Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Duran Adam (Standing Man), non-violent protest adapts and innovates in Turkey

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013   No comments


One man stood silently for more than six hours Monday night in Istanbul's Taksim Square, defying police who broke up anti-government protests weekend with tear gas and water cannon and drawing Hundreds of others to his act of civil protest.  Soon, hundreds of demonstrators stood still for hours in squares on main streets in several cities, mimicking a lone protester who started the trend on Istanbul’s Taksim Square and has been dubbed the “standing man.”



Hasan Kilic of the Istanbul Bar Association said as many as 68 people who have taken part in the widespread protests were in custody for alleged links to “terror” groups, while 33 people were being questioned by authorities and faced possible organized crime charges.

Erdem Gunduz, the protester who started the act, said he wanted to take a stand against police stopping demonstrations near the square, Dogan news agency reported. He stood silently, facing the Ataturk Cultural Centre which was draped in Turkish flags and a portrait of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, from 6 pm (1500 GMT) Monday. By 2 am (2300 GMT), when the police moved in, about 300 people had joined him. Ten people, who refused to be moved on by police, were detained. On Monday night, police dispersed hundreds of standing protesters at Taksim Square.

More than 3,000 people have been detained since the anti-government demonstrations began, said the Human Rights Association.  Turkey’s widespread anti-government protests erupted across Turkey on May 31, when riot police brutally cracked down on peaceful environmental activists who opposed plans to remove trees and develop Gezi Park, which lies next to Istanbul’s famed Taksim Square.

Isr Ed

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