June 2, 2020
On June 17, 2013, Erdem Gunduz stood in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, facing the Turkish flag and portrait of Turkey’s founder.
He remained there in silence for hours. Alone. Unmoving. His image spread on Twitter. Within hours, several hundred people joined him.
And within one day, similar silent protests sprung up around the country.
There was no need to yell and rage and march. There was no need to hold a sign. Everyone knew exactly why he was standing and what he was standing for. The power of silence and solidarity. And that silence reverberated across the country.
Right now so many are wondering what to do within the noise and chaos and cacophony of protests. It seems to me that Erdem was saying, I am beyond all that. What is wrong is blatant and clear, and I don’t need to march or speak or hold a sign for you to know why I’m standing here and what I am standing for. You already know. As did the hundreds that joined him. As did the thousands who saw this photo.
As we see the protests and violence unfolding across our nation, I wonder. What might happen if we change tactics? What might happen if we break the patterns that leads to violent clashes, especially with the police? What might happen if we gathered together and simply stood our ground? What might happen if we all took a knee?
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org