobia, worker deaths and state terror.

When passing through the Kurtuluş Park, the crowd showed their solidarity with the Yatağan workers by chanting slogans “Long live class solidarity.” When passing police vehicles, slogans were shouted “Cops, engage in prostitution, live with dignity.”

Mass support for the protest from surrounding people

After blockading the street against traffic on Ziya Gökalp Avenue, thousands of people proceeded in the direction of Sakarya Avenue. Their entry into Sakarya met with people applauding from their homes and workplaces. People who happened to be on Sakarya also joined the protest and chanted slogans of solidarity.

“Those responsible for hate crimes are also the murderers in Soma”

The protest ended with a press statement read by Melahat Deniz from Kaos GL on Sakarya Avenue. Deniz stated that, as homosexuals and trans people, they demand their right to life and added that the people responsible for the Soma massacre are also responsible for homophobic and transphobic murders.

*In Turkish, the term “workplace murder” refers to workplace ‘accidents’ to underline the fact that these result from the jettisoning of workers’ safety for profits and thus should be seen as criminal acts.

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