Greek riots eyewitness reports - 19 December 2008

Accounts of Friday's demonstrations, and statements from some of the occupations by young people, women and workers.

Submitted by Steven. on December 20, 2008

16:19: Yet another TV station occupied; fresh demos in Athens and Thessaloniki; final build-up for international day of action against state murders
“Kydon TV” in Chania was occupied today, in order to expose the lies of the media covering the revolt. There have been tens of TV and radio station occupations in the past few days.

A large concert against state repression is set to start soon at the Propylea in Athens. More demos planned in Egaleo (Athens), Sintagma (outside parliament) and Thessaloniki. We are all building up for tomorrow, the day of international action against state murders.

22.06: Athens

Today it was a concert day for Athens... thousands attended at a big concert that took place at Propylaia, in the centre of Athens. More than 60 singers and groups played at a music demo that started from 15:00 and ended close to 22:00 ... The crowd was massive, Panepistimiou str had to be blocked because of too many people. You can see a video on the link above.

Personally I did not attend, I do not feel like I want to go to a concert after all this that has happened during the last 14 days ....

Tomorrow as you can see and on the polytechinc announcement, there is a gathering at the site of Alexis murder... I am going to attend that. A lot of solidarity demos pickets and actions are going to take place all over the world tomorrow as it is named global resistance day.

So people of the world...... GET ON THE STREETS !!!

Athens update
In the morning, the kids from the schools of Peristeri, where the second 16year old was shot 2 days ago, had a solidarity gathering and demonstration. Students also held a demonstration in Piraeus.
In the afternoon from 3pm till very late at night, a big open-air solidarity/benefit show at Propylea took place. A big number of artists and bands were playing and thousand of people attended.
Some photos of the show:
Around midday, 20-40 people attacked the French Cultural Institute in Athens and a nearby bank and wrote slogan on the walls such as: "Spark in Athens. Fire in Paris. Insurrection is coming" and "France, Greece, uprising everywhere". This act was in solidarity with the arrestees there (accused for solidarity acts and sabotage of the railways) and the French students who are in the streets too these days.
In the evening, in Aigaleo, 100 anarchists demonstrated. They broke many bank windows and their surveillance cameras, wrote slogans on the walls and attacked the two riot squads in front of the local police station.
Moreover, during the premier of a play in a central theater, 40 people got on stage and unfolded a banner that read “Everyone on the streets, Free all the arrested now”. They left shortly after while some of the attendants applauded.

A demonstrations took place in Lamia and a gathering in Larissa.
In Chania, a group of 50 people occupied a local tv station and played a 20 minute long video about the killing and the events that are following and then left.
In Giannena a solidarity show took place. In the same city, during the small hours of Friday, two banks were attacked, one of which inside the university.
Arson attacks also happened in Kavala and Aigio. Two cars were set alight in Thessaloniki and two in Patras.

Some major news-websites today insist that one of the cars burnt in Patras is the car of Athanasios Melistas, the cop which shot in the back of the head and killed the 15 year Mihali Kalteza at Exarchia in 1985. The killing was followed by heavy riots and social revolt, just like today and the cop then was set free by the “justice” system. For 2 decades now rumors are going around about where Melistas is, some say that he had left the country. If the car was his and if he now lives in Patras is still unknown.

The students don't seem to plan to go back to the classrooms any time soon. According to OLME (the syndicate of school teachers), 800 schools across the country are occupied by the pupils.

The tactic that the police follows in every demonstration is the same: They throw large amounts of chemical gas and when the protesters and passersby try to escape from the gas, struggling to get some air, the riot squads attack and arrest anybody. Usually the ones who get arrested are not the fighting ones but those who stayed behind because they know that they've done nothing wrong. But the cops don't care about that. Later the cops agree with each other and give identical testifies against the arrestees, saying that they were caught while throwing rocks and molotov coctails. The charges held against the arrestees are very severe and are not based on any evidence, just on the false testifies by the cops. One of the victims of this tactic, was arrested after the demonstration in Athens that took place on Thursday. The 23 year old man was arrested and heavily beaten by the cops (he was carried to the hospital later) and he is now facing severe felony charges. This is one of the hundreds similar cases but the difference is that the man mentioned is doing his military (mandatory for every greek man). There are at least 3 eyewitnesses which are saying that he was just observing the fights and he was trying to get away from the chemicals that the cops threw when he was arrested and brutally beaten.

During the big demonstration on Thursday, photographers caught the riot police spraying with teargas an elderly passerby lady. The first photograph in the sequence is above, the second is this:

Photos of the big concert that took place in Thessaloniki on Thursday:

23.59 Athens
The premiere of the national theatre in Athens was interrupted by around one hundred people tonight - they took the stage and held out a banner reading “everyone to the streets”. The text distributed to the audience and actors read, among others: “now that you’ve deactivated your mobile phones, it’s about time you activated your consciousness”. Once hitting the streets, the crowd quickly formed an impromptu demonstration through central Athens - by the time we had reached Omonoia Square, our number had doubled and seemed enough to scare off the ten or so Zeta force policemen (motorcyclists) who drove off at our sight. The cast and director refused to continue the play, in solidarity with our struggle. Yesterday, a similar action took place at the Athens concert hall.

Statement from the " occupation of the people" - an appeal to parents
The decision of the International collective occupation of the people::

Global call out to the parents of all 15 year olds.

In Greece we are all called Alexis and Michaelis ... The cops kill us... They kill us with bullets to the chest, they kill us by beating us to death.

Cops kill 15 year olds. Not only in Greece but throughout the world in the same way.
We call for the solidarity of our parents. We call for for the solidarity of all of you.
Students, workers, the unemployed, labourers, farmers and all who have children ...
Our teachers, our lecturers, our friends, our neighbors, all those people who resist the unjust and the unreasonable.
Because they definately have children too, if we're not mistaken. And if their children do not die from bullets to their chests, they die every day in explosions in nafpigoepiskefasthikes zones with industrial accidents, they drown en mass mass in dilapidated boats ...

A week has passed since the assassination of our brother, our friend, our comrade Alexis from the bullet of a cop; those guardians of the state, the ruling class and Greek 'democracy'. A democracy that you implore us not to forget.

Alexis said goodbye to us with few words «friends, they've hit me» ... he just managed to say, then his legs gave way, he fell to the ground and died.

We are full of rage and so we should be. We are enraged and we are destroying this shell of a society you would have us further.
No we are not of this society. We are 15 year olds and we think... differently.
.. Cops kill in the same way everywhere.
Some of them say batons and one bullet is enough. Others shoot 15 times for fun..
Do not become their accomplices.
Those who remain silent, those who condemn our rage because of the blatent lies of the corporate media, the police and the politicians you vote for, determine our future ... you are responsible and liable.
Because the future of Alexis was murdered on the 6th of December 2008 in Greece. Because the futures of 15 year olds are ended by the bullets of cops in each and every corner of this world.
One night in Exarhia with one bullet to the heart.
The place may change, but the situation remains the same.
We are all, each and every one of us an «Alexis» and a «Michaelis.
And we are not celebrating our birthdays because we were assassinated at the age of 15. Pigs.
I, Alexis Grigoropoulos - was killed by a cop on 6 -12-08 in Exarhia with a shot straight to the heart. I have became an anniversary.
I, Michael Kalteza was killed by a cop in 1985. I died on the anniversary of another uprising at the Polytechnic, an uprising against the military junta which left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.
What we share in common is that both of us were killed in a 'democracy' and that we were 15 years old...

We all have one thing in common. We are 15 years old in a society that you have made for us yet without us. You never asked us, nor did you ever listen. You choke us with the ideals of wealth, of the corporations, economic growth and power.
... The ideals of the broken window displays; of luxury cars, expensive clothes, jewelry watches. You flood us with rotten entertainment, food and culture saturated in convenience and stupidity and you condemn us for the broken windows of multinational chain stores who rob everyone of us..
We are accused of destruction and arson. Yes, we set fire to all that which burns up our lives, so we can endure the tons of chemical tear gas thrown upon us by the police and the army. Because we don't have any other weapons. Only our hands, tangerines, plastic water bottles and stones, the odd Molotov cocktail, but we must resist each one of us, however we can, in the face of the military machine of repression and armed murderers.
They shoot and kill us.
And when we protest
They curse us.
They beat mercilessly.
Cripple us.
They handcuff us.
They choke us with tear gas
They condemn us.
They lock us up in pre-trial custody.

We are on the streets and we are calling for our lives.
At the age of 15 because later it may be too late. Later we may have been killed by some cop, by ostracism.
We are calling it out but again you are not listening to us.
The shooting ... and the sound of the shot which killed Alexis if nothing else, let it disrupt your apathy.

Join us, come stand beside us.
We have the strength and power of our rage.
You have your own strength and it is not possible that you don't also have your own rage when they kill us with bullets when they beat us to death ... every day because we throw tangerines and plastic water bottles at them.
Let us unite our strenghts and let insurgency flare in every neighborhood in every street, in each doorstep, in every town square of this world.

We are not easily terrorised nor made afraid. We are agents of freedom.
We say to the cops ... when they hit us and swear at us with vulgarity, both at us and our mothers... when they put us in handcuffs ... «Cops you're weak» ... «Is that the best you can do, chickens, we've copped worse from our mothers and our fathers... »
Yeah right, we're not scared of them. We are not afraid of them nor their weapons.
We answer back, right in the face of the murderers .... «One of us is buried in the earth but thousands of us are in the struggle, on the streets...»
We shout to them «Cops! pigs! killers!» «weak cops you kill children».
For all those things which the windows of banks hide from you, open your ears and listen to us.
There's no way you can not feel rage ...
So come with us, if you're afraid, we'll protect you,
We offer our hands and our souls ... and if we have to, our lives.
But you are not beside us, despite the fact that you still tell us that «you gave birth to us and we mean more to you than your own lives ...»

And even more pertinent, just think, that in one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen years ... they could have very well kill your child.
- The cops killed him already. He was 15 years old. With ostracism because he was an 'untamed bum' anarchist, insubordinate, terrorist hooligan.

Think about it before you lose the opportunity to save your own child, but ...
think a little bit harder.
Because perhaps you have the opportunity to help save my life, mum, dad.
I ask of you to disarm the police, to disarm the murderers in uniform.

I'm not asking you to save me but to stand in solidarity with me ..
Because until now those that stand beside us are the ones who save us... strangers who share our rage.
They save us from those armed killers circulating everywhere ... those who purport to protect you ... you and your valuable property, killing 15 year olds in the process.

We, the minors, we the 'young scoundrels', the anarchist kids, the 'roughnecks', 'junkies', 'thieves', this countries own 'hooded terrorists', we extend to each and every parent, to all the people, we call on you all to join our protests and rallies and blockades and our insubordination.
We invite all you reading this text, to join the struggle to change our lives and to fight injustice, to overcome the inertia of apathetic acceptance.

We will be there ... every day, every night on the streets and we will be up in arms ... we will use our bodies as barricades against the MAT (riot cops) as barriers to stop them arresting and hitting those beside us. Our schoolmates.

We will wait for you... otherwise you may lose us... they may very wll kill us, the special guards of public security, the protectors of your "democracy".
We will put our bodies on the line as barricades against the MAT to prevent them beating and arresting those next to us. Our classmates.. All those beside us.

And because today a week after the cold-blooded murder of Alexis people are celebrating the day of St Elephtheris (Liberty) we say to you all think a little bit harder.
Do not kill our freedom.

Happy holidays will be on the streets which ever way you decide ...

Occupation of the people
15 year old potential victims of the ostracism of armed cops.

Global day of action against state terrorism - statement from the occupied Polytechnic in Athens
Two weeks after the state murder of comrade Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the social and class counter-attack continues.

University facilities and public buildings remain occupied, whilst mobilisations, demonstrations and confrontations with the uniformed guardians of order continue to take place on the streets, throughout Greece, on a daily basis.

Up until Wednesday 17 December, 16 of those arrested during the rebellious events of December have been imprisoned facing grave charges and 4 of them are persecuted according the "anti"terrorist law. Hundreds of people have been arrested all over the country. In Athens alone 184 people have been arrested, whilst more than 30 immigrants are being detained.

The events that took place following the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos started a wave of worldwide mobilisations in his memory and in solidarity with those rebels fighting in the streets against democratic totalitarianism. Gatherings, marches, symbolic attacks on Greek consulates, as well as confrontations with the police, have taken place in cities across Cyprus, Germany, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Belgium, the United States of America, Turkey, Ireland, Switzerland, Croatia, Australia, Russia, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Poland, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Uruguay, Austria, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, Basque Country and elsewhere.

We continue the occupation of the Athens Polytechnic School that started on the evening of December 6th, creating a space for everyone involved in the struggle and providing a steady point of resistance within the city of Athens.

Following a collective decision of the occupied Polytechnics general assembly on Saturday 13/12, we called for global actions against state terrorism on Saturday 20/12. Because we do not forget and we do not forgive. Because the use of murderous violence by the state and bosses against those that struggle is not a localized phenomenon but rather a universal suffocating reality. Because zero tolerance and repressive terrorism, wage slavery, poverty and social exclusion, exploitation, oppression and social control are not constrained by borders but neither is the struggle for freedom.

The rebellion that lit up this miserable world with its flames, continues!
Immediate release of all who are being detained by the police.
Solidarity with everyone facing persecution.
Solidarity with everyone around the world who uses any means to spread the message of rebellion!

Gathering at the site of Alexis Grigoropoulos murder.
Saturday 20/12, 9pm.

The Occupation of the Polytechnic University in Athens

(Self) destruction is creation
(collective translation of a leaflet circulated in the occupied Athens School of Economics and elsewhere, written by the “girls in revolt”)

We won’t forget the night of December 6th that easily. Not because the assassination of Alexis was incomprehensible. State violence, as much as it might try to construct itself into more productive formations of sovereignty, will endlessly return to dear and archetypal forms of violence. It will always retain within its structure a state disobeying the modernist command for discipline, surveillance and control of the body - opting, rather, for the extermination of the disobedient body and chosing to pay the political cost coming with this decision.

When the cop shouts “hey, you”, the subject to which this command is directed and which turns its body in the direction of authority (in the direction of the call of the cop) is innocent by default since it responds to the voice reproaching it as a product of authority. The moment when the subject disobeys this call and defies it, no matter how low-key this moment of disobedience might be (even if it didn’t throw a molotov to the cop car but a water bottle) is a moment when authority loses its meaning and becomes something else: a breach that must be repaired. When the manly honour of the fascist-cop is insulted he may even kill in order to protect (as he himself will claim) his kids and his family. Moral order and male sovereignty - or else the most typical form of symbolic and material violence - made possible the assassination of Alexis; they proped the murder, produced its “truth” and made it a reality.

Along with this, at the tragic limit of a death that gives meaning to lives shaped by its shade, revolt became a reality: this incomprehensible, unpredictable convulsion of social rhythms, of the broken time/space, of the structures structured no more, of the border between what is and what is to come.

A moment of joy and play, of fear, passion and rage, of confusion and some consciousness that is grievous, dynamic and full of promises. A moment which, regardless, will either frighten itself and preserve the automations that created it or will deny itself constantly in order to become at each moment something different to what it was before: all in order to avoid ending up at the causalıty of revolts suffocated ın normalıty, revolts becoming another form of authority whilst defending themselves.

How did this revolt become possible? What right of the insurgents was vindicated, at what moment, for what murdered body? How was this symbol socialised? Alexis was “our Alexis”, he was no “other”, no foreigner, no migrant. High school students could identify with him; mothers feared losing their own child; establishment voices would turn him into a national hero. The body of the 15-year old mattered, his life was worth living, its ending was an assault against the public sphere - and for this reason mourning Alex was possible and nearly necessary. This sphere turned against a community us who revolted don’t identify with, exactly like Alexis did not identify. This is a community, regardless, in which many of us many have the priviledge to belong since the others recognise us as their own. The story of Alexis will be writen from its end. He was a good kid, they said. The revolt, which we would have been unable to predict, became possible through the cracks of authority itself: an authority deciding what bodies matter in the social network of relations of power. The revolt, this hymn to social non-regularity, is a product of regularity… It is the revolt for “our own” body that was exterminated, for our own social body. The bullet was shot against the society as a whole. It was a wound on every bourgeiois democrat who wants their own security to be reflected upon the state and its organs. The bullet was a declaration of war against society. The social contract was breached - there is no consensus. The moral and political act of resistance became possible, understandable, just, visible at the moment when it came under the terms and conditions of justice of the dominant symbolic order encompassing the social fabric.

This starting point does not cancel the righteousness of the uprising. Because the dominant Speech, the authority that gives name, shape and meaning to things, the range of dominant ideas from which the concept of social segmentation derives so as to control the hierarchical social relations have all already excluded the “hooded youths” from this community. They have cornered them at the community’s dangerous borderline in order to set the limits of disobedience.

They tell us to resist but not in this fashion, they say, because it is dangerous. What the social legitimation we came across at the beginning of all this has got to tell us is that even if we are tangled in the web of authority, even if we are its creations, we are inside and against it; we are what we do in order to change who we are. We want this historical moment to adopt the content we have set ourselves and not the meanings from which it can escape overnight.

It is not possible for this authority to bloodlessly cross the boundary between obedience and autonomous action, since if the rebels need to muster up their masculinity in order to fight the cop, they need to question it at the same time because it constitutes the authority they use to fight the cop. And this ambivalence lies at the heart of our subjectivity, it is a contradiction that tears us apart and forms the moral splendour that takes place in the margins of the rebellion, outside and inside us, on the quiet nights when we wonder what is going on now, what has gone wrong, and we can only hear silence.

Nothing exists without the meaning assigned to it. Resistance strategies can turn into strategies of authority: Chaos will recreate a hierarchy in social relationships unless we fight with ourselves while fighting the world, some selves that we formed as part of this world: we have grown within the moral and political limits this world sets, within the moral-political ties in which the self comes into being… It will recreate itself into a hierarchy, should we not bring off male macho behaviour that goes berzerk and gets carried away by emotion, should we adopt positions that densify in positions of authority.

girls in revolt

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