Mayday Crackdown

In Istanbul, Turkey on 1 May 2013 at 16:38
Mayday in Istanbul. Photo vıa @SaraDerya

Mayday in Istanbul. Photo vıa @SaraDerya

Istanbul, May 1

Dear people,

Yesterday afternoon we were plotting secret plans for Mayday in an anarchist cove of the Boğaziçi University. At night we were still plotting. In the early morning we threw all plans out of the window, because ultimately there was little to plot about. We would gather at one of the union buildings and improvise from there.

Extra police had been flown in from all over the country. Ferries between the European and the Asian side had been blocked. When we went out onto the street we found the city to be under occupation. Not only had Taksim Square been barricaded during the night, but all throughout the centre, police had put up roadblocks and checkpoints. Their goal was to prevent people from marching, even from gathering. And they did.

We couldn’t reach the rendez-vous point. Those who did got attacked with heavy tear gas, the type that has been outlawed by the European Union and subsequently sold to the Turks. We could hear the cannisters being fired on the other side of the roadblocks. In Beşiktaş neighbourhood there were short and heavy clashes. Police employed water cannons. They threw tear gas inside the houses. The gasses shrouded the city centre, they made you cry five blocks down from where the action was. Whenever people tried to regroup, they were attacked again. Those who remained on the streets were arrested. By ten thirty in the morning it was all over. Mayday had been crushed, and we had retreated to one of the Turkish bars, to have tea.

I’m not sure about the numbers. Rumours say about one hundred people injured, one girl got her scull cracked when she was hit in the head by a teargas cannister. As for the amount of people arrested, only Allah knows.


Girl hit by tear gas cannister taken away to hospital

Update May 2: Total amount of critically injured is three. Total amount of wounded are ‘hundreds’. Police have reportedly tear gassed one of the hospitals. Today at one o’ clock demonstration in Taksim square.


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