Turkey: Help On-the-Ground Organizers Create A Free & Safe Space for Refugees !

From Solidarity in Practice / Tatbiki Dayanışma / تضامن عملي

Please Donate: HERE 

For More Update/Information Read: In Edirne, they say “We just want to cross!”

Who We Are & What We’re Doing! 

We are a group of people with a shared understanding of the refugee situation in Turkey and abroad. Between us we are involved in a variety of social justice work, including refugee rights and support. We decided to act on our ideas; to put solidarity into practice.. but we need your support to make it happen!

Outline:

We are creating a flexible space that can meet the desires and needs of the people using it. This means that it can be a space for women to meet one day and can be a workshop for learning first aid or simply an evening meal on another. The space will not be issue-specific, meaning that if (somehow!) the situation of refugees in Izmir dramatically improves, the space will still be able to function as a healthy and vital place in Izmir. It is ultimately a community space by and for whoever uses it, with particular attention to refugees. Continue reading

[Video] UPDATE : 10 Escape in Migrant Rebellion In Notorious Greek Detention Center

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Migrants and Refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, among others, burnt down container-like holding cells and fought prison guards in one of the world’s most notorious immigrant detention centers.

10 police officers are said to have sustained injuries in clashes with stone throwing refugees. There have been frequent reports of deplorable conditions with beatings and torture being wide spread in what many describe as a concentration camp in Amygdaleza, near Athens.

BAI NOTE: The following are unconfirmed unedited updates from anonymous sources on the ground:

-10 migrant detainees managed to escape the camp during the riot (two people from Afghanistan and eight from Pakistan) and there is a huge police operation at the surrounding area and Athens at the moment for their arrest

– 41 migrants are being prosecuted and face deportation (17 from Pakistan – 9 Afghanistan – 14 Bangladesh – 1 Morocco).

– There are still no confirmations of injuries or the shooting (Many suspect a cover up is taking place)… as this was reported by the people inside the camp and there is no report or contact with people inside the camp once police blocked all phones and forbid all communications

The police have released a video showing the aftermath the riot torn detention center with burnt out holding containers and heavily damaged barbed wire gates.

Bai Note: Instead of the video’s intended purpose of demonizing the rebelling refugees, Greek security forces instead released footage of a concentration camp-style detention center with containers, which were used to hold inmates. The conditions shown give obvious reasons to why a riot would erupt. Many of the prison guards (along with police and other security forces) belong to the rapidly growing Golden Dawn, a far right political organization gaining strength in parliament, as well as on the ground through social programs and political outreach. On a daily basis, Golden Dawn members target immigrants all over Greece, using harassment and brutal violence, which oftentimes, leads to death. The group does this with impunity, due to its close relations with police and security forces–the majority of who are Golden Dawn party members.

The situation in Greece looks increasingly dire and headed toward fascism. Sources on the ground say that Golden Dawn has a chance of taking over many political positions in Athens, which would effectively give them control over implementing laws that their party members (police & security forces) can then enforce.

Read BAI original post on this situation here

For Mainstream Meida Reports on the Migrant Rebellion see here & here

For more information on the plight of migrants in Greece watch “Into the Fire” .

Bay Area Intifada Facebook

For More BAI Coverage of the Refugee Struggle: CLICK HERE

Istanbul: Come On Neighbor, Please Wake Up

Posted from Insanlik Hali 17 June 2013

A cop drawn in Gezi

A cop drawn in Gezi. From Insanlik Hali.

Good morning Neighbor,

I say good morning, but I am writing this to you at the break of dawn, after a night of no sleep. You know me, we’ve been living in the same building for years. I am the quite one, without many visitors. I go to bed early and wake up before morning prayer. But last night I didn’t sleep a wink. You slept instead of me dear neighbor. I know you did because I was out on the balcony so many times, banging pots and pans.  My husband was turning the lights on and off. We tried everything to get your attention.

But you kept on sleeping, neighbor.

While we sat with our hands on the door knob, our hearts racing at top speed, our eyes sore, you slept. I am not angry with you. If I had relied on that box called ‘television’ to be informed about what’s going on in the world, in my country or even on the next street, I would also go to bed and sleep peacefully after the evening news.

After all, what have they said on TV? Gezi Park has been evacuated. And it was done with utter ease. Without causing any harm. “Our people started leaving the park on time, due to the announcements made half an hour in advance. The marginal, illegal terrorist groups who stayed behind were treated with tear gas and water cannons.” On top of it our Mayor has made a speech, explaining that no harm was done to the people and children. That Gezi Park was evacuated and the public workers were taking down the tents. We should be at peace. This story has come to an end.

Dispatches from Ankara: Correspondence from a Protester

Yotam Ronen/Al Jazeera: The Ankara-based Human Rights Association says up to 1,000 people have been injured in protests.

Yotam Ronen/Al Jazeera: The Ankara-based Human Rights Association says up to 1,000 people have been injured in protests.

Ankara, Turkey

Following up from Clarity Within the Smoke: Thoughts From Inside Turkey’s Uprising, a candid look into the situation is Istanbul, Bay Area Intifada (BAI) sought out those in Ankara after a brutal attack by police on live TV.  Melih, a 24-year old protestor on the ground in Ankara found us instead.

These brief conversations took place between June 6 -9 (Turkey Dates).  The first dispatch will be the most recent. After that all correspondence is presented in chronological order starting with the first communication between Melih & BAI:

Continue reading

An Open Letter to Erdogan From a “Revolutionary Muslim”

Istanbul

The flag and banner of “Anti-capitalist Muslims,” an organization that overlaps with “Revolutionary Muslims.”

The flag and banner of “Anti-capitalist Muslims,” an organization that overlaps with “Revolutionary Muslims.”

This translation was completed by and posted by Mashallah News contributor Josef Burton.

On Sunday June 2, the anti-capitalist Islamic group “Revolutionary Muslims” [Devrimci Müslümanlar] posted this open letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on their Facebook page. “Revolutionary Muslims” were among the first groups to occupy Gezi Park in protest against its destruction. The letter is written by Islamic intellectual and author Recep Kaya.

An open letter to Tayyip from a Believer:

Prime Minister!

I’m not going to open my writing with “Mr.” or “my prime minister,” you realize, because I wanted to specify what could be counted as being on your side and what no longer remains on your side.

Revolutionary/Anti-capitalist Muslims can be seen at this demonstration in Gezi Park

Revolutionary/Anti-capitalist Muslims can be seen at this demonstration in Gezi Park

I am knowing you ever since the Welfare Party[1] period, with several members of my family in those times being active in the National Youth Foundation[2], who then have proceeded to supporting the AK Party- fundamentally coming from a place of working to express your vision and mission. The, in your parlance “Pure Youth[3]”…let them eat that youth! Continue reading

OccupyGezi Call to Action! June 8th & 9th!

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From: OccupyGezi, Square Assembly:

Calling on all cities of the world! Come out this weekend and reclaim your public spaces to show solidarity with #OccupyGezi and the many waves of protests in Turkey!

What began as a small occupation to protect Istanbul’s Gezi Park erupted within a matter of days into massive protests that spread like wildfire across Turkey. A key trigger was the disproportionate use of force by the police. Just as Gezi Park crystallized the struggle over an ever-shrinking public space hijacked by neoliberal authoritarianism, the pepper gas that security forces doused on Istanbul literalized the general need for breathing space – hundreds of thousands of people walked out onto the streets in support of the Gezi Park occupation despite a total media blackout, defying police brutality. Now we have reclaimed not only Gezi Park but also Taksim Square, the very heart of Turkey’s public sphere, where mass expressions of discontent have repeatedly been banned, throughout the republic’s history. As Taksim and Gezi swell every night with thousands of people who come to celebrate their solidarity, victory and power, our resistance in other parts of Istanbul and other cities across Turkey continues. Of one thing we are certain: Nothing will ever be the same again. Continue reading

Clarity Within the Smoke: Thoughts From Inside Turkey’s Uprising

Istanbul, Turkey

"Mom, are these police human?"

“Mom, are these police human?”

 

The following is an almost word for word interview with three people engaged in the uprising in Istanbul:  Nina, 34, is a teacher, dreamer and activist. Yaren, 30, is a leftist and atheist, but grew up Muslim. Mehmet, 34, is a left-leaning Islamist and father of two, currently an unemployed architect. While the three were holed up in a French school, seeking refuge from attacks of riot police, red clouds of tear gas and ceaseless fatigue, they sketched out for us a multifaceted political horizon: the violence of the state, the actors in the streets, requests for global solidarity, the ridiculous rumors, their concerns on where things will go, and the role of Islam. By no means will this conversation answer everyone’s questions, but it will offer a candid and brutally honest look into the Turkish uprising. Continue reading

Updates From A Comrade in Turkey

REUTERS/Murad Sezer A protester in Turkey braves tear gas.

REUTERS/Murad Sezer A protester in Turkey braves tear gas.

Update as of 6 am (PST) 

Due to a media blackout, the following updates are hard to confirm, but come directly from comrades on the ground in an undisclosed major city.

Vicious attacks from state security

  • Police chased protesters towards military barracks. The military opened their gates to allow protesters in and pointed their guns at the police. No shots were reported to have been fired.
  • Four people are said to have died so far. Other reports from the ground say this is not at all confirmed.

  • Internet and satellite services are scheduled to be be shut down by the State. Mobile communications were down the entire day yesterday, as well as throughout the night.

  • Anyone seen filming (with exception of mainstream media) targeted with violence by police.

  • Street lighting shutdown.

  • Helicopters are shooting plastic bullets indiscriminately into crowds of protestors and pedestrians.

  • The massive amounts of tear gas being used has caused many injuries and is said to be the biggest obstacle.

  • From a source on the ground, the numbers of injuries are in the thousands. Continue reading