Tag Archives: non-violence

IMF defol

On the 6th and 7th of October the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had their annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. They discussed changes to be made in the structures and priorities in their core being. Something that was also discussed during the G20 summit held earlier in Pittsburgh, USA.
Whilst so-called world and financial leaders were gathering in the Congress Valley thousands were marching and protesting against them.
Ironically just as Turkeys Prime Minister opened the IMF’s and WB’s meeting addressing change and stating that this new world order also had to listen to the protesters outside his police forces gassed the non-violent and peaceful protest with tear gas.
It was clearly a contradiction between acts and words by a neo-liberal and neo-conservative prime minister trying to shatter every bit of leftish and progressive politics that was left in the nation state that is the Turkish Republic.

But worse than this contradiction is the complete and utter manipulation of the media that was followed after the severe attack on protesters and innocent people on the 6th of October on Taksim Square. The media was sold the story that the police only gassed the protesters on Taksim Square after they provoked the police and ‘leftish groups’ or ‘ civil society groups’ started throwing molotov cocktails. Witch was a complete lie.

It is true that groups of protesters were in a something that resembled a guerilla war with the police. But this only happened after the attack of the police on Taksim Square. Nobody of the protesters on the square was expecting such a brutal attack by the police. We were barely recovering from the happiness of being on Taksim Square, since after the riots of 1979 no political or activist group was allowed to protest on the square itself. And then it happened.
It was clear that the police waited till all the protesters groups arrived on Taksim Square to throw Tear gas bombs into the people. This was so shocking that some protesters have indeed reacted in a violent manner by throwing molotov cocktails and trying to destroy the banks that were located in the main shopping street of Istanbul, Istiklal. But remaining non-violent was not helped by the word on the street that right wing groups were hunting down protesters who fled Taksim after the tear gas attack nor the brutal and violent behavior of the police by randomly arresting and beating people in the streets surrounding Taksim and Istiklal. For hours that area resembled a war zone with activist fleeing, the police shooting tear gas and then beating the people they came across as every person on the streets was perceived as an activist.

Brutal force and violence was executed by both the police and the right wing groups who came to help the police. And this was only the first day. The second day of the IMF and WB meeting things were not better. Protests were provoked and activist were intimidated. With the outcome that again in certain parts of Istanbul riots broke loose. The protests that remained non-violent were under great stress from the police forces as no effort was spared to try and get them to act violent as well.

It is pure irony that as such the real criminals of this world, the cause of todays economical and ecological crisis were inside the Congress Valley, protected by the police force. This whilst they who were protesting the imperial policies of the IMF and WB, the suffering they have caused in the Global South, the adaptation to a global capitalist economy of countries that didn’t need it in the first place, was battered in such a manner. It is also a clear example of how this supposedly New World Order wants to continue. They want to continue on the path of richness for few and poverty for many forgetting any kind of humanity and even the Millennium Goals they themselves signed not so many years ago. I’ve only got one word for this; hypocrisy.

And that’s just what it is. Hypocrisy. The IMF and the WB want to be perceived as democratic entities that do good for the global community and countries that struggle with their economies. But in reality they are just a means for oppression. By the hands of neo-liberal economy. But also by taking away participation, ignoring civil society, oppressing different voices, etc..
It’s the economy stupid. For wealth and well being of few.

Resistanbul 06.10.09

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.