Woman in Red Experiences an Officer John Pike Moment: Evening Open Thread

Evening Everyone

UC Davis Police Officer Lt. John Pike pepper sprays Occupy demonstrators.

UC Davis Police Officer Lt. John Pike pepper sprays Occupy demonstrators.

That is one picture that came to define the Occupy movement from last year…it started a meme on Tumblr…and it has a pretty large well cited Wikipedia page: UC Davis pepper-spray incident

Well, over in Turkey, they are having their own Occupy protest lately…we have talked about it a few times here on the blog. Now the Occupy Turkish Spring has its Ofc. Pike moment.

Woman in Red Becomes Leitmotif for Istanbul’s Female Protesters

A Turkish riot policeman uses tear gas as people protest against the destruction of trees in a park brought about by a pedestrian project, in Taksim Square in central Istanbul, May 28, 2013.

A Turkish riot policeman uses tear gas as people protest against the destruction of trees in a park brought about by a pedestrian project, in Taksim Square in central Istanbul, May 28, 2013.

In her red cotton summer dress, necklace and white bag slung over her shoulder she might have been floating across the lawn at a garden party; but before her crouches a masked policeman firing teargas spray that sends her long hair billowing upwards.Endlessly shared on social media and replicated as a cartoon on posters and stickers, the image of the woman in red has become the leitmotif for female protesters during days of violent anti-government demonstrations in Istanbul.

“That photo encapsulates the essence of this protest,” says maths student Esra at Besiktas, near the Bosphorus strait and one of the centers of this week’s protests. “The violence of the police against peaceful protesters, people just trying to protect themselves and what they value.”

In one graphic copy plastered on walls the woman appears much bigger than the policeman. “The more you spray the bigger we get”, reads the slogan next to it.

The Turkish Prime Minister is calling these protesters terrorist, the same way we heard the Right going after Occupy here in the states.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan branded the protesters on Monday extremists “living arm in arm with terrorism”, a description that seems to sit ill with the image of the woman in red.There were others dressed in more combative gear and sporting face masks as they threw stones, but the large number of very young women in Besiktas and on Taksim Square where the protests began on Friday evening is notable.

With swimming goggles and flimsy surgical masks against the teargas, light tasseled scarves hanging around their necks, Esra, Hasine and Secil stand apprehensively in the Besiktas district on Monday evening, joined by ever growing numbers of youngsters as dusk falls and the mood grows more somber.

They belong, as perhaps does the woman in red, to the ranks of young, articulate women who believe they have something to lose in Erdogan’s Turkey. They feel threatened by his promotion of the Islamic headscarf, symbol of female piety.

What more anti-woman  rhetoric? Check out some of the things PM Erdogan is pushing…

Many of the women point to new abortion laws as a sign that Erdogan, who has advised Turkish women to each have three children, wants to roll back women’s rights and push them into traditional, pious roles.“I respect women who wear the headscarf, that is their right, but  also want my rights to be protected,” says Esra. “I’m not a leftist or an anti-capitalist.  want to be a business woman and live in a free Turkey.”

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the secular republic formed in 1923 from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, encouraged women to wear Western clothes rather than headscarves and promoted the image of the professional woman. Ironically, Erdogan is seen these days as, for better or worse, the most dominant Turkish leader since Ataturk.

Erdogan was first swept to power in 2002 and remains unrivaled in popularity, drawing on strong support in the conservative Anatolian heartland.

The weekend demonstrations in dozens of cities suggest however his popularity may be dwindling, at least among middle classes who swung behind him in the early years of political and economic reform that cut back the power of the army and introduced some rights amendments.

You can read more at the link…

One more little story for you, from my Asshole Senator Saxby: GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss Blames Military Sexual Assault On ‘The Hormone Level Created By Nature’

During a Senate hearing Tuesday, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) admitted that the military must do more to stop the rising rates of sexual assault in its ranks, but he warned that it could be difficult to curtail given “the hormone level created by nature” of the young enlisted men.

“The young folks that are coming into each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23,” Chambliss told military leaders at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “Gee whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur. So we’ve got to be very careful how we address it on our side.”

Eh, what? No mention of how nature “protects” women from these sexual assaults….huh. /snark.

My one question is, these dickwads who were the military sexual assault liaison officers arrested for sexual assault and/or running prostitution rings were not young male hormone driven sex fiends? Right? Shithead Chambliss.

This is an open thread.


21 Comments on “Woman in Red Experiences an Officer John Pike Moment: Evening Open Thread”

  1. Have a good evening…

    • JJ,

      You ROCK woman. Thank you for covering Turkey. I am very concerned for my friends over there and all the other people seeking Civil Rights, Human Rights, a Free Press and basic Freedom.

      Thank you.

    • A bit ironic but the UC Davis Chancellor is from Turkey and supports Erdogan’s type of oppression, and if I recall correctly she was part of setting up some oppressive system in Turkey academic arenas. Shameful she is still at UC Davis.

      • I didn’t know that…

        • It was Greece (my mind fades…tired). Here is the link:

          Athens Polytechnic comes to UC Davis

          by John Quiggin on November 22, 2011

          A Greek friend has sent me lots of information on links between the suppression of dissent at UC Davis and similar events in Greece from the days of the military junta to the present. Here’s a video commemorating the 1973 uprising centred on Athens Polytechnic, which led to the downfall of the military junta the following year[1]. the last title says “The Polytechneio lives on. In struggles today.” Link

          Among the legacies of the uprising was a university asylum law that restricted the ability of police to enter university campuses. University asylum was abolished a few months ago, as part of a process aimed at suppressing anti-austerity demonstrations. The abolition law was based on the recommendatiions of an expert committee, which reported a few months ago (report here, in Greek). There’s an English translation here, but it doesn’t work well for me.

          Fortunately, my friend has translated the key recommendations

          University campuses are unsafe. While the [Greek] Constitution permits the university leadership to protect campuses from elements inciting political instability, Rectors have shown themselves unwilling to exercise these rights and fulfill their responsibilities, and to take the decisions needed in order to guarantee the safety of the faculty, staff, and students. As a result, the university administration and teaching staff have not proven themselves good stewards of the facilities with which society has entrusted them.

          The politicizing of universities – and in particular, of students – represents participation in the political process that exceeds the bounds of logic. This contributes to the rapid deterioration of tertiary education.

          Among the authors of this report – Chancellor Linda Katehi, UC Davis. And, to add to the irony, Katehi was a student at Athens Polytechnic in 1973.

  2. KKK Fliers Being Distributed In El Paso County Neighborhood « CBS Denver

    Now that was linked on Drudge, so you can see the shit being said in the comments, but this is from the link:

    The fliers, wrapped in baggies, were distributed throughout the neighborhood. They show a hooded Klansman with the headlines “Help Save Our Race” and “America Wake Up,” along with anti-gay statements.

    Curtis Barker, the imperial wizard of the KKK, spoke to CBS4’s Tom Mustin by phone from North Carolina. He said the fliers are part of a nationwide recruitment drive and business in Colorado is booming.

    “Now the summer season is hitting and it’s about time to start doing the rallies with the cross lighting and all that,” Barker told Mustin.

    Barker said immigrants are taking over the country and the KKK’s message is clear.

    “To tell whites, especially white Americans, that we should start standing up for our race,” he said.

    Barker said the Colorado members wish to remain anonymous, and despite the KKK’s violent past, residents have nothing to fear.

    “We’ve been here 150 years, we’re not going nowhere, we’re not out to hurt anyone,” he said.

    Austin, whose parents were persecuted by Nazis says the KKK is not welcome in her neighborhood.

    “This is hate crime, this is totally hate,” she said.

    • NW Luna says:

      Poor pitiful insecure white men worried they’re no longer at the top of the heap, so they take it out on others.

      And “save our race,” WTF? There is no biological evidence for “races” of humans — we are all too similar.

  3. NW Luna says:

    the Islamic headscarf, symbol of female piety.

    Unfortunately, it’s far too often used as a symbol of female servitude. Rightous post, JJ!

  4. List of X says:

    I’d like to hear Senator Chambliss’ explanation which hormones cause military officers ignore rapes committed by their subordinates.