INTERNATIONAL ANARCHIST MOVEMENT-GREECE:
THE CONTINUING STRUGGLE IN GREECE:
Things are quieter now in Greece, the crest of the rebellion seemingly passed, but "quiet" is a relative term, especially when speaking of a country such as Greece. For many years now demonstrations and occupations have been an almost daily occurrence. One person estimated that demonstrations in Sytagma Square in front of the Parliament building "averaged" about 2 per week. In addition bombings and other anonymous attacks on the state and business have been an almost as frequent occurrence for years as well. What was unique about December of last year was not the occurrence of demonstrations, occupations and other attacks on the state but rather the scale of what was occurring.
Here, from Athens Indymedia is a report on the continuing struggle in Greece, up to January 6.
Greece: 25/12 to 6/1 reports:
This is an update on the most critical events of the past two weeks in Greece
It is true, I haven't made any posts for a long time now, but that doesn't mean that things in Greece are dead. On the contrary. I will try to give you an update on the most critical events on the past two weeks.
Attack against Konstantina Kuneva:
On the 23rd of December, Konstantina Kuneva, a Bulgarian migrant worker in Athens and the secretary of the Union of Housekeepers and Cleaners, was attacked with sulfuric acid in front of her home by two men. She was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition. She has burns on her face, head, hands and back and there is a possibility that she will lose her sight. The events before the attack and the testimonies of her fellow unionists and workers show clearly this is an act of punishing her for her involvement in the union. [read more here: http://clandestinenglish.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/konstantina-kuneva-attacked-with-acid/ ]
After the attack, there has been a series of acts of solidarity with Konstantina and against the cleaning company she works for (OIKOMET). OIKOMET is known for sub-letting workers (mostly migrants), who have to work under terrible conditions, paid less than agreed etc. One of the big customers of the company is ISAP (the public rail transport system of Athens) so some of the actions were against ISAP as well. Here is a list (not complete) of the actions:
12/26 Athens: Gathering outside the hospital.
12/27 Athens: Occupation of the offices of ISAP (read: http://katalipsihsap.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/solidarity-to-konstantina-kuneva/ )
12/28 Athens: Demonstration to the hospital
12/29 Athens: Action in a central ISAP station, demonstration and clashes with the police guarding the company's office.
12/30 Thessaloniki: Occupation of the offices of the Trade Unions Center (read: http://clandestinenglish.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/thessaloniki-trade-unions-center-occupation-texts-in-solidarity-with-kkuneva-and-decembers-prosecuted/ )
12/30 Thessaloniki: Demonstration12/31 Athens: Action in central ISAP station
1/3 Athens: Demonstration in Petralona, ticket canceling machines and cameras were smashed (photos: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=960766 )
1/5 Thessaloniki: Demonstration (Photos: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=962264 )
Israeli attack in Gaza
On the 26th of December, as you all know, the Israeli army started a full scale attack on Gaza and protests against the war were triggered all over the world. Same in Greece.
Again, here are some (not all) actions that took place against the war so far:
12/29 Athens: Gathering outside the Israeli embassy. The protesters (500-1000) were attacked by the riot cops guarding the embassy using tear gas. They made some arrests, including one of a young migrant from Syria who broke the police lines and got the Israeli flag down.
12/31-1/1 Athens: Gathering at Sintagma square against the war minutes before the New Year's.
1/3 Athens: Demonstration of 5000people. Protesters threw rocks to the embassy and the to the cops guarding it. The cops fired tear gas.
1/4 Athens: Demonstration of 4000people. Clashes with the cops and some banks smashed (Photos: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=961117#961401 )
Smaller scale protests took place in other cities.
Prisoners support and actions on New Year's
Gatherings outside prisons across the country just before the New Year in solidarity with the prisoners. Many banks, cars and party offices were attacked and there were some clashes with the police.Full article with links to photos and videos:
Actions against consumerism and capitalism
Christmas trees placed in central squares across the country for Christmas celebration were burned as symbolic acts against the apathy and so that people won't forget the murder of young Alexandros.
12/29 Athens: Protest inside the biggest and illegally built mall. 150 protesters with banners took the isles of the shopping mall and shouted slogans. Photos: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=959200http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=959215http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=959228
The slogans on the banners read: “what will be the next sale on our lives”, “work, vote, and shut up”, “shut up and shop”, “I shop therefore I exist”, “work, buy, consume, die” and more.
28/12 Athens: On Sundays the stores are closed in Greece but since it was the last Sunday of the year, some shop owners decided to keep them open, demanding their employees to go to work. Some hundreds of anarchists and leftists gathered outside stores in downtown Athens to keep the stores, if not closed, then with no customers. They shouted slogans and prevented people from going in.
1/3 Xanthi and Kavala: Big chain grocery shops were attacked by anarchists who filled carts with food, cooking oil and other goods, left and gave them away to people shopping in nearby people's markets (farmers markets)
More actions that took place during the 2 last weeks for the murder of Alexandros and in solidarity with the arrestees:
Arson attack against a minister's car.
Soundsystem set up to transmit messages and read communiques and demands in Holargos (Athens), Larisa and Kozani
Occupation of the townhalls in Nauplio and Agrinio, the municipal radio station in Xanthi and Poligiros and of a central cultural space in Athens (Irida).
Gatherings or demonstrations in Ptolemaida, Larisa (300 people), Kalamaria, Arta and Xanthi.
There have been also some attacks/arsons against banks and luxurious cars.
On the night of 1/2, 50 or so people attacked the riot squads guarding the PASOK's offices in Exarhia with molotov coctails. The cops threw tear gas.
A small group threw molotov coctails against the police station in Gianena. Three people were arrested.
More arrests took place in Prolemaida, when the cops detained 12 people gathering to demonstrate. Four people were arrested later when they went to the police station to demand their release, 2 are parents of people initially detained.
Unfortunately the number of the arrests is huge. From from 12/06/08 to 12/21/08: Arrests: 246 - detained/ pretrial custody: 66 (full report: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=958127 )
Shots against riot police and police state in Athens
In the small hours of 1/5, around 3am, there were shots fired in Exarhia. Shortly afterwards it was made known that there was an attack against members of a riot squad guarding the ministry of culture and that a cop was seriously injured.
Immediately after the attack, Exarhia were turned into a police state. Hundreds of riot and plain cops were all around the area, detaining anybody who was on the streets. They drag people out of bars and detained. They even detained people who worked at the bars at that time! The cops were very provocative, making people to strip down to search them and they beat up some. All detained, were transferred to police stations, held there for several hours and most of them were released later that morning. The media says 72 people were detained but they might be more that 100.
When the day came, cops invaded into 10 or so houses to search and detain the residents. All the people detained are “usual suspects” since they are active in the anarchistic movement or had previous arrests.
During the whole day, every street in Exarhia was full of cops and riot cops, like an occupation army, provoking and threatening people. At night, the social space Nosotros was blockaded by riot cops but they didn't raid. Around 150 people gathered to protest and protect those inside.
The raids were carried on on Tuesday. Of all the people detained there have been 8 arrests. It's not yet clear but apparently some of the arrested on the first night and some after searching their houses the next day. None of the arrests is related to the shooting. They are charged with weapon possession for items like gas cans, sledgehammer, gas masks, knives, fireworks. In one of the houses they said they found a bullet and in the attic of cafe an old pistol.
The police use “leaks” towards the media to associate the attack with anarchists of the Exarhia area and to justify the raids, the attacks and the arrests against the movement. Comment taken from http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/ :
"The idea that whoever shot the cop would chose to hide in Eksarhia, or would be active in one of the most public and well-known anarchist groups in the city is absurd, to say the least. What is happening in Athens and Eksarhia in particular at this moment is an obvious attempt by the police to predetermine a connection between the shooting and the movement that has been confronting them en mass for the past few weeks .
During the day, the police claimed that 31 shots were fired against the cops and that there were two guns used: an AK-47 and an MP-5. The AK-47 said is the same that fired against a riot police van on 12/24th and the MP-5 was used in 2007 by the revolutionary organization “Revolutionary Struggle”. The cop that was hurt is recovering. It is odd however that right after the attack it was said that the cop had died, they later said he was critically injured and in the end that he had two wounds, one in his leg and one in his armpit. A revolutionary organization fires 31 bullets against a bunch of cops and hit one of them in the leg and armpit? There was a comment in the Greek Indymedia saying “it seems like they were trying to miss”...Oh and the ballistic tests came out in half a day, when in the case of the murder of Alexandros it took 2 weeks.
It is greatly believed that whoever fired those shots against the cops, is not from inside the movement, since an act like this can only harm it. “Was the riot cop shooting orchestrated by the state?” read it here: http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2009/01/05/was-the-riot-cop-shooting-orchestrated-by-the-state/"
1/6 A month after the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos
Residents of Exarhia had called a gathering at the place Alexandros was shot a month ago, demanding the police to leave. More than 1000 people gathered and after the cops retreated towards the police station there was a small demonstration on the streets of the neighborhood.
At the late hours there was a series of attacks:
The police station of Patisia (Athens) was attacked with rocks and molotov cocktails. Two banks, a Starbucks and some offices of the ruling party were also attacked.