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.




2 responses

20 12 2008
Ethan Lee Vita

Thanks for the continued coverage on the situation. I often use your pieces in discussions with a greek woman I know who isn’t quite convinced either way on the topic despite going to school/working in the middle of the anarchist enclave.

20 12 2008
Royce Christian

You’re most welcome. Since the mainstream media refuses to report fairly, the blogosphere must do what it can. I’m doing my best to keep up, though Andy on the slackbastard blog has this tendency to blog the news before I do. Part of the reason is that I can’t always be on my computer.

I’m also waiting for an update by Deadeye, so I will post either the whole thing or excerpts when he has time to fill us in.

And, if you’re interested, there’ll certainly be interesting times ahead, particularly as while the Greek Anarchists are drawing international attention, there seems to be an increase in activity from far right movements. Check it out.

“While neo-Nazis belonging to Golden Dawn are exhibiting solidarity with their former comrade Epaminondas Korkoneas by lending Greek police a helping hand in Patras (and likely elsewhere), on Sunday (December 14) their German kameraden have upped the ante considerably by stabbing the Passau police chief, Alois Mannichl: politically significant in a way that their usual victims are not. Also of significance is the adoption by Russian neo-Nazis of a tactic usually associated with Islamic terrorists — the production and distribution of graphic accounts documenting the grisly executions of their victims.”


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