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For three years the Op De Valreep squatted social center has been a valuable resource for people living in Amsterdam East. On June 17, 2014, after a long campaign to legalize the space, the city of Amsterdam and the developer OCP evicted one of the last vestiges of non-commercial space in Amsterdam East. Supporters of Op de Valreep constructed massive barricades and chained themselves to parts of the building in an attempt to block the city government and the police from carrying out the eviction. Police made multiple arrests in an eviction process that lasted from dawn to dusk.
Cast: brandon jourdan
On the night of the eviction. I had left a spokes council to head back to Global Revolution studios. The streets looked wet, and I called a good friend of mine form back home. After 3 months of Occupy Wall Street, most of my personal relationships were frayed, and I had been trying to mend my relationships old friends not in NYC. As I walked I saw lines of NYPD vans stream past me towards the park. It wasn’t unusual, until I noticed that all the vans were full. Each van had cops pressed shoulder to shoulder in them.
I told my friend I had to go and called back to the park to advise members of the media team what I had seen. They told me everything seemed fine back at the park, but I decided not to go to the studio and jumped a train to Liberty…just in case. When I arrived at the park it was cool. The air brisk, and the usual wanderings of people milling, people had taken to coming into the park later and later, some not even staying at all as the temperatures dropped. I checked in with the media team I was working with and they reported nothing unusual. I relaxed. Every night was paranoia. Every night was our last night.
Since the end of May 2013, political unrest has swept across Turkey. In Istanbul, a large part of the central Beyoğlu district became a battle zone for three consecutive weeks with conflicts continuing afterward. So far five people have died and thousands have been injured.
The protests were initially aimed at rescuing Istanbul’s Gezi Park from being demolished as part of a large scale urban renewal project. The police used extreme force during a series of police attacks that began on May 28th 2013 and which came to a dramatic head in the early morning hours of Friday May 31st when police attacked protesters sleeping in the park.
Over the course of a few days, the police attacks grew to shocking proportions. As the images of the heavy-handed policing spread across the world, the protests quickly transformed into a popular uprising against the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his style of authoritarian rule.
This short documentary tells the story of the occupation of Gezi Park, the eviction on July 15, 2013, and the protests that have continued in the aftermath. It includes interviews with many participants and footage never before seen.