This thing is far from over. The prime minister took up the challenge. He is ready to call out the protesters for a duel, one on one, at Gezi Park, high noon.
He owes it to his image as a strong leader to take an uncompromising stance. Upon return in Turkey after his North African field trip he said protesters are bordering on illegality. He made cliche accusations of terrorists and foreign agents being behind the protest, and he rallied his supporters to come welcome him at the airport.
Meanwhile, the protesters have far more important things to do than worry about what Tayyip does or says. They are in another world, a new world that they made possible with their own hands. They are organizing their camps, they are creating working groups, holding assemblies, etc. etc. Revolutionary fever is running wild in Turkey.
Taksim and Gezi Park have been transformed in a freedom celebration space. In many other places, there are still clashes. This morning, the camp in Kugulu Park Ankara was attacked by police. In the late afternoon, the people were back in control, and the camp was rebuilt.
Today protesters ‘occupied’ the New York Times with a crowdfunded full page add that explained their motives. Yesterday, the protesters received a message of solidarity from cherished intellectual Noam Chomksky. He placed the uprising in a wider context of worldwide resistance against the imposition of neo-liberal economic policies.
Adbusters magazine joined the chorus as well, with a magnificent poster on Occupy Gezi. They criticized Facebook for deleting a worldwide event in support of Turkey this weekend. When it was deleted, the message went trending on a dozen different platforms. This is it.
8-9 June Call for Solidarity Actions with #OccupyGezi
Calling on all cities of the world! Come out this weekend and reclaim your public spaces to show solidarity with #OccupyGezi and the many waves of protests in Turkey!
What began as a small occupation to protect Istanbul’s Gezi Park erupted within a matter of days into massive protests that spread like wildfire across Turkey. A key trigger was the disproportionate use of force by the police. Just as Gezi Park crystallized the struggle over an ever-shrinking public space hijacked by neoliberal authoritarianism, the pepper gas that security forces doused on Istanbul literalized the general need for breathing space – hundreds of thousands of people walked out onto the streets in support of the Gezi Park occupation despite a total media blackout, defying police brutality.
Now we have reclaimed not only Gezi Park but also Taksim Square, the very heart of Turkey’s public sphere, where mass expressions of discontent have repeatedly been banned, throughout the republic’s history. As Taksim and Gezi swell every night with thousands of people who come to celebrate their solidarity, victory and power, our resistance in other parts of Istanbul and other cities across Turkey continues.
Of one thing we are certain: Nothing will ever be the same again.
Show your support and solidarity this weekend, 8-9 June. Reclaim Tahrir, Syntagma, Sol, Zuccotti, your local streets, squares and parks! Trust us, they belong to you.”