Lacy MacAuley


a home for my pen, projects, and passions

mayday in Taksim Square

Yesterday I ran around Istanbul looking for protests with Önder Arslan and Jenna Pope. (Jenna has a long history of hardcore photography of radical action, including at İstanbul’s Occupy Gezi.) Here in İstanbul, there is a tradition of mass protests on May 1st, International Workers’ Day. Major clashes among protesters and police have been the norm.

But we found no protests. There had been a last-minute decision by most major labor unions to cancel the feisty marches and instead hold a calm, government-sanctioned rally in a faraway park. So only a few small groups held surprise actions, which were quickly and violently suppressed by the police. This resulted in the tragic death of labor union member, Nail Marviş. (Video link below.) Attacks by PKK and ISIS also took place in southeast Turkey yesterday, which resulted in the death of five police officers.

So we met no tear gas or water cannons today, and just walked and walked around the Taksim area looking for action, along with other reporters. I hope that Turkish activists and freedom-lovers are able to overcome this government repression, come together, fight, and win. İnşallah. “God willing.”



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