by Sasha / Earth First! Newswire
Turkey’s protests against the logging of trees in Gezi Park have grown into a nation-wide upheaval. The heavy-handed police response, using tear gas and pepper spray against bystanders and protestors, alike, has ignited a profound response against state repression in Turkey.
Environmentalism in Turkey as well as Eastern Europe/West Asia has been on the rise in the last 5-10 years, and this massive demonstration rising from anti-logging protests presents a landmark in the history of this region.
Thousands of protestors have swelled in the streets of every major city in Turkey. More solidarity demonstrations are planned from Germany to the US. From Athens to London, San Francisco to Boston, protests are already drawing thousands of people, and more are planned for the future.
Gezi Park is one of the smallest parks in Istanbul, but the symbolic value of replacing it with an Ottoman-style barracks aggravates the anti-imperial drive of the Turkish people. The police brutality is shocking even to veterans of pro-democracy struggles.
Here is an urgent message from an anonymous source in Turkey right now: “I am writing you all to ask that you please share any and all information you can about the current situation in Istanbul. There is desperate need of int`l support from what I witnessed last night and from the news coming via social networking, etc. They are getting no domestic media attention, and the Prime Minister has offered no explanations for the unprecedented police violence. Gov`t supporters also went completely unchecked by police last night, beating (and as i understand it) killing at least one protester on their walk home.”