Greek riots eyewitness reports - 12 December 2008

Greek riots eyewitness reports - 12 December 2008

Rundown of the days events of the sixth full day of rioting in Greece, including statements from workers and students in Athens.

Better than guerrilla radio
Anarchists take over the tv station Super B in Patra. They went live at 21.37pm

Part of the broadcast is viewable on youtube here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-a1jCD9sk0

#18, 18:40: 13-year old girl brutally arrested; murderer’s lawyer’s office attacked; high school students keep up the struggle and get targeted

Just about when the demonstration today was reaching its end, 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. Earlier, the office of Alexis Kougias (the murderer’s lawyer) were trashed.

High school students also held fresh demos across the country and neighbourhoods in Athens. The attack of the state’s mechanism on them is in full swing: Earlier today, a car with unregistered license plates (i.e. belonging to the undercover police) drove into two students outside a high school in Ilioupolis, Athens, leaving them both injured.

A more detailed summary of today’s events, hopefully with some thoughts on where things can go from here, will follow once we’ve had some rest!

#17 15.34 ATHENS: Parliament demo ends, retreats to occupied universities

15.34 The demo has ended and we have retreated in the three occupied universities, waiting for the pigs. Outside the law school a jeep is burning. They should be here soon.

15.46 The riot cops approach the law school. They are pelted with stones and molotovs, and retreat. One jeep and one riot cop on fire.

18.01: Let me update you about today's demo in Athens.

A pupil and student demo was organized for 12 o clock today, starting from Propylaia as usual. More than 10000 attended, the vast majority of them school kids and teenagers. It was again an angry demo, the school kids have been proven to be the BEST demonstrators during these days, focused and determined, they really seem that they are on the streets FOR A REASON. During the last 2 days, 25 police departments have been attacked all by school kids and teenagers. This is the best answer to the system and the media, who only talk about "vandals with covered faces" ... Well NO pupil had a covered face at all the demos.

The police was provocative from the very beggining of the demo. Chemicals were continiously thrown during the whole demo, as well as a lot of clashes with the police. They were hitting visiously and throwing chemicals, although we are talking about young school kids....

In Korai str they arrested and visiously hit a 13 years old girl.. A lot of journalists and reporters that were there they were filming them and shouting at them to stop hitting the girl.. The result was chemicals against the reporters and they started beating them... One journalist got badly hit. At a small alley near Panepistimiou str the RIOT police went in, in order to wait for the demo and hit it from the side. The people who were on that alley (the alley is full of cafes) starting shouting at the police to get out of there and a lot starting throwing at them glasses, chairs and stones. They threw chemicals against them but they had to run out of there as they were being attacked a lot. They turned to Panepistimiou str again where people of the public (even random pedestrians) were shouting at them and throwing them stones. Some of them tried to arrest a boy (about 15 years old) who was on the demo (not throwing stones) because he had his head covered (not face just head)..... The public managed to rescue the boy as they pulled him from them. Four pupils were arrested.

A lot of tension started also at Syntagma square, where a lot of chemicals were also thrown as well as stunt grenades. These grenades have been used a lot throughout the week.

Some comrades broke in the office of Mr Kougias, the lawyer of the cop, and trashed it completely. Kougias told the press that these actions are not going to hold him back from defending the cop....

A petrol bomb was thrown against this cop outside the Law Department of the University of Athens as an answer to the "fuck you" gesture that he did a few seconds before, to the comrades that have taken over that building. The other cops around quickly put out the fire and the cop was not injured. This triggered violence around the area of the Law Department for quite enough time.

The demo finished when heavy rainfall started.

A "sit down" demonstration (if I am using this term correctly) was also taking place at Syntagma square. At the beggining the MAT (RIOT police) was there and were trying to create trouble with the demonstrators but it was a peacefull demo so they left. Normal police went to replace them, they stayed at that point for some time and when they realised that the guys were not "terrorists" they left. An another sit down demo has been organized for 10 o clock tonight but I dont know if it will happen because of the rain.

Also a bicycle demo is about to take place today, normally bicycle demos have a lot of crowd but today because of the rain I am not sure how many will be there.

NOTHING IS OVER YET.. WE ARE ONLY IN THE BEGINNING.

NO PEACE NO JUSTICE

#16, 14.13 Student Demonstration at Parliament

14.13 the student demonstration in Athens is large, at least 5-6,000. The high school kids block is an amazing spectacle to watch. They chant “shoot us too!”. We are approaching the parliament now.

14.30 we charge at the cops. They respond with a fuckload of tear gas. People hold. “MURDERERS!” More and more people arrive. There must be at least 10,000 of us.

#15, 12:17 Athens: Business unusual

The ballistic examination report is expected today. “Leaks” in the media the previous days have been suggesting that the report will claim Alexandros was killed by a ricochet and not a direct shot (which is against what every single eye witness says). They have already reached their verdict - but so have we: At the occupied Athens School of Economics and Business, an enormous banner is about to be hanged reading “Cougias” (the lawyer of the murderer), “go ricochet yourself”.

The student demonstration is starting now at Propylea. I’m heading there and will report from the street.

#14, 11:57: Video from Patras, report from besieged Athens police stations

Video from the demonstration in Patras. Just to put this into perspective: The demonstration was called by the (anarchist &leftist) occupation of the “parartima” (branch of the university in the city centre). This was their callout. Under “normal” circumstances, around 100-200 people would respond. These are not normal days we are living, though: 5-6,000 people took the streets in Patras yesterday…

In Athens, as reported yesterday, at least 25 police stations were under siege by school students. The police station of Petroupoli was besieged for more than seven hours and its facade was entirely burnt by molotov cocktails. 3 students were arrested but the crowd succeeded in demanding their release, as happened a bit later when another two students were arrested only to be released again, under the pressure of the people in solidarity outside (these are all according to indymedia reports).

In the early hours, anarchists occupied the mainstream radio station Flash FM, broadcasting their messages for more than half an hour.

“We are in Civil War: With the fascists, the bankers, the state, the media wishing to see an obedient society”

…you would be excused to think that the above extract comes from an anarchist statement; alas, no - it is from the statement issued by the association of employees of the suburb of Agios Dimitrios in Athens. Here’s a rough translation of the statement, as promised. Keep in mind that, as members of the association told some comrades, they tried to keep the style of the text as sober as possible, to ensure the maximum number of people take the streets with them.

STATEMENT

On Saturday night, the Greek police assassinated a 15 year old student.

His assassination was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

It was the continuation of a coordinated action, by state terrorism and the Golden Dawn, which aimed at university and high school students (with the private universities first), at migrants that continue to be persecuted for being born with the wrong colour, at the employees that must work to death without compensation.

The government of cover-ups with its praetors, having burnt the forests last summer, is responsible for all major cities burning now, too. It protected financial criminals, all those involved in the mobile phone interceptions scandal, those looting the employees’ insurance funds, those kidnapping migrants, those who protected the banks and the monasteries that steal from the ordinary people.

We are in Civil War: With the fascists, the bankers, the state, the media wishing to see an obedient society.

There are no excuses, yet they once again try to use conspiracy theories to calm spirits down.

The rage that had accumulated had to be expressed and should not, by any means, end.

Throughout the world we are making headlines, it was about time that people uprise everywhere.

The generation of the poor, the unemployed, the partially employed, the homeless, the migrants, the youth, is the generation that will smash every display window and will wake up the obedient citizens from their sleep of the ephemeral American dream.

Don’t watch the news, consciousness is born in the streets

When the youth is murdered, the old people should not sleep

Goodbye Alexandros, may your blood be the last of an innocent to run

We are here/ we are everywhere/ we are an image from the future

If I do not burn

If you do not burn

If we do not burn

How will darkness come to light?

(Nazim Hikmet, “Like Kerem”)

Clenching fear in their teeth the dogs howl: Return to normality – the fools’ feast is over. The philologists of assimilation have already started digging up their cut-sharp caresses: “We are ready to forget, to understand, to exchange the promiscuity of these few days, but now behave or we shall bring over our sociologists, our anthropologists, our psychiatrists! Like good fathers we have tolerated with restraint your emotional eruption – now look at how desks, offices and shop windows gape empty! The time has come for a return, and whoever refuses this holy duty shall be hit hard, shall be sociologised, shall be psychiatrised. An injunction hovers over the city: “Are you at your post?” Democracy, social harmony, national unity and all the other big hearths stinking of death have already stretched out their morbid arms.

Power (from the government to the family) aims not simply to repress the insurrection and its generalisation, but to produce a relation of subjectivation. A relation that defines bios, that is political life, as a sphere of cooperation, compromise and consensus. “Politics is the politics of consensus; the rest is gang-war, riots, chaos”. This is a true translation of what they are telling us, of their effort to deny the living core of every action, and to separate and isolate us from what we can do: not to unite the two into one, but to rupture again and again the one into two. The mandarins of harmony, the barons of peace and quiet, law and order, call on us to become dialectic. But those tricks are desperately old, and their misery is transparent in the fat bellies of the trade-union bosses, in the washed-out eyes of the intermediaries, who like vultures perch over every negation, over every passion for the real. We have seen them in May, we have seen them in LA and Brixton, and we have been watching them over decades licking the long now white bones of the 1973 Polytechnic. We saw them again yesterday when instead of calling for a permanent general strike, they bowed to legality and called off the strike protest march. Because they know all too well that the road to the generalisation of the insurrection is through the field of production – through the occupation of the means of production of this world that crushes us.

Tomorrow dawns a day when nothing is certain. And what could be more liberating than this after so many long years of certainty? A bullet was able to interrupt the brutal sequence all those identical days. The assassination of a 15 year old boy was the moment when a displacement took place strong enough to bring the world upside down. A displacement from the seeing through of yet another day, to the point that so many think simultaneously: “That was it, not one step further, all must change and we will change it”. The revenge for the death of Alex, has become the revenge for every day that we are forced to wake up in this world. And what seemed so hard proved to be so simple.

This is what has happened, what we have. If something scares us is the return to normality. For in the destroyed and pillaged streets of our cities of light we see not only the obvious results of our rage, but the possibility of starting to live. We have no longer anything to do than to install ourselves in this possibility transforming it into a living experience: by grounding on the field of everyday life, our creativity, our power to materialise our desires, our power not to contemplate but to construct the real. This is our vital space. All the rest is death.

Those who want to understand will understand. Now is the time to break the invisible cells that chain each and everyone to his or her pathetic little life. And this does not require solely or necessarily one to attack police stations and torch malls and banks. The time that one deserts his or her couch and the passive contemplation of his or her own life and takes to the streets to talk and to listen, leaving behind anything private, involves in the field of social relations the destabilising force of a nuclear bomb. And this is precisely because the (till now) fixation of everyone on his or her microcosm is tied to the traction forces of the atom. Those forces that make the (capitalist) world turn. This is the dilemma: with the insurgents or alone. And this is one of the really few times that a dilemma can be at the same time so absolute and real.

11/12/2008 Initiative from the occupation of the Athens School of Economics and Business

#13 What to expect tomorrow (12.12.2008)

Friends call from abroad. “Is it over?” we can only laugh at that idea - What do you mean, is it over? It’s just about to start. Some comrades come back to the Athens School of Economics (our base), carrying incredible stories from the occupation of the town hall of the suburb of Agios Dimitrios in Athens. In a previous post we reported that the town hall was occupied by anarchists. Wrong: The town hall was occupied by the locals, whose statements so far easily overcome the “toughest” of anarchist speech. “This is civil war”, they write. “Alexis, we hope that your blood is the last of an innocent to run”. We’ve got a copy of the entire statement published by the area’s employees committee, and will be translating it tomorrow. It is, quite simply, a historical document.

As for what to expect tomorrow (12.12). There is a callout for yet another mass demonstration in Athens, at noon. A “revolutionary alleycat race” is called for 21:30. Its tag: “Come contribute to the chaos!”. Most university students will be holding department assemblies to decide whether they will proceed with occupations (surely enough, most of them will do so); we expect high school students to keep rocking, as they have all these days (and if information received so far is confirmed, regarding their plans, they might have some awesome surprises for us tomorrow).

“Is this over?” How, exactly, could it be? The murderer if Alexandros shows no remorse and is about to get away with it. The pigs keep provoking. Their political leaders remain unpunished. What single argument, what single reason is there for us to return to normalcy, to forget, to retreat from the streets? None. There is no way back now.

compiled from the posts of Dimitris on urban 75 and from www.occupiedlondon.org/blog