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11 June 2013

Istanbul Gezi Park Protests - 11th June 2013 - Post Taksim Square Crackdown

The Taksim Square protesters have now been pushed out and as of this night they have pushed the other protesters who came and attempted to support the protesters in to the back-streets with what I can say is ultimate force. After a huge amount of pepper gas was shot in to the middle of the huge crowd that began gathering, the police then moved in huge numbers, they can only mean business. I don't believe any of the operation was to take down banners at all. The overwhelming show of force can only be to clear the park of protesters. If this doesn't turn in to something completely out of hand tonight I will be very surprised.

Are they going to fight there own people for every last tree? Are they going to risk hurting people just for an AVM? What happened to the right to protest which is surely the right of every person in a democratic country? Maybe democracy died already or maybe it will die tonight. A sad day for Turkey and the days that follow and the possible brain drain of the intelligent people labelled as çapulcular, what will happen?

There were a small group of people who were firing fireworks and the occasional molatov cocktails but this was and is not the majority of the protesters. The news reports seem to be focusing just on this and not the fact that it was a dawn raid with gas shot almost immediately.

This hard response could in fact be a taste of future Turkey. Protests when they get out of hand need to be dealt with at some stage but to indiscriminately gas a crowd of possible 3000 - 4000 people (the people who this night got together to support the protesters) is out of hand in itself.

If you have been gassed take care - be careful all of you, including the police, protests can be solved peacefully.

As I write the police are pulling out to the side of the square again.