I ain’t the only one…

23 12 2008

As much as I hate to do this, another has compiled a fairly comprehensive account of the events in Greece, going back on the history of Exarchia, the student movement that helped establish the current Greek Democracy and following through the events of the last week or so.  There is a great comparison with the events in Athens now, and those in the past, accompanied by photographs while the author is eloquent and fair.  It is well worth a read as well as the article quoted at length in the comments list.

Athens: We are the Image of the Future

The anarchist movement in Greece is world-renowned, especially now. Anarchist neighborhoods throughout Europe – such as Copenhagen’s Christiania neighborhood or Athen’s Exarcheia district – have battled with governments to maintain autonomy. Each time agents of government suppression target the neighborhoods, the anarchists strike back. But this time, all over the world.

The bullets that killed Athenian boy Alexis Grigoropoulos this week “may have hit one person, but it was meant for us all,” a German anarchist banner read early in the week. The “birthplace of democracy,” some people are saying, “has descended into anarchy.”

Read the complete account at hyperborea





As promised, more news on the Greeks

22 12 2008

Once again, Deadeye, was kind enough to again provide me with his account of the events happening currently in Greece.  It seems though second rounds of demonstrations and street fighting between the police and demonstrators have erupted, sporadically in diferent areas, but the Greeks themselves are changing their aims.

We’ve almost had another execution in Athens.

A group of pupils were discussing about the upcoming demonstration, in the 18th of December, outside their school in the district of Peristeri. Someone fired two shots, wounding a 17 year old. Fortunately, he was shot at his arm and now he’s recuperating. Police came to investigate the crime scene 14 hours later, while they insisted that the shooter fired with an airgun. The projectile that was extracted from the kid’s arm proved it was actually a 38 caliber pistol, arousing suspicions about the initial false claims made by the police.

We’ve had several squats, occupations and take overs.
The major labour union, widely known for being a sell-out, was taken over by anarchists and invites workers to participate in free councils through which workers will coordinate their forces with the general outbreak.

More radio and TV stations are being occupied for a few minutes to broadcast news, straight from the street. Reporters are intensively trying to bring back the “Christmas spirit” and discourage further political action.

Three main Athenian universities have been occupied that act as the movement’s headquarters, where massive discussions take place and issue brochures and newspapers. The Polytechnic school, the Law school and the Economic Studies school. The government never had any control over the students in universities, for several reasons. First and foremost, universities are considered asylums. No policemen, soldiers or any kind of weaponry is allowed inside. However, the last 3 years they try to pass an educational law through which, students’ rights will be significantly decreased and occupations like these will be severely weakened.

In other cities, more occupations take place that act similarly, as local headquarters in which future political action is talked through and defined. Universities, city halls and various public buildings.

Almost all universities and most schools have been shutted[sic] down by their students. Demonstrations are being constantly programmed.

The above was part 1.  Deadeye provides updates as to the latest happenings in Athens and the take-overs of the union, TV stations and city halls.  He also responded to queries regarding the nature of the Greek university’s and how the Greek government has virtually ceded all control to the student protestors, while discussing the future,

Its not just Greek anarchists that are involved in this. There’s a strong left movement in Greece that is participating in a very militant fashion these days.

However, the smashing and burning is more or less over. Banks, surveilance cameras, cop stations and mega-stores have received their message for the time being. The street fighting continues sporadically but only for defensive purposes. I’d say we’re mostly focusing on the info-war that has been waged lately by the media and we’re trying to provide our version of the facts.

Our demands, for now, are limited in law-enforcement, educational and labour issues. Abolition of riot police, disarmament of police officers, abolition of the latest educational and labour laws that weaken worker and student syndicalism and self organization.

We intend to literally paralyze the state, in a financial and functional level, with constant strikes and demonstrations.

In regards to further questioning about the attacks on reporters by protesters, Deadeye had said,

Concerning the article, I’m not aware of some certain incident in which a journalist has been victimized, so I cant name or count them, but its common knowledge that reporters are traditionally greeted with aggressiveness by leftists and anarchists, as they systematically undermine our struggle and openly lie, so its quite possible that the story is true.

Let me remind you how they took sides from day one, adopting the cop’s story until eye witnesses stepped up. A TV channel went far enough to edit the video taken from the balcony, depicting the murder. They removed the sound and added their own with sounds of smashing and shouting, in order to back the cop up and his claims of 30 anarchists attacking him.

And if I may take the very dangerous liberty of adding further information here, any reader who has been following these events for its duration would have heard reports from earlier on that Journalists had also been met with hostility by police.  While the article speaks solely about the Anarchists attacking journalists, it leaves out events such as the following,

…riot cops attacked at Korai Str in Athens, arresting at least four students. One of the arrestees was a 13 year old girl; nearby journalists who reacted to her brutal arrest were also beaten up heavily.

It would be more accurate, in fact, to state simply that journalists are met with hostility in general based on their profession and how previous journalists have covered the same events.  The curious thing is that reports of police brutality against journalists occurred early on in the demonstrations when the media had sided with the Anarchists due to mass public outrage at what was essentially an execution.  Later, however, the reporters have returned to siding with police and no doubt their reports have been less than accurate regarding the “self-described” Anarchists, explaining the hostility against journalists from both sides of the conflict at one time or another.  In fact, Deadeye finishes this post with a departing piece of wisdom;

Where a cop’s nightstick can’t reach, a reporter’s lie can.

And how true it is.  The events unfolding are going to come down to spin.  Who can spin it better and faster.  Obviously, the government and the police have the advantage of a massive media organisation that is sympathetic to it.  These media outlets are then connect to others the world over who have a tendency to merely copy the article/report, repackage it and distribute.  This means that any error or lie won’t just be repeated among a small area where people may see it for what it is, but it will be repeated the world over and millions of people will take it for gospel.  I have met many even now who take the Greek Anarchists to be thugs and even murderers.  But let us move on.

In the following article on the Australian website, we get valuable pieces of information as well as examples of propaganda,

Police also clashed with protesters after a separate demonstration against racism that was attended by about 200 people in Syntagma Square.

“Migrants are killed, schoolchildren are killed,” said banners carried by the protesters who marched to the Greek parliament. Protesters threw garbage at police who ringed a Christmas tree on the main square.

This piece is interesting in that it implies that police are targetting all demonstrations and it’s curious that this particular demonstration was anti-racism.  Though the article doesn’t say, and I wouldn’t expect it to, I wonder if anyone belonging to the Golden Dawn organisation was present.

Then there are these two events that carries a certain Robin Hood feel,

Masked men broke into the building housing the offices of Tiresias SA, a company that keeps records of delinquent debtors and cardholders, and firebombed the company’s offices. The fire was extinguished but the company’s offices were destroyed, witnesses said.

In Nea Philadelfia, a western suburb of Athens, demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at the police academy and torched six police vehicles parked nearby, without causing any casualties, police said.

But, as always, whenever something that could be construed as “positive” about the demonstrators is mentioned, it has to be matched with something negative, chiefly, the following,

In Thessaloniki, anarchists occupied a cinema in the city’s main square and threw cakes andsweets[sic] at Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos and one of hisdeputies.[sic]

The mayor was attending an open-air Christmas event near the theatre, distributing the sweets to children with sickle-cell anaemia when the rioters disrupted the event. Protesters emerged from the theatre and attacked a nativity scene, throwing away the Christ figure.

Now this is an interesting one.  If it did indeed happen as depicted in the article, which is rare, than the Anarchists are just downright evil, or so we’re inclined to believe due to the article’s stance.  How could they prevent candy from being given by the generous mayor to sick little children?  This is just too “good” to be entirely accurate and strikes as a possibley brilliant example of propaganda.  Now, working on the assumption that the article is accurate, it is possible to understand why the Chistmas event was attacked.  It’s another repeat of the over-commercialised Christmas line and has become a symbol of consumerism.  The particular note of a Jesus figure being thrown away is merely a result of a small atheist rebellion in a country renowned for its strict orthodox faith.  Whether it’s right or wrong, I’ll leave it up to the reader to debate, as I personally don’t particularly agree with this choice in target.  That being said, however, in the scale of things the Anarchists haven’t taken a life and as far as mistakes go, this is a relatively small one that handed an easy victory to the Greek government in the PR war that is being raged.





More Greek News

20 12 2008

It’s amazing.  The events in Greece take an increasingly Syndicalist turn and new clashes arise between the police and the Anarchists.  But as these events unfold in the land that birthed both Democracy and Anarchism, the “self-styled” and “self-described” Anarchists, as the media has been describing them, are being increasingly becomming the victims of propaganda.

World wide, media outlets are painted the Anarchists (as per usual) as hooded bandits indiscriminately destroying whatever is in their path out of a lust for chaos and violence.  The following extracts are taking from this article, care of ManBear2Pig on the Forums of the Libertarian Left, demonstrates this.

Firebombs and breaking glass, tear gas and burning cars. The images from Greece this month were enough to put the fear of youth into the hearts of European leaders.

Experts speak of another worry, which is the seemingly anachronistic resurgence of vague radical movements, loosely called anarchist, which hark back to the destructive ideology of Mikhail Bakunin, the 19th-century Russian revolutionary, and to the rebellious rhetoric of the 1960s and 1970s.

Some of it isn’t that threatening, like recurring play of the 1979 song, “Another Brick in the Wall,” by Pink Floyd, on Alpha radio during the week-long protests in Athens. “We don’t need no education / We don’t need no thought control / No dark sarcasm in the classroom,” goes the angry refrain.

But the violence wasn’t far behind the slogans. By the third day of rioting, the estimated damage in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece’s two biggest cities, was more than €1 billion, or $1.4 billion.

From these passages alone the reader is lead to believe that the Anarchists, in particular the Anarcho-Syndicalists are a random mob of violent thugs. The specific reference to Russian revolutionary and the 1960′s and 1970′s immediately takes the readers mind to the Soviet Union and the hippy’s.  So what is the image we are given from this piece of journalistic writing?  The Anarchists are “a bunch of violent hippy communists that model themselves after Che Guevarra.”  Think I’m exaggerating?  Read this paragraph:

The role of these so-called anarchists in the weeklong protests is still not clear. But their message – loaded with anti-capitalist, anti-government and anti-globalization themes – is unmistakable. Also clear is their bent for violence.

Can’t make it much clearer than that.  What’s better is that there is absolutely no understanding of the position of the “self-described” Anarchists.  No attempt is even made to research the background and provide a general idea of what they stand for and why they are anti-government, anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation.  Neither is any decent information provided explaining the long running feud between the Anarchists and the Greek police or the economic circumstances that have lead to this saga.

The most important phrase, found frolicking through-out its unnatural habitat in the lines of text in this article, is the phrase, ‘so-called Anarchists’.  It’s a lovely little piece of political spin that does nothing but cause the reader to connect definition of anarchy as ‘chaos’ to this political group that incorporates it into their name.  You’ll also see it appear in other forms such as, “self-titled,” and, “self-described.”  Even other Anarchists have taken the mainstream media line and so applied the same or similar terms to the Greek Anarchists based on the place that violence has taken in the uprising, regardless of cause, context and circumstance.

There is much propaganda being spread to marginalise the Greek Anarchists and polarise them from “common decency.”  Mainstream media outlets originally decried the violent protests as they took the police line — the same police line that involved 30 hooded teenagers attacking them with molotovs, bricks and all sorts.  Then they turned tail, reported that the kid was shot unjustly and now have returned to the side of the government by condemning the “anachronistic” and “violent” Anarchists. The coverage of the protests has been non-specific and one-sided, which translates every report into something along the lines of, “this is more stupid street fighting by stupid people who can’t understand that the boy was in the wrong and you should all get back to work.”  Thank Christ for internet forums, the blogosphere and alternative media outlets, is all I have to say.

But hey let’s end this on a different.  Seems the workers have taken over the union and town halls.

The action forms part of a strategy to counteract the designs of the union bureaucracy to distance its membership from the current revolt, and protest its management and mediation of workers’ struggles in Greece. The occupants aim to create a space in which to facilitate a grassroots and self organised workers response to the crisis, and bring the wider working class into the events unfolding on the streets of Greece. Town halls in Athens and Thessaloniki have also been occupied in order to hold general assemblies.





Funny that

15 12 2008

Yes, again it’s the Anarchists in Greece that grace this post and rightly so.  The BBC is reporting that the “riots” in Athens have subsided and that calm has returned. However, the social unrest caused by the Anarchists has united the country against the Greek government.

A poll has suggested most people think the riots are a social uprising rather than just a reaction to the shooting.

Sixty per cent of those questioned by the Kathimerini newspaper rejected the assertion that the disturbances have been merely a series of co-ordinated attacks by a small hard core of anarchists.

Another poll, in the left-wing Ethnos newspaper, suggested that 83% of Greeks were unhappy with the government’s response to the violence. Kathimerini put the disapproval rating at 68%.

The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant in Athens says the results appear to confirm what many commentators have been saying – that Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has pulled off the unique feat of alienating all sections of Greek society.

But as per usual, after the Anarchists take a break, the politicians step in and seek to exploit what has happened for their personal political gain.  At least, this is the impression given according to the same BBC article.

Later, the leader of the opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) demanded elections and said the government “ignores the calls of society, is incapable of steadily driving the country towards change, and is afraid of the people.”

“It is wasting away, collapsing and dissolving into a dead-end… Its political time is finished,” George Papandreou told a party meeting.

Deadeye, the Greek Anarchist who has contributed information on the Anarchism.net forums had the following to say regarding the Unions, the strikes and the political climate from the Anarchist perspective.

The anarchist view regarding the strikes is generally positive, even though we hold little trust in those unions.

Without doubt, we have something more than just another riot going on.
It seems that all of our grudges found a way out through the murder of young Alex. There was a general discomfort among Greeks the past few years, partially because of the economic crisis, but it goes beyond that. The point is, the anarchists were brave enough to step up when the opportunity was given and now many more are following, regardless of political beliefs.

Our main concern focuses on the future of this outbreak. We all agree that it must not be allowed to die out. A way to preserve the flame is to channel this outbreak into our long demanded desires in order to transform it into a social movement, in which we will remain united not only against police brutality but against every aspect and value of the modern Greek society.

For that reason, we gladly support general strikes, preferably without expiration dates. It is also time to connect our outbreak with demands concerning the educational section. Students and pupils are under siege from the new educational measures and they will willingly join. After all, they’ve always been the core of anything revolutionary in Greece.

The first difficult stage has been completed, we have risen up. Inevitably, I think we will settle down sooner or later, but lets earn what we can while its still time. The state is in fear and it might be willing to exchange our content with the rope that it will be hung from tomorrow.
We’ll see.

Also, over the last few days, there have been claims from Anarchist sources that Neo-Nazis and fascists had joined up with the police to help in putting down the unrest.

Reports on indymedia this morning claim that Alexandros’ murderer was a member of the nazi group “Golden Dawn” in the late eighties/ early nineties (without cutting his ties since) and that his family was active in the nazi collaborationist forces.

This claim was made on the OccupiedLondon blog.  The comments section of the blog point out that the claim was dropped without any link, which then resulted in links being provided.  One of the links was this blog contained images of men, wearing civilian clothes and armed with sticks and one man who was hooded, dressed all in black, standing with police.  The blog also claims that the reporter who took the images contained on that blog was subsequently fired from the newspaper he worked at.  The same post also contains footage of plainsclothes police officers causing damage to property in an obvious attempt to infiltrate the Anarchist ranks and commit needless violence so as to portray the Anarchists as violent, indiscriminate rioters.  Mainstream media outlets have even picked up on the violence, and ran the story that the Anarchists are indiscriminate, despite testimony from Deadeye that the Anarchists had been precise about their targets.  I then questioned Deadeye on all this and asked for further confirmation if he could provide it.  His response as follow,

There is a strong bond between Greek police forces and neo-nazi groups, mainly the one that goes by the name “Golden Dawn”. Their cooperation has been confirmed on both physical and informational level.

An example from a past event, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g1VdrYBECs

The murderer cop is said to be an ex member of Golden Dawn himself, but we’re on hold for a confirmation.

Your first link depicts a parastate scum, possibly a Golden Dawn-er.
In the second link, we see cops in uniforms and undercover cops.
All faces have been recognized.

Notice that one of them is hooded, resembling an anarchist and another one is holding a stick. I’ve explained previously how provocateurs attack non-political targets, mostly small stores and random cars, in order to damage the public support that favours us. We’ve chased away some, but enough damage has been done to arm reporters with venom.

In the city of Patra, around 600 undercover cops, neonazis and zealous government supporters unsuccessfully attempted to disperse a manifestation of around 5000. A protester was stabbed. Various incidents of violence from parastate groups have been confirmed, outside occupied universities throwing rocks, cars attempting to run down protesters etc. We’re expecting more.

Deadeye has said he will report back with more information if it becomes available, which I expect it will with the current lull in violence.

In addition to these claims, there have also been a number of reports regarding violent acts by police and other pro-state elements.

…riot cops attacked at Korai Str in Athens, arresting at least four students. One of the arrestees was a 13 year old girl; nearby journalists who reacted to her brutal arrest were also beaten up heavily.

As well as,

Earlier today, a car with unregistered license plates (i.e. belonging to the undercover police) drove into two students outside a high school in Ilioupolis, Athens, leaving them both injured.

I will leave you with more information regarding the possible neo-Nazi background of the cop who executed Alex, the young Greek boy, and initially started the violence.

As per Indymedia Athens, his family environment and family members, were participating in the right wing ProNAZI gangs during the German occupation in Greece (WWII), collaborating with the NAZI. (Tagmatasfalites). According to Indymedia Athens, his family members after the war and during the Greek civil war joined criminal gangs of “Maganas” and “Katsarea” that massacred the region of Kalamata after the period of Várkiza agreement. The killer Korkoneas was a member of the Core action group of the Pro NAZI Golden Dawn ( Hrysi Avgi) in Kalamata in the late 80s and early 90s. Then joined the Special army Forces (LOK) and in 1999 was one of the first that was recruited to the newly established body of “Special Guards” a special body within the Greek Police. He served in Exarhia and was of those who had the most provocative behaviour for years. The police and especially the MAT and Special Guards have close relations with Fascist organisations and Pro Nazis.








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