A winter, a thousand Decembers, year two

[Updates on the Greek situation, via Retort.]

To: Retort
From: AP

One year after the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos, Greece is in turmoil. The last days have seen many and recurrent demonstrations: Athens (apprx. 13,000 people), Thessaloniki (8000-10,000), Patras (2500), Ioannina (1500), Heraklion, Xanthi, Zakynthos, Paros, Volos, just to name a few. Police have responded with numerous arrests and heavy use of chemical gasses. The demonstrations have been battlegrounds. On many occasions, Delta forces deliberately ran their motorcycles into crowds hitting and injuring people, severely wounding a sixty-year old woman in one instance; images and videos can be seen in the links below. According to some estimates (occupiedlondon.org), from Saturday 5 December until Monday 7 December at least 823 people have been detained; 159 have officially been arrested and charged, including comrades from abroad. Comrades in Athens reached by telephone and indymedia report that those detained have been refused their right to see a lawyer. Detained foreigners were also unable to seek legal advice and are kept in the Immigration/Alien police department.

The university asylum has been repeatedly undermined in recent days, while the government is pressing for a ban on university asylum through its ministers and mainstream media. Apart from preventing students from entering university buildings and detaining them, special forces entered university premises on several occasions without reason or provocation, most notably in Thessaloniki, making several arrests.

The raid by special forces at the autonomous political/social space Resalto (http://anarxiko-resalto.blogspot.com/) on 5 December led to the arrest of 21 comrades under the Terrorism Act. There is the intention to charge them with the formation of a criminal organization and with making and distributing weapons. Exaggerated mainstream media reports paint the picture of a terrorist cell rather than the open social centre that it actually is. The raid at Resalto at Keratsini led to a spontaneous occupation of the Keratsini Town Hall, which was eventually broken by police forces: 41 people were arrested during the eviction and received misdemeanor charges. Both the raid at Resalto and the arrests have been condemned by Keratsini Municipal Council in a statement, asking for their release.

There has been a lot of talk in mainstream media about the injured rector of the Athens University. According to these reports, the rector was hit and suffered a mild concussion and a minor cardiac episode when demonstrators entered the University Administration Building. A comrade who witnessed the scene states that the rector appeared in a state of shock but was not hit by anyone. This much emphasized injury could still be used as a pretext by the government to allow police into the university.

There are occupations throughout the country including the Athens Polytechnic, Thessaloniki Theatre Department, Kozani Town Hall. More actions and solidarity demonstrations are scheduled in the next days.


December 8, 2009



(see minutes 307” and 532”, where the “delta force” motorcycle cops run two demonstrators over on purpose.)





Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this - currently the object of ZERO coverage from major media outlets. Insurrectionary anarchism goes under the radar when its locus is of little or no strategic and economic importance to U.S. planners.


socialism and/or barbarism said...

Ain't that the truth. Proving once again the incommensurable gap between what matters deeply to some of us (this remarkable moment in Greece, repeated again) and how little is registers to most.

Anonymous said...

that said Greece matters a lot to Europe: check the boom in CDS prices. Someone said something like "if it wasn't about the crisis last year, it is this year." Worker agitation starting. Euro-denominated countries getting edgy. European newspapers giving it its due (albeit filtered through greek ministry of information, skipping things like motorbike assassination attempts et al.

socialism and/or barbarism said...

Yeah, something is different in the air this year (at least insofar as I can catch a glancing whiff of the air from here). If the explosion of the riots last year were fueled by long-term seething discontent of "precarious youth," as well as the active efforts of the already establish anti-authoritarian anarchist scene, it's hard not to see the situation now as necessarily inflected by that persistent, lingering sense of a European project and economy on the mass skids. They'll never report the skidding attacks of Delta Force, but nevertheless, what may start to creep through is that necessary and often opaque link between the violence of an abstract order (financial, democratic, etc) and the real, immediate violence felt by those on the ground.