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(en) Organisation Communiste Libertarie - Taksim everywhere Resistance everywhere! "I went to resist, I'll be right back" - 18th day of the uprising by Ali Bektas (fr) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 16 Jun 2013 12:04:51 +0300

Despite ruthless repression, despite the insults, threats and attempts to division of power between good and evil, resistance remains strong throughout Turkey as protesters continue to hold Gezi Park and refuse to obey orders ErdoÄan and ultimatums. ---- The struggle continues ... ---- In an attempt to learn more: ---- A new text on what is happening in the park and Gezi Takim site. ---- The call to continue the struggle of collective Taksim DayaniÅmasi ("Solidarity Taksim") dated June 15 ---- ISTANBUL - The fight that broke out on May 31 to fight against neoliberal urban renewal - and in particular the demolition of a park in the center of Istanbul - exceeded its original goals, and turned into a real uprising against a democratically elected regime quoiqu'autoritaire. Although it began in Gezi Park, close to the central square of Istanbul, Taksim Square, the uprising quickly spread across the city and across the country.

Adamant in their determination to stay on the streets, huge crowds are gathered every day in Ankara and Izmir as well as other smaller cities. Three protesters were killed and four others are currently in a critical condition. Add to this more than 6,000 injured, including 10 who have lost eyes. The uprising has dominated the national discourse for more than two weeks since the country experienced the largest urban uprising and the longest he had ever seen. It is now considered a political capital awakening for a generation. On the ground, there is only one term that is used to describe the highly heterogeneous crowds demonstrated in Turkey for weeks of resistance. Resistance against the urban development short-sighted resistance against the police and resistance against the authoritarian regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP (Party of Justice and Development), in power for over ten years. Almost all relevant Twitter hashtags follow the order form of resistance, "# DIREN" and multiply by location or topic. The trader leave notes explaining "I went to resist, I'll be right back" , and one of the most popular slogans is "Taksim everywhere! Resistance everywhere! "

It is as if all of Taksim, Istanbul's bohemian cultural center and place of major political events, was part of the resistance and almost everyone walks around with diving goggles and dust masks for protect themselves from tear gas generously distributed.

The barricades processing

For ten days between June 1 and June 10, all the main roads leading to Taksim Square and smaller side streets were barricaded in the defense against the police. In some avenues such as Gumussuyu, where fighting raged at the beginning of the uprising, more than a dozen barricades were present. Some of them who reached three meters high, were built from all kinds of urban debris, building materials, destroyed city buses, metal bars cemented cinder blocks towards the enemy lines, on a surreal medieval fashion. As in other urban uprisings, barricades isolated area of ââthe state and a space where a whole new set of social relations, previously unimaginable, could take shape.

On any sign hung between the light poles in the streets leading to Taksim Square and Gezi Park could have read "This way the City Taksim" . It was perhaps a bit exaggerated, but it was certainly true in the park itself, where solidarity and mutual aid have become the norm. Everyone talks about this new life they found in this beautiful space exempt from the state where cooperation, solidarity and struggle have supplanted the poisoned society they left behind. Tense discussions that arise between individuals with opposing political ideologies, or drunks disturb quickly subsided to return to a more sober state of mind. People saw that social violence was actually reduced by the absence of the police. This is particularly the case for the participants, for women who are at least half if not more of those in Gezi Park. Not only the usual verbal harassment and sexual violence in Taksim were reduced, but women and sexist men have claimed a large space to fight patriarchy up to work on the songs, slogans and graffiti using a sexist language to attack Erdogan and the AKP.

For nearly two weeks now, the flags of the PKK (the powerful group of Kurdish guerrillas) floating in the wind with the flags of the Turkish Republic on Taksim Square. This previously unimaginable, has been made possible because both the Kurds and the Kemalists, united against a common enemy, the police and the AKP government. A Kurdish student said that that was the real peace process, as opposed to opportunistic process established by ErdoÄan during the past year. It is indicative of the nature of the conflict with the Kurds that the absence of the State in the streets of Taksim has consolidated a space for people to talk and really listen to each other.

The first weekend of the barricades saw two mass demonstrations. Saturday, June 8, football fans of the big three clubs of Istanbul, BeÅiktaÅ, FenerbahÃe and Galatasaray, converged on the square in a big show of force. These fans, previously at war against each other, gather today in Istanbul United and provided much of the energy needed for street fighting. Among them, the ÃarÅÄ ["Bazar", BeÅiktaÅ] shines the most because they are the most organized, intelligent and with previous experience of intervention in political situations. But they are decidedly apolitical, in the sense that they do not support any political party and say their "rebellious spirit" is with the people. In fact, they are ideologically confused and alternate between nationalist symbols and song Bella Ciao, all in a sort of left-wing populism macho.

Their participation was crucial because they are very well organized, and have the experience to work together in stages. It is not surprising that football fans in Istanbul, which represent a large segment representative of the urban population has been a great gift for the struggle in defense of the city. The next day, June 9, there was an even bigger rally in Taksim. According to some estimates, nearly one million people attended and it was a much stronger character to the left. Many people claim that it could have been the largest crowd ever seen in Taksim Square, including at gatherings of workers legendary 1970s.

ErdoÄan and tactics easy propaganda

ErdoÄan's words became more and more ridiculously false as he was clearly in the midst of the greatest crisis of his government. To defend its police force and try to minimize its extreme repression, he proclaimed that 17 people were killed by police in the United States during the Occupy movement. Naturally, the U.S. Embassy quickly denied it. He even said that many injuries that have overwhelmed a nearby mosque on the third day of the uprising, had actually got drunk inside. The imam of the mosque quickly denied. His rhetoric, all filled with lies and equally furious as always, is misplaced as his administration clearly trying to manage the crisis. At first, he thought he could just insult those who were in the park, claiming that they were "scum" ( Ãapulcu ) and "drunkards" for implicitly oppose those who are good, practicing Muslims. Again the park occupiers showed their spirit and disarmed the government appropriating the term and everyone began to call Ãapulcu . In addition, the positive atmosphere in the park with its kitchen, its libraries, its urban gardens, etc.. began to be noticed through social media and downright one of the leading Turkish media had initially ignored the protests. This has successfully combat organized propaganda by the Government that the camp was a feeling cesspool of urine and it became much more clear that there was more than "drunk" in Gezi Park. This initial tactic backfired.

The following strategy used by the AKP government was to foment division, already rampant among those they designated as "provocative" [in French in the text] (read: those who retreat when Police attack), or more generally "marginal groups" (read: small leftist militant groups) and the so-called "environmental youth trying to save the trees" (imagine: a clueless and naive teenager green). This is a completely artificial division. Many kinds of people fought against the police. It is not very clear that it is about these "marginal groups", but many small leftist groups are part of the Platform of Solidarity Taksim (who organized the initial settlement of the park) . And no young ecologist well intentioned but naive can be found in the park. In addition, the initial movement to save the park was much more innocent than an attempt to save trees: it was, in fact, a struggle for public space against its encirclement. Although this was an artificial division, this tactic has been more successful for the government because there is not exactly a consensus on how to deal with police violence.

Those who have been active in the social movements of the past have probably seen these tactics to be deployed as part of the operating manual of the State. First, there is an attempt to discredit those who took to the streets or in business. But if the movement becomes too popular, the next step is to try to divide by promoting divisions and labeling some of them as extremists and others as naive simply used as cover. Marginality is becoming an ever receding horizon that never dies until there is no one to resist.

Take place for the final assault

Tuesday, June 11, the police had to move back to Taksim Square. Obviously, it was a necessary step before attempting to use the nearby park to those who occupy it. At 7am, the police entered the room. The barricades were inadequate, with no one behind them to defend their position at this early hour. Despite this, some of the park and instead fought against the police as best they could throughout the day. The site has been lost in time and most of the fighting took place on the main street (now one of the construction sites that are part of the development of the place desired by ErdoÄan) around the park Gezi .

On several occasions, police fired tear gas into the park, despite numerous promises which had been given that the park would be left outside the police attack. The amazing self-organization of the park had already surpassed itself and those who resist have improved the way they deal with teargas. Realizing that all of Taksim was the place of resistance, it became clear that revive grenades at the police had little to get rid of the gas that filled the whole neighborhood. Instead, buckets of water, sand and wet blankets were distributed through the camp and grenades were quickly extinguished as they fell to the ground.

The Platform of Solidarity Taksim appealed for people to converge at 19h and tens of thousands of people began to show within the place that night. Shortly after the site has been filled, the police decided to disperse the crowd with an incredible amount of tear gas and water cannons. Fortunately, this completely unprepared and peaceful crowd kept his cool and new deadly stampede, like the one that took place on 1 May 1977, was not repeated. People were pushed back a few streets down from the position and continued to advance towards the police lines, before being repelled with more tear gas and water cannons. This lasted until about four o'clock in the morning. At one point, the police entered the park. Hundreds of riot police have destroyed tents and other infrastructure around the entrance. In response, a large barricade was erected at the entrance of the park as the first line of defense against the police.

Laughter against fear

The regime of government by fear has faced unprecedented public demonstration of humor. The streets around Taksim and Beyoglu district adjacent were covered with graffiti early in the uprising. The content of this huge amount of graffiti took almost everyone by surprise and it shows the amazing people who took to the streets mind. The humor of the movement takes nothing from his determination, and instead, gives him spiritual ammunition to continue. When they do not cry because of the tear gas, people burst into tears laughing at the next graffiti corner that mocks Erdogan.

The special flavor of the humor comes from a series of weekly satirical magazines dating back to the period marked by military coups of 1971 and 1980. Faced with an iron fist and under the military regime, these magazines have developed a way to criticize the government under the guise of satire. This comic tradition met the cultural elements of the Web 2.0 era as pieces of popular culture. It should also be noted that most of these magazines have their offices in Taksim Square and are closely linked to the cultural life of the streets. This satirical culture developed in the 1990s and 2000s and exploded in the streets of Istanbul. Most people who follow the events are aware of the many puns and memes [1] built on the word used in Turkish for "scum" ( Ãapulcu ) [2]. But "every day I Capule" is only the tip of the iceberg comic. Unfortunately, many of the other examples are almost impossible to translate.

A crisis of representation

Each time these days, there seems to be yet another group of artists, intellectuals and actors, who, encouraged by Erdogan to believe themselves important enough to mediate between spontaneous masses and government. Despite such a theater of negotiation, the Prime Minister has continued to pursue the issue of successive threats, noting that his patience eventually run out.

The frustration of those in power who can not find an officer or representative to negotiate on and off the movement is obvious. The spontaneous nature and completely without a leader of those who took to the streets, without any decision-making structure was perhaps their greatest strength. Now that the fight has exceeded its initial goal of saving the park, even the Platform for Solidarity Taksim, which can be argued to be the only group that can try to play a leadership role in the fight, was strongly criticized for his meeting with the Prime Minister and for accepting a referendum does he seems no legal basis for the future of the park. That those who are negotiating with the Prime Minister does not seem to understand is that the situation has now far surpassed the issue of the park and the government is now faced with the will of those who are in the streets and not a handful of famous people or political organizations.

Prepare for a final battle

Now that the site has been lost in favor of the police, those in the park waiting for the final assault and attempt to recover the park. Every night there is a tense situation when each puts his mask and helmet and wrote his blood on his body. Determination of thousands standing guard is incredible. They have already lived it and now they joke about tear gas.

Every day, there are statements Istanbul Governor saying that the security person can not be guaranteed, accompanied by Orwellian tweets noting how good is the atmosphere of the occupation with the scent of lime and singing birds morning. Even more insulting is the childish rhetoric of authorities who constantly call the parents of those who occupy the place they want for their children to go home or they will be injured. In response to these threats, dozens of mothers have their children in publicly joined the resistance in recent days. Psychological warfare used by the government is certainly large caliber but the biological responses are equally important.

Resistance seems to be determined, at least, to take the field and not leave the park without a fight. And every night, there are thousands coming from work to join those camping despite being constantly harassed and arrested by the police for respirators and helmets. The fact that it is a young movement, with relatively little experience in organizing the street level, making it very difficult for the crowds in the park to withstand a frontal attack on the police. At this time, the collective strategy is to make this the most expensive attack politically possible for the government. What happens the day after a deportation is of course another question. But most important is that the genie is now out of the bottle in Turkey [3], and that any further significant part of youth is found and they began to dream of what they can achieve together .

Ali Bektas

On June 15, 2013

Source: "I've gone to resist, I'll be right back"


[1] meme: own a specific cultural space cognitive elements, see definition Wikipedia

[2] See here: Ãapulcu

[3] The Genie is out of the bottle and no one can make it fit ...

Declaration Taksim DayaniÅmasi
("Solidarity Taksim")

Taksim everywhere Resistance everywhere!

June 15, 2013

Platform Solidarity Taksim realized this statement following meetings and forums that took long hours into the early hours of the morning.

Our resistance began to prevent the demolition of Gezi Park and save the trees spread in Istanbul and throughout the country with the accumulated anger of thousands of people during the 11 years of the regime of AKP. Hundreds of people responded to the 8th day of resistance.

We are seeing a resistance to the broader struggle in the history of our country for our rights, which was exposed to intense police violence since the first day. This is a time when people's rights, including the right to life, are trampled upon. However, this cruelty has joined the crowds instead of disintegrating, has strengthened the solidarity of the people who get to know each other through this struggle. Under the overwhelming bombardment of gas, which suffocates the whole living being, more and more people took to the streets and turned this into a major social resistance movement.

The first government reaction to the extremely clear and justified demands that were expressed from the very first day of the resistance was to ignore them completely. They then tried to divide the resistance, cause people and undermine the legitimacy of the movement. At the national and international public opinion, the government has failed in these attempts. Ultimately, it is the legitimacy of the government, not the resistance, which discredited. Therefore, due to the pressure of our fair resistance, the AKP government has been urged to start a dialogue. However, this is only the beginning, our struggle continues.

During the first 18 days of resistance, four people lost their lives because of police violence: Ethem SarÄsÃlÃk Mehmet AyvalÄtaÅ, and Mustafa Abdullah CÃmert SarÄ. Many were injured, lost their eyes, vision, and even members. We feel pain for those who were killed and remember they were killed for their basic democratic rights. We repeat that no serious legal action has been taken against the perpetrators and supervised the actions that led to the murder of our friends, and we reaffirm that we will ensure that those responsible for the violence are brought to justice. In addition, many people are still in custody because of arbitrary detention policies applied by the security forces. On behalf of those who resist in Gezi Park and Solidarity Taksim, we call for the release of all those who were arrested for their involvement in the uprising across the country.

Meanwhile, we saw that we could unite, discuss, create common and fight together in spite of the violence that has befallen us. What was considered a weak multiparty democracy has allowed us to stand up in resistance against majoritarianism. Against the power of government, which relies on ecological destruction to increase rents and property rent, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the park to defend Gezi trees and thus defended their own lives and freedoms. The resistance Gezi Park area of ââfreedom as showed great determination to maintain a peaceful conduct against police violence.

While people resisted in Taksim Gezi Park and Solidarity, the most important thing we have learned so far is that the resistance can not be contained in time or in space, and will continue each aspect of life, in all parts of the city and the country, in every square meter each time.

The 18th day of our resistance, Saturday, June 15, we will continue our occupation to the park and all living creatures therein, our trees, our living, our private lives, our freedoms and our future. We will continue this fight until our demands are met.

This resistance will reflect the collective will of Solidarity Taksim and a symbol of our global struggle. From that day, we will continue to fight against all kinds of injustice and suffering in our country with the energy and the force generated by the struggle that has spread across the country and perhaps the world.

We are stronger, more organized and more hopeful than we were 18 days ago.

This is only the beginning, the resistance continues!

Taksim DayaniÅmasi ("Solidarity Taksim")

June 15, 2013.

[Translations by us: OCLibertaire]
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