Nuts! That’s the only word I have to describe this day.
What started out as a very pleasant day. Accompanied by a great samba band the group of direnistanbul marched from Tünel square over Istiklal to Taksim square. The march in itself was very amusing as we sang songs, danced and had a great time. Till we came on Taksim Square.
We expected large police barricades preventing us to enter Taksim square. But the square was completely free to enter. Many groups had already entered the square and were listening to speeches of unions. The moment we, the direnistanbul group, entered the square we were the last to enter.
And hell broke loose. The police sealed the square off whilst not only activists were on the square but also normal citizens who expected nothing of such kind. There was even traffic still circulating.
Teargas coming from everywhere and going everywhere. It was the most terrifying moment in my life. Complete chaos. People running without seeing where. People panicking as they couldn’t breath. For a moment I was quite sure i was gonna die. The first time i’ve ever encountered a gas attack. Brutal. I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t breath. My lungs were on fire. My nose was burning. My skin was fired up. I was in pain. Terrible pain. I lost my friends. I felt lost. People were stumbling over me. Panic. The mere thought that this could happen to a non-violent protest was a shock. And i’m still in shock.
In this shock i stumbled off the square as soon as the massive gas cloud was blown away by the wind and my eyesight minimally returned. I called friends as I felt lost and the police was charging in on the activists.
The sight was terrible. People in pain everywhere. And the feeling was pain as well.
Finally we managed to regroup with some friends and made a run for it. We ran for safety. We ran away from more teargas and violent police that was charging with their sticks and guns. After taking many detours and scary moments we arrived to safety in the Green House.
For hours after the attack on Taksim the whole neighborhood looked like a warzone. Police charging everywhere. Teargas everywhere. The black block anarchist were fighting back. Citizens who didn’t even know what the IMF was got trapped in between. In clouds of teargas. Horrible sightings. Horrible.
News was coming in from everywhere. Twitter was on fire. Text messages kept coming. Phone calls followed. Tanks were suddenly appearing. News of arrests. News of extreme right groups in search of activists to beat up. Police that was beating bystanders taking pictures. A war going on Istiklal. Friends getting arrested.
And that vicious smell of teargas everywhere. Nuts.
The few times I left the Green House to see what was happening left me in a bigger shock. All the news was true. There was violence everywhere. The police state was a reality. Freedom of thought and voicing of an opinion was not permitted. Freaky. Scary.
This is not even close to what could resemble a democracy. This was pure injustice. And out and about. No boundaries. Pure violence. Pure oppression.
I’m not sure if i’ll ever get out this shock. I’m still trembling. My stomach hurts. My skin still burns. My head hurts. My bruises ache. My eyes are swollen. And this hours and hours after the attack.
I’m trashed. Shattered even.