Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

As I Tweeted, the Definition of Irony is watching CNN live coverage of the Taksim Square Protests and Riot Police water-cannons, fireworks, and yelling suddenly going deathly quiet except for the beautiful PEACEFUL Call to Prayer that happens 5 times a day in Istanbul in the background.  The voice sings (translated) "God is Great", "Come to prayer".

The Square had since been evacuated by tons of tear-gas fired at demonstrators, who actually began quite peacefully, to dispute the building of a shopping complex in a spot young people gather, is historically relevant, and has a few trees left for them to enjoy in the city.  It was almost like a University Sit-In.

It quickly escalated to a point where there are demands for the Prime Minister to step down, for a more secular state, for freedoms that are being taken away like to peacefully protest, and that the People's Voice, being largely ignored, is heard.  As much as I respect and admire the courage it is taking for young people, of all professions, to do what they are doing, I question the wisdom, timing, and planning of it.  There are even people in the US and UK "sympathy-protesting" who can't see the 'end' of or even speculate how it will end.  It will become worse before it gets better for the Turks, but not for the protesters in the US or UK.  We'll all be O.K.

On one hand, nothing has ever changed in politics or with a government, rather, without a group being brave enough to cause some trouble to make that change.  On the other hand, as with the Occupy Wall Street Movement, if you have no real plan for what happens if you don't (or, particularly, DO) get what you are fighting for then you could truly being going from the frying pan into the fire, or just fizzle out (Occupy Wall Street reference).  If it's this much of a debate in my own head over this, how can anything be settled with many who are of different minds, altogether?  You can't satisfy everyone.

The Prime Minister Erdogan is not a President and Turkey is not the U.S.  It appears to be a cross-breeding of a Democracy that cannot be understood and has no real manual of operation. Now the response to that may  The U.S. is a little spotty these days and not looking so democratic, free, and lovely.  But, it's still better than the alternative.  We are pre-teenagers compared to the rest of the countries who are mature enough to have worked all this out over the past few thousand years.

HOWEVER, hear me out. 1) Ergodan WAS elected by at least 50% of the population three times.  2) They say he has helped the Turkish economy to improve and  3) He has much support in the country (especially as long as No. 2 remains true!) which makes it VERY difficult to make him out to be a bad guy.  Good thing he's really really good at doing it all on his own. 

In calling the demonstrators basically a rag-tag group of criminals, looters, and illegal protesting losers, sending out policemen to attack the civilians in a knee-jerk violent manner, he has not exactly made himself look good in the eyes of the World.  He made the number one mistake of one in a powerful position.  He underestimated his opponents.  His only concession tonight has been to allow people to remain in Gezi Park (for now) but tear-bombed them out of the Square.  Legitimate protesting in a democratic society, who elected their leader, is (or should be) an action that can take place without threats.  But what Constitution exists to allow this?  Even our own hasn't protected us from what many perceive as wrongdoings.

Again, nothing changes without those who are willing to sacrifice to effect that change.  Tonight, they remain there in the dark, in the park, with no real direction but lots of wants, frightened, confused, but determined.

Our country has not had this type of thing happen in a loooooong time.  Do you want to know why?  I believe the reason is because we really don't care and we don't want to be hurt.  As long as our family and our 'stuff ' are left alone, we just don't care.  It's been a couple of generations since we've had something to stand we sit....on the couch...until someone ticks us off directly.  Then we change the channel to see who is doing something about it on TV, criticizing them strongly if they don't handle it the way we would.  If we cared.

Even though the days brought people together in the Square with music and dancing, food, medical aid, vendors selling food/gasmasks/goggles, and a peaceful setting, almost like Woodstock without the weed and mushrooms.  The night brought strangeness, strangers, fear, anxiety, anger, and frustration.  I've heard the police/government had their own people increasing the violence to make it look as if it were the original demonstrators doing it. Just something I heard, but if the photo out there is real, there is a man throwing a Molotov Cocktail and the police are spraying a water cannon next to him.  Not on him. Next to him. Whatever.

It's so easy to fall into a Mob Mentality as the sun goes down.  You can fight.  You can call people names. You can throw rocks.  You can throw Molotov Cocktails.  You can run and hide.  You are anonymous in the dark.  We see it after sports events with drunk fans all of the time. Evil works so well without Light.

I think, sometimes, that's why the Internet works so well, too.  You can comment, say racist, horrible, mean, ignorant and awful things behind an avatar.  I've read comments on general articles and interviews that would make me cry if I didn't know better.

Stay in the Light because the Sun does come up in the morning. Love All, and Pray for guidance, for Peace for All, and for us to hear each other and, more importantly, the whispering Voice of God.

Meanwhile, no one likes a Bully.  The World is watching to see how this finishes but will lose interest with the next breaking news item.

Update:  Demonstrators not leaving, it's raining teargas on them and news crews. Sigh.

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