“If Music be the Food of Love…”Posted: June 14, 2013
[Spanish translation here]
Istanbul, June 14, 1201 hrs.
Every revolution needs its heroes. Ours is called Davide. He is the pianoman.
Yesterday and tonight he has been playing in Taksim for twelve hours straight, until ten o’ clock in the morning. When the rain started, people held a canvas over him and his piano, and he continued to play. ‘Imagine’, ‘Let it be’, ‘We are the World’, ‘Bella Ciao’, etc. etc. Fifty meters away there was a row of police buses and water cannons ready for the final attack. On the other side, candles were burning in honour of the people who died in the protest.
Throughout the night, livestreamers had to work in shifts to cover the marathon. People from around the world were touched by so much beauty. Messages of solidarity kept pouring in from every inhabited continent.
Davide is a Sicilian who lives in Germany. He came here with his piano on a truck to defend Gezi park. “This is what I can do,” he told me afterwards, “it’s not much, but it’s loud.” He intends to resist until the threat on the park is lifted.
That threat was reiterated earlier in the day by prime minister Erdogan. He appealed to the Turkish mothers to take their children out of the park, because things could turn very ugly.
In response, the Turkish mothers showed up to form a human chain around Gezi in support of their children. Afterwards, they swirled through the park by the hundreds, harvesting applause wherever they went.
The threat of brutality didn’t stop the people from gathering in the park. Once again, the place was packed by citizens of all ages determined to resist.
At the moment, Gezi is surrounded by police on all sides. In anticipation of an attack, the neighbourhood assemblies have taken extraordinary measures of defense. Everywhere, buckets of water have been placed, to drown out the tear gas cannisters. Giant Turkish flags and images of Atatürk have been raised to discourage the aggressors. Super strong laser beams were flashing from the walls of our fortress, ready to blind police forces should they receive the order to advance. And surely, we will be able to count on our elite troops, with their capacity to build barricades and launch rocks, fireworks, molotovs, and who knows what else.
During the night the prime minister met with two people from Taksim Solidarity to offer a referendum on Gezi park, but few of the Turks still trust him. Besides, this protest is not about the park anymore. It’s about human rights and freedom. Erdogan has to go.
Today, people will talk about the offer and about the future of the protest. Assemblies are taking shape, very slowly. Next to the neighbourhoods, there is the Taksim Solidarity assembly and one of independents who don’t feel represented by them. In Izmir, a General Assembly of the entire camp was organized yesterday. In Ankara, the clashes continue.
In support of them, people were chanting a modified version of one of their most cherished slogan. “Everywhere is Ankara, everywhere is resistance.”