June 8, 2013

Massive Demonstrations Pick Up New Support In Istanbul

Resistance and the rebellion in Turkey continued this evening.

Tens of thousands of people filled Istanbul's Taksim Square this evening as rumors of an impending police crackdown and early elections continued and as government leaders met to discuss the protests and continuing work on a new constitution.

Notably, the "ultras" of the Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe futbol clubs joined the demonstrations this evening and were in a leadership role. They were joined by "ultras" of Galatasaray and other futbol clubs. The crowd chanted "Everywhere is resistance!" These may be the biggest and most forceful demonstrations in Taksim Square yet.

The clubs leading the demonstration and the chants tonight have been long-standing adversaries. The movement has brought them together.

Demonstrators took the roof of the Atatürk Cultural Center and set off flares, creating a kind of fireworks display. The Cultural Center has been contested terrian since the protests began. Prime Minister Erdoğan has vowed to replace the Center with an opera house.

The streets and roads leading to Taksim Square quickly filled with protesters. Smaller and seperate demonstrations were also held nearby.

Taksim now has a campground, a free market, libraries, playgrounds and classrooms where students study for their exams.

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