Yiannis: An anarchist from Patras
In Patras, in December, there were many demonstrations and riots, It wasn’t as big as in Athens, but it was big, In the demonstrations there were maybe 1,000 people, and here in Patras there are maybe 2-300,000 people. The major thing wasn’t rioting, though. We would make a demonstration and then in the evenings go and talk to the people, have discussions, give out flyers.
Because the port is here, there are many immigrants in Patras - in recent years, mostly from Afghanistan. We are friends with some of them, and they came to the demonstration. They don’t have a word for anarchism, and they grow up in a society that teaches them very strongly to accept God and the State, to accept authority. But our common ground was our opposition to the police. One of these friends had no papers, he had been here for a year, and if he were arrested it would be very bad. But when the demonstration came a block away from the police station, he went with those who threw rocks at the police, I kept taking him by the arm and leading him away saying "leave this for the other people to do," and he kept going back to throw more rocks.
Before the demonstrations we would have a meeting and decide, for example, that we would smash all the banks we passed, but if anyone went to smash a store, we would stop them. However, the media were saying all sorts of things - that we were smashing stores, that we were attacking people. It was crazy.
On Tuesday so the third day of riots, the fascists attacked us. They were behind the police lines, protected by the police, they gathered all the stones that we had thrown, and then they attacked us. Fortunately no one was injured. But later that day they went around the streets hunting and attacking immigrants. They had knives. I don’t know how many were injured. They grabbed this friend of ours also, but fortunately he got away. And they also smashed up the offices of Alpha Kappa.