The trigger

The latest country to erupt in riots is Turkey (as I write, there may be another by the time this is published). According to the BBC, this began when plans were announced for a project that would include converting a portion of Gezi Parki, one of the “few green areas in Istanbul”, into a shopping plaza. I will not display the photographs here that I have seen of blood flowing in the streets.

As the BBC and other services noted, there is widespread anger against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The protests have spread throughout the country, including Ankara, Bodrum, Konya and Izmir.

One thousand miles away, more or less, the revolution in Syria is spinning out of control. Hezbollah and Hamas are the principal players in a war without borders.

Here’s why you should care. Summer is here. There is a correlation between higher temperatures and violent behavior. There are a large number of people here in America who are unhappy with the government, on both ends of the spectrum. We should be able to recognize that revolution for revolution’s sake is becoming a popular pastime. This is a post on Face Book from the opening hours of the riots in Turkey, already calling it a revolution.

Istanbul, now!

I’m from Turkey and now there is a very serious riot going on in my country. Our government is tryin’ to destroy a very old park called GEZI PARKI in the central of Istanbul to make a shopping mall. But people resist it. The police uses disproportionate force on us. One person died, many are severely injured. Even the animals which are living on the streets got affected from the pepper gas and the pressurized water. Our TV’s don’t even mention about it. But there is a serious war going on. The only thing we want is to have trees. We don’t want the government to destroy the nature. Please share these photos in your page so that the whole world can know about our cause. We are making a revolution right now. Please support us.

Starting with the “Arab Spring”, when the Tunisian government was overthrown following riots spurred by the self immolation of a cigarette vendor, violent anti government protests have plagued the middle east. Seeing that it worked in Tunisia, protests started and then flared in throughout the region. Our own “Occupy Wall Street” movement spread nationwide. The Watts Riots in Los Angeles began with a traffic stop and resulted in five days of rioting, thirty four deaths, and thousands of destroyed businesses. They introduced the phrase “Burn Baby Burn” to our vocabulary. Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  riots broke out in cities across America.

We can see this coming. Our government is more oppressive than it was in the 60s, our economy is worse, and the threshold for violence seems to be lower than ever. We are sitting on a powder keg.

One thing that the non violent among us have in our favor is the wimp factor of today’s protestors. I remember the 60s. I know the taste of tear gas, and what it takes to get a police officer to start clubbing people. I remember Kent State. The photograph below was posted yesterday with the caption “Excessive use of tear-gas by the police some minutes ago, Istanbul.”

tear gasFirst off, I can see the pavement. Secondly, what is the “appropriate” amount of teargas? Did you think there was going to be a revolution and no one would scrape their knees? One person posted a picture of the riots with the caption “This should happen here! Without the violence of course”.

Social media brings the pictures into our hands. Every “revolution” will be televised from now on. But cheering them on is not appropriate. Last year in Egypt Hosni Mubarek was overthrown, in favor of “Democracy”. The newly elected president now faces protests as well, the people not understanding that democracy does not solve every problem, or solve any problem immediately. A large number of people have started blaming democracy for their problems, much like the former Soviets had done immediately following the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union.

My call is for education. Educate yourself and those you love. Educate anyone who you have influence upon. Advocating violence will result in violence. You might try Matthew 26:52 “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”. There are things worth dying for, but choose your revolution wisely.


3 comments on “The trigger

  1. Carrie says:

    It’s nice to see some calling for non-violence.
    So many people are angry and one little thing may set them off. The reactions are becoming more and more hateful and escalating to violence so quickly. People may wake up one day and realize that they have done something truly horrible that they did not mean to do.
    I realize that nothing is perfect and we should be able to voice our opinions about those things, but violence and anger are, in my opinion, never the answer.

    “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
    Mohandas Gandhi


  2. Everyone should have seen this coming. No matter what our country does or doesn’t do, we will still be resented by the rest of the world. They want what the Western World has, but by tearing down everything nothing will be left for anyone. Education is wonderful, but it hasn’t stopped the violence, and I fear it never will.


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