From the Greek Streets (May 25th, 2010 -)
Totalitarianism does not always come with a bang: it’s not shiny military vehicles on parade every time; cinematic take-overs of the presidential house, or crazy-eyed generals barking during emergency TV broadcasts. Sometimes, it seems, things can be far more subtle. The raid of a “fringe anarchist occupation” here, some extra police patrols there. And there. And there. And there…
The democratic state, as any state, is inherently violent: of this we have no illusions. And yet what has been happening in Greece as of recently is extraordinarily even by the measures of order imposed by the greek state. The current regime had never completely broken its ties with the dictatorship it supposedly replaced in 1974, to be sure – and so brute force has never really been that well masked behind the democratic façade. Yet still: an anarchist occupation is evicted twice, then has its doors built up (the Zaimi Occupation in early May, in Athens). Anarchists and anti-authoritarians currently in prison at are a record high in decades, at least (18 in total, by our last count)… Police “visit” anarchist spaces, leftist offices, preventing those inside from exiting or going to the general strike demonstration (Athens, May 20th). “Pre-emptive action” has now become the rule.
Under a thick veil of media silence, the Greek state is, discreetly but quickly, transforming itself into an even more totalitarian structure. A fear of what is to come? A desperate attempt to keep the most “subversive” of the population off the streets – the same streets where, time and time again, change has started from?
If something scares them the most, is the public defiance of their rule. Heckled ministers and demonstrators taking on the police. If something worries them, is any attempt to crack the “national unity” façade: the image of hundreds of thousands taking to the streets doesn’t sit to comfortable with the “we are all in this together” mantra, despite the Greek PM’s most desperate attempts…
…to the streets, then: to make our rage public, to cancel out any attempt for totalitarianism to creep further into our lives. This blog started just over eighteen monts ago, out of a spontaneous need to cover what had been happening in the Greek streets after the assassination of Alexis by the cops. Some six-hundred days later, three-hundred (and something) blog posts more, the blog is still here; our need to be out on the streets and to communicate from there is stronger than ever.
… from the streets, then: right from where social war rages, where the national unity façade is shattered, from where we take our lives, finally, in our own hands!
After the Greek Riots (July 8th, 2009 – May 25th, 2010)
A few bullets fired by a cop and a kid lying dead on the street. Cities burn for weeks. For the spectacle-hungry media machine, the story begins and ends here. All else, before and after, is void. Follow the corporate media and the Greek revolt died a long, long time ago. What’s happening in Greece at the moment? What’s the revolt’s legacy, where did all that energy go? Why should you care, screams the media machine, haven’t you heard? The revolt has died. And, even more importantly, The King is dead!
Back on the ground, of course, the revolt is far from dead. Its legacy is very much alive, getting inscribed deeper day after day. The police, having ridden itself from the burden of neutrality, can openly cooperate with fascist thugs, who feel confident enough to throw molotov cocktails against demonstrators in solidarity with undocumented migrants (Athens, July 8). Undocumented migrants, in turn, are explicitly the aim of the most recent wave of state repression: “First we’ll go for the migrants, then for the anarchists”, as the minister of public order so eloquently put it. Even he seems to be unable to catch up with the events: the only December demonstrator still in prison is held (still without trial) precisely because he is an anarchist and therefore consists “a threat to democracy” (wording of the court of misdemeanours, Athens, July 8).
The greek state seems conscious in that it cannot take another revolt of the size of December’s – and determined in not allowing this to happen.
Under this wave of repression, solidarity links are more important than ever. Armed with the experience of December, with the certainty that the return to normality is not option. Armed with a belief in a more just world – and not much else. Democracy has chosen its enemies: The migrants, the anarchists, all the outsiders unable or unwilling to fall back in line.
Having reported on December’s revolt and its immediate aftermath, this blog will now go on to cover everyday life in Greece as it is today. Expect eye-witness reports from everyday struggles, from the demonstrations in Athens (mostly) and in other cities across the country. Reports on the hunger strike of Thodoros Iliopoulos, the last prisoner of the revolt.
Please don’t expect any “impartial” reports (as if these could ever exist). This is an anarchist take on the situation in the country. A democracy that wages war on migrants and anarchists; a democracy armed with fascist thugs, with molotov cocktails and hand grenades; a democracy producing the silent death of the concentration camp (a silence reproduced and amplified by the media machine) is a democracy worth fighting against. Let’s make some noise.
On the Greek Riots (December 8th, 2008 – July 8th, 2009)
On the night of December 6th, police shot 15-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in cold blood in the Eksarhia district of Athens. Since that night, Athens and tens of other greek cities have been burning.On the same night, up to 10,000 people took the streets of Athens on a spontaneous demonstration, burning and smashing banks, ministries and multinational shops. Ever since, tension has been increasingly escalating: universities are occupied, as are most of the high schools in the country. Barricades are being put up around Athens; clashes with the police are constant.
On Tuesday, 9.12, the funeral of Alexandros is taking place and a general strike is called for Wednesday the 10th – a day both sides are building up for.
The purpose of this blog is to provide up-to-date information on the Greek riots, directly from the streets. Authors are contributing from the Greek cities of Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras.
The updates will be irregular and as frequent as permitted, given the circumstances. The updates will be mostly text-based. Confirmed reports will be presented as such – and so will rumours. We are not journalists and we are not objective; we chose sides in the social war a while ago.
In memory of Alexandros Grigoropoulos.
The struggle of humanity against authority, as always, continues.