Pointing out inaccuracy in reports on Greece

21 03 2010

The following article was posted by BBC world news at 04:34 GMT, Saturday, 20 March 2010

Greece bomb hits Pakistani leader’s home in Athens

Police officers in Athens, 19 March

It was the second blast police responded to in as many days

A bomb has exploded outside the home of a Pakistani community leader in the Greek capital Athens – the second blast in the area in less than 24 hours.

Police said there were no injuries, but some damage was done to the entrance of the apartment building and three cars.

On Friday, a bomb damaged the office of a far-right anti-immigration group.

No group has said it carried out the attacks, but there have been numerous bombings attributed to far-left or anarchist groups in recent years.

Recent attacks have targeted banks and government buildings.

Greece has faced severe anti-government protests and rioting since police shot dead a teenager in December 2008.

Completely ignoring the fact that bomb attacks are going on for a moment, let me just take the time to point a few inaccuracies and shady imputations in the above article.

Firstly, I’d like to point out the use of the sanitised description of the Golden Dawn as ‘a far-right anti-immigration group.’  For a start, any one who has read my blog in the past will know that the Golden Dawn is an ultra-nationalist fascist organisation that routinely attacks immigrants, Anarchists, and individuals in general opposition to their platform.  They are notoriously violent and have been known to have murdered people in the street for throwing away their pamphlets.

Second, the following paragraph mentions that so far no group as claimed responsibility for the attacks, but oh so politely mentions that far-left and Anarchist (read: murdering, rapist, baby-snatching, shit crazy Anarchist thugs) have carried out ‘numerous‘ bombings in recent years.  This is a technique that triggers the reader to jump to a conclusion, or, ‘fill in the blanks'; it positively must have been those satanic Anarchists attacking the Pakistani community leaders house.  Never mind that the far greater likelihood is that those who attacked the Pakistani community leader’s house are the un-named Golden Dawn carrying out reprisals.

Thirdly, the use of the phrase ‘police shot dead a teenager’ is ambiguous.  Sure, its background information, but it doesn’t provide the context; two police officers murdered a teenage boy.  Yeah, that’s no reason for those silly Greek peasants to be angry.

UPDATE: Taxikapeli, reporting on LibCom.org writes,

The bomb attacks come after more than a month of a lull by urban guerrilla groups which has launched a winter offensive during December and January. It must be noticed that the small bomb that hit the house of the vice-president of the Pakistani community yesterday is widely considered to be related to the Pakistani secret services (due to the fact that it has been proceeded by the assassination of an embassy official of Pakistan) and not to domestic armed struggle.

Folk Singer attacked in Greece

4 10 2009

When Greece erupted into riots after the shooting of a 15 year old by a Athenian cop, I was amazed at the nonchalance quite a few self-labelled ‘Libertarians’ took to the events.  Amazingly, some ‘Libertarians’ argued that the 15 year old brought the shooting on himself and claimed the riots were entirely unjustified.  There was something insulting about the tone of such people.  Apparently, it was propaganda to correct statements made by the Greek Government and Mainstream Media that slandered the victim by claiming that he (and thirty others wearing hoods and armed with molotov cocktails) attacked the cop first, despite the eye witness accounts and video footage that showed no violent crowd.  It was more or less asserted that ‘the Greeks reacted unreasonably‘ to an incident that the ‘kid brought upon himself’.

That being said, much time has passed since then.  Lest people forget, what I want post here was an article picked up by LibCom.org and reported in the Athenian Indymedia about an attack on a young Greek Folk singer.  I want to repost this story because it illustrates, perfectly, what the Greek Anarchists and others who took part in the unrest are tasked with opposing and how ill-informed (to put it politely) those critics were.

Athens Indymedia:

Greek neonazi fascists para-state thugs used extreme sexist violence against a defenceless young lady in Athens, spraying her face for refusing to read their flyers, while the nearby police car did not intervene. The woman is still in hospital.

At 1 Octover 2009 in Greece, midday, about 30 neonazi thugs, members of the Chrysi Avgi para-state fascist organisation, gathered around the Katechaki Metro station in Athens to distribute their propaganda and put up hate-speech banners, all handling Greek flags.

A young lady, singer and artist Sofia Papazoglou, happened to be at that Metro station and the fascists forced her to get one of their flyers, which after she recognised as racist she threw it away in a trash bin a few metres away from them, without provoking them. Immediately, however, 10 (ten) para-state neonazi sexist thugs attacked the defenceless woman using extreme violence and spraying her face, in front of Metro employees.

The nearby police car did not intervene at all, allowing the neonazis to finish their sexist attack against an innocent artist. The defenceless young woman was taken to a hospital after Metro employees called an ambulance, and she is still being taken care of there. Her vision is still not completely resumed.

The ANTARSYA and EEK(Trotskyists) political parties immediately published communiques in support of the victim of this sexist attack by para-state fascists.


Sofia Papazoglou, folk singer

Sofia Papazoglou, a popular folk singer was attacked by members of the Golden Dawn neo-nazi party in Athens after throwing election leaflets handed to her in the garbage. The singer remains hospitalised with serious burns from use of unidentified acid spray and with impaired vision.

Sofia Papazoglou, a popular folk singer of the “entehno” genre known for her progressive politics was attacked on Thursday 1st of October outside the metro station of Katehaki, in Athens, by ten members of the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn when she threw election leaflets handed to her by the thugs in the garbage. The Golden Dawn was created in the 1980s by the convicted neo-nazi bomber Mihaloliakos at the orders of the imprisoned head of the military junta of 1967-1974 Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos. Since, the Golden Dawn has been waging a campaign of terror against the left wing and anarchists as well as immigrants, people of color and jews. Nevertheless, as it comes under the explicit protection of EYP, the greek secret services (the daily eleftherotypia has published a pay-sheet of Mihaloliakos by EYP), the neo-nazi group has never been persecuted and is allowed to participate in national elections. As a clear indication of the above patron-client relation with the secret services, the election campaign booth of the neo-nazis was placed this year directly under the headquarters of the EYP, in Katehaki avenue, a few meters away from the main riot police camp of the greek capital. When Ms Papazoglou threw the racist leaflets in the bin, ten thugs attacked her with a still unidentified acid spray in the eyes and then proceeded to beat her up savagely. The police did not intervene and the folk singer was taken to hospital after the intervention of metro workers. Half an hour later the neo-nazis were dispersed by anarchist who arrived at the spot upon hearing the news of the new vicious attack.

Ms Papazoglou remains in hospital with impaired vision and serious burns and bruises on her body. The Golden Dawn denies involvement in the incident, decrying it as “rumors spread by dirty jews and freemasons” and “protectors of ecologists and greens”…

State sponsored terror in Greece

16 07 2009

The last few days has seen many reports come in of violent actions against immigrants in Greece at the hands of ultra-nationalist organisations operating with what appears to be the consent of the Greek government.

As reported by Infoshop:

The rapid nazification of the Greek state took off last weekend with the violent evacuation and torching of the large Afghan immigrant settlement in Patras, shooting of immigrants in Omoinoia square and institutionalised torture of Pakistanis in the island of Simi.

The Greek state’s response to the December Uprising and the politicisation of immigrants across the country has solidified in a programme of nazification that includes open endorsement of neo-nazi vigilante combat groups, a series of the most repressive laws seen since the junta, and open attack against both the social antagonistic movement and immigrants across the country.

On early Saturday 11/7 morning armed nazi scum riding a car drove by the heavily policed Omonoia square in down town Athens and opened fire on bystander immigrants near the offices of the Golden Dawn neo-nazi party. Three wounded immigrants were taken to hospital and are out of danger. Later the same night nazi scum set fire on Palio Efetio, the Old Appeal Court opposite their offices which is being squatted by immigrants and is being vilified by the bourgeois press.

The same day, the Pakistani Community denounced yet another incident of institutionalised stripping and torture committed by the fascist greek police in the island of Simi. For 8 hours Wassim Sanjat, Mazhjar Ali and Mohamet Ali were tortured: cops tortured Wassim by “placing a gun on his head, beating him with a glob and iron stick on the soles of his feet (a torture loved by the junta called phallanga) and on his bottom and stripping him again and again. The other two persons were severely beaten. The Pakistani Community demands the immediate punishment of the torturers-policemen.

In the early hours of Sunday 12/7 strong riot police forces surrounded the big Afghan immigrant settlement in Patras, cordoning off the area. The riot policemen then moved to evacuate the thousands of asylum seekers using maximum force, while bulldozers moved in to demolish their houses.During the evacuation operations, the settlement was ‘mysteriously’ set on fire, and torched to the ground. The settlement is believed to have been housing more than 2,000 Afghans and has been repeatedly targeted by fascists receiving the solidarity of a wide spectrum of progressive social forces in the city of Patras. The Red Cross has condemned the evacuation and torching of the settlement as ‘terrorist’. The Communist Party (KKE) has condemned the attack as barbaric and the Coalition of Radical Left as ‘beastial’ and ‘criminal’. The evacuated immigrants are held in concentration centers of zero hygienic facilities, host to continuing greek police torture and brutality.

The nazification of the Greek state which is endorsing parastate groups to ‘clean and patrol’ areas comes in a climate of acute social antagonistic upheaval. Besides the continuing resistance locals of Grammaticos villages who rose against the construction of an open refuse dump in their area, erecting barricades and clashing with the police, last week saw a series of dynamic antifascist antiracist protest marches against State-nazi attacks against immigrants. At the same time, on the early hours of Saturday the house of the ex-Minister of Public Order (active during the December Uprising and Alexis Grigoropoulos assassination by the police) and ex-chief of the Greek Army, General Hinophotis, was bombed with a strong explosive device after prior warning call to the press. A few hours later earlier yet another armed attack against riot police forces occurred near the HQ of PASOK with no victims On the early morning Sunday, following the surge of State-fascist attacks the HQ camp of the riot police (MAT) in Athens came under attack by protesters which piled the riot policemen with stones leading to a half hour battle.

Additionally, the Greek state is making moves to shut down the Greek independent media:

A period of State widespread repression and brutality followed after the December 2008 Rebellion. Members of fascist parties of the right and the extreme right of the parliament have launched hacking attacks against the IMC of Athens. The former National Hellenic Telecommunications Organization sent a legal document for the National Network of Research and Technology, requesting the interruption of access of the Athens IMC in optic fiber network in five days. We ask you, if you can host the Internet sites of the IMC of Athens and Patras on your server.

A period of State widespread repression and brutality followed after December 2008 Rebellion. During and after the rebellion, the political party of extreme right wing LAOS (Popular Orthodox Party Alert) and the Greek state decided to press the IMC of Athens and Patras, on the grounds that they were used as centers for the coordination of Rebellion (no rebellions may, of course, be conducted via the Internet), deliberately ignoring the contribution of IMC to the counter-information.

Members of fascist parties of the right and the extreme right of the parliament have launched attacks against the IMC of Athens. The fascists tried to foist their propaganda about the government right through their blogs, and they are trying to block access to the site by attacks made by hackers. The statements of politicians at parliament and on television make the IMC as a major enemy of the state.

The most dangerous movement was the appeal sent to the Minister of Education by K. Velopoulos, a member of LAOS. He asked the Minister of Education if the IMC of Athens and Patras were housed in the Athens Polytechnic University (UPA) and demanded immediate action to stop these “dangerous” sites from “supporting terrorism” and so on.

The Secretary of Education, S. Taliadouros, readily agreed to Velopoulos that “these sites claim to be a threat to democracy” and asked the director of the UPA to close it. Ignoring the status of autonomy of Greek universities, all sorts of political and judicial pressures were put into practice on the university authorities to remove our IP address. We are aware that even if the university is up against the decisions of the ministry there are other ways in which they can close it.

A member of the extreme right party, LAOS, launched a new attack against the IMC of Athens. He asked a question in parliament saying that the Polytechnic University of Athens provides access to Independent Media Athens and that has nothing to do with research and education.

The former National Hellenic Telecommunications Organization sent a legal document for the National Network of Research and Technology, requesting the interruption of access of the Athens IMC in optic fiber network in five days. The Organization said it will use all legal means against the National Network of Research and Technology if it does not stop giving access to IMC of Athens.

The status of social freedoms of all Greek universities prohibits the entry and police intervention in the university to prevent the application of State authority and censorship in academic activities and policies as well as in the ideas that flourish in universities. The status was claimed and defended for years by the vast majority of people and the blood of many.

The only law that can be used by the State to break the civil liberties of the university and close the IMC of Athens is the anti-terrorism legislation (passed in 2001). Given the fact that young companions (some of them under age) were accused by the law during the Rebellion of December 2008 in Larissa (the first time it was applied to the demonstrators), shows this as a likely scenario.

For all these reasons we ask you if you can host the Internet sites of the IMC of Athens and Patras on your server. We must preserve them, especially when they are closed or are near to be closed, and to react against censorship and promote freedom of information.

The IMC of Athens and Patras (along with other European and IMC revolutionary Internet sites that are hosted on the same server) face a serious threat of prosecution. It is the responsibility of the whole movement and of all of our partners to get support of the world and protect our voice. We call all the companions of the world to be prepared because the next period is critical to the existence of the IMC in Greece.

With our warmest greetings of companionship!

IMC of Athens and Patras

Other stories worth reading can be found here and here.

Foreign Correspondent in Greece

23 06 2009

Moments ago a report by Foreign Correspondent ended and the particular subject of the report was Greece.  Over all, while I think it’s mentioning of the word ‘Anarchist’ presented a chance for exposure to Australian audiences, the report, ironically enough, lack any explanation of what Anarchists stand for.  Any discussion of the Anarchists was a discussion from a position of the old commenting on what amounts to a caricature of Anarchists as ‘rebellious youths’, which is the only impression you can get when you interview cops, a university professor, a teenage boy, a politician — practically anyone but someone who ascribes to the Anarchist ideology.

While I must give credit in the attempts of the reporter to give  a description of what has happened in Greece since the shooting of Alexandros, somehow the report itself fell short and left me feeling angry.  There was much discussion of the damage the Anarchists have caused in the riots since the end of last year, the street fights with police and much footage of the riots, giving the impression that this is what the Anarchists have to offer.  There was no discussion of the ultra-nationalist efforts calling for racial purity and the ousting of immigrants, or the collaboration between ultra-nationalist groups and the Greek police.  There was no mention of the defence Anarchists have given to immigrants that have sufferred attacks by these groups.

I think, however, the biggest critique I can offer of the coverage was in their explanation of the terrorist groups, Revolutionary Struggle, to which the foreign minister of Greece offerred this comment;

“I believe this is the worst fascist ideology. It has nothing to do with any values, it has nothing to do with any political thinking, it’s pure violence, so we are facing it again after November 17.”

The irony of it all is there is no distinction made in the report between Revolutionary Struggle, the group conducting all the bombings and murders, and the Anarchists on the street working in solidarity with immigrants.  Revolutionary Struggle, from my information, operate on a militant Marxist-Leninst ideology which it has inherited from November 17.  Unfortunately for the minister who seems to have her ideologies mixed up, this group ain’t fascist and unfortunately for the reporter, they ain’t Anarchist.  Golden Dawn are the fascists along with the nationalistics in the Greek government and Revolutionary Struggle are Leninists.  Yet the way in which the story was reported allowed Revolutionary Sturggle to bleed together with the mention of the Anarchists, never mind they each have a distinct set of ideas — chiefly that the Anarchists are not about to potentially blow up an entire block.

My last and final complaint is that the cover-up following the shooting of Alexandros was non-existent, instead merely confined to almost a footnote in the tale.

Although I suppose I may be mistaken as there is potential that future reports will elaborate more on the situation.  Not to mention I doubt we can expect much more from the media — at least the term ‘self-described’ Anarchist didn’t appear.

PS:  I’ll post the report at a later date so everyone and anyone can judge whether I’ve over-reacted or not.  It’s not yet up on the Foreign Correspondent website.


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