Thursday, June 20, 2013

From — People's Parks: 5 Public Spaces That Launched Social Movements

1. Gezi Park - Istanbul

The protest movement that has now gripped Turkish society, galvanizing calls all over the country for social change, began when activists only sought to save a local park from being replaced with a shopping mall. Gezi Park, a simple park lined with towering sycamore trees, is the last significant green space in Istanbul, a city now overwhelmed by luxury hotels, pricey lofts, massive shopping malls and gleaming tourist attractions.

Though they began as an effort to save the park from being demolished, the protests have evolved into a full-scale movement for political change. The park has come to represent, for many Turks, the government's disregard for the public's voice. For the Turkish government, however, the park wasn't just the location of a new mall—it was also a space where their opponents could organize against them. When Turkish police attacked protesters with water cannons and tear gas, they only served to anger and empower protesters and allies who were watching from the sidelines.
Read more: People's Parks: 5 Public Spaces That Launched Social Movements | Free Speech on GOOD

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