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By Saige Martin. November 1, 2011 - 6:25 pm
ISTANBUL — Sunday, Oct. 30 I was sound asleep with dreamy visions of thousands of protesters, vibrant anti-Wall Street posters and an electric energy in the streets.
At 7:30 a.m. I got a phone call, the number was blocked so I assumed it was something about the protest. I answered and was speaking to the emergency room receptionist at American Hospital in Istanbul.
I was summoned to the hospital as the ’emergency contact’ of one of my friends who was critically injured in a car accident early that morning.
Emotions were running high as I began contacting his family, and trying to assist the front desk with my extremely broken Turkish language skills.
At the same time, I was getting calls about the protest; people asking for directions, ideas for protesters and media outlets demanding more information.
I never made it to the rally. But 75 people did. Yeah, 75 people, you didn’t misread that number.
So on top of a badly injured friend, I was mortified that I wasn’t able to attend the rally that I started and created on Facebook.
During the last week of planning for the rally I had tried to integrate my priorities and ideas with another group that had tried to stage an Occupy Istanbul rally without success.
I started to feel my American ideas and opinions were out of place. I felt I shouldn’t be making the decisions that drove this protest. Turkey isn’t my country and my notion of tactics and strategies might not apply.
So I let this group run with their ideas and make their own movement.
The problem was that my intuition was right; these people were nice but had little experiencing in political organizing. They needed help.
Friends who attended the small rally on Sunday said they agreed with me. I think. Perhaps my biggest fear was being an arrogant American who overran everyone’s ideas.
However, I wish I had listened to my gut and owned my own project instead of letting other people run with it.
My mother was always right when she would say, ‘trust your gut.’