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Saturday, January 15, 2022

In Kazakhstan the working class has shown what it is capable of doing and what it will do

From the International Communist Party:

The proletarian masses of Kazakhstan have led a courageous uprising that has shaken the bourgeois order in that country to its foundations.

Even though these days ended in carnage, the top of the state apparatus, unable to cope with the force of shock deployed by the workers, had to resort to foreign intervention to quell the revolt. Machine guns and a rain of lead were needed to restore order. First, the armed forces of their bourgeoisie fired on the insurgent Kazakh proletarians without restraint. Then, when these were not enough – demonstrating how thin the "nationality" of any bourgeois army is – the troops of the six countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – intervened, sparing no munitions to re-establish through terror the "normality" of capitalist exploitation.

The bourgeoisie, faced with the loss of control over a world that it has deformed in its own image and likeness, has shown that it has no other resources than terror and lies to keep the workers, cornered by the worsening of their living conditions, subjugated. In order to keep up the crumbling edifice of the ignoble regime of capital, the murderous bourgeoisie administers incredible lies to a public already fed by decades of increasingly caricatured and fantastic representations of the real world.

Thus, the processions of workers coming out of the factories and the impressive demonstrations of proletarians rushed from the suburbs in the heart of many cities of the country to storm the institutional buildings have become "terrorists" for President Qasym-Jomart Toqaev, who did not hesitate to give the order to shoot without warning to kill anyone who dared to defy the ban on demonstrations and the curfew imposed throughout the country after the first days of the revolt.

The myth of the conspiracy, omnipresent in these years of agony of the capitalist world order, has been ignobly proposed again: for the Kazakh rulers, for their Russian and Chinese cronies, and for the countless political groups inspired by the decomposed Stalinism, the uprising must have been hatched by foreign powers and organized by well-trained terrorist provocateurs from abroad.

Actual terrorists from abroad, fully armed and well-trained, did arrive in Kazakhstan, in the form of regular troops of neighboring capitalisms – not to support the revolt, but to smother it in blood. 3,000 Russian soldiers, together with hundreds more from the CIS countries, in the most acute moment of the uprising, defended the installations and the palaces of power, as well as the security of the most prominent elements of the political regime and the bourgeoisie.

Various elements contribute to remove any credibility to the thesis of a staging planned by foreign powers, or by organized Kazakh groups inspired by nationalist or Islamist ideologies, in order to carry out a coup d’État. Numerous videos document very great participation by the proletariat in the demonstrations in the city centers and imposing processions of workers coming out en masse from the factories and mining plants, demonstrating that the protest was born spontaneously in a climate of genuine proletarian anger.

This is confirmed by the context in which the revolt matured. Its economic motivations are obvious, beyond the immediate trigger – the doubling of the price of gas decided by the government on January 1st – it is no coincidence that the protest broke out at the height of a long season of workers’ struggles, which have gained in magnitude in recent years, in the wake of a tradition of trade union conflict well rooted in the country. In recent times, workers’ discontent has been growing: in 2021 the number of strikes was higher than in the previous three years. In this upsurge of workers’ struggles, the rise in gas prices has exacerbated widespread concern about a trend of inflation that already significantly erodes the purchasing power of already very low wages. In Kazakhstan, the minimum wage is just over $100 a month, while the average wage is just over $300.

In addition, although the economy has undergone a long and almost uninterrupted phase of development over the last three decades, due essentially to the extractive industry which exploits the resources of very rich deposits, this has not improved workers’ salaries in the slightest proportion. The fruits of development have gone to the restricted oligarchy of the lords of the mineral rent, linked to the multinationals of the sector, mostly contiguous with the same state apparatus.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the proletarian revolt has thrown the local and international bourgeoisie into panic, worried about seeing the rich cake of the mining income recede and terrified by a proletariat out of control, willing to descend to the battlefield with the most radical means even at the price of extreme sacrifice.

The spark of the revolt was ignited in the province of Mańğystau, in the south-west of the country, facing the Caspian Sea, immediately after the announcement of the gas price increase, with the first gatherings occurring on Saturday, January 1st. The protest developed in the city of Zhanaozen, the epicenter of a solid tradition of workers’ struggles. Already in 2011, the workers of the Ozenmunaigas oil field had carried out a strike declared illegal by the authorities, but which lasted more than six months and ended with the massacre of 16 workers.

Once again, the Ozenmunaigas workers were among the first to start the protests. They were soon joined by those from the North Buzachi, Karazhanbas and Kalamkas oil fields, and the cities of Aqtau, Atyrau and Akshukur. On January 4 the revolt spread throughout the country involving Almaty, Nur-Sultan, Aqtobe, Uralsk, Qyzylorda, Shymkent, Kokshetau, Kostanai, Taldykorgan, Ekibastuz, Taraz and many other cities.

After the first clashes with the police forces, the protests took on an insurrectionist character, overwhelming the repressive apparatus of the State and forcing it to withdraw. On January 5th, the rioters attacked the institutional offices in Almaty and Nur-Sultan, penetrating the palaces of power and devastating them. At the same time in many other cities the town halls were stormed.

President Toqaev sent the government home, accusing it of incompetence for having improperly doubled the price of gas, he calmed the price, but at the same time he defined the demonstrators as "bands of terrorists".

In the meantime, the rioters took up arms, disarming and kidnapping soldiers and policemen, and shooting began, with the first deaths on both sides.

While the international prices of raw materials underwent a jolt, the first operations of the Russian special forces began, saving dozens of members of the Kazakh nomenclature with their families. The demonstrators occupied the international airport of Almaty, probably in an attempt to prevent the most prominent elements of the enemy class from getting to safety. The arrival of Russian troops, who promptly took control of the airport of the most important city in the country, came as a rescue for Toqaev and his cronies. The bourgeois terror quickly took over causing, according to official sources, 164 deaths and proceeding in the following days to mass arrests up to the current figure of 12,000 imprisoned.

The re-establishment of the dystopian order of capital received the explicit or tacit applause of the political representatives of the bourgeoisie of every latitude. Beijing’s open support to the butcher Toqaev is equivalent to Washington’s implicit one, even in the tired repetition of the hypocritical mantra for the respect of "human rights". We saw on January 10 at the talks between the U.S. and Russia in Geneva this great concern of the Democrats in Washington for the fate of the Kazakh proletarians massacred, oppressed, and persecuted: Kazakhstan was not mentioned while talking about the entry of Ukraine into NATO. In the meantime, gas prices, after a flare-up due to the revolt, fell to previous levels in acknowledgment of the averted danger.

The sad Toqaev resumed the reins of the country, proceeded to appointment a new government, dismissed those responsible for security, and unloaded on his predecessor the responsibility of the situation, accusing him of having favored the creation of "a class of people rich even by international standards.” He admits what everyone knows, that elements of the old "Soviet" nomenclature have smoothly accomplished the metamorphosis from state boyars into capitalist oligarchs, in perfect continuity with their membership in the bourgeois class.

If the ruling class needs a rag to cover its shame after the bloodbath, here is added to the flood of lies a daring work of mystification, to erase from the eyes of the masses the real meaning of what happened, making them believe that the problem lies entirely in the nepotism of the corrupt former president.

But the fire of the class struggle is never completely extinguished and will return to set the cities of Kazakhstan on fire. The Kazakh proletarians have done everything in their power, demonstrating the heroism of which the proletariat is capable when it comes to struggle, confronting the violence of the state apparatus, seizing and disarming policemen and soldiers, arming, defending and attacking, blocking factories, mines, roads and even an airport. They could hardly go further, deprived as they are of the revolutionary party at their head, and of the solidarity of the proletariat in other countries, first and foremost of the working class in Russia.

The proletariat, wounded and beaten this time not by deception but by brute force, will inevitably rise up in a new revolt and will go towards victory if it knows how to unite above all national frontiers, equipping itself with its indispensable organ of struggle: the International Communist Party.

Because the sword of the communist revolution, sharpened by the force of history, is stronger than the lies of the bourgeoisie.

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