The first time I have gotten news of the protests are being been held in Turkey was on the afternoon of May 28 while I was in a Skype meeting with a colleague from Greenpeace Turkey who after a few minutes asked permission to excuse himself from the meeting saying the words: “Guys I don’t have much time, there is a war in Istanbul now, I need to go,” which was accompanied by this Google, search link showing the violent dispersal of environmental activists who are protesting against replacing Taksim Gezi Park, with the construction of a shopping mall.

Knowing the urgency of his plea we obliged and excused him out of the meeting.

After bearing witness to what is happening now in Turkey, I find myself obliged by my conscience to write this as a statement of my solidarity with their struggle, against matters that are not very different from what we as Greenpeace, as activists and as people are rising up against.

I believe that solidarity is about standing in empathy with others as an act of shared humanity, that is why as a part of Greenpeace, and as a human being I am writing this because I hold true to the aspirations of the countless individuals who are putting themselves in the line not only to uphold the truth that the planet and people should be deemed more important than building structures like shopping malls but also for the interest and pursuance of the freedom to protest non-violently.

Lastly I write this because I hope to send a message of solidarity with our colleagues in Turkey, because I know we both share that common ideal of risking our lives, limbs and liberty for a cause that is greater than ourselves.

May the light of the recent events in Turkey, stir us globally to act in urgency to do our part wherever we are to commit ourselves to become ever more diligent to building a socially just and environmentally sustainable future for all.