KYRGYZSTAN: Peoples expropriations

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Foristaruso's picture
Foristaruso
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Apr 9 2010 06:21
KYRGYZSTAN: Peoples expropriations

Five years ago, the Russian anarcho-syndicalists analyzed the "revolt of beggars" in Kyrgyzstan, and predicted that the new bourgeois-clan power can not solve acute social problems (http://www.kras.fatal.ru/news/2005/04/18.htm). This prognosis was correct. Now we seem to see a repetition of the same events. Even some of the actors in the coup are the same as it was then. Apart from the main of them: coming to power on a wave of "rebellion beggars" Kurmanbek Bakiyev is now shared the fate of his deposed predecessor, Askar Akayev.

Administration of Bakiyev, as expected, did not change the situation in the country for the better. On the contrary: everything has become worse. When, in 2008, the wave of global economic crisis swept Kyrgyzstan, the situation became intolerable. "Inflation has exceeded all of the planned indicators. The volume of loans decreased markedly, investments fell and amount of money transfers in the country reduced for nearly a half” – noticed in November 2009, the Internet newspaper kyrgyznews. – “...Before the crisis, money transfers from migrants composed about ½ of GDP of Kyrgyzstan. As a result of the sharp decline of these revenues, literally every citizen felt now the consequences of the crisis... Opportunities to find work in Russia has already dried up, and the chances of finding work at home is totally absent”. Unemployment has reached horrific proportions. "The masses of unemployed people with the hope of casual earnings meet daily in urban markets and look forward to when to stop any car with a potential client, who can be earned. These people are ready for everything: to build, clean up trash, unload trucks, etc. Most of them are residents of rural regions, where now the most difficult situation". More than half of the population lives below the official level of poverty. (http://www.kyrgyznews.com/news.php?readmore=4156)

Is it any wonder that the opposition`s challenge to Bakiyev's corrupt government (who, like Akayev, assiduously plundered state assets in favor of his clan, to the exclusion of all other claimers for power) easily found the mass support from the poor? One participant of revolts in Bishkek told: "In the past Akaev's regime was, and now Bakiev`s. People are unhappy. Look around, how many young people. We are poor, we have no work. They (the authorities) shoot people. You yourself can see it. Then, I think, will have blood for blood” (http://ru.euronews.net/2010/04/08/opposition-seizes-power-in-kyrgystan/)

But, like 5 years ago, during zealous (or most naive) supporters of the opposition disarmed the police and, seizing firearms, entered into bloody battles with security forces, many poor people benefited from the coup d'etat and the temporary lack of power in order to try to take away from rich at least some part of their loot.

In Talas, where the anti-government demonstrations began on April 6, the crowd seized the regional administration. According to the agency Fergana.ru, people carried off from the building all office equipment, safes opened, and at the same time carried off also property of the offices of firms on the first floor. The police began to catch the "looyers", but on April 7 the crowd seized the regional police department and kept their arms. (http://www.ferghana.ru/news.php?id=14378&mode=snews)
In the morning on April 7, the bourgeoisie of capital city Bishkek began to close stores and to remove the goods from them, panically. The bureaux of money exchange and Internet cafes have stopped their work. In the day, the "people's expropriation" in Bishkek began: people carried goods from several shopping centers and grocery stores network "Narodny". Then also residents of neighboring towns and villages came - mostly unemployed youth. (http://lenta.ru/articles/2010/04/08/rebel/).

In the evening of 7 April, when the attackers burst into the parliament building, they got TVs and office equipment, but "conscious" supporters of opposition tried to stop people. The leaders of the coup urged the insurgents in vain to "stop looting" and "be cultural”.

At night, according to Lenta.ru reports, the "people's expropriation" in Bishkek became widespread: "By morning, most shops located in the heart of the city were looted.... Malls "Caravan", "Voentorg" and "Vefa", supermarkets networks "7 Days" and "Narodny" suffered. Some of the shops were burned. The crowd looted and burned a house belonging to the family of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Everything was carried from there: clothes, carpets, appliances, linens and dishes”. (http://lenta.ru/articles/2010/04/08/rebel/)

According to Interfax, quoting eyewitnesses, people crushed the shopping centers owned by the Chinese and Turkish businessmen. Many shops, supermarkets and markets in central Bishkek have been dismantled without remainder. Young people began to smash gas stations "BNK", belonging to the president's son Maxim, set fire to the residence and the mansions of the presidential family. (http://lenta.ru/news/2010/04/07/pogrom/). It is reported that luxury shops and casinos in Bishkek were burned.

Like 5 years ago, the bourgeoisie has organized its own "guard" to protect property. It attracted even veterans of the Afghan war! They were able to repulse the attack on some shops. The new authorities have allowed the troops and police to shoot "looters". On the streets of Bishkek, acts of class war put on again.

Nevertheless, on April 8, expropriation continued. While it is difficult to say in which cases the shops were pulled down by the poor, and in which the Mafia operates, which is not averse to profit in an environment of ensuing chaos. Whatever it was, the Russian bourgeois media, gritting my teeth in hatred of the attacks on the "sanctity of private property", must to recognize:
“The victory belongs to looters. For some time, they found themselves again in a country of free televisions and computers, foodstuffs, and carpets, furniture and office equipment. But it's not all. Marauders proved that such a significant event such as a change of power in Kyrgyzstan, not without their participation". (http://lenta.ru/articles/2010/04/08/rebel/)

Source: http://aitrus.info/node/760

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
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Apr 11 2010 10:20

some stuff from the Grant/Woods disciples, seems, that they have also some knowledge about the local conditions: http://www.marxist.com/kyrgyzstan/

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mikail firtinaci
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Apr 11 2010 12:18

Kurultai means something like soviet or council in turkish. However I am not sure whether the class composition of these kurultais are of working class in origin as IMT implies or not...

John1
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Jun 15 2010 01:56

Any further writing about this anywhere on the net? (Are there any good sites for that part of the world in general, from a class perspective?)

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Entdinglichung
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Jun 21 2010 15:57

Behind the violence in Kyrgyzstan (AWL) & Kyrgyzstan: Stalin's harvest (The Economist)

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Jun 21 2010 16:17
awl wrote:
Some eye-witnesses reported three ‘waves’ to the attacks: firstly, military personnel in personnel carriers (although this may have been civilians who had plundered uniforms and carriers from military depots), then armed youths, and finally looters, who included women and young boys.

most of the on the ground reports are saying that the 'armed youths' were not locals but bussed in from other parts of Kyrgyzstan specifically to inflame the ethnic tension - also quite a lot of reports of armed gangs going around shooting at both Uzbek and Kyrgyz people/houses - this blatant orchestration of ethnic violence doesn't seem to be getting picked up much in the main media, instead we're left with the lazy bosnianian approach that it's all down to 'ancient ethnic hatreds'

Caiman del Barrio
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Jun 21 2010 16:37
oisleep wrote:
this blatant orchestration of ethnic violence doesn't seem to be getting picked up much in the main media, instead we're left with the lazy bosnianian approach that it's all down to 'ancient ethnic hatreds'

The latest From Our Own Correspondent makes use of some eyewitness reports to refer to outside manipulations: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sqgdk#p008gp21

John1
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Jun 22 2010 00:03

Thanks for links, still a bit weak imo...nice article from The Economist...it's all Stalin's fault. Great read that publication, I've been missing out all this time! My first thoughts were it's a pretty standard reaction from the ruling class/ex-ruling class, potentially allying with other repugnant factions to bring a bit of good ole order back to the country after the uprising (and go from there etc garner support for law and order, bourgeois democracy etc). Perhaps some far right factions have just decided their 'time is now'. I don't 'buy' this abstract nonsense about 'ethnic tensions' etc as if these events have occurred without any context.

jacobian
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Jun 22 2010 13:54

I wrote this short piece on the matter closer to the events.

http://wsm.ie/c/kyrgyzstan-ethnic-violence-or-political-violence

It's very difficult to get good information from the ground. I'm hoping to have better information in a couple of weeks.

I agree with oisleep that we need to be careful about pat explanations of ethnic violence. And the explanation that this is the result of Stalin rising from the grave is just embarrassingly bad analysis - even for the economist.

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Noa Rodman
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Feb 19 2011 13:57
Quote:
It's very difficult to get good information from the ground. I'm hoping to have better information in a couple of weeks.

any updates?