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Statement of Solidarity of Gezi Gardens and March with the people of Istanbul and Turkey
by Liberate the Land ( LiberateLand [at] gmail.com )
Sunday Jun 9th, 2013 3:04 PM
Today, Sunday, June 9th Liberate the Land marched from Gezi Gardens to Civic Center Plaza to join the people of San Francisco standing in solidarity with the people of Istanbul and Turkey at a rally there. Over a hundred people rallied to express support for people in Turkey facing police repression. Chants sang out over the livestream between SF and Istanbul as rallies happened simultaneously all over the world. The below statement of solidarity was read at the rally before everyone marched back to Gezi Gardens together changing, “from Turkey to the Bay, green space is here to stay!”

Today, Sunday, June 9th Liberate the Land marched from Gezi Gardens to Civic Center Plaza to join the people of San Francisco standing in solidarity with the people of Istanbul and Turkey at a rally there. Over a hundred people rallied to express support for people in Turkey facing police repression. Chants sang out over the livestream between SF and Istanbul as rallies happened simultaneously all over the world. The below statement of solidarity was read at the rally before everyone marched back to Gezi Gardens together changing, “from Turkey to the Bay, green space is here to stay!”

Statement of Solidarity of Gezi Gardens, San Francisco, CA

We at Gezi Gardens in San Francisco, CA stand in solidarity with all people world wide liberating land from private control and corporate interests and for the common good of all people. We liberated the piece of land on Laguna Street between Oak and Fell Streets in San Francisco on June 1st, 2013, and renamed it Gezi Gardens to express our solidarity with all those in Istanbul and throughout Turkey standing up to the privatization and development of Gezi Park. We recognize that the struggle in Turkey goes far beyond the fight to retain an open green space. However, we find common ground in this, as well as our wider aspirations for a more free and just world.

Like Gezi Park, the space we are in is a rare green space in a city being gentrified and developed without the consensus, input, and participation of the people in decision making processes that affect all. Rather than a luxury apartment complex, we wish to see this space continue to grow food, host wildlife habitat, be a home to trees and natural ecology, and be a place where people can interact with, learn from, and live in greater balance with the earth and our environment. In Istanbul, a tree falls and a nation rises. Here we wish to rise before the first tree has to fall.

Similarly, we stand in solidarity with the indigenous people of Brazil resisting the construction of the Belo Monte River Dam, a hydroelectric project that would dam the last free flowing tributary of the Amazon River, cutting off a lifeline and displacing thousands of indigenous people from the land they have lived on for generations. We stand in solidarity with the people of La ZAD in Nantes, France who have banded together to stop the construction of an airport planned to clearcut vast forests and displace local farmers from their land historically used for growing food. We stand in solidarity with the Zapatistas of Chiapas, Mexico, who pushed the Mexican state out of their territory in 1994 and reclaimed land from first world corporations in order to grow food, open clinics, build schools, and foster community in their newly declared centers of autonomous governance. We stand in solidarity and alongside all indigenous people around the world struggling to maintain common access to their ancestral lands.

In liberating land around the world, for the commons, with love and strength,

Gezi Gardens, San Francisco
#GeziGardens
Liberate the Land!
@LiberateLand

HumanBeIn.org

Upon arriving to Gezi Gardens, people took pictures under the Gezi Gardens banner and chanted “Save Gezi Garden.” Folks then took a tour of the garden to see the edible perennials and trees that had been planted, the rainwater harvesting landscape, tree sit platforms and the yurt being built. It was explained that yurt means the land and the people in Turkish.

An immigrant from Turkey who has been both to Gezi Park and in the United States for the last three years said, “As soon as I walked in I thought this place looks just like Gezi Park. It is the final point of open green space surrounded by development in a very congested urban area. It is the last place where people can feel the earth.”

Later, neighbors stopped by to explore the garden and express their support for Liberate the Land and Gezi Gardens. “Really, I just want to garden,” said Naomi who lives at Oak Street and Buchanan, “I’d love to have a community garden.”

“I have lived in the Hayes Valley neighborhood for 26 years, and I have lived in the rainforest in Brazil. To me, this is part of the jungle, it is a connection to my soul, says a neighbor named Zachary, “I have the right to be here as do the tree and the stars.”

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The Tree People (Tuk Pikuni) is supporting the recent statements from Gezi Gardens and was on the March with the Turkish struggle on Sunday. On the 10th day of the occupation at Oak and Fell the Tree People has set up the first of nine existing tree-sits to protect the Farm from the cutting and development of this 2.5 acre parcel for upscale Condos (Crops not Condos). With what we call anchors in the sky are allowing our brothers and sisters on the ground to farm non-Monsanto organic food for the community. We are opening this community space under attacks city wide on open space by developers for everybody to grow your own food as GMO foods are poisoning our community. Finally with 92 % of all Californians wanting GMO labelled (cheated on Proposition 37 in the last election) this is a great opportunity to fight back and we will see at the FARM SOON. Aho (Thank you) Respectfully RunningWolf an Indigenous elder.