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OccupyGezi! OWS activists stage pro-Turkish rally in New York

Published time: June 01, 2013 18:41
Edited time: June 01, 2013 19:47
Hundreds of people, including many Turkish Americans and members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, protest in Zuccotti Park in solidarity with demonstrators in Istanbul who are trying to stop a popular park from being demolished to make way for a shopping center on June 1, 2013 in New York City (AFP Photo /  Spencer Platt)

Hundreds of people, including many Turkish Americans and members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, protest in Zuccotti Park in solidarity with demonstrators in Istanbul who are trying to stop a popular park from being demolished to make way for a shopping center on June 1, 2013 in New York City (AFP Photo / Spencer Platt)

Occupy activists are holding a rally in New York’s Zuccotti Park to show their support for anti-government protests raging in the heart of Istanbul. Similar demonstrations are being held throughout the world.

Hundreds of protesters have gathered in Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and plan to march 3 miles to the Turkish consulate.

The “peaceful international solidarity event” is being held “with the goal to direct public attention to Istanbul Gezi Parki protests and consequent police brutality of AKP/Erdogan government!” Occupy Wall Street announced.

Hundreds of people, including many Turkish Americans and members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, protest in Zuccotti Park in solidarity with demonstrators in Istanbul who are trying to stop a popular park from being demolished to make way for a shopping center on June 1, 2013 in New York City (AFP Photo / Spencer Platt)

Demonstrators, many dressed in red, could be seen waving signs proclaiming 'Istanbul is not alone' while others waved the Turkish national flag.  

Saturday marks what activists have dubbed as a “homecoming celebration” to occupy the space where the movement first began in September 2011, as well as to “take a militant stand against the NYPD to assert our right to [nonviolently] exist in public spaces.”

Hundreds of people, including many Turkish Americans and members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, protest in Zuccotti Park in solidarity with demonstrators in Istanbul who are trying to stop a popular park from being demolished to make way for a shopping center on June 1, 2013 in New York City (AFP Photo / Spencer Platt)



‘Worldwide solidarity’


While other ‘OccupyGezi’ protests have been or will be held in several major US cities, including Austin, Boston and Chicago, the protests are quickly taking on a worldwide scope.

In Brussels, Turkish nationals gathered in front of the EU Parliament in Brussels to protest against police violence in Turkey, RT’s Tesa Arcilla reports. Many in attendance were chanting anti-government protests and holding up banners.

Similar rallies showing solidarity with Turkish protesters were held in London, Helsinki and outside the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Protesters in Egypt also plan to gather for a Taksim solidarity protest in front of the Turkish Embassy in Cairo on Sunday evening, RT’s Bel Trew reports.

Thousands of people remain on Taksim Square in the heart of Istanbul after the city was gripped by a second day of violent protest.

Hundreds of people, including many Turkish Americans and members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, protest in Zuccotti Park in solidarity with demonstrators in Istanbul who are trying to stop a popular park from being demolished to make way for a shopping center on June 1, 2013 in New York City (AFP Photo / Spencer Platt)

Clashes were sparked on Friday after police moved in to violently break up a small sit-in demonstration against redevelopment plans for the nearby Gezi Park.

The harsh police crackdown, which included the deployment of tear gas and water cannons, galvanized widespread public support for the protests and sparked similar rallies throughout the country.

The protests have evolved into public outcry against what demonstrators say is the increasingly authoritarian drive of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Hundreds of people, including many Turkish Americans and members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, protest in Zuccotti Park in solidarity with demonstrators in Istanbul who are trying to stop a popular park from being demolished to make way for a shopping center on June 1, 2013 in New York City (AFP Photo / Spencer Platt)