Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Resistance Continues and takes on New Forms: Turkey's 'Standing People' Protest and Popular Forums

While the major crackdown of the Police on Gezi Parki and Taksim Square on the weekend dissolved the occupation in the Park and "cleared" the Taksim Square of protestors (it is still forbidden to stage any political action on Taksim square, p.ex. shouting slogans) and a major wave of arrests and detentions on activists, journalists, doctors, etc. has begun, the Resistance/Democracy Movement is far from beeing defeated. While the Resistance Movement has now went past its peak (the occupation of Gezi and demonstrantions innearly all major cities of Turkey), it has now also spread across Istanbul and has taken on new forms. The Resistance/Democracy Movement is now in the process of recreation and of buildung up momentum again. 

 1. One of the new forms of resistance is the so-called "duranadam/kadin" (standing man/woman).
A day after the police "cleared" Taksim square and Gezi Park from protesters, a man started with a a silent act of mere standung, that lasted more than 5 hours while leaving the police clueless about what to do. This video shows the first intervention of the police.


 A CNN International report about the situation: Hundreds of Turks emulate 'Standing Man' in protest 

And here is the latest news from the silent standing man protests (#duranadam):

Protesters turn to passive resistance after four people die in Erdoğan's brutal response to Taksim Square demonstration

The puzzled police searched the standing man, but later on, dozens of people joined him doing the "standing man". Police warned that they will dissolve the people if they would keep that up. The initial "standing man" only ended his protest after police had begun to take other standing men into custody and said: "I am ready to be detained, but now they're detaining the others, so I will stop my protest now."

 He commented his protest as follows:

 "My protest is against the media... 4 people died and the media didn't even take notice. I want this system to change. It is not enough for the government to resign. What happens now is the result of a process of 10 years. The death of those 4 people will not be forgotten! The riot police was preparing to intervene. I stopped because I didn't want people to get hurt. I am just one person. Tomorrow another person will come and do the same. This will continue. The "standing man" is not identical with a person. I just wanted to express the sorrow I feel and to indicate the death of those 4 people. It could have been somebody else standing here. Standing Man is not reducible to a single person."

Upon this initial Standingman, this form of protest spread across Istanbul and the rest of the country, people standing i.e. at the place where one the demonstrators, Ethem Sarisülük, was shot bythe police, or where Hrant Dink, the Armenian journalist, was shot by a young nationalist 2007. 

It is reported that pro-AKP persons and the police are "countering" the standingman with "Standingman against Standingman" or, in the case of the police, with sitting down and reading  Tolstoi. Interestingly enough one of the "Standingman against Standingman" explains the "meaning" of their standing as follows: "we have now been silent for 20 days, this is not what democracy is about and how democracy is going to work." One is puzzled as to how one has to conceive this statement in view of the fact, that in the last 20 days there has been abundant statements by all kinds of AKP politicians condemning the protests as terrorism, as organized by the interest lobby, as planned long in advance by international and national agents and national traitors, etc. etc.

2. On the other hand, there is the protest form of combining the pans & post action (banging on pans and pots to create noise in solidarity with the protests and against police violence) with popular forums in now up to 12 different parks in Istanbul at 8 and 9 pm. Taksim Solidarity has explained, that these popular forums will be continued and indeed enlargened as long as the 4 initial demands have not been fullfilled. Also, the Gezi Park watch for Saturdays will be continued.

links&sources:
http://www.sendika.org/2013/06/direnisin-yeni-simgesi-duranadam/#!
http://www.sendika.org/2013/06/taksim-dayanismasi-21-00-eylemleri-surecek-parklarda-forumlar-buyutulecek/
http://www.milliyet.tv/video-izle/-Duran-adam-a-karsi--duran-adam--VFRliDBDvZcI.html
http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/-duran-adam-in-karsisinda-kitap/gundem/detay/1725083/default.htm
another report in english:  http://bianet.org/english/youth/147740-every-park-become-gezi-park-in-turkey

 

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