Protest marches and occupations and anti-church attacks despite police-state threats in Greece

Police-state threats of extraordinary measures of repression and control fail to hamper social antagonism in Greece.

The week before Easter was marked by rising tension in a wide range of social milieus in Greek cities in a climate of defiance to police-state promises made almost daily by the frail right-wing government. On Monday 7/4 the government called a closed doors security meeting comprising of ministers, high civil servants, head of police and of the army. The council announced the introduction of 1.300 cameras in the capital, the training of a special forces corps of 2.500 ex-underwater destruction and mountain combat units of the Army, to change the legislation concerning academic asylum, to implement severe measures against mask and hood wearing, and to launch a law and order campaign against crime and indiscipline. The issue was the topic of a day-long Parliamentary session two days later, where the government was heckled by the opposition as parochial and a danger to civil rights. The Fascist Party (LAOS) expressed its content stating that the PM speech was in effect a bricolage of its own communiqués of the last few months.

Regarding the change of the academic asylum law, government moves are deemed as no more than spectacular gestures, as this is protected by the constitution that can only be changed one in 8 years (next time in 6 years) and requires a 5/7 majority of parliamentary votes. The principal of the Architecture School of Athens which is housed in the fabled down town Polytechnic rebuked the government when it announced that the Minister of Education and the Mayor of Athens agreed to move the School to the hill campus off the city center. The Architecture Principle claimed that the government and mayor have no authority to agree and decide on such issue, which falls under the complete jurisdiction of the Academic Senate. Accusing the government of irrelevance, he proposed that rather than moving the Polytechnic, the government should move the Parliament out of Athens.

Throughout the week the government has tried to impose a state of fear in the capital through the employment of nightly raids in areas inhabited by immigrants, yet the operational ability of the greek police was once again doubted after a series of attacks against the new motorbike “Delta” police force around Exarcheia.

In this climate of intimidation by the government which now braces itself for early elections after the impeachment of its last MP in majority and ex-minister for fraud, the social antagonistic movement across the country has continued unhampered.

On Wendesday 9/4, a demo harassed the fiesta of the Mayor of Athens, Kaklamanis, heckling him as a mass murdered of trees with relation to the illegal devastation of the Kyprou and Patision park last January, and his continuing attacks against the movements for free public space in Athens. Kaklamanis, a known nostalgic of the monarchy and co-founder of a neofascist organisation in the 1990s, accused the protestors as “parastate” elements, obviously taking recourse to the neonazi conspiracy theory that imagines the Greek state as run by an invisible Marxist clique.

On Thursday 10/4 noon a chain gas-bomb attack against the major churches of Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki stunned the authorities. Though much of the explosives were disarmed by the police, as the guerrillas called the media to forewarn against any civilian injuries, the unprecedented attacks mark a new stage of what is known as “low-key diffuse urban guerrilla warfare” in the Greek metropolises. In a typical anticommunist communiqué, the Greek Orthodox Church has deplored the attacks as a herald to historical events equivalent to the French and the October Revolution leading to “Bolshevik rule”, while the Minister of Public Order reiterated that the Greek State faces a major threat by anarchists. The church forms an integral part of the Greek State, sharing power in many Ministerial Councils, and is the country’s single largest landowner, enmeshed in the recent Vatopedio scandal of land exchanges with other sectors of the State. Throughout the week numerous banks and offices of the Fascist Party (LAOS) were attacked throughout the country by similar methods.

The same day in the evening, a civil rights protest march took to the streets of Athens to protest against the police-state scheming of the government. Later the same day, a passenger boat, Rolanda, was occupied in the harbour of Piraeus by naval workers demanding immediate payment of their salaries. Sever other passenger boat crews have been on strike on the eve of the Greek Easter, demanding better pay and working conditions.

On Friday 11/4 morning, pensioners took to the streets of Athens to protest about the evaporation of pension funds under obscure circumstances.

In addition, in the course of the past week and despite pledges of the persecuting authorities to hit back on political occupations across Greece, two more buildings, an old defunct hospital and a deserted house at the west suburbs of the capital, were occupied by offshoots of the December uprising.

Comments

baddestofthebad
Apr 10 2009 13:31

Appreciate the detailed update - looks like the security measures will be heavy. I had heard previously - I think, yes, another update from taxikipali here:

'lawyers general union against anti-anarchist legislation'

about an 'insult to authority' law (which I know the police union here in Montreal requested, along with a mask ban, from political authorities). I'm wondering if this is part of the package, or if it was dropped. And also, if it looks like the government is going to carry though with its plans to try to evict all of the occupations...