Next Stop #OccupyGezi
I’ve just arrived in Istanbul where the Turkish Spring is still continuing. What started off as an environmental protest to protect the last vestige of green space in Gezi Park has erupted into a nation-wide anti-government movement. The park has turned into a central battleground of resistance against the State.
Arriving here, I can immediately sense this is a place unlike any other. It is a mosaic of worlds at the intersection between Europe and Asia. I had been up 24 hours travelling from The Black Fish Campaign (at an undisclosed location) to Turkey in order to prepare for the next campaign I’ll be filming…
Entering Istanbul in this unique time of uprising gives me a sense of a collective story that is unfolding in the world all around us. The pots and pans tactics of the Maple Spring in the Quebec Student movement last summer is the same here to express solidarity. The campground that formed inside Gazi Park reflects the spirit of the Occupy movement. While the eviction of the occupiers that happened a few days ago is also not anything new.
Police and State will continue to destroy tents and at any costs attempt to squash resistance. But like the saying goes: “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.” Over the last two years there has been a rise in social movements around the world. Environmental, economic and social justice causes are interconnecting. As we are being pushed to our limits, as our planet is being pushed to its limits – the time for a greater transformation is now. The only way to do that is to see our collective story and a systematic change that is greatly needed.
For the chapter that is unfolding in history of Turkey, the resistance here continues despite the occupation of the park being lost. Today, a lone man has stood silently for hours at Taksim Square near the park to maintain an anti-government stance. A couple hundred young people continue to try to advance back to the Gezi park to reclaim the space. While all across Istanbul workers are striking today and out marching in the streets.
The question is not whether this is the end or the beginning of the Turkish Spring. But what is the next chapter of our Global Spring?