I wrote a piece for the section of the newspaper I edit about Turkey and the protests there. Unfortunately I couldn’t add a lot of the lefty rhetoric I would’ve liked to hurdur so I’ll add it in here.
It’s obvious that the resistance is emblematic of wider social problems caused by a conservative and controversial regime. That so much protest, by so many different types of people on all ends of the spectrum, kicked off as a result of the environmental demos, shows that there are more deeply entrenched anxieties and problems than seen if viewed superficially.
There has been a G8 demo in London today, and it was pathetically attended, and vociferously over-policed. Anti-capitalist demos should be drawing more people than ever in today’s austerity Britain, and yet I was dramatically underwhelmed. There was just no publicity – it is apparent that the situation in Turkey is not likely to be replicated in the UK if the comments of people walking past are anything to go by. The stereotype of stinky hippy/black bloc anarchists needs to be overcome if we are to create a populist uprising (dare I say revolution?), but it is not gonna happen soon if the only people that attend demos such as this, at least visibly, are either of the aforementioned.
There are further parallels to be drawn between Turkey and the UK, in that the policing is OTT. While we may not have rubber bullets and tear gas, the actions of the TSG certainly contradict the vision of a larvely English Bobby pedalling a quaint little bike. What I’m saying is that it’s all relative – in such a ‘polite’ society such as England (doubtful, but lets go with it) punching the public in the face and telling them to “shut up” is pretty naysty. Things are obviously worse in Turkey, and I’m not putting the two situations on an even footing, but the similarity is there.
But anyway, vicious treatment, raiding convergence spaces and pre-empting mass arrests by bringing – how many? – meat wagons… a sign that the cops are scared, and that they are trying to big up situations like this to stop the cuts affecting them – but surely they will… and then we shall see.
Street party at 5.30 in Piccadilly Circus. I will be boxing. But be there!