I am writing this from Taksim Square in Istanbul where peaceful protesters are being attacked with gas cannisters and pressurized water cannons. Hundreds of us are still here despite the police violence, protesting the destruction of Gezi park which the government wants to turn into a shopping mall.
This started simply as a peaceful sit-in to save a park, but it’s become one of the worst state attacks on protesters in recent memory -- and a frightening example of the Turkish government’s growing eagerness to crack down on its own citizens. The security forces have been individually targeting protesters to terrify, wound and kill us. 12 people have already suffered trauma injuries from gas canisters -- one man died of heart attack, and hundreds are suffering from excessive gas inhalation.
Now more than ever, we need massive public pressure to urge the government to stop using excessive force against protesters immediately, to stop demolishing one of the few green spaces left in Istanbul, and to stop cracking down on citizens who are peacefully assembling or expressing their opinions. Sign the urgent petition now then share this widely. Only a giant outcry will pressure Erdogan to act immediately.