Tasos Sagris from Void Network / Laboratory for Kosmo-Politikal Consciousness
The street had its own history,
someone wrote it on the wall with paint,...
It was just a word FREEDOM...
but the passerby said it was only written by the children.
- fragment from “The Street”, a greek song from the struggle against the dictatorship in the '70s.
The street has its own history It doesn’t need historians, it doesn’t need intellectuals or sociologists to speak in its name. Nobody can write the History of December 2008 and we assure you that a project like this is beyond our capabilities or intentions.
Just as we don’t have any official history of the Paris Commune or the Spanish Revolution this is not the History of the Greek Insurrection. Through fragments, rumours, myths, and stories the social insurrection finds its way directly into the hearts and the minds of the common people of the future.
Many years after our time a young girl or boy will find a fifteen—second video on the Internet from Greece, December 2008, a moment captured on a cell phone, a barricade in the middle of the street, a group of fifteen-year-old friends attacking the riot police with molotovs in their hands, amidst a fog of tear gas taking revenge for the assassination of a schoolmate, someone they didn't know at all, but he was one of them, and now they avenge him.
The girls and boys of the future will hear through rumours and myths that the Greek youth revolted for more than a month because of the police assassination of a young boy that they smashed, looted, and burned hundreds of police stations, banks, offices, government buildings, and luxury shops all across the country They will hear that the anarchists, the autonomists, the utopians, the naive romantics, and the leftists took part in this struggle. They will hear that the immigrants fought also, for their own reasons, against police brutality and racism.
The history of our times is written in short notes posted on Indymedia during the fight - short videos and photos taken by people who created these stories and were among the fighters. It is written by people who felt the panic of the riot, the pain in the lungs from the tear gas, people who ran in the streets, smashed the symbols of this civilisation, burned away their fears and faced down the danger of participating on the front line of the battles of our times.
Hence, this book is just a fifteen—second video shot with a cell phone in the middle of the riots, it’s just a story you heard on a train going from Paris to Barcelona, it’s just a memory of the smile of a boy on a beach in Greece, it's just a wave on the ocean of global struggle for liberation from capitalist democracy for the end of exploitation, the end of alienation, the end of suffering.
We say this clearly to you: this is not the book of the history of the Greek insurrection of December 2008. It is just our effort to share with you the experience before it fades away it is our walks in the empty streets of Athens one year after the revolt and our few memories that get lost in the night, it is a tear for Alexis long after his assassination, it is our hatred for any state and any police and any army of this planet, the hate that gets stronger and stronger every day it is the rage that becomes a book or a barricade or a stone in your hand. This is not the history of the December 2008 riots, the real history is hidden inside the hearts of those who fought the battle.
But we hope this book can be a thunderclap in the silent night of social apathy, a howl of craziness in the middle of a luxury shopping mall, it can be the sound of a smashing window, the smell of gasoline on your hands. Maybe it can be an image from the future. But this is up to you.
Because you are the future of this world and the revolutions that come will be the story of your life, not a narration, not just history but the story of our lives...