A boy who’d been hit in the head by a tear gas canister in Antakya died yesterday from his injuries. Despite the proliferation of a video showing the event on the internet, and despite the release of the autopsy report, the government is still insisting he fell from a roof.
Protests were sparked all over the country, and I knew there was a big one planned in Kadiköy, so I went home to catch up on Breaking Bad and wait. At around 9 I quickly shucked off my bathrobe and wiggled into my clothes again and ran to catch up. I found a parade under way on Bahariye and joined in.
It was marvelous. I haven’t seen anything that big in Kadiköy yet. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people joined in as we slowly marched down Bahariye, shouting a mixture of slogans that, with months of mounting indignities have rather lost their narrative thread. Shoulder to shoulder we fight fascism. Government resign. Peace, not war. Occupy the rainbow. Everywhere is Taksim. Down with the police.
Unable to capture the sheer scope of the number of marchers with a point and shoot, I found a perch and began taking video of people walking by. It is uploading to youtube right now. Youtube informs me that it will take another 507 minutes. It might have to be a separate post. I got nearly six minutes before my camera battery started screaming at me, and not even half the people had passed me.
People cheered us from restaurants and cafes, hung out their windows and waved flags.
We crossed through the park at the end of Bahariye and the old ladies on the bench clapped for us.
We circled down and then crossed along Moda, picking up more and more marchers along the way. Everyone was happy, singing, breaking into dance, even though the reason we were marching was sad:
When we finally got to the bull, ears ringing from the whistle blowing and screaming and cheering, (note: next time bring earplugs) everyone started sitting down. A naturally lazy person, I do love a protest where I can sit down.
There was more singing, there were speeches, people waved flags.
The buses had to stop, but the drivers didn’t seem to mind.
There were a few plain clothes cops, (jesus- they really need someone to teach them how to blend in better.) but other than that no police presence. We’ve been lucky in Kadiköy, police brutality-wise. Most of the force is focusing on Taksim. Our biggest threat of gas is the Galatasary/Fenerbahçe match.
Or shall I say, we were lucky. It was a good run.
After half an hour of more chanting and singing I decided it was time to wander home. I crawled back into my bathrobe and put Breaking Bad back on. I fell asleep before I finished my glass of wine.
And I woke up in hell, (sigh) again, but that’s for part 2.