Next: Turkish spring?

Police in Istanbul on the morning of May 31 raided a protest encampment that had been established in Taksim Gezi Park—one of the few remaining green spots in the city center, which authorities have slated to bulldoze to build a new shopping mall. Police set fire to the tents in which protesters were still sleeping, and used pepper spray and tear-gas. One student had to undergo surgery after injuries to his genitals. Street-fighting in the area continues, and protests have spread to Ankara. Tens of thousands have watched the demonstrations online at The park had been under occupation since May 27, but the issue has gone beyond saving a green space to more generalized opposition to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), a "neoliberal Islamist" formation that has been tilting sharply right, establishing alcohol-free zones and advocating restrictions on abortion. Richard Seymour in The Guardian writes that "a struggle over a small park in a congested city centre has become an emergency for the regime, and the basis for a potential Turkish spring." (More coverage at BIANet, NYT, Euronews.)

Taksim Square to Zuccotti Park

As of this morning, lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park is again under occupation—no tents so far, but a big crowd that seems to be about 50% Turkish with signs in solidarity with the Istanbul protests. Among my favorites: "ISTANDwithISTANBUL," "RESISTANBUL," and one with the faces of Saddam, Mubarak, Qaddafi and Tayyip Erdogan, with the first three crossed out in red and the caption reading "TAYYIP, YOU'RE NEXT." A General Assembly is to convene at 6 PM, that is in a half hour...