Istanbul, June 11, 0048 hrs.
The tanks didn’t come this morning. We are still here. It has been another day of freedom.
Those of you who ever participated in one of the big occupations will know what it’s like. Freedom is intoxicating. The revolutionary vibe is contagious. There is so much energy whirling around. There is so much to do, and people are so happy to do it.
The priority of the International Brigade is to connect the park directly to the rest of the world. We already have a handful of streamers deployed using mobile hotspots. Soon we will install a wifi network covering the entire square.
In the meantime, I was one of the proud founders of Gezi Park’s International Corner. We need a place for foreigners to plug in. We need to diffuse information in languages other than Turkish. So what starts with an idea, quickly turns into practice. Tables appear, a banner is painted, people drop in to ask what they can do. I love to inspire them, and be inspired in return. We are Turks, Georgians, Germans, Israelis, Spanish, Mexicans, Dutch. A couple of local school girls show up to lend a hand. They ran away from home to join the revolution.
At the moment, Gezi International can be found on Twitter (@Int_Gezi). Tomorrow we hope to expand our operations. In the evening, the International Corner has all the likes of an expat bar. But there’s nothing wrong with that. With all the restrictions being imposed, even drinking is a revolutionary act.
In between my the unending activities, I take some time to walk around and enjoy the beauty of it all. We have a concert stage next to the fountain, where the local jazz choir sings adapted versions of classic songs. We have our own radio station (101.9 FM), we have screenings of movies, news, and pictures of the rebellion all night. And we have our own daily newspaper, the Gezi Gazette, available online in English as well.
The news that goes around between the tents, is about the 628 tons of tear gas that Turkey imported over the past 12 years, mainly from the United States. They spent 21 million dollars of tax money to poison their own tax payers. And they keep on doing so, every day in Ankara.
The good news is that tents went up in the town Mersin. All over Turkey, resistance continues. You can rest assured, at Gezi we remain vigilant. The revolution never sleeps.