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Police Force against IMF-WB Protestors – 200 People Arrested

Police Force against IMF-WB Protestors – 200 People Arrested

About 2000 people wanted to participate in a demonstration against IMF and World Bank starting on Taksim Square in Istanbul. The police intervened with tear gas, tinted water and water cannons. Clashes occurred in a number of neighboring districts.

The police intervened with tear gas and the use of water cannons in a demonstration against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) in Istanbul’s central district of Taksim.

The annual meeting of IMF and World Bank started yesterday morning (6 October) in the Istanbul district of Harbiye within walking distance to Taksim square. UNIONs, professional chambers and various organisations met in Taksim to walk to the meeting’s place in Harbiye as a demonstration against IMF and World Bank.

Contemporary Lawyers Associations (ÇHD) told bianet that according to information form different police stations a total of about 200 people were arrested.

The police went in hard against a crowd of about 2,000 people. In the neighboring districts of Pangaltı, İstiklal Caddesi, Çukurcuma and Cihangir close to Taksim people are still in custody. The Taksim First Aid and the German Hospital were also affected by the tear gas. One person in the crowed died of a heart attack. Further clashes occured in the districts of Nişantaşı and Dolmabahçe (by the Bosporus). Members of the Resistanbul (‘Direnistanbul’) organisation stopped a car of an IMF official and shouted protest slogans for 20 minutes.

At the same time, citizens attacked some demonstrators that had escaped from the police.

Protest against police intervention
The Alliance Against IMF-WB and the ÇHD organized a protest yesterday afternoon at 4.00 pm at Taksim square against the police interference at the demonstration. In a press release on Galatasaray Square at 6.00 pm ÇHD published information about the people in custody because of the demonstration.

The police first used tear gas and afterwards made use of water cannons. Not only the demonstrators but also by-passers and journalists were affected by the interventions. Many people were about to faint and laid down on the square.

At the same time a police officer in the district of Tarlarbaşı was hit by a Molotov cocktail. After this incident the police used their firearms against the demonstrators.

Police intervened as soon as the demonstration started
The protest against IMF and World Bank was organized by the Confederation of Progressive Trade UNIONs (DİSK), the Confederation of Trade UNIONs of Public Employees (KESK), the Turkey UNION of Chambers of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) and the Turkish Doctors Association (TTB). Some of the groups participating in the demonstration are listed as follows:

Kaldıraç (‘Leverage’), Direnistanbul, People’s Liberation Party, Strife Alliance, Focus, Socialist Party,   Partisan, Social Freedom Platform, Socialist Platform of the Oppressed, the Anarchists, Dev-Lis, Workers Movement Party, Labor and Freedom Front, the Students Collective, Adalılar (‘the Islanders’), Feminists, SODAP, Revolutionary Students UNION, DTP, ÖDP, TKP, Alınteri, Yol-İş, EMEP, Deri-İş, Working Women’s Association, BDSP, Limter-İş, SDP, Genel-İş, Emekli-Sen, Dev Sağlık-İş, Birleşik Metal-İş, Revolutionary Youth UNION, Alliance against IMF-DB and the Transport UNION.

Before the walk started, the participants shouted slogans such as “Imperialists and collaborators, don’t forget the 6th fleet”, “The day will come, the fate will return, murders will give their account to the people”, “This country, this people are not for sale” and “IMF get out”. The crowd also sang a few Turkish marches.

The walk started at 11.40 am. The police intervened 5 times with tear gas on Taksim Square. People escaped to neighboring districts. Also for chasing the protestors the police used tinted water and made use of their firearms. Furthermore, warning shots were fired into the air.

In the neighboring districts of Tarlabaşı and Talimhane fires occurred. A branch of İş Bank was set on fire by a Molotov cocktail, the fire brigade could distinguish the fire. Nobody was injured. At a branch of the same bank on İstiklal Caddesi windows were broken. After a short clash with the demonstrators the police entered the main road to the district of Cihangir with a tank and the fire brigade. The tear gas used here affected the protestors, by-passers and journalists. Many people sat on the ground coughing.

In yesterday’s opening of the IMF-World Bank meeting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his speech: “I am sure nobody wants the 21st century to be a century of threats, but everybody desires an age of opportunities. However, we have to work harder to achieve this, we have to delve deeper into this subject, we have to listen carefully to the cries rising from around the world, to the demands, to the protests that continue outside this meeting room”.—200-people-arrested