Socialist Worker

LETTERS: Turkey’s ban on Pride shows Erdogan fears a united fight

Issue No. 2613

Istanbul Pride, 2013

Istanbul Pride, 2013 (Pic: Lubunya/WikiCommons)

On Sunday 2 July the Turkish state crushed Istanbul’s LGBT+ Pride celebrations for the third year in a row.

Brave protesters who tried to march were met with violent attacks by police using tear gas, dogs and rubber bullets.

The march had been going ahead in peace for 12 years before the ban started in 2016.

A screening of the 2014 hit film Pride was also cancelled this year.The Governate of Ankara said the film “incites hatred and enmity”.

It has already been shown in Turkey many times to wildly enthusiastic audiences.

Outraged activists portrayed in the film, and the creative team behind it, made a public statement in response. It said Pride is a “love story; a simple but powerful tale of how one community under attack from a repressive government extended the hand of friendship to another community threatened with destruction”.

“The bonds of mutual respect and solidarity forged in the 1984/5 strike between LGBTQ+ socialists and mining communities has proved unbreakable.

“That the Turkish authorities should fear the screening of a film that tells this story is a salutary warning about the present political climate in Turkey.”

The statement was signed by members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and Sian James, a former miner’s wife who became a Labour MP in South Wales. The extra support of Pride director Matthew Warchus, writer Stephen Beresford and actors including Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West meant the statement was published widely across the mainstream international media.

I think by banning Pride, Turkish president Erdogan is showing his utter terror of oppressed groups making common cause with the vast, powerful Turkish working class and persecuted Kurdish population. 

Please do whatever you can to show solidarity with the people of Turkey.

Nicola Field

South London

‘Your coverage of our strikes mattered’

I thought the coverage of our strikes against outsourcing in Wigan hospitals was very effective—and I loved being part of it.

You made the effort to come up to our picket lines all the way from London. When you put us on the front cover, people loved it—and it proved effective.

Whenever Tomáš sent me one of his reports, I’d post it to the strikers and it would always get a thumbs up. Since they’ve withdrawn the plans to outsource our jobs, everybody is walking around with smiles on their faces. And chief executive Andrew Foster has been walking around wearing an ancillary uniform, probably trying to rebuild trust.

But he can’t undo the lies that he’s told, or how he’s made us feel less worthy for working in the NHS.

All the country was watching Wigan—now it’s given everyone hope.

You have been brilliant, we can’t thank

Socialist Worker’s readers enough for getting the word out.

A Wigan striker

Mistake by McCluskey

I was appalled to hear that Unite union leader Len McCluskey had signed a petition accusing trans activists of intimidation and “violence”.

The petition was published in the Morning Star newspaper.

Trans people are far and away the group most at risk of hate crime.

Almost half of trans people have been physically attacked, while over a quarter of trans women have been sexually assaulted.

Yet McCluskey appears to regard trans people who stand up against those who would deny them the right to exist as a problem.

No to transphobia, no matter where it comes from.

Richard Sunderland


Support for trans people

Transgender folk are nothing at all new. The “controversy” arises now because of the Gender Recognition Act.

Trans women don’t take away anything from women. Trans men don’t take anything away from men.

The trans critics on the “left” are a small but loud voice getting a lot of attention by writing in the right wing press.

Trans people are an oppressed minority who face murder, ridicule and gross inequality.

Let’s not stand with the right, and let’s provide compassion.

Liz Kitching


Socialists should stand with oppressed groups

The behaviour of transphobes on the London Pride march was shameful.

There is no place for this division in our movement.

They will surely have gained confidence from some in the leadership of trade unions who have sided with the right under the guise of feminism.

We must stand unequivocally with the oppressed.

Anyone from any oppressed group seeking to support the oppression of others divides our movement and has no place within it.

In the NEU union we have to support our union’s position to back the Gender Recognition Act.

We should condemn any union officer who lines up with the right wing to attack our members and create division among us.

Audrey Glover


Well done to anti-fascists

Well done to all the people who turned out in Leeds to show that Nazis are not welcome (Socialist Worker online, 7 July).

Margaret Woods

On Twitter

  • I was glad to see that so many people turned out in Leeds and Wakefield against the fascists.

This will show Muslims who might be too nervous to come out that they are not alone.

Hannah Lewis

West London

Establishment loves a bigot

Last week we saw the government and establishment roll out the red carpet for one of the most reactionary US presidents of modern times.

Donald Trump was treated to dinner with Theresa May, afternoon tea with the queen and a round of golf with prince Andrew. The prince happens to be the Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield.

Trump is reactionary and a warmonger. For the majority of people, he is not welcome here.

Pauline Wheat-Bowen


To charge or not to charge?

What does Socialist Worker think about Starbucks charging for disposable cups?

We really need to stop climate change, and putting people off using disposable cups would make a difference.

But charges also mean rich companies get even more money.

Diane Prendergast


Bosses put NHS at risk

Bosses are Tories through and through (Wigan hospital strikes force bosses to stop outsourcing plans, Socialist Worker 6 July).

They are put there for the privatisation of our NHS. Hurry up JC.

Paddy Hanrahan

On Facebook

  • Brilliant news from Wigan—striking works!

Mac Andrassy

On Facebook

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