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.




One response

23 12 2008
Paul Sava

First of all, I must mention that I speak from the position of a (still) social-liberal. I recently started to be sympathetic towards the European factions that challenge the way in which the Western liberal democracy works (the anarchists, the anti-globalization activists, the anti-consumerism people, the Green and the socially muted groups).
I think the main problems with democracy are these:
1. Generally speaking, a low confidence in the crippled institutions of democracy.
2. The global financial crisis started by the greedy corporate managers in the States.
3. Low employment rates among Greek, and not only, youth. The ambition of getting a financially secure situation is a distant prospect.
4. The low and middle class people are increasingly dissatisfied with their communication with the elected politicians.
5. Young people, in fact all protesters, don´t feel integrated in a consumerist society which lacks solidarity and spiritual purposes.
6. Our European leaders were extremely arrogant towards the Irish refusal towards the Lisbon Treaty because they felt like that document weren´t in their best interest or they even haven´t got any idea of its principles.

Would you be interested in having a link exchange? I post your blog on my blog and you mine on yours.

Paul S.

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