1. Prologues

Chronology: 19th-20th Century

Submitted by Uncreative on December 17, 2010

19th century: Going back to 1860, a growing anarchist movement appears in Greece comprised of many different tendencies, including anarcho-syndicalist, anarchist-communist, individualist, and Christian anarchists, involved mostly in publishing, cultural work, forming revolutionary organisations, and taking active part in workers’ and peasants' struggles.

Early 20th century: Anarchists have active groups in every city in Greece, and play a prominent role in several struggles. Popular hero and anarchist peasant Marinos Antypas is largely credited for leading the struggle to liberate Greek peasants from post-Ottoman feudalism. In 1913 anarchist Alexandros Schinas successfully assassinates Greek King George I in Thessaloniki. He was arrested and tortured though he refused to give up any names, and was subsequently murdered by police.

1920s and 1930s: Greek anarcho-syndicalists participate in many workers struggles and wildcat strikes, collaborating with the Communists, whose hit squads assassinate several influential anarchists.

1936-1944: First under the Metaxas dictatorship (1936-1940) and later under the Nazi occupation, many anarchists and other leftists are killed or imprisoned in concentration camps. A strong guerrilla movement eventually pushes out the Nazis, who are weakened by major defeats elsewhere on the Eastern Front, and the country mostly liberates itself before the British arrive. Unbeknownst to the Greek people, Stalin and Churchill had come to an agreement that Greece should be in the British sphere of influence.

December 1944-1949: Armed organisations and the rank and file of the Communist Party launch an uprising that leads to a lengthy civil war. From the beginning, Communist hit squads assassinate anarchists, Trotskyists, dissidents, and other political opponents.

1950-1967: After the right wing wins the civil war with the help of the British and the CIA, a constitutional monarchy rules Greece for nearly two decades, suppressing, persecuting, and exiling socialists, anarchists, and others. Greek anarchism remains alive principally in the activity of a few writers and poets living abroad or in penal colonies on the islands.

1967-1974: As the Greek youth begin to radicalise and fight against the government and the conservative culture, the military takes power in a coup and rules in the form of a junta for nearly a decade. Despite the repression, resistance against the regime continues to grow.

1971: Christos Konstantinidis founds Diethnis Vivliothiki (International Library), a publishing collective that releases translations of classical anarchist and Situationist texts as well as contemporary counter-cultural and anarchist works in Greek. He and his comrades help to instigate and radicalise the student uprising that starts on November 14, l973. Their banners "Down with the State, Down with Capital, Down with Authority!" adorn the front gates of the Polytechnic for the first days of the uprising, until communists take them down.

November 17, 1973: The State responds to a university student uprising by sending tanks into the Polytechnic, killing at least twenty-two people. Several months later the Turkish state attacks and partially captures the island of Cyprus. Under the combined stress of these calamities, the dictatorship transfers power to a democratic government. The date of November 17 forever remains engraved in the popular consciousness as a symbol of struggle, and is marked by major demonstrations every year.

1976: The anarchist publisher Eleftheros Typos (Free Press) is founded in Athens by a politically active Greek returning from London, and begins to translate and publish influential libertarian texts. Simultaneously rock, hippy and freak countercultures rejected by the Left adopt anarchist characteristics and are influential in turning neighbourhoods like Plaka (around the Acropolis) and then Exarchia into autonomous zones and expanding the anarchist space.

October 1977: A cell of Popular Revolutionary Struggle is involved in a shoot—out with police as they try to place a bomb outside the factory of German company AEG in response to the German state’s assassination of RAF leadership. Christos Kassimis is killed.

1979: A vast student movement begins occupying the universities in all major cities, influenced largely by leftists and anarchists. ·

October 1981: The Socialist Party PASOK, comes into power, leading to the institutionalisation of much of the Left.

Early 80s: A new generation constituting a punk counterculture adopts violent practices, popularising the use of molotovs and confrontations with police, and are denounced as provocateurs by the leftists.

December 1984: In what might be the first major Greek Black Bloc, thousands of anarchists attack the Hotel Caravel in Athens, forcing the cancellation of a far-right conference that had drawn such reactionaries as Le Pen of France.

May 15, 1985: Christos Tsoutsouvis, an ex—member of Popular Revolutionary Struggle, is involved in a shoot-out with police in Athens while trying to steal a car for an action. He kills three cops and is shot to death. In the following days, there are major riots in his honour in various cities throughout Greece.

November 17, 1985: After the annual November 17 demonstration, police fatally shoot fifteen~year-old Michalis Kaltezas in the back of the head during street fighting with anarchists at the Polytechnic. There are major riots in response.

1986: A national conference attempts to unite all the anarchist currents in Greece, though they do not succeed and their effort generates much controversy among other anarchists. The Greek anarchist space remains fragmented. The following year, those who still agree with the project, involving many different groups from the whole country form the Anarchist Union.

October 1, 1987: Michalis Prekas resists a police attempt to search his house in an anti-terror investigation, and is killed. As usual, major riots follow.

April 15, 1988: Anarchists start the squat Lelas Karagiani in Athens. It hosts many discussions, film showings, concerts, and other events, defends itself against multiple fascist attacks, and still exists in 2010.

March 2, 1990: Anarchists in Athens form the hardcore punk squat Villa Amalias, which still exists in 2010.

Winter 1991: A massive movement of high school students, occupying 1,500 schools and all the major universities, and bringing hundreds of thousands of people into the streets, succeeds in blocking the right-wing government from privatising the universities through outsourcing contracts with private companies and changing the constitution to allow private universities. Police in Patras kill teacher and member of the far Left, Nikos Temponeras, in front of the occupied school he is defending along with his students, leading to two days of rioting in Athens.

November 1995: Anarchists and youth occupy the Polytechnic in solidarity with an ongoing prisoner hunger strike. Police invade the campus and arrest 500 people.

July 1996: Anarchist Christoforos Marinos is assassinated in mysterious circumstances in Piraeus.

None of the chronologies presented in this book represent even a tenth of the happenings and important events, They are intended only to give the reader an idea of the progression and kind of events, not their scale or frequency...