Chomsky Special

Noam Chomsky’s message is available in the following translations:
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Noam Chomsky’s call to the World about the Taksim Gezi Park Resistance

Chomsky Salutes the Gezi Park Resistance

What is taking place on the streets of Istanbul and other Turkish cities today is first of all, an inspiring illustration of what the general population can do to combat repression, violence amongst far reaching plans to change the society so as to undermine the decent human survival in the interests of business and the corporate structures.

What is happening in Turkey is particularly significant because of Turkey’s major role in the region being the most important country in the region. Whatever happens in Turkey is going to have a very broad influence -already beginning to influence the East and the West.

It is part of a major uprising, internationally against the neoliberal assault on the global population that has been going on for a generation. It takes different forms in different places, but it is happening everywhere.

In the beginning of this millennium, Latin America -after many years of struggle- basically pulled out of Western -mostly US- domination and began to move in some independent direction.

Some countries refused to pay the improper debts that had been imposed. Others have sought other ways to extricate themselves from the neoliberal shackles that had impeded the growth and development, caused enormous difficulties for the population, in and throughout, North Africa.

The Arab Spring -now in a kind of a temporary period of waiting- began to follow the same course. Also, reacting strongly to the impact of the economic programs, imposed by the international financial institutions and Western powers generally, and to the local authorities, dictators implementing them. Right now in advance, we do not know where it will go.

Turkey is joining now other similar developments around Europe -very strongly in Greece, also in Spain- and here in the United States as well such as the popular uprisings in Wisconsin and Zucotti Park with the Occupy Movement.

The economic policies of the past generation that have been extremely beneficial to the tiny sectors of concentrated wealth have generally had a severe impact on populations worldwide.

In Turkey, the last few years have seen a very unfortunate regression. The 1990s were a complete horror story. But by the early years of this millennium there was a notable improvement; yet, there is now regression, Turkey now for example has more journalists in jail than any country in the world and other forms of repression are taking place.

The population is now rising up against it. These were the immediate causes in the effort to basically destroy the last open public space in the center of Istanbul, in the interests of a (historical) military installation, a mosque, commercialization, gentrification, and destroying the traditional character of the city and it has now spread to much broader issues.

For the international community, those who are concerned with human rights, justice, freedom, the welfare for the general population, this should be an occasion for an opportunity for support and solidarity.

And there are, fortunately, solidarity activities taking place all over but also an inspiration for their own struggles. These are all international struggles. There should be a lot of mutual support and interaction.

For the great powers who have been imposing these systems, it is slowly destroying Europe, it is having harmful effects in the United States, this should be a warning that they should put an end to these policies and return to paying attention to the needs and concerns of the general population, not just to a tiny sector of corporate power and concentrated wealth.

But the events in Turkey themselves are right now kind of a beacon of hope and of opportunity which deserve the strongest possible support. And one can only express admiration for the people on the frontlines and hope for their success in their just and very significant struggle.

Taksim everywhere, resistance everywhere!

Noam Chomsky
Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT

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