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Occupy Forum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue
on all sides of these critically important issues!
The People, Awake!
Laying the Groundwork for the Recent Uprisings in Turkey, Brazil and Egypt
In Turkey, protesters have taken to the streets and are clashing with riot police in response to the government attempts to tear down the trees and erect an Ottoman-era barracks in Istanbul’s beloved Gezi Park. In Brazil, small-scale protests against a fare hike in Sao Paulo revealed the extreme brutality of the police force, which violently assaulted protesters.
And in Egypt, the masses gather force once again to rally against their rejected government.
A closer look at the protests reveals that they are not so local after all: the destruction of public services like health care, education, and transportation; the weakening of labor, widespread poverty, human rights violations, media control, the criminalization of free speech, increased surveillance of the populace, and pouring billions into projects for the 1% at the expense of the rest of us – in short, the crisis of representative democracy at the heart of the modern nation state – has sparked worldwide mass demonstrations, occupations, strikes, and confrontations between the People and the State. Our struggles are connected. Our movements are united.
This week’s OccupyForum panel will report back from the frontlines.
Mehmet Bayram, a labor and progressive activist and journalist from Turkey represented the entire office workers of the Electrical Authority of Turkey until the 1980 military coup. Sharat G. Linn is former president of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center. He writes on the global political economy, labor migration and is a contributor to Studies in Inequality and Social Justice. He was a witness of the Naxalbari revolt in India, the Cultural Revolution in China, the Lebanese Civil War, the Portugese Revolution, the Nicaraguan Revolution and the uprising in Egypt, and recently returned from Brazil. Ahmed Salah is an Egyptian Revolutionary. He continued his family’s revolutionary tradition becoming an activist, and leading the Egyptian Youth Movement for Change, and coordinating opposition to the Mubarak regime and serving as a principal organizer for the January 25th revolution.