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Kazakhstan: Protesters Demand Meeting With President


Almaty, 8 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Protest demonstrations continued today in Kazakhstan after a march by metal workers over unpaid wages was blocked by police in the southern part of the country.

Our correspondents report that the marchers, totalling some 2,000 people, today sent a five-member delegation to Almaty to demand a meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Workers of the Achisay metals plant began their protest eight days ago. Yesterday, police stopped the marchers, who included several hundred women and children, near the southern town of Turkistan by blockading their route with trucks. The marchers, however, did not disperse but stayed through the night despite a heavy dust storm that brought down their makeshift tent camp.

The government owes Achisay plant workers, who have not been paid for 10 months, about $1.3 million in back wages.
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