Saturday, June 08, 2013

ISTANBUL'S TREE POWER

ISTANBUL'S TREE POWER



The Hippie World of the 60’s has been reborn in Gezi Park in Istanbul.  You cannot help but be moved and touched by the simplicity and truth of what lies there. 

The hopefuls have set up their tents side by side.  Some have strung up hammocks in the trees that the Government has designated to be uprooted.  Dogs walk among protestors lying on grass and reading books taken from the library, set up with pavement slabs.  The soup kitchen works to feed those who come to stay, to look, and to ponder.  Take what you want.  It’s all free.  Bring what you want, it is welcome says the Wall of Needs.  Bricks set up like shelving.  On it are the antidotes for the toxic gases that have burnt our eyes and throat; there too is fruit and biscuits to stave off hunger.

Some tarpaulin strung together protects a veternary clinic and the infirmary.  Here doctors wait to treat those that live in the little piece of green between the concrete structures where the thirst for money has occupied.  They also wait for the injured; they are those that remain protecting the barricades from being torn apart by our oppressors.   Photographs of this painful struggle are pinned on washing lines between the sycamores that have had a reprieve, for now.

A nursery of plants waiting to root in the soil of this struggle take a designated corner of this hippie paradise near the tent that welcomes children to paint and draw.  They are our bright future.

And then there are the other corners to mark the continuing resistance.  Between banners, a stand has been set up for voices to be heard.  A television station protected by canvas, broadcasts from a computer telling anyone who wishes to listen about the life and wrong doing that has been and will be done to the future of Turkey.

Tonight red flares lit up the sky and the street came alive with the banging of the pots and pans to nightly mark resistance from our homes.  Millions have gathered in the park, the square and around the statue that marks the founder of our democracy.  He will be dwarfed by the urban plan that will mark the destruction of Turkey’s secularism should the nepotism of our Prime Minister (in pandering to his son’s whim) become a reality.

Our little Glastonbury in the centre of this metropolis will be no more come Monday, or so those who have cast shadows over our cries for freedom have told us.  We have tonight and tomorrow to take in the tranquil ambience where thousands from all disparate areas of society have come together as one, to breathe in a last time the oxygen from the trees in the atmosphere of peace and democracy before the shells of tear gas rip it all asunder.
The library


The wall of needs



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