Istanbul Taksim Gezi Park is not about trees

 Istanbul Taksim Gezi Park #occupygezi

Istanbul's central area of Taksim is currently the scene of a fledging 'occupy movement' as people react to this morning's 5am teargassing of protestors opposed to unchecked gentrification in the historic city.

These are some cursory notes on whats been unfolding in Istanbul's central square Taksim and the small green area within in - Gezi Park, as of Friday 31 May there is still little English language coverage, the best place to look is #occupygezi or in Turkish #direngeziparkı which is trending worldwide.

Searching for English language news or analysis of whats currently taking place in central Istanbul is not particularly fruitful, most likely the first thing you will come across is this Tweet from the Reuters news agency:

Along with a lot of information in Turkish there are quite a few Tweets pointing at the environmental nature of the protest with tree-saving and maintaing green space in an over urbanised city as the key issues. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

The recent wave of violence released by Turkish police under the rule of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP ([url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_and_Development_Party_(Turkey)]Justice and Development Party[/url]) government including this morning's tear gassing of protestors is in fact a growing trend which many are worried as seeing Turkey slipping further and further into authoritarian rule. Since the annual May 1st demonstrations violence used against protestors has intensified in Istanbul as people have taken to the streets to decry the worrying trends they see developing in their country. This is reflected around the country with attacks on university students in Ankara coupled with a rapidly destabilising situation in the South East as the Turkish border areas are dragged into the Syrian conflict.

Back in Istanbul years of rapid neo-liberal gentrification under the guise of urban improvement has seen swathes of the city transformed. Most recently the go ahead was given for the third Istanbul bridge which is due to see the city transform into an enormous monster spreading up towards the black sea. Many commentators see this as the death knell for Istanbul. In the city centre the central working class neighbourhood of Tarlabasi is currently being decimated while projects such as Galataport and the redevelopment of the Kadikoy train station see historical parts of the city flattened and redevelopment as global investment opporutinites leading to soaring prices and the replacing of large parts of the city with shopping malls and luxury apartments.

In Taksim square, Gezi park (hardly a park by European standards but more a huge traffic island made of of concrete with several hundred trees sitting in its midst) sees itself as the latest victim of a government which deploys heritage as an argument for redevelopment as it drags from the dust the idea of an Ottoman Army Barracks which suddenly must be developed as a shopping mall, replacing one of the last remaining open spaces a city which is already struggling to breathe from congestion, traffic and over development. Scene of protests for the last few days this morning saw police attempt to clear protestors with swathes of tear gas, hospitalising some with an attack which started at 5am while many were sleeping in a makeshift camp. Protestors belongings and tents were burned and newly planted trees uprooted. At 8am this seemed to cease as opposition politicians seeking to make political capital declared opposition to the ongoing destruction and arrived among the bulldozers.

Meanwhile a gathering has been called Thursday night in Taksim square at 19:00.

This is a super rushed account of what's happening and doesn't take into account many of the factors which play into this complex story, hopefully by tomorrow some more English language accounts will be coming out of the city with better analysis.

As of Friday 31 May I am trying to update the story with links below.

Title image credit @ekizilkaya.

Posted By

Jacques Roux
May 30 2013 14:03

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Entdinglichung
Jun 6 2013 19:35

more from Ankara from http://turkishspring.nadir.org/index_eng.html

Quote:
22.22:

[Ankara] Police launched tear gas attack on people marching from Dikmen Avenue.

22.19:

[Ankara] People started combining their groups. Masses in İlker Street and Dikmen gathered together. There they started marching to Police Housing with a group of 5 thousand. In Çetin Emeç Street a people of 150 of Öveçler and a 3 thousand of Ahmed Arif Park gathered together.

22.17:

[Ankara] More than 5000 people are marching at Keçiören

22.15:

[Ankara] People from the Mamak moved ahead Dikimevi (20 min walk to Kızılay square)

22.07:

[Ankara] Group in Mesrutiyet Street reached Guvenpark.

22.06:

[Ankara] Mamak group joined Abidinpaşa. In Tuzluçayır Square five thousand people on action.

22.00:

[Ankara] About 3 thousand people arrived at Barış Yolu (Peace Road) in Keçiören

21.59:

[Ankara] About 2 thousand people started marching to Kızılay from Tuzluçayır.

21.56:

[Ankara] People around 200 keep waiting in Güvenpark.

21.54:

[Ankara] Çapul Tv: In Ankara Akay Crossroad, police tension started.

21.50:

[Ankara] From Kuğulupark, hundreds of people met Meşrutiyet Street from Konur Street.

21.48:

[Ankara] In Kecioren approximately thousand of people who were waiting in front of the İncirli highschool met with the people that started marching from Danisment.

21.43:

[Ankara] Three thousand protestors started marching from Batikent square. Also people started meeting on subway exists on Batikent.

21.35:

[Ankara] Five thousand protestors got together on Tuzlucayir Square. They are going to march together to Kizilay after the group marching from Saimekadin joins them.

21.33:

[Ankara] Police attacked people gathered around the Akay roundabout. One person got wounded by the gas canister hit in the belly.

21.32:

[Ankara] About 400 people came together in Saimekadin (a district of Ankara) and started marching to Tuzlucayır square.

21.29:

[Ankara] A 400 of people in Ahmed Arif Park in Dikmen and a thousand of people in Dikmen Avenue gathered and hundreds of people started marching in İlker Street. They will all gather in Dikmen Avenue.

21.28:

[Ankara] Approximately two thousand people that met on Batikent square will march to subway exit.

21.24:

[Ankara]- A thousand of people started marching in Kecioren from Danisment district.

21.23:

[Ankara] Halkevi members and Student Collectives joined to the crowd in Guvenpark.

21.21:

[Ankara] In Ankara about 500 people started to march from national education ministry to the parliment.

21.19:

[Ankara] The protestor population is over 10 thousand in Kugulupark.

Chilli Sauce
Jun 6 2013 21:25

Yeah, things have gotten really nasty in Ankara.

The cops are using a combo of TOMAs--basically urban tanks--and what the Turks call scorpions, a more compact militarized vehicle, to gas and water cannon protesters. And whatever chemicals they're using seem to have really adverse effects. I've directly spoken to more than one person who's been shot with orange-tinted water and gone home and thrown up all night. They're totally indiscriminate as well, just rolling into public square and releasing volleys of tear gas.

In fact, I've been surprised just how few cops I've seen face-to-face since this all kicked off. I've seen maybe 25 cops, but a dozen TOMAs.

rooieravotr
Jun 6 2013 21:37

A few questions.
1. How should we evaluatie the turkishspring.nadir updates? Anything known about that website that can be safely said here?
2 Leo wrote in an earlier comment: "the Turkish SWP is, in essence, a pro-government organization." In what sense? I could use some more in fo about that in debates here in the Netherlands.

Entdinglichung
Jun 6 2013 21:55

basically some people translating the twitter feed from http://www.sendika.org/category/english/ ... nadir is a long established radical publication platform from Germany

Ablokeimet
Jun 7 2013 01:04
Chilli Sauce wrote:
In fact, I've been surprised just how few cops I've seen face-to-face since this all kicked off. I've seen maybe 25 cops, but a dozen TOMAs.

To my mind, this says that the regime is suffering from a shortage of coppers. They've probably stripped the rest of the country down to a skeleton staff in order to send the maximum number to Istanbul. This means that, faced with widespread revolt, they don't have the option of using finesse in their tactics. They're reduced to random brutality from within their armoured vehicles. It would also explain reports of the Army being used in a logistical role in Ankara.

If this is the correct interpretation, it is exceedingly good news. The Government is reaching the limits of its ability to impose its will on society. How long can he keep sending the coppers into battle against the protestors? I don't think that Erdogan would be willing to risk using the Army in a front line role, because:

(a) It would look so bad and drive even more people into the arms of the opposition - as well as causing difficulties for him in relations with other States; and

(b) He couldn't count on the Army to do what it's told. He knows he's pushing the envelope in terms of his deviation from Kemalism and his calculation has been that, with the support of the population, he can force the Army to tolerate him. If the population is opposing him, however, and the Army is required not merely to tolerate him but to impose his will, that's another matter entirely and not one of which he'd be confident of the outcome without the support of the CHP.

ocelot
Jun 7 2013 08:58

To be fair, I don't think "finesse" is actually a word in the Turkish policing dictionary. In fact the habitual knee-jerk brutality and casual indifference to, or even enthusiasm for, spilling civilian blood appears* to be one of the factors that contributed to the response of public sympathy (by many, if not all) to the initial attacks on a relatively small group of protestors. It might possibly go some way to explaining the different reactions by folk from the big cities (Istabul, Ankara, Izmir, etc) who witness this cop behaviour regularly enough, and the towns and villages of the Anatolian interior who are probably (guessing here) more used to seeing riot cops on the TV news than their own streets.

The use of armoured vehicles without accompanying police "infantry" can also be seen as a deliberate strategy - i.e. very demoralising for potential rioters to be faced with an enemy that stones and molotovs cannot really repel; saves on policing injuries bill; sends a clear message of "we don't care if people get killed in clearing this area"; etc.

However, it does have more police-oriented effects as well. One is the rather sinister effect of distancing the vehicle operators from the effects of the violence they're meeting out and the human-ness of their targets - a sort of Xboxisation effect, if you like. The other, is the manpower question - if you've got enough vehicles (capital cost question), then you can reduce the policing labour needed to clear a particular area. But with policing you have to factor in not only the capital and labour costs, but also the political "costs". Otherwise they'd be throwing a lot more armoured cars, water cannon, gas, LRADS, etc into public order situations, if selection of means was consequence-free.

It seems quite likely that the government is playing a different policing game around Taksim, where they are now (temporarily) under the eye of international media, and a more instrumental, "just get the job done, with minimal manpower and maximum 'shock and awe'" in Ankara and elsewhere.

* disclaimer: all of this is idle speculation, based on my own visits to Turkey and past conversations with Turkish comrades. I'm not close enough to the current action to really unpick the factors at play - in any case, large scale public upheavals are huge, complex phenomena that resist easy 'real-time' analysis - even for those in the middle of them.

Harrison
Jun 7 2013 13:14
Quote:
a sort of Xboxisation effect, if you like

An unrelated fact, but Xbox 360 controllers are nowadays used in military applications for remote piloting.

Leo
Jun 7 2013 13:17

The information about Ankara is correct.

Quote:
Did the workers stay on strike?

Nope.

Quote:
2 Leo wrote in an earlier comment: "the Turkish SWP is, in essence, a pro-government organization." In what sense? I could use some more in fo about that in debates here in the Netherlands.

They've been supporting the AKP government for so long, it is ridiculous that now they claim to be opposed. They were even congratulated by the current prime minister in one of his speeches, and during the constitutional referandum, their leaflets were printed en masse by the current government.

ocelot
Jun 7 2013 16:09

Re the AKP support by the Turkish SWP, it should be pointed out that this appears to be a bit of a pattern by ISO groups towards "critical support" for Muslim Brotherhood or similar "moderate" (ha!) Islamist groups as "the lesser evil". See also Egypt in the last elections, the UK (the MAB are the UK wing of the MB), etc. From "Vote Labour with No Illusions" to "Vote Ikhwan with No Illusions", if you like...

edit: I don't know what the local front group of the MB in the Netherlands is, but it might be worth tracking them down and seeing what. if any, relations the local SWP have with them.

Entdinglichung
Jun 7 2013 17:39

in the Netherlands, I suppose, that they (IS, the SWP clone) are supporting the ex-maoist SP which got nearly 10% last year ... don't think, that e.g. the Turkish ex-hoxhaite group DIDF which works in the SP would welcome Islamists in the party, even when they're introduced by the IS

Entdinglichung
Jun 7 2013 17:41
iexist wrote:
How do they justify both positions? (SWP)

anti-imperialist alliance against US and British imperialism

subprole
Jun 7 2013 18:04

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2013-06-06/some-considerations-on-the-demonstrations-in-turkey

Quote:
We’ll leave it to the journalists with their “stock images” to chart the presumed causes of the recent protests in Turkey. The story that the demolition of Gezi Park to make way for a shopping centre, mosque and car park, is the prime cause of the protests in Istanbul and the brutal state repression by the police, called onto the streets after two days of clashes, is simply laughable.

Certainly everything kicked off from Taksim Square’s one green space — the park, but as for why tens of thousands at first and then millions joined demonstrations in all the bigger Turkish cities, a deeper explanation is required.

First of all, the socio-economic situation must be evaluated. Turkey emerged stronger from a financial crisis in 2002, thanks largely to a series of factors which allowed the AKP, Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, to begin a process of development that in ten years brought Turkey to be the 17th country in the world in terms of GDP, to become a central element in the politics of the Middle East and a vital hub for the transport of oil and gas from central Asia to the Mediterranean and then on to Europe. The political stability of the new government, the stability of the Turkish lira, the relatively low cost of labour allowed considerable amounts of capital to engage in productive and speculative investment. The favourable situation for Turkish capitalism lasted into the first few years of the international crisis, but then came the fateful hitch in the proceedings.

The recapitalisation of the banks, which had allowed the first steps forward for Ankara’s economy, disintegrated as increasing speculative activity subtracted capital from industry. Despite the reorganisation of the labour force and the restructuring of leading sectors of the real economy, based on super-exploitation and insecurity, the economy began to suffer from the lack of internal funding, by the contraction in international demand. At the same time imports, especially of energy, continued at the same pace as before. In the public sector the leap forward led to an increase in the national debt equal to 100% of GDP. In turn this has led for a couple of years now, to cuts in health care and schools, while layoffs have begun in a range of petty bourgeois areas linked to the public sector, and last but not least, in the construction industry which was, and still is, the focus of some of the biggest speculation in the country.

All this has triggered a progressive malaise against Erdogan and his party. Until two years ago, everything was under control and the Prime Minister of more times than anyone else enjoyed a wide popularity, being re-elected with almost plebiscitary consensus (he has been in power continuously since 2002). Today things are changing and the policy of slow Islamisation, the cancellation of the few "secular throwbacks" and the arrogance of power mean there is less and less room for manoeuvre. But, although they have played an important role in recent events, it is not just a matter of civil rights and the defence of secular Turkish society which is moving millions of Turks. Behind all this there is a malaise which makes what previously would have passed smoothly seem unbearable, a malaise keenly felt by the government itself which has not held back with the crackdown, giving rise to scenes of brutal violence which otherwise would have been unnecessary.

The opposition which took to the streets, first in Istanbul and then in all the squares of Turkey, is varied, multifaceted and politically confused. First, there are the members of the political opposition, those who have had to endure in Parliament and in society as a whole the humiliation of being relegated to the margins of national politics. These are the traditional bourgeois political forces of the "left" who have not missed the opportunity to take to the streets and annoy "Erdogan “the Islamist”. This component includes the institutional political parties of the secular tradition such as the radicals, socialists and residues of Stalinism who still call themselves communists. Outside of these party political cages fringes of the middle classes in the process of proletarianisation, or already proletarianised, are active such as doctors, engineers and graduates who work in the public sector in general and who are finding themselves swelling the ranks of the redundancies required to reduce the cost of public administration. Many are young people, mainly university and college students who have seen increased taxes and reduced services. For the moment presence of the working class is not yet preponderant even if they are involved in the demonstrations in each locality. Above all young temporary/casual workers and underemployed, young sub-proletarians and unemployed are present on the streets of Istanbul or Ankara. But we are only at the beginning, the crisis has yet to bite more viciously. This does not mean that we are on the eve of a large scale insurrectional process, nor that the proletariat is about to write a glorious Turkish page of the class struggle. It only means that the crisis is beginning to trouble those countries which, until a few years ago, seemed to be immune to it and that out of this welter of opposition to the Erdogan government, either a revolutionary advance guard with anti-capitalist policies will emerge, or else everything is destined to return as before, with the prospect of more tragic episodes of repression.

Chilli Sauce
Jun 7 2013 18:47

Good article subprole and, Leo, that's really interesting (if not unsurprising) about the Turkish SWP.

I just wanted to comment on Ocelot's post and just say that seems just about spot-on to me.

Leo
Jun 8 2013 01:36
Quote:
How do they justify both positions? (SWP)

In Turkey, they used to do so claiming that the AKP government was advancing democracy and freedoms against the old Kemalist elites. Their slogan on the constitution was "Yes, but not enough" rather than "Yes, with no illusions". They haven't supported the AKP in any actual elections though, they tend to support the Kurdish nationalists recently. Now, of course, they'd say they are "critical" of the AKP.

In the past, before the IST's overt Islamist turn, the Turkish SWP used to support the Kemalists against the much dreaded fear of Islamic reaction, going so far as calling for a vote for the kemalist Republican People's Party in at least one election.

rooieravotr
Jun 8 2013 06:53
Quote:
I don't know what the local front group of the MB in the Netherlands is, but it might be worth tracking them down and seeing what. if any, relations the local SWP have with them

Lol, no need to "track them down", I was member of that organization for almost 20 years, and needed some 18 months afterward to lose my Leninism (of most of it; still struggling, as some of my questions here might indicate). Some Turkish exiles in the Netherlands are members and/ or supporters, so there is some personal connection with IS politics in Turkey as well. And yes, the IS in the Netherlands used to be very soft on Islamism - as I did not recognise back then -, and yes, they supported (still do) the "ex-maoist " SP that for more than 20 years is jst a somewhat more left wing version of the Labour party. They (we, back then, I am sorry to say...) tried to enter, but failed. After that, the IS basically functions as left wing advisers of the SP, which, according to them, "should" do all kinds of things it simply won't.

However, this thread is on Turkey, not on the Dutch IS (which, by the way, has translated and published the Turkish IS-text earlier mentioned in this thread). My question was specifically aimed to the role the Turkish IS group is playing. I am not totally surprised at the answers; they fit the general, dismal, picture of IS politics in regards Islamic groups and governments. Thanks for the answers.

Entdinglichung
Jun 8 2013 08:00

some interesting snippets from yesterday's news on http://turkishspring.nadir.org/index_eng.html

Quote:
[Eskihesir] At Eskişehir, committees of the resistance are set up. At the Eskişehir Direniş Square, all regulation of the square is determined by the committees. Today, Direniş Square committees are set up with the general meeting. Committees are going to state their decisions to the general meetings everyday at 8.00pm. The committees and their functions are : Eylem (Protest) committeee: Planning the protests' content and route, creating slogans. // Üniversite ve Eğitim (University and Education) Committee: Organizing the education, information and discussions in the area. // Öneri ve Fikir (Proposal and Idea) Committee: Generating creative ideas about everything of the area. // Temizlik ve Çevre (Cleaning and Environment) Committee: Cleaning of the area, protecting the environmental layout and the animals on the streets. // Basın (Press) Committee: Following the press, taking photographs. // Koordinasyon ve İletişim (Coordination and Communication) Committee: Providing communication between committees. // Güvenlik (Security) Committee: Checking general security of the area, planning emergency situations. // İlkyardım (First Aid) Committee

Quote:
[Istanbul] The clash at Gazi that has been going on for hours has now ended.

is this the area where the 1995 riots took place?

Quote:
[Antalya] Protests in Antalya does not seem to stop. Halkevleri built a podium at Cumhuriyet Square, where 500 doctors came by foot.

Quote:
[Adana] Police in Adana started attacking thousands of people who were marching towards AKP Provincial Office. The crowd is trying to regather in Atatürk Park.

Entdinglichung
Jun 9 2013 07:35

in Hamburg/Germany, Linksruck, the German SWP clone tried to recruit the Shura, a coordination of Mosques whose main component is Millî Görüş (disputed area between AKP and the more right-wing Saadet Partisi) plus the Iranian's state mosque in Hamburg into the local peace coordination around 9 or 10 years ago, trying to imitate the StWC ... but the majority of groups and individuals involved in the peace coordination blocked it: pacifist groups because they had doubts about the "peace-loving" character of the Shura (e.g. on Yugoslavia 1999) but the main protest against admitting the Shura came from Turkish, Kurdish and Iranian leftists and their German friends, who simply didn't want to work with Islamists, who had physically attacked some of them a couple of years before

Devrim
Jun 9 2013 07:44

On the Turkish version of the SWP being a pro-government party, here is the quite where Tayip thanks them for their support after the referendum:

Tayip Erdoğan wrote:
"Bu değişikliğe destek veren CHP’li, MHP’li, BDP’li kardeşlerimi tehditlere aldırmadan sandığa giden kardeşlerimi kutluyorum. Başından itibaren “Evet” diyerek desteğini veren Saadet Partili kardeşlerimi, BBP’li kardeşlerimi, Hak-Par’lı kardeşlerimi, Bağımsız Ülkücüleri, Kürt Aydınları, Devrimci Sosyalist İşçi Partili arkadaşlarımı kutluyorum. Başından beri evet diyen AKP’li kardeşlerimi kutluyorum. Genç Siviller’i kutluyorum."

The bit in bold translates as "I congratulate my Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party friends". Also mentioned alongside them are "his brothers" in the Saadet Party (Islamicist), and the Büyük Birlik Party (ultranationalist)

A link can be found here.

Devrim

Entdinglichung
Jun 9 2013 08:52

btw., does anyone know the position of Saadet Partisi, BBP and Hüda-Par on the current movement?

Entdinglichung
Jun 10 2013 09:53

http://www.n-tv.de/politik/Tuerkische-Polizisten-begehen-Suizid-article1... (in German) speaks of at least six police officers who have committed suicide during the last days due to the immense stress (shifts up to 120 hours), the same article also says that the newly-founded coppers union Emniyet-Sen (7000 members) sees the violence committed by cops as a result of violence inside the police

emix2crete
Jun 10 2013 10:14

http://spanishrevolution11.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/the-free-republic-of...

Quote:
"The Free Republic of Taksim
...Here you have gays and lesbians next to anticapitalist muslims. You have trotzkyists and kemalists and anarchists all eating at the same table. You have nationalists, ecologists, students, workers, feminists, etc. They dance together in circles, having the time of their lives. And of course you have the football supporters, let’s not forget them. The three big teams from Istanbul are all here, Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. They were sworn enemies not so long ago, and now they sing and chant as brothers, united against prime minister Erdogan and the police. [...]

At the moment, Taksim Square is what anarchists call a ‘Temporary Autonomous Zone’. In other words, it’s a bubble in time and space wherein freedom has been achieved. It won’t last forever, but it will give rise to other bubbles. And so on. Until it boils. Until the whole damn system has evaporated."

Entdinglichung
Jun 10 2013 10:37

the solidarity demonstrations in Germany are split between (a bit larger) demos of Kurdish, Alevi and leftist organizations and demos by Kemalist and nationalist groups (mainly the CHP, the TGB which is a kind of youth org in sympathy with the left wing of the CHP and the ex-Maoist IP and the Atatuerk Idea Associations, very few "Idealists"), the PKK in Germany has ended its reluctant position and is now mobilising its supporters (can be up to 200.000 people) ... generally, according to http://www.labournet.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/PM_Kurdengezi.pdf (in German, sorry), the Kurdish left nationalist movement has adopted a position of support while being sceptical about the involvement of Kemalist and nationalist parties and groups, some of the statements are pointing out, that now normal people in Istanbul are experiencing what was normality for Kurds for the last decades

woooo
Jun 11 2013 05:22

An Australian anarchist in turkey critiques the protests. Apols if posted already

http://www.citizen-k.net/blog/?p=599

Chilli Sauce
Jun 11 2013 07:18

Just read that piece, I'm not in Istanbul, so I can't comment fully but I can't really say it reflects my experience. Sure, mistakes are made: I f*cking hate the Guy Fawkes masks, and I've also noticed the growing number of food vendors in and near the protests.

What I do know is that here in Ankara, the majority of the folks on the front line--lighting the barricades and throwing stone--seem to be university students (there are a number of historically left-wing universities in the city). And that's part of the reason I think this "they're all middle class" is, well, basically bullshit. I mean, it's the same discourse we hear from the ruling class every time social movements pick up steam: these are just middle class elites, blah, blah, blah. I mean, when "guilt ridden" becomes your understanding of class dynamics rather actually looking at the shifting composition of the Turkish working class, that's pretty problematic.

And the author is probably right that this is a bit of protest tourism for a lot of people, but on one level, so what? Tear gas is used liberally by the Turkish state and regardless of why you've come to the protest, when the police attack, you have to respond. Whether that response is offensive or defensive, your little protest holiday is over. What's the old adage--cops' batons make a lot more revolutionaries than revolutionary organisations ever have.

I also really hate the discourse of the "TAZ". Jesus, you'd think the anarchist movement had moved beyond this infantile bullshit.

ocelot
Jun 11 2013 09:14

Wow that Aussie dude is a knob. Check this shit out:

Quote:
The poor people are voluntarily going to the barricades to help the rich people stay safe on the top of the hill, and have taken their rightful place as the barrier between State and middle class without the middle class even asking them to do so. This unconscious repetition of class roles illustrates most clearly that this event isn’t challenging some of the deepest elements of Turkish society, which are an ingrained respect for class differentiation and demagoguery[...]

Patronising, much?

From the combination of his solipsism ("Me, me, me! I got shot! Was it really worth shedding my blood for these Turkish peasants?" etc) his misanthropic contempt for everybody involved, regardless of what class he (arbitarily) assigns them to, I'd say his particular rage for the middle class sounds suspiciously like self-hatred.

Meanwhile, back in Taksim, police efforts to clear the square have intensified this morning. Follow the action on your preferred feed.

Joseph Kay
Jun 11 2013 09:17

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

ocelot
Jun 11 2013 10:36

Yeah, the molotovs thing looks like it might be a bit of a setup, tbh.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/11/turkey-police-move-into-taksim-square#block-51b6ef53e4b0bfa7376c4a09

State media have taken a break from showing docs on Penguins and turned up at 6am (by appointment?) to film molotov throwers.

Quote:
There is widespread suspicion that many of the clashes between police and "protesters" have been faked, with social media suggesting that some of those throwing molotov cocktails are agent provocateurs.

Video footage on the website of the daily Hurriyet shows a small group of four of five "demonstrators" lobbing cocktails at police. But their attempts are suspiciously theatrical and inept – with the "demonstrators" at one point advancing in a hopeless Roman-style assault.

Turkish state media have broadcast footage of these encounters live, in stark contrast to the early days of the protests, marked by police brutality, which it failed entirely to report.

One of the activists in Taksim Square, Sevin Turan, has posted photos on her Twitter account showing one of the throwers. He is visibly balding, wears military-style khaki clothing, and bears no resemblance to the thousands of demonstrators who have peacefully occupied the square for the past 12 days.

jef costello
Jun 11 2013 10:44
Joseph Kay wrote:

Good to see after hearing what those things are being used to do.
Edit: well maybe not.