Thursday, June 6, 2013
The Istanbul Commune? An update from Taksi
Posted: 04 Jun 2013 10:18 PM PDT
A Turkish activist reports that a “great movement from below” has forced the government to allow a temporary commune to grow in the heart of Istanbul.
Editor’s note: the following update reached us on Tuesday night through the friend of an activist on the ground in Istanbul. Since at least 16 young activists have already been arrested for “inciting participation in the protests” through social media, we are deliberately leaving the author anonymous. The short update reproduced here powerfully portrays the autonomous zone being created in the heart of Istanbul, eliciting historical parallels with the Paris Commune of 1871 and Revolutionary Barcelona of the 1930s.
I’ve just been back from the occupied Gezi Park. Tens of thousands of people are camping there, in a tremendous mood of victory. Tens of thousands were flowing through the streets to Taksim Square. All the places around have been cut [off] with barricades, with the park and the square completely liberated from any kind of state intervention. What forces the government to let this temporary commune survive was the great movement from below that swept the streets on May 31 and June 1.
A big salute to all comrades and the brave people of Istanbul who took part in the struggle for saving the park! We marched all around in the park for more than half an hour, chanting the most popular slogans of the resistance alongside many of our own. Many activists were applauding the ones that [were] demanding freedom for [the] Kurdish people, sending solidarity messages to the struggles all around the world and rejecting to be “a soldier” of anybody. The government officials will talk to a committee from the park.
The AKP’s ship isn’t sinking yet — but Erdogan’s arrogance had faced a huge blow.