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