Updates From A Comrade in Turkey

REUTERS/Murad Sezer A protester in Turkey braves tear gas.

REUTERS/Murad Sezer A protester in Turkey braves tear gas.

Update as of 6 am (PST) 

Due to a media blackout, the following updates are hard to confirm, but come directly from comrades on the ground in an undisclosed major city.

Vicious attacks from state security

  • Police chased protesters towards military barracks. The military opened their gates to allow protesters in and pointed their guns at the police. No shots were reported to have been fired.
  • Four people are said to have died so far. Other reports from the ground say this is not at all confirmed.
  • Internet and satellite services are scheduled to be be shut down by the State. Mobile communications were down the entire day yesterday, as well as throughout the night.
  • Anyone seen filming (with exception of mainstream media) targeted with violence by police.
  • Street lighting shutdown.
  • Helicopters are shooting plastic bullets indiscriminately into crowds of protestors and pedestrians.
  • The massive amounts of tear gas being used has caused many injuries and is said to be the biggest obstacle.
  • From a source on the ground, the numbers of injuries are in the thousands.
REUTERS/Murad Sezer A cop in Istanbul fires at protesters.

REUTERS/Murad Sezer A cop in Istanbul fires at protesters.

Tremendous amount of support & solidarity coming from everywhere

  • A million are in the streets hours before demos are scheduled to convene.
  • Seniors as well as children are amongst the protestors.
  • Restaurants and hotels have opened their doors to protestors seeking refuge and are said to be feeding protestors.
  • Residents of the hotels have also opened their rooms up for protestors to rest, eat & sleep.
  • The average citizens of Turkey have opened their doors to complete strangers seeking refuge.
  • Pharmacies have stayed open and are giving away free supplies to help the injured.
  • At least one police officer (possibly more) is said to have resigned in the middle of street fighting and has joined protestors. That cop was later seen giving aid to those injured.
  • Fifty bus loads of protestors are set to make their way to Istanbul in support of the ongoing struggle.
  • Doctors are in the street giving out their cell numbers to support the injured (this may have been prior to the blocking of mobile use).
  • Schools and Universities have stayed open all night to support those seeking refuge.
US-made tear gas canisters blanket the streets of Istanbul and other Turkish cities.

US-made tear gas canisters blanket the streets of Istanbul and other Turkish cities.

Comrades on the ground are asking for Solidarity in the following ways

– Global Solidarity actions in support of the current uprising

– Spread news, updates and images as much as possibly through social media as well as the mainstream.

A short reflection from a Muslim Anarchist in the Bay Area

The protests which started a few days ago, initially seemed uneventful, but have clearly become popularized with no sign of dissipation. From the amount of support and solidarity being shown by everyday people in the streets of Turkey, in the restaurants, cafes, and hotels to the schools and universities, the people are defying the state by supporting those in struggle. Demonstrations have been announced in every major city in Turkey for 7pm this evening with clashes expected to intensify. Everything points to generalized revolt in the making, Insh Allah.

This is not “Occupy,” This is not a continuation of the “Arab Spring.” Any assertion to the contrary is a disservice to people engaged in struggling at the moment. It is important to note that the people of Turkey, representing all sects– whether Anti Capitalist/ Revolutionary Muslims, Kurds or the Secular Left, from old generations to the very young– all are out in the streets together struggling in their own ways. With reports coming in of various other factions set to join the demonstrations, this could be a moment where not only East and West can meet, but where geographies and histories intertwine in struggle to create something entirely different: a culture of resistance that the past few years of global revolts has yet to manifest.

Dichotomies can not be drawn here if we are to succeed. We cannot continue to reduce the struggles of others to public spaces or anti – Muslim videos, just as much as we can not reduce the struggles of OWS or Occupy Oakland to Zuccotti Park or Oscar Grant Plaza. It’s much bigger than this and much bigger than us.

A solidarity demonstration has been called for today, Saturday June 1, 1pm in San Francisco. See here for details. Solidarity can not be expressed with arbitrary statements of support or with the singularities of minor street disturbances, but through sustained commitment to liberation through all means available.

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