UID-DER Statement: Aid Collected for Earthquake Victims Handed in

Hundreds of people were killed, thousands injured and many more left homeless in the wake of the earthquake in Van and Ercis. As UID-DER we launched a solidarity campaign after the quake with the slogan “Forge Workers’ Solidarity with the people of Van!” During the campaign we witnessed once again that despite all racist incitements there is no hostility between Turkish and Kurdish toilers. Workers have not remained indifferent to our campaign and aided their brothers/sisters in Van as best as they can. On November 5 we handed in the aids we collected to the representatives from Halkların Demokratik Kongresi (Peoples’ Democratic Congress) to be transported to Van.

Hundreds of parcels of clothes, food and medicine collected during our campaign which appealed to all workers and toilers to show their solidarity with the people in Van. Despite all chauvinist hue and cry, our toiling brothers/sisters launched a mobilisation in those areas where we have local offices, which ended up in a beautiful example of workers’ solidarity.

The articles given as aid were unpacked, classified, repackaged and labelled in our local offices. In one of the packages there were candies given by children who wanted the children in Van taste them. This was in fact the best answer by a working class family to those who, no doubt under influence of nationalist propaganda, were shameless enough to send stones in parcels to the victims of the earthquake.

There were also meaningful responses by workers passing by while we were loading the packages to trucks. For instance, one of them who lives just opposite to our local office in Sarıgazi and saw our members loading a truck brought a stove in his back. Another one who was an old lady told sadly she wished she knew that that day we were doing the loading and if she had known she would have brought things. A young worker showed up bringing two bags full of clothes.

We are sure that the people of Van, although they do not know them in person, will feel the friendship of toilers who showed their concern and did their best to help. As UID-DER we thank all our members and friends who conducted and took part in this campaign and laboured over. Also we thank all worker brothers/sisters who did not leave the people of Van alone, did not spare anything they can, held the hands of those who fell, showed that the spirit of workers’ solidarity is still alive, and made their contributions believing and trusting UID-DER.

Long live Workers’ Solidarity!

Long live the fraternity of Peoples!

7 November 2011