Koukouloforos

Extracts from the newspaper, The Hooded One, printed in Thessaloniki, with a 50,000 print run

THE INVISIBLE HAVE A FACE

We were shadows. Shadows in what you refer to as “everyday life." Countless invisible figures you walked past in the streets. Faces that reminded you of something but you were never sure of exactly what.

The pint of beer on the bar that is full again.

"I’ve ordered a pizza half an hour ago but the delivery boy isn’t here yet."

Supermarket shelves and shiny floors.

“Where is the girl to empty the ashtrays?"

Put your helmet on, your raincoat, drive your motorcycle across town.

“Position 146, how can I help you please?"

Behind the stalls, folding clothes, in the aisles organising books on the shelves.

"It seems a bit tight around the waist."

In front of computers answering phones.

Circling small ads “female wanted, person with former experience needed."

And sometimes queuing outside OAED [the Employment and Unemployment Offices].

"Signing checks every Monday-Wednesday-Friday."

Stage programs, seminars, "new job vacancies."

Never here, never there. In constant motion, in an endless nerve-racking standby.

Selling ourselves out, our whole lives in order to survive. Always present, always invisible, alien in our own cities.

And suddenly a shot...

"Have you heard the news? They murdered him, the bastards!"

“Who did they murder?”

“They murdered that boy, man!”

Murder. Violence. This word rings a bell. Yes, it does...

Early morning, wake up for work. The stamps they didn’t give me. The rent that I need to pay every month. Suddenly hitting the brakes and the creepy sound of crawling on the road. The nights that I stay in alone. My boss calling - fuck... I need to be at work tomorrow. My struggle to get paid for the hours I’ve worked. The peering eyes of the customers on my body when I serve them. Counting my stamps - can I go on the dole? Classified ads. The clock at work that seems to be stuck and my boss has just bought a new car. And in all this the sound of a shot. He was murdered. All in the streets, man! Rage. Rage for the killing, rage for our everyday death.

We meet in the streets. We yell at their faces together. We build roadblocks together. We break pavement apart and we put the stones in our pockets. Tear gas is suffocating but we go on. We continue, all of us who until yesterday spoke a different language, all of us who until yesterday were invisible. We go on because after this nothing will be the same again. Away from all those who tried to represent us, away from politicians and syndicates who speak a strange, foreign language, away from all those media experts who still wonder where we all came from.

We have no demands. No, we don’t. We fight for every reason in the world. We want back the life that everyday they are stealing from us. The violence of the cop who shot the boy is the condensed violence we suffer everyday It is against this that we revolt. We are not shadows anymore, although we started as such...

TO LIVE IN COMMUNISM, TO SPREAD ANARCHY

To live in communism, to spread anarchy It is not the first time that cops commit murder, so it is not the first time that people revolt, attack the police, or burn down banks. But this time things are different. The rage that broke loose inscribes its own history. Yes, it is an uprising. And what is characteristic of uprisings is a gut feeling that nothing will remain unchanged, that nothing will be the same again. That’s how we feel. History is condensing, new forces are being released, and authority becomes frozen. The immediate question is how we go on since we are no longer the same. What do we do when there is no bank left to be broken, no police quarters untouched, where do we meet again after the riots, how do we go on relentlessly as we used to, toward bringing down capitalism in the world? Since the first night of the murder, Athens Polytechnic School was occupied by hundreds of people. Since December 8 ASOEE has been under occupation as well. This is a part of the first announcement from their blog: "As a piece of social-class conflict, the occupied University of Economics and Business constitutes an open space for briefing and co-formation of collective action on the streets. At the same time we consider very important the occupation of academic institutions as spaces of rearrangement and self-organisation of our forces against state repression, so that no one will stay on his/her own in the struggle that has burst out against the State. For this reason the occupation of the University of Economics and Business stays open and calls for an assembly on Monday the 8th at 20:00. We declare that the occupation will last until the release of each and every one arrested by the police across the country"

The School of Theater in Thessaloniki is occupied on Saturday night after the riots on Aristotelous and Egnatia streets. From its blog: "After the demonstration in Thessaloniki on Saturday night in response to the murder of Alexandros, anti-authoritarians occupied the School of Theater in Thessaloniki to cater to the need to counter-inform protesters in the city. From the start the MAT tried in vain to invade the building. The next day after the assembly the occupation was reinforced by drama students and by people who do not belong to any political associations." The Salonica School of Theatre has become a centre for convocation, exchange of ideas, a space to organise action. The following day the Lawyers' Association of Thessaloniki building was squatted as well. There, a number of assemblies have taken place, mainly by students, and it functions as a counter-information centre until the cross country strike day on December 10 - when unprecedented occupations, without any specific demands, will overtake many state schools and academic institutions.

On the 12th of December the town hall of Aghios Dimitrios in Athens was occupied and calls for a public assembly were made. From their blog: "We are revolting. We function on a directly democratic basis because this is the only way that we want to live. We’ve taken our lives in our hands. We will get rid of our bosses and help the prosecuted to get rid of their charges. We use this public building as an open centre for counter-information, as a meeting place where people who have decided to change their lives come in great numbers to co-form ideas and actions." Three hundred people attended the first assembly. Actions were planned, current events discussed, people from different generations came together, individuals from various social backgrounds met, and cultural events and Greek language lessons for immigrants were organised. From the beginning the Association of Public Servants of Aghios Dimitrios Municipality stood in favour of the occupation and is actively involved in its defence. It is the first time ever that the town hall is truly open to the neighbourhood as a vivid political space. There is no point mentioning here the predictable reactions of the mayor and the cops.

On the same day the former town hall-KEP (Citizens' Information and Service centre) on Halandri Square was squatted. One blog read: "The sorrow and the rage that we all feel cannot be expressed by sapping from the couch in front of the TV. We decided to squat the former town hall-KEP on Halandri Square, the meeting place of town hall officials, and transform it into a place for counter-information and discussion on future actions. We invite the residents of Halandri, and the ones of nearby areas to defend this squat and take part in open, egalitarian, non-guided, co-forming procedures." A public meeting was called every day at around 7:00pm, while a number of actions and demonstrations are supported. On Monday the 15th the town hall of Sykies in Thessaloniki is occupied. A public assembly is announced that same afternoon. The main slogan on the banner that covers the face of the building demands the immediate release of all people arrested by police forces.

What matters is for these examples to spread, for people to start directing their own lives, to question the very idea of representation, of responsibility of getting politically comfortable while belonging to a party. Now is the time. Now, when everything has changed. The spontaneous occupations that started in many academic and non-academic places - not necessarily by students - provide the possibility for meeting each other. But they cannot accommodate us anymore. That's why we need to squat town halls, empty houses, public buildings, and transform them into places for meeting and organising. More places like that must be created, more places must be liberated, new spaces for communication and resistance must be founded. All anarchist squats should look into how they can make their actual space more accessible to their neighbourhood. Schools must close down and be transformed into places where the possibility to overthrow capitalistic-nationalistic education can be realised. Working places must be blocked by workers and the meaning of employment must be discussed and reinvented. The idea of direct organisation and solidarity must be carried into every collective. We don't need bosses, we are not in need of guidance, we don’t care for any kind of representatives. It’s time to start living in communism. It’s time to start living in anarchy. To create the communes of the future.