The peacefulness of the Taiwanese “Sunflower Revolution” was shattered late on Sunday night as riot police were dispatched to clear out students who were attempting to occupy a second government building.
Taiwan’s parliament, the Legislative Yuan, was first occupied on March 18 by protesters opposed to the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party’s arrangement of a trade deal with China. The protesters fear that the pact will be detrimental to Taiwan’s struggle for international recognition of its sovereignty, and they demand that it be declared null and void.
… και στην Τουρκία οι εκλογές θεωρούνται σημαντικές…
A short-ish interview with an Istanbul-based militant who has been active in the now nearly year old protest movement against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP government.
Anyone who’s followed the situation in Turkey knew that although last summer’s demonstrations had died down by August, all it would take was a small spark to bring the masses back onto the streets.
On March 11th the death of Berkin Elvan – a 14 year old boy who died after spending nearly nine months in a coma after being bit in the head with a tear gas canister last June – provided the spark that has breathed life back into the movement. In response, Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP government has continued its harsh repression of protesters. And now, with an election coming this week, the Turkish state has moved to ban Twitter across the country.
To gain some perspective on this situation, Yusuf Cemal has kindly agreed to answer some questions about what’s happening on the ground. Yusuf is an IWW member based in the Besiktas neighborhood of Istanbul and has been involved in the protests since they first broke out in June of last year.
What follows is a slightly edited transcript of an email conversation that took place over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd March.
The latest news is that Erdogan has banned, or at least placed major restraints, on Twitter. Why has he done this?
This banning is not related to protests against him directly. Erdogan fears something else. He doesn’t think that Gezi damaged his power. He doesn’t think that the 17th December corruption investigations damaged his power either.