4. Obedience stopped, life is magical

Chronology: December 28-March 4

December 28, 2008: Friends, colleagues, libertarian syndicalists, and anarchists concentrate outside the Athens hospital where immigrant worker and union organiser Konstantina Kuneva is in intensive care.

December 30: The offices of the Trade Unions Center in Thessaloniki is occupied in solidarity with K. Kuneva.

December 31: A thousand anarchists gather outside Korydallos prison to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the prisoners, shooting fireworks, playing loud music, chanting, singing songs together with the people on the inside, and calling for the liberation of those arrested in December and for freedom for all prisoners.

January 1, 2009: Coordinated arson attacks in Athens, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki target banks and car dealerships during the New Year’s celebration. In Thessaloniki protesters attack police with rocks, and police respond with tear gas.

January 5: A few masked gunmen open fire on a riot police unit guarding the Ministry of Culture and Information in Exarchia, seriously injuring one cop. Revolutionary Struggle later claims this and the 23 December attacks. In their communiqué they critique capitalism and call for an armed uprising.

January 9: A student march in Athens planned to commemorate the 1991 killing of Temponeras gathers ten thousand people and turns violent when police attack the anarchist bloc, which fights back. Many protesters and bystanders are injured by police. In Thessaloniki, anarchists trash the offices of OIKOMET cleaning company in solidarity with their employee Konstantina Kuneva.

January 10: The Assembly of Media Workers and others occupy the office of the Editors’ Union of Athens Daily Papers to protest their distortion of the struggle and open a space for counter-information and alternative media.

January 17: Thousands of people protest in solidarity with December’s prisoners in Larissa, the only city where the anti-terror law is used against high school students participating in the riots. The terror charges are subsequently dropped.

January 20: Anarchists in Thessaloniki raise 13,000 euros for a seventy-four-year-o1d woman whose kiosk had been burned down in local riots two months earlier. In Athens, one hundred anarchists attack a fascist anti-immigration protest in Aghios Panteleimonos, a neighbourhood where neo-nazis and fascists will become increasingly active in the coming months, creating their own neighbourhood assembly

January 23: Anarchists and people from the extreme left protesting in solidarity with Konstantina Kuneva attack police guarding a government building in Athens. Farmers block the highway between Athens and Volos, as well as other national highways in northern Greece, protesting the low prices set for agricultural commodities by the European Union. The same week, 1,500 farmers in Crete occupy the Iraklion airport in protest.

January 26: Underestimating the continuing power of the revolt, the mayor of the city orders the cutting of the trees in Patision Park in order to turn the park into a parking garage. The felling of the trees sparks several days of actions and riots, including attacks on two police stations. On the second day neighbours, including anarchists and leftists, take over the park and occupy it permanently replanting trees. SYRIZA attempts to separate the struggle for the park from its context, such as persecution of immigrants in the neighbourhood, and turn it into an isolated issue to win votes. They are subsequently pushed out of the assembly that had formed in the park. Elsewhere in Athens the Assembly for Health, composed of doctors and nurses who participated in the insurrection, occupies the Red Cross hospital cashier’s office for four hours to allow everyone to get health care for free.

January 28: The National Opera Hall of Athens is occupied by artists. The daily assembly draws 600 people and discusses the connections between art, philosophy and insurrection, and every night the street outside is closed down by thousands of people dancing and playing improvisational music. The occupation lasts until February 7.

February 2: In Athens, hundreds of people take part in a torch-lit demo organised by the neo-nazi group Golden Dawn, which is aesthetically modelled on the early marches of the Nazis and Mussolini’s blackshirts. Police protect the march from an anarchist counter-attack.

February 3: Anti-authoritarian armed group Sect of Revolutionaries attacks an Athens police station with gunfire and a grenade. Later in the day farmers in Piraeus clash with riot police.

February 8: Over 2,000 people, mostly Afghani, Iranian, Pakistani, and Balkan immigrants, gather in Aghios Panteleimonos, invited by the activist initiative "We and For All of Us, Here and Now"The event is a huge celebration and feast with speeches and music by immigrants, also attended by many Greeks showing their support.

February 12: The Initiative of Health Industry Workers occupies the entrance and cashier of AHEPA hospital in Thessaloniki, allowing everyone to receive free health care that day and distributing a text against the privatisation of health care.

February 17: Sect of Revolutionaries attacks the TV channel ALTER, shooting up fourteen cars belonging to station journalists, denouncing their manipulation of events and promising that next time, they will pay a visit to their homes.

February 22: Legendary outlaw Vassilis Palaiokostas makes a daring escape from Korydallos prison with a helicopter, along with an Albanian accomplice. This is the second time he has escaped from the same prison this way. Anarchists throughout Greece subsequently begin making stickers and buttons featuring a lone helicopter.

February 24: Unknown assailants, probably fascists or paramilitaries, attack the social centre of the Network for the Defence of Immigrants and Political Prisoners, in Exarchia, with a hand grenade while a meeting is taking place inside. Fortunately no one is injured.

February 27: About sixty students from the high schools of two rich Athens neighbourhoods attack the Athens American College, the private high school where the children of the elite are educated.

March 3: A group of about twenty anarchists, taking advantage of Carnival by wearing masks, carry out a major arson attack against the train station of Kifissia, the richest neighbourhood of Athens, causing sixteen million euros in damage. The attack was in solidarity with Konstantina Kuneva, who worked cleaning the trains. The same day; after Patras port police beat an Afghan immigrant who is trying to hide on a truck going to Italy immigrants riot and clash with police,

March 3: A large protest march in response to the fascist attack against the immigrants’ social center battles police and destroys several banks and luxury shops in Athens.The offices of neo-nazi group Golden Dawn are burned to the ground.