This is a note from Can Aciksoz, a participant in the Taksim Square uprising. It describes mass arrests and police brutality and threats. It also points to the enduring revolutionary spirit in Turkey and new forms of public protest.
Friends from all over the world,
Please know that the earthly “paradise” we created in Gezi Park has been brutally destroyed by police attack; that we have been witnessing a rising wave of state terror under the auspices of the neoliberal Islamist AKP government.
Know that for the last two weeks my partner and I have barely survived plastic bullets and gas capsules aiming our heads, endured for hours different kinds of chemical attacks including tear and pepper gas, and some other unknown gas species, run away from police panzers driving full speed on us just for peacefully being on the streets. Know that our friends and family members have been wounded, illegally detained, beaten, tortured, and threatened with rape for doing the same.
Know that police have been attacking hospital ERs, mosques, schools, parks, private homes with gas bombs and water cannons. That water cannon tanks are illegally being filled with pepper gas solution that burnt protesters' skins. That the AKP government has been deploying military units as well as paramilitary forces against totally unarmed and non-violent protesters. That the government supporters armed with cleavers knives have been escorted by the police while attacking opposition party offices, protesters, and bystanders.
Know that the German Green Party leader Claudia Roth, who visited Gezi Park and witnessed firsthand police brutality, defined the situation as: “It’s like a war.”
Know that it’s indeed like a war, a one-sided war waged by the government against millions of civilian citizens, entire neighborhoods, street animals, environment, freedom, cooperation, solidarity, beauty, art, humor, laughter, and human dignity. That we are sad, exhausted, suffering, but also full of hope. As a graffiti reads: "It is as if the revolution has winked."
Please know… and please let it be heard that we are not alone.
Taking a Silent Stand
A lonely man has been standing still alone in violently "cleared out" Taksim for hours. Cops have searched him but could not do anything since the man was doing nothing but standing still. Now, he is joined by hundreds of others, who are silently standing still like a science fiction movie. We are writing a new page in Dada and politics. We are here! We are not going away!
The standing man was later arrested