An eye-witness account from Taksim/Gezi Park, Istanbul
I received this report this morning from a friend:
“It was like hell in here. I was not able to go home tonight, I came to a friend of mine for the night.
We are very tired and it seems that the conflicts will continue tomorrow as well, so we want to be ready for it.
But I can summarize it like this: the attitude of the police is very brutal. They almost try to kill us. Today they used a different gas, which is claimed to be agent orange (banned by UN). It makes you vomit the second you inhale it. But the resistance is unbelievable. Nobody expected it. There is a great solidarity. For example yesterday I lost my friends when the police sent gas bombs to us, just in the beginning of the protest. I was alone almost all night long. I panicked at the beginning, but after a while you realize that it doesnt matter, because everybody is helping everybody out. You know that you are not alone, even if you dont know a single person around you. Today there happened a massive march towards Taksim and the police left the park and the square. Not only socialists, but everybody was there. Those groups that you wouldnt believe they could stand side by side walked to Taksim alltogether. It is not about Taksim or Gezi Park anymore. People had enough with the government. Reclaiming the park and the square today was amazing. You should have seen the atmosphere. I cannot describe it. We were just like some very excited primary school kids. People are very confident right now. We were there all night long and it was not just a protest anymore. People occupied it. Everybody is saying the same thing today: from then on, the government will not be able to do anything that easily. Reclaiming the park made people feel very strong. Right now there are still people there who will stay there till morning in case the police attacks in the morning. But today the police was very brutal in Besiktas. There are many wounded people. We tried to go there to help people but it was impossible to reach there. We saw some videos which showed the police attacking even the houses as people let the protestors in. Now they say that Besiktas is calmer. People went back to Taksim to protect the square from the police. We will rest tonight as it was exhausting for us to be in the streets for 4 days. We want to be ready for tomorrow, as it is clear that the conflicts will not end today.