22 June 2013

Day 26: Where there is love, there is a way..

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Hello Planet!

Another very very late update. I hope I can pull this off... Time is a rollercoaster these days and it's hard to keep track and remember evertything. First of all let's rewind a little bit and see what was going on a week earlier:

15 June Saturday
The festive atmosphere was still going on in Istanbul Gezi Park. The orchard, the library, the veterinary tent, the infirmaries, the kitchens, the kids club. Imagine a free psytrance party in the middle of the city, minus the beat ;) I thought I should visit the park just for fun for once, without gas so I bought two kilos of chocolate and headed to the park. I had my gas gear with me of course but I dressed nicely and even had make-up :) So there I was, serving chocolate to everyone. The mothers were there of course and they were yelling: "Don't be afraid darlings, your mom is here!" I saw with my own eyes, the park was full of "resistance tourists", people who don't have much clue, who were just visiting the park with good intentions. But not equipped for gas or ready to face police violence. And so many children...

So I was walking around the park with a visiting friend when I heard somebody shouting madly and running around "take the children out!". It's pretty regular that there are people spreading panic at the park but I could feel this was serious. The energy around the park was shifting rapidly and we couldn't imagine the police attacking these innocent visitors and children, but obviously they were coming... My friend didn't have a mask or anything and it was her first day in the midst of things so we slowly walked away from the park and I saw many gas freaks putting on their masks and running towards the party. Damn, for the first time I was there for a picnic and not really in the mood for gas. I mean I love it but.. You know... You need a few days off now and then.

I talked to a friend who was in the square and he said: "They're putting on their masks. The music is about to begin..." And it did, and it was nightmare. The police attacked with gas, acid-water cannons that burn your skin and rubber bullets. They attacked children, pregnant mothers. They arrested doctors who were trying to help people. They directly gassed hospitals, and infirmaries. They attacked hotels that sheltered people and used as infirmaries. They forced the hotels to give in the injured people and the doctors... The police pretended as wounded and they attacked people who came to help...

Me and my friend took shelter in an office in Harbiye and we didn't have a chance to go out all night. The mainstreet and the side streets were filling with people and then riot control vehicles and gas and then groups of police, arresting people with gas masks... We took 20-30 person groups of people every hour to help them rest and attend to the unconscious and wounded. Serving tea, water and talcid mixes... Helping them with essential oils, special herbal tea for gas, natural balms, massage and reiki.  Whatever we had :) And calming, soft music of course, because you become so sensitive to sound in the midst of continous bombing. There was a mother who had come to look for his son in the park and then she fainted. His son was with her when they came along with a doctor who didn't wear his white shirt anymore not to be arrested by the police. He said she didn't have any serious injury but she was constantly asking "where is my son?" and her son was actually holding her hand as we tried to remind her over and over again..  And she was also troubled because she thought she was "being an inconvenience to us kids"... We had to ask people to leave when they felt better because there was no end to it and more people kept coming regularly. The office was filled with gas instead of the shut windows and the fan working facing the entrance and we had to wear our masks in the office. This was also the night that the zombies were unleashed. Religious extremists with stones, clubs and butcher's knives in the streets.

Finally around 04:00 in the morning we decided to go to my friends house and we went out. So the two of us left the office and started walking the backstreets. We had left our masks at the office in order not to be arrested but the gas was everywhere. Even in the remotest backstreets there were barricades, fire, broken down remains, and people with masks, resisters, zombies (people with rocks and sticks), policemen, undercover cops. You cannot tell who is who and the streets were uncanny, full of fear... Me and my friend walked through the zombie apocalypse, hand in hand (very sweaty hands), one of us the daughter of a revolutionary and the other, the son of a policeman...

I just want to add here that the people who have been in the streets since day one are not experienced resisters or people who have nothing else but revolt. We are teachers, lawyers, pharmacists, students, housewives, grocers, bankers, artists, blind people (who were marching in the streets), disabled people (standing on their knees in protest), everyone. WE ARE ORDINARY PEOPLE! And all we want is a free country where we can live without oppression and fear! A green and beautiful country where history, nature and art is not destroyed. A country where rapists are not protected by law! We want a police who protects us instead of illegally aiming their gas weapons in our faces to kill... We are also in the streets for the rights of the police who is 'dehumanized' and forced to violence...

But the government and its 'pet' media tells that we are terrorists.

16 June Sunday
In the end we called everyone and told everybody to go home. That this is not a defeat but we are pacifists and we can't fight these mindless zombies with rocks and knives. Of course they took the park and started a witchhunt, arresting people at their homes. 400 arrested from the streets. So many people missing. Thousands and thousands of people injured, lost eyes & limbs. But this is just a beginning. And still people in the streets. Awful provocation and lies of the dictator still reign the media. It's strange to watch them lie about news you saw with your own eyes,  that you were a part of... It hurts..

Not the tone but the means of resistance has changed in Istanbul and it's echoing in the other cities where the gas festival continues. We cannot fight the zombies of hatred and ignorance with peaceful messages. Many close their ears to our call of dialogue and understanding. Everyday new forms of passive resistance is spreading in the streets. Standing-man, free hugs, bicycles going round in circles in the squares, pots and pans orchestra from the houses every night... Another amazing outcome of this public awakening is the Park Forums. Every night hundreds and thousands of people are gathering in neighborhood parks and holding public forums. The rawest form of direct democracy. No solid organisation and people take turns to speak for 2 minutes for hours on end. Some are impatient and they want to make decisions, take immediate action. But one speaker says "We have been silent for years, let us talk and we'll make decisions next week." Another announces that he lost his "wild duck" in the park. People freak out when the water sprinklers work; they think the riot control vehicle is here and then they chill and laugh about it. One reminds everybody "Let's all be students in this process, not teachers. Let's all listen and learn.""They say the police scattered the Park and it's true. We are EVERYWHERE NOW!"

I always had a hard time understanding how our parents believed they could change the world in the 60's and actually they did. If it wasn't for them, we would be living in a darker parallel universe by now. And know I understand. For the first time I know what all those words meant, how those songs were written... One morning we woke up and the world had changed. Greece, Turkey, Brasil, Bulgaria and one by one everybody is rising. It's One World & One Love and where there is love, there is a way... 

And if you are comfortably sipping your coffee in a safe cafe somewhere around the world right now while reading this, don't you worry. You don't have to go to the resistance, sooner or later the resistance will come your way. Then you realize who you really are and what you can do, in the most unexpected way...

We are one...
Resistance is sharing.
Resistance is each and everyone dancing to the song in their hearts.

Where there is love, there is a way.
Just Imagine,
Just Believe :)

Sona Ertekin

Countries with protest this month according to World Riots 24/7
Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Russia, Nicaragua, Bahrain, Tibet, Palestine, Indonesia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Syria, Lebanon, Spain, South Africa, Iraq, Tunisia, Greece, Israel, Thailand, Japan, Chile, Mexico, Poland, Norway, China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Kosovo, Netherlands, Kashmir, Paraguay, Sweden, Peru, Hong Kong, Egypt, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Italy, Canada, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, Australia
France, Ireland, UK, US

*check out posts below for my earlier updates from the resistance

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