Istanbul, June 10, 0254 hrs.
There is something awesome about barricades. It’s got to do with the sense of power and determination they convey. And with their romanticism. Nothing is as romantic as a real barricade.
They all have their own style, each of them is different and continuously changing. This morning, the ninth line of defense on the main road had a gate in the middle, the ‘Gate of Freedom’. During the evening it was closed in anticipation of an upcoming attack.
We went down there just now, three of us, reservoir dogs from the International Brigade of Acampada Sol, reunited in Istanbul. Jack has flown in from Madrid today to coordinate the livestreaming effort. At the seventh line of defense we witnessed a reinforcement, where people are digging up the bricks from the street, passing them on through a human chain. As we could clearly notice, under the bricks, there was the beach.
In between the different lines of defense, other people are digging up bricks to smash them on the street. They serve as stones to be thrown at police. A few meters away, someone is selling spray cans and Guy Fawkes masks. Graffiti is everywhere. On the pavement, on the walls, on the German embassy.
Down below at the front line, an extraordinary reinforcement measure is being implemented, which I cannot disclose for tactical reasons. I’m impressed with people’s dedication, and grateful for it. These boys stand on guard for the revolution. They are the soldiers of the Free Republic of Taksim, and all over the world people are cheering them on.
“Turkey has been living under dictatorship forever,” one of them says. “All we want, is to be free.”
They don’t have time to engage in the celebrations at Gezi. They are putting their lives on the line for freedom. And they are well equipped for it. Part of their gear was stripped from police officers during previous clashes.
We make friends with them. It’s a beautiful moment, a beautiful time. Once again, we are in the centre of the world.
The day had been long and hot, and overwhelming. Gezi park was so packed with people that you could hardly walk. Taksim Square was the same. People just kept pouring in, with their flags, their slogans, and their unyielding enthusiasm.
Among all those who came to Gezi, there were people from the neighbourhoods and districts of Istanbul that have suffered from the same monstrous real estate speculation which threatens to destroy the park. Their one demand is to be treated as humans, not merchandise.
In big cities around the planet, people have taken the streets in solidarity with the Turkish revolt. New York, Amsterdam, Madrid, London, to name but a few. We are the people, we are not alone.
The big news today is that six Turkish police officers have committed suicide since the start of the revolt. Police are under immense stress. And they will be so for the foreseeable future, as they keep receiving orders to disperse protesters. Today clashes continued in Ankara, Adana, and Gazi district in Istanbul. Camps keep flourishing in Izmir and Antakya. Eskisehir camp is organizing in assemblies and commissions. The first tents went up in Samsun.
The big scandal today is that prime minister Erdogan has ordered Ankara civil servants to attend a rally at the airport, or risk being fired. At the event, Tayyip continued to provoke the Turkish people, and menaced to call out his supporters against the uprising. He said his patience is wearing thin.
Whatever he has in mind to do, he will respond for it. And at the barricades, our boys are ready.