Greek riots eyewitness reports - 16 December 2008

Updates through Tuesday on the situation in Greece, including the occupation of the state television station and a roundup of arrests.

Submitted by Steven. on December 18, 2008

22.20 On the fascist provocateurs

This was broadcasted about half an hour ago at a big nationwide TV channel here in Greece. This TV show is one of the most popular shows in Greece, the man that you see is a comedian, but he is also serious when needed.

You may not understand Greek, but you must be blind if you cannot see and understand, that the subject here is that police seems to be cooperating with some unknwon men, who dress and look like anarchists. You can clearly see, men with covered faces and clubs, discussing with police men before the demonstrations. These are exactly the ones, that on Monday the 8th of December, were coming behind police lines, breaking up shops (only shops) and then returning back behind the police...

Our state is currently compensating the bussinessmen and shop owners for the damages made... the damages that the state themselves did but blamed others.

21.18 Other police brutality trial ends
Watch this video

This is old, it is from Thessaloniki, it happened on 17 of November 2007. The guy that is being hit by these police men is a student from Cyprus. This took place during a demonstration.

Before the release of this video, the police theory was that the young man tripped, and fell on a big flower pot, like the ones that normally exist on pavements and pedestrian areas. This video of course uncovered the truth.

Today in Thessaloniki was the trial of the police that were hitting this student. The outcome was a complete joke, 2 of them will be free if they pay around 5000 euro each, the others less as they did not hit him that much ... Let me inform you that this student still has a lot of health and psychological problems because of this attack.

A big number of comrades was outside the courts today in Thessaloniki waiting for the verdict. As you may undestand, after the recent events and what is happening, this trial has an even bigger importance and meaning.... When the court decision was announced, the comrades started attacking the police and riots took place for long outside the courts area but also on the surrounding streets.

In Athens there were demonstrations today in various suburbs, like Brahami, N Ionia, Dafni. Students, school kids, teenagers, various people and comrades attended all these peacefull demos. In Echarxia, a demo was announced outside the police department there, called by the residents of the area. More than 1000 people attended, residents, students and anarchists and demonstrated against the police. The residents demand the police department to close down, police to get disarmed and RIOT police and police "special guards" forces to be demolished. The demo finished peacefully.

At Ilisia, comrades attacked against the police department that exists there. The specific police department is the MAT (Riot police) camp. They threw petrol bombs to the building, and burned 4 police cars and a police bus. One police man was also injured. The police responded with chemicals and stund grenades.

In Syntagma square, as it is happening every day, sit down silent demonstrations are taking place every night.

General assembly meetings on various occupied university departments also took place today, in their vast majority they decided to continue the takeovers. Students belonging to right wing groups (DAP) have been trying to stop the take overs, some of them even moved from department to department and were voting against the occupation is, even if they did not belong to those departments.. Apart from one known occasion (Pantio dept) they did not really manage anything.

#23: Riot police headquarters attacked; state TV station occupied; anarcho-transportation actions continue
Yet another “anarcho-transportation” action took place on Tuesday. These actions, aiming at permanently disrupting the circle of “production-circulation-consumption” have been a huge sucess. Today, when people showed up at the Victoria Station of the Athens metro, passengers were largely receptive to our slogans (”the self-organising of the passengers will mean the end of the ticket inspectors”). The vending machines were glued; all cctv in the station was blocked off.

The riot police headquarters in Zografou, Athens were attacked earlier today, with one riot police van and a few cars burnt.

State-run TV station NET, the Greek equivalent of the BBC, was occupied for a few minutes during the 15:00 news broadcast: Students were shown holding a banner reading “STOP WATCHING - EVERYONE TO THE STREETS!”

The students also distributed a leaflet in the station stating:


Before leaving they also left a text to the TV channel, which I am translating for you below :

Our action is the result of a concentrated pressure that is killing our lifes and not just an emotional "explosion" because of the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos by the police. We are one more collective, a part of the uprising that is taking place.

Against to the propaganda of the Mass Media, we are interfering on the normal programme broadcast of ERT (Greek National Television Company). We believe that the Mass Media are systematically creating fear to the public. Instead of informing they are misinforming. They present this multiform uprising as blind hooliganism.

They try to explain this social explosion with penal and not social terms. They selectively hide real facts. They present an uprising as just one more spectacle before the start for the next soap opera. The mass media are daily transformed to means of oppression of free and creative thought.

We must organize ourselves. No authority can give solutions to our problems. We need to meet with more people. To turn all public places - streets, squares, parks, schools - to areas of free expression. To meet face to face in order to form together our speech and our actions.

We must not fear, we must shut down our TVs, get out of our houses, continue demanding, to take life in our own hands. We denounce police brutality - immediate release of all arrested demonstrators. For our emancipation and freedom

Planed for today: a meeting of the residents of Eksarhia outside the local police station, demanding that the cops leave the neighbourhood. Meetings &anti-police demonstrations in the neighbourhods of Brahami, Sepolia, Petralona, Nea Ionia and Dafni.

06.41 Arrests
An effort to gather information about the total arrests and convictions all over the country from 6/12. Information is by lawyers, comrades, and in some cases the local press/media. Every effort has been taken to include verified information.

ATHENS: 50 immigrants are sure to have been put in pre-trial custody for 18 months in trials where there was no translator/interpreter for them and will likely be deported (immigrant arrests are going on every day and the picture isn't clear yet). On December 11 another 5 were held in pre-trial custody [3 greeks and 2 immigrants] and on December 15 another 4 (according to the University of Economics [ASOEE] occupation blog and comrades).

THESSALONIKI: 21 arrests (3 minors will be tried on February 13th 2009 - the rest, mostly immigrants, were tried in flagrante delicto [in a police or Magistrate's court], convicted and likely no-one is in pre-trial custody, maybe the number of arrests in all the days past is greater -according to the ASOEE blog and comrades).

KOZANI: 34 arrests (3 in pre-trial custody at Grevena prisons - 15 of the 34 arrests were not announced by the cops, only verbally! - at keast 7 minors of which two are Albanian immigrants - an arrestee who was released, being seriously wounded in the face by a tear gas cartridge [he was arrested in the hospital, as were 2 others], was transferred to a hospital in Athens - according to lawyers, comrades and the ASOEE blog).

PTOLEMAIDA: 7 arrests (5 minors, the 2 adults were already tried, convicted and released on parole - no-one in pre-trial custody - according to lawyers and comrades).

LARISA: 19 arrests that will be prosecuted according to the counter-terrorism law (9 of which minors - 4 adults in pre-trial custody, in Korydallos and Avlona prisons - according to lawyers and comrades).

PATRAS: 21 arrests (6 and 15 - 9 minors, probably no-one in pre-trial custody - according to comrades).

CHANIA: 7 arrests (6 minors, 1 adult - no-one in pre-trial custody - according to comrades).

HERAKLION: 18 arrests (all released on bail and restrictive conditions - 4 are adults - the rest are minors who were arrested with their parents, the parents were accused of "neglecting a minor"! - according to comrades).

ZAKYNTHOS: 6 arrests (2 minors, 13 and 16 years old, who were released by orders from the DA - the remaining 4 are a young immigrant woman and 3 men, who will be tried March 19, 2009 for 5 misdemeanors - according to comrade and local press).

VOLOS: 6 arrests (5 minors, they were released and will be tried on a date to be set - the one adult was tried and convicted to 2 years and 10 months for 3 misdemeanors - according to local press and ERT).

Unknown as of yet: Kavala

No arrests were made (although in some, people were taken to the police station but not arrested) in the following town and cities, where marches, clashes or simple protests took place:

Serres, Chalkida, Ioannina, Veroia, Xanthi, Komotini, Alexandroupolis [according to comrades from there].

Drama, Trikala, Karditsa, Florina, Chios, Mytilini, Korinthos, Kefallonia, Lamia, Agrinio, Nafpaktos, Rhodos, Syros, Rethymnon, Leros, Kastoria [according to the media].

compiled by libcom from and