On July 19th at 7 PM, we were released from Caglayan Courthouse. Police attack at Gazi Park on Saturday night included use of acidified water cannon in front of Divan Hotel against peaceful visitors of the park. Furthermore, the police fired pepper gas and tear gas bombs at at masses of protesters who responded to police violence in front of Divan Hotel. On Sunday, the police surrounded and violently took control of the entire area from Taksim to Kabatas. In Cihangir, when we left our friend’s apartment to see what was happening on the streets, the police handcuffed and arrested Volkan and me. As the police took us to an armed police bus we could hardly breath on the streets drowned by pepper gas. On the bus, as were riding towards Karakoy, protestors started throwing stones from outside. The police must have been scared to death as they took revenge on us. They verbally and physically assaulted all of us on the bus. They talked about how they will rape the women on th bus. They slapped and hit people who had never resisted the police before. Finally, we were brought to Vatan Police headquarters. We were 48 people on a bus that was designed to fit 25 people. On the bus were an elderly woman and her daughter arrested on the way back to home from grocery shopping, a man who had voted for AKP (the ruling party) but was protesting against police violence, youngsters who had never protested before. Before leaving us on the bus, the police officers turned off the air conditioner and turned on the heater. We were left on a unbearable hot police bus for 90 minutes. People sweated and occasionally passed out before the lawyers showed up. After these painful 90 hours on the bus there were another 6 hours of endurance on hard floor, where people resisted the urge to sleep or pass out. After this, the imprisonment started. The prison cell was swamped. Thanks to the ardor of members of Carsi (a joyful group of soccer fans), the midnight interrogations, finger print collections and photo shoots, and wake ups on will were all felt more bearable. On Wednesday afternoon, some of us were taken to the court and released. The others were released on Wednesday night. We were able to return home 3 days later. Indeed, maybe we complain a little too much in a country where the remains of a young boy were found two years after he left home to get bread from the grocery store in Diyarbakir. Yet, all that happened blossomed to hope of resistance in all of us. People united in spite of government’s attempts to exhaust and separate by means of violence. Four people shared a piece of napkin. Half a bagel was enough to feed five people. We know that the trees of Dersim, which were destroyed with the excuse of ending terrorism, multiplied. This oppression and violence had the same influence on us. We were all scared, oppressed and learned to face our fears. We met new people. Now, our desperation turned into hope. The struggle continues. Everywhere is Gezi Park now. The parks turn into public discussion forums at 9 PM and you can find the list of forums online. We discuss the problems of our cities. We respond to the heartless and violent state as “standing men”. We avoid militarist and racist language, we boycott shopping centers and we plant flowers in the parks that make our lives more beautiful. We are more caring about every social incident. We plan how to make this movement go further. We are looking for channels through which we can express our common voice in the parliament. We know that democracy is not about voting once every 5 years. We want to influence the new constitution, state and municipal elections, the laws that restrict our lives but are passed overnight without any discussion… We are the 100%. We are people, workers, unemployed, students, women, Kurdish, Turkish, Circassian, Tatar, Laz, Arab, gypsies… We are gay, wearing headscarves, atheists, Alevis, deists, Muslims, Christians, Jews, organized, unorganized, vegans, homeless, beggars, housewives, artists, alcoholics, looters. We are the people or nothing.
*Translated from a post on Facebook
21 Haziran 2013
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