Greek riots eyewitness reports - 17 December 2008

Accounts on the mass struggle in Greece of Wednesday, including banners on the Parthenon and the occupation of the main workers union headquarters.

Submitted by Steven. on December 18, 2008

#24, 15:18: General confederation of workers building occupied; Acropolis “solidarity” banner hanged; government calls TV occupation “attempt to overthrow democracy”
At 8 am today the building of GSEE (General Confederation of Workers in Greece) was occupied by insurgent workers, according to their own statement . An open workers assembly has been called for 6pm.

Huge banners were hanged in front of the Acropolis, calling for tomorrow’s mass demonstration…

A government spokesman called yesterday’s state-run TV station occupation “an attempt to overthrow democracy”. The action was also condemned by the communist party (kke).

#25, 17:50: bureaucrats attack the occupation of the workers confederation but are driven away; another riot police van burnt; rioting erupts in Patras
50 bureaucrats came along to the building of the insurgent workers. They came together with some “heavies” but disappeared in the sight of anarchist reinforcements from the Economics university, chanting slogans of solidarity.

In Patras, the lawyer of the assassin cop is holding a press conference in the Pampeloponisiako football ground, having just purchased the local football club. Around 500 people are gathered outside; the have set fire to bins and erected barricades. The first few tear gas canisters are being thrown by the cops.

More on the GSEE occupation
Another account of the confrontation:
The first attack against the GSEE taken over building happened earlier. Around 60 workers members of DASKE (right wing workers union) and PASKE ("socialist" workers union) started verbally arguying with the comrade workers and demanded them to leave. People from the occupied ASOEE (university department) realised that and went to the GSEE building as well so the bureaucrats and their friends had to leave... There was a lot of aggression and verbal arguments but no violence... up to now.

19.19: Athens
The people who occupied state-run TV station NET respond to the government’s slanderous comments here . Yet another riot police van was attacked and burnt in Athens. Open general assemblies right now at the occupied university of Economics and the occupied building of the general confederation of workers in greece. Things are building up for tomorrow, when the mass student demonstration will take place in Athens…

21.01: Athens
Some news updates from today...

You allready know about the GSEE take over so I will not repeat anything here.

This morning, in Euelpidon (the courts of Athens) young high school students were gathered in solidarity to some arrested school kids that were passing from the public attorney today. A group of these teenagers was attacked by the police with chemicals and stund grenades, although they were doing COMPLETELY nothing as a big number of eye witnesses - passing by public says. The people tried to stop the police but they started chasing the kids and made then run away to the streets around the area .... After the events in Chalandi a few days ago, when by miracle we did not have big injuries or even death of children, and after the brutal attack of the police against teenagers with their families at Echarxia, again today the police decides to attack even if they have not been provoced by anyone.. Police violence on the streets of Athens, and not only Athens, has increased a lot during the last days, they do not tolerate even peacefull demonstrations any more, as it happened when they attacked the COMPLETELY peacefull and silent sit down demonstration in Syntagma square a few days ago.

Demos were organized on various suburbs of Athens today. During the last days we see more demos on suburbs taking place rather than in the centre of Athens, in this way the local communities on those areas are also getting informed. In Byronas area, the demo was attacked by the police while it reached to the police department with the use of chemicals. Demonstrators who were on that demo also took over the Town Hall of Kesariani (a near by suburb). The take over lasted for a few hours and then a demo took place. An another demo in Byronas against police brutality is in progress right now as we speak, in a responce to the violent behaviour of the police to the previous one. A relatively big demo also took place at Chalandri, an another suburb of Athens, I there was also an attack against the police department there. The demonstrators firstly passed from the courts of Chalandri, throwing eggs against the building while various graffity were written. They then headed to the police department where eggs and paint was thrown against the police. There was a chain of normall police and at their back RIOT police existed. The demo continued and returned back to the spot, where eggs, paint and stones was thrown at the police again. The normal police left front there, leaving back the RIOT police (MAT), who started using chemicals and stund grenades against the demonstrators.

A photo from Kesariani :

A police bus has been attacked again today by anarchists and was set on fire.

During the last few days, comrades are blocking the ticket checking machines in various tube stations in Athens, so the public does not need to buy a ticket (cannot validate - check it on the machine) and uses the tube for free. With this symbolic act, it is easier for the public also to access the demos, but it also gives a message about the economic problems that we all have.

In Thessaloniki, comrades got in big supermarkets, expropriated groceries and other food stuff and then gave them for free to people who were shopping in an open grocery market. This is an act that has taken place on a number of occassions and in Athens during the past.

A "Smash Your TV" action was called for today at Monastiraki area, in the centre of Athens about 16:00. A lot of people attended bringing together their own TV set, the TV sets were all collected sprayed with paint and then smashed. Various media journalists that were there and wanted to cover the event were not allowed to, as it was an anti-media action. A photo can be seen here

Riots took place in Patras, because of a speech and press conference of Mr Kougias (the cop lawyer) there. Kougias apart from being a lawyer is also active in football, and he bought the 50% of the shares of a Patras football club called "Panahaiki". A big number of anarchists broke one of the gates of the football pitch that the press conference was given, and tried to enter but RIOT police was also there in heavy numbers. A MASSIVE ammount of chemicals was sprayed against the gathered anarchists, road blocks were made, litter bins were put on fire and riots against the police started. The extensive use of chemicals by the police continued, they even threw "gass bombs" inside houses !!!
Panahaiki as a club was originally made by anarchists and because of this the colors of the team are still red and black. A lot of Patras anarchists are also Panahaiki fans, with their biggest club being the "Navajo" club.

In Chania, Crete, comrades took over a local TV channel and for some time broadcasted messages to the public of that area.

The status of "High Alert" at the army camps of all Greece STILL exists. No soldiers are allowed to leave the camps for no reason, the number of patrols and watches has increased. Even in watches that they are not normally given bullets they are now given, they are also given baggots to put on their guns while being on watch. Hundreds of soldiers from 42 camps of all over Greece, have officially stated to their superiors that they will DISOBEY if there is ever a command to get on the streets.

A first meeting at the free workers area (former GSEE building) took place today, a good number of workers appeared. There is a call for a general strike for tomorrow, there is an announcement to be issued shorty, I will post a translation here. The workers union of delivery workers (pizza, courier deliveries etc) have allready called for a strike for tomorrow since this morning in order to be able and attend tomorrow's demo. Mr Panagopoulos (GSEE president) this morning on the news said that the people that took over the building are definately not workers "because workers now should be working". This clearly shows what is the "job" of Mr Panagopoulos, to keep the workers at their work and nowhere else.

During the last days though, the workers apart from being at their work they are also on the streets. This is something that Mr Panagopoulos and anyone else cannot hide, even if he manages to hide the sun that gives light to our steps and anger at the streets of this city.

We are workers, we are unemployed (because we get fired when attending the GSEE strikes, while the ones that call them take promotions instead), we are part time workers, we are non secured workers legaly or not at "stage" programmes and subsidised programmes of employment. We are a part of this world and we are here. Who ever wants to understand will understand.

We are workers in revolt. Period.

All our work hours have been won with blood, sweat, violence, broken waist, hands, knees, legs, heads.

All this world has been created by workers as us.

There WAS a big demo at the city centre tonight... With thousands of people, workers and students attending. It was the demo - walk on the streets - that KKE (the Greek Communist Party) had called with its front PAME (communist worker union). Obviously they did their demonstration tonight because they will not participate on tomorrow's big student and workers demonstration. I really dont know what happened on that one, although I can easilly guess, if Stella knows anything she can possibly inform us.

A big demo is organized for tomorrow starting at Propylea.

Statement of Solidarity with the Comrades in Greece, by the Disabled Far, Far Away
There is no Space that Separates Bodies in the Flow of the Passion for the Real: They do not individualize. What a horrible violence, the bourgeois media says, to burn this or that, to put your precious streets, buses and cars and buildings on fire, what a chaos on your sidewalks. What a smoke, every-one is blind; your deafening screams tear apart the social fabric of the latest healthy fashion and the City is paralyzed! Some of them even seem to like and thus, by definition, worry for you: as long as ‘you’ the delinquents are away and the bastards can enjoy the suppression of reaction to massacre with silent massacre. Yet, they are concerned, what is your immediate aim: i.e. when will the crazy “youth” stop for the sake of mental sanity? Please express yourself to their journalists! What a glorious solidarity of the global bourgeoisie and their States of medical sterility! The pursuit by each of their own projects of massacre, leads to an endless exchange and circulation process of murderers’ pitiful concerns –all the more so given their fear that they will not find anything else to exchange and circulate in the very near future.

We know this ‘paralysis’, ‘blindness’, ‘deafness’, ‘delinquency’, ‘madness’ that stamps our bodies based on the image of the reified solitary bourgeois: the most pathetic creature in history that is oh-so-pitiful for us. Comrades, do not stop! We the disabled salute you for exposing the everyday social truth imposed on us! And our passion is with you in your experiments with the creation of another one stamped with the passions and desires criss-crossing bodies of the common, through destruction.

The bourgeoisie has long created a world in but also for its own image; an image which tries to put on us the iron cage of its so-called perfect shape when it bothers to allegedly include us: that fictitious monster, called THE Human Body, the only true monster if there has ever been — and which had put its stamp on the buses, cars, streets and buildings that now ‘burn’, supported by its one and only inherent excess: the only acceptable type of cyborg that is the supra-monster-robocop-murderer-pigs (the true opposite of the cyborgs that are the disabled) who, facing the collective body of yours way beyond the imagination of the individual-fuckers-body of the bourgeoisie, now tremble with fear.

Yes, money can give the cripple 20 legs, if she accepts to give 19 of them to the capitalist State and join the spectacle with one wooden leg on its margins. The bourgeoisie, never having really believed in its own lies in the first place, wants us to confirm those for them by inscribing on us a pathetic pseudo-desire for to-us-ever-denied individuality. ‘Hail the Rehabilitation Camps of Normalization, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Lip-Reading, Leg Braces, Ear Implants, Military-Manufactured prostheses, stand-up, profit-making wheelchairs, support groups lead by professionals where a collectivity is divided under the objective of Individual Independence, supplants to cover “impairment”, supplementary phalluses, injectors and creams to “copulate appropriately” (tellingly, precisely the same ones dangerous when possessed by the queers!), “special education,” asylums with or without walls, and all the apparatuses of psychiatric, medical and social integration — if and only if they do their job properly’: Imposing on us the pathetic desire of the Monad: the juridical, civilized Subject, through, for, of power. (Can you believe that all these so-called representatives of Reason offer us is the promise of a unitary body that shits and pisses and makes a step, hear their idle talk and see their landscape of devastation and subtracts 1 from 2 “properly” to be then convinced that they extinguished our passion, exchanged our desire for the Real for that shit? And these are the same people that call us stupid!)

Yet, we as well as you know that the capitalist fictions are made for their own negation and thrive through their own inherent negation. This pathetic world is denied on us every day, every hour, every second. Do we need to mention the massacre and genocide (of the living, or “before the sad fact” through “reproductive technologies”), sterilization, beatings, shocks, starvation, incarceration, humiliation, unemployment, homelessness and poverty millions of us are subjected to permanently, us the debris of the world, the humanity and the human-form? The civilized (i.e., the emperors) tell that some of this will pass away. But we know all-too-well the holy hypocritical motivation of these sorry figures: all-failed Narcissuses they are, the bourgeois wants nothing but masturbate by suffocating us in the lake of normalization.

We do not suggest you anything. We certainly do not demand understanding (“god” forbid!) and we do not expect that what goes on behind the world-mirror of the bourgeoisie, the solidarity and collective passion the crips establish within and beyond the walls of normalizing institutions, our prosthetic fraternity, and our joyful struggles, and all these thanks to our exclusion from the human-form, will be apparent to everyone until that mirror is destroyed, as you are about to do. We do not believe that hopeless categories like able-bodied and the disabled have any meaning in the movement of the common and do salute all of you, including our lucky crip comrades with you on the streets of Greece or happily observing the destruction of the very social space that annihilates them every day. For now, let our words, and let the words of condemnation and curses that we utter every day on, in and to the streets, sidewalks, steps, buildings, cars, buses, offices and desks, and hospital and rehabilitation centers, the air, sound, smell and every molecule of normalization of the social space created by the bourgeoisie, concrete symbols of the patriarchal, heteronormative and racist abilism that, unfortunately, still stand firm in the landscape we live in, be a spark that ignites your Molotov cocktails, add force to your stones and fuse our hearts in the pursuit of that beautiful figure that every eruption of collective passion creates: The Inhuman.

Time for discussion will come; this world has stamped its disgusting reality on all of us and as we move beyond it in singular ways, we will listen to one another to negate it wholesale and create another one from scratch. But this we will do at the time of our collective dance on the ashes of this world: some of us on their own two feet, some of us on their wheelchairs, some of us with their crutches, without sound, with trembling bodies: but what a dance it will be when the music of revolution will go through bodies, and reconfigure their margins – margins that in this order have the same precise function as the borders of nation-state-capital.

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