Update from Athens: Reactions to repression

The mass repression of the 36th Polytechnic Anniversary March in Athens has led to reactions from students, pupils and even some rectors, as arrested protesters are taken to court. Meanwhile the anti-guerrilla farce was exposed once again with the latest girl arrested set free in lack of evidence.

Submitted by taxikipali on November 18, 2009

The day after the mass repression of the 36th anniversary march of the Polytechnic Uprising and Massacre, which saw the detention of 277 people in Athens only, and the arrest of 13 throughout the country, the reaction to the latest leg of socialist counterinsurgency was voiced today 18/11 in a variety of way.

Early in the morning, pupils of the 5th high-school (in Exarcheia) formed a protest march towards the courts where the 9 arrested of the previous night would appear before the persecutor. The sight of some hundred 14-17 year olds chanting slogans surrounded by strong riot-police forces was a blow to the image of the government. The pupils gathered outside the court-house where their comrades gave testimony guarded by police in full gear. At the same time a large group of anarchists in solidarity to both the 9 arrested and to the girl accused of membership to the Nuclei of Fire guerrilla group, also giving testimony, staged a demo outside the court house. The situation developed to full-blown clashes with riot police forces a few hours later when Antigone, the 22 year old girl, was finally released. The collapse of what was paraded as a definite success of the Ministry of Public Order came as the only supposed evidence against the girl, a single fingerprint on a glass candleholder, was not deemed adequate by the court. All the more as the "incriminating" candleholder was not included in the items confiscated in the supposed "safe house" of Chalandri, was not procured for recognition to the girl, nor for demonstration to the persecutor, thus remaining an object in the sphere of fantasy...Moreover, as her testimony verifies, she was being accused of partaking in a bomb attack at the same time that she was sitting school exams...a most incredible case of teletransfer...The release and the farce of the candleholder has come as yet another blow to the credibility of the Nuclei of Fire case. Until the time of writing it has not become clear if any of the 9 arrested of last night will remain in custody until their trial, though the possibility seems unlikely given they are almost all underage. There are eponymous testimonies of police brutality during the arrests.

Meanwhile students of the University of Social Sciences of Athens (Panteios) have occupied the rectorial headquarters of their school as a response to the collaboration of the rectorial authorities with the police, leading to the sealing of the school for 4 days to the Polytechnic anniversary. The communique of the occupation reads:

The Junta did not end in 1973. The student union of Panteios had planned a general assembly for Friday 13/11. The rector of our school, Tsiris, under threats of the Ministry "for the Protection of Citizens" decided to seal the school cancelling all classes and prohibiting in effect the general assembly. What sort of democracy are they preaching to us, and what academic autonomy when the rector's decisions are carried out by the police? By Friday dawn Panteios was surrounded by police forces, not allowing students into the school. Tsiris with the help of DAP and PASP (conservative and socialist student parties) tried to implement the Chrisochoidis Dogma inside the university in the most brutal way. They seem terrified at the prospect of student mobilisation, and thus they try in every possible way to repress and prohibit any political procedure. 36 years after the tank invasion of the Polytechneio, repression stays the same. Then with the army of the dictatorship, now with the police of democracy. Repression will not go unanswered. We are occupying the rector headquarters of Panteios pointing at the responsibilities of the rector and his collaboration with the police.

In Polytechneio itself an altogether different political drama is taking place. The rector and the three sub-rectors of the school have submitted their resignation as a protest to their persecution for allowing the anarchist blog, athens.indymedia to transmit through its server. The persecution has created trouble even for the Ministry of Education which washed its hands claiming that freedom of speech has priority. The announcement of the rector's office reads:

Once again, the Polytechneio has come to the centre of coordinated attacks for bearing the burden of the highest principle: the free exchange of ideas. This time the excuse was some questions in parliament [by LAOS] in the pre-election period of sessions. Those questions have activated a series of interventions by the National Telecommunications Company (OTE), which have now led to the persecution of rectorial authorities by the state for neglect of duty and for encouragement of toleration [...] The Polytechneio as an educational and research institute is the only one which can decide what serves 'educational and research purposes' and how this relates not only to the free exchange of ideas but in their publication. It does not take recourse to preventive or repressive censorship regardless the ideological and political gap that might separate us from the opinions expressed"

The rectorial leadership of the Polytechneio was denounced for its defiance by the fascist party in parliament (LAOS). Mr Polyzos, sub-rector of the school is accusing the government of following the fascist policy against indymedia dictated by LAOS. As far as the Polytechneio students are concerned 5 general assemblies of schools within it have published their support for athens.indymedia and their reaction to censorship.

Meanwhile the trial of 1 person arrested in Salonica and 4 people arrested in Irakleio during clashes last night have been postponed for Friday. Lawyers claim that several of the arrested in Irakleio are seriously wounded in the face due to police brutality.

Finally, in a communique to the newspaper Pontiki, the Revolutionary Struggle has announced that it is not related with the attack against the police station of Agia Paraskevi, nor with the "robbers in black", a supposed group of anarchist bank robbers, manufactured as such by the media, for which three anarchists are wanted with a 600.000 euros warrant on their heads.



14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by pirate on November 20, 2009

When is someone going to expropriate taxikipali a camera and some photo editing software to blur the faces?


14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by taxikipali on November 20, 2009

Which faces are you referring to? All photos attached in my posts are from the mainstream media in Greece so obviously in the odd case that a face does appear, about 10 million greeks have already seen it in about 15 different Tv channels and newspapers.

Anyway, as an update all people held in Irakleion in relation to the November 17 clashes have been released on conditions. The status of people arrested in Athens remains unclear, although most of them have been charged and released. The occupation of the Panteios rector headquarters continues, as does the occupation of the rectorial headquarters of the University of the Pelloponese by contract workers.

At the same time, a series of fascists attacks have taken place on the night of Thursday 19 of November on "soft targets": the book presentation of an anti-nationalist novel in a central book shopping venue in Athens was attacked by fascists of the Golden Dawn which tore the books in pieces and cancelled the book presentation. A few hours later the high school occupation in Papagou, a suburb of Athens know for its military and extreme-right inclinations, was attacked with blast flash grenades and flares by fascists. Finally, in the area of Petralona, the house of a member of the Workers' Revolutionary Party came under attack by fascists who threw molotov cocktails. The particular man had been attacked two years ago during an environmental demo in the area by fascist thugs which then disappeared behind police lines.

The same night, a 10-officer strong police patrol was attacked with stones and other projectiles some 100 metres away from the heavily guarded police station of Exarcheia. During their panic run one officer was injured and has been hospitalised.

Most importantly however the trial of the assassin cops of Alexandros Grigoropoulos has been postponed for January in the hope to distance it from the first anniversary of the killing and the subsequent uprising.


14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MH on November 24, 2009

I think TP that the suggestion is that if you had a camera that you could provide much 'better' pics of the action on the ground....however cameras are of course a double-edged sword - that juicy action pic one may want to upload after blurring a face, could be the evidence that sends that 'face' to prison if the camera was seized by cops. If you stick to writing thats fine by me. There are plenty of action pics to be found on Athens indymedia and elsewhere, and a search on youtube reveals enough riot-porn to keep anyone up all night.

Are you able to confirm the names and charges of the cops related to the murder of Alexis last December, and the likely timescale of the trial? I have read elsewhere that at least 2 cops face charges, but am unclear on the actual charges? Have also heard the cops trial may be at Amfissa, the prison i presume?

There's a report up today on the Occupied London blog about a large explosive attack on the Buena Ventura social space in Salonika this morning - see http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog post no.131. Their posts nos. 128 & 129 also carry interesting overviews of the last year. Also I guess you know this but some of the O/London collective are decamping to Greece for december/january and are calling for more collective reporting, see post no. 130.
Best wishes.