occupiedlondon.org Dec. 12, 2008
Friends call from abroad. “Is it over?” we can only laugh at that idea - What do you mean, is it over? It’s just about to start. Some comrades come back to the Athens School of Economics (our base), carrying incredible stories from the occupation of the town hall of the
suburb of Agios Dimitrios in Athens. In a previous post we reported that the town hall was occupied by anarchists. Wrong: The town hall was occupied by the locals, whose statements so far easily overcome the “toughest” of anarchist speech. “This is civil war”, they
write. “Alexis, we hope that your blood is the last of an innocent to run”. We’ve got a copy of the entire statement published by the area’s employees committee, and will be translating it tomorrow. It is, quite simply, a historical document.
As for what to expect tomorrow (12.12). There is a callout for yet
another mass demonstration in Athens, at noon. A “revolutionary
alleycat race” is called for 21:30. Its tag: “Come contribute to the
chaos!”. Most university students will be holding department assemblies
to decide whether they will proceed with occupations (surely enough,
most of them will do so); we expect high school students to keep
rocking, as they have all these days (and if information received so
far is confirmed, regarding their plans, they might have some awesome
surprises for us tomorrow).
“Is this over?” How, exactly, could it be? The murderer if
Alexandros shows no remorse and is about to get away with it. The pigs
keep provoking. Their political leaders remain unpunished. What single
argument, what single reason is there for us to return to normalcy, to
forget, to retreat from the streets? None. There is no way back now.
Dec. 11, 2008
MADRID, Spain (AP)– The unrest that has gripped Greece is spilling over into the rest of Europe,
raising concerns the clashes could be a trigger for opponents of
globalization, disaffected youth and others outraged by the continent's
economic turmoil and soaring unemployment.
Protesters in Spain, Denmark and Italy smashed shop windows, pelted police with bottles and attacked banks this week, while in France,
cars were set ablaze Thursday outside the Greek consulate in Bordeaux,
where protesters scrawled graffiti warning about a looming
At least some of the
protests were organized over the Internet, showing how quickly the
message of discontent can be spread, particularly among tech-savvy
youth. One Web site Greek protesters used to update each other on the
locations of clashes asserted there have been sympathy protests in
nearly 20 countries.
More demonstrations were set for Friday in Italy, France and Germany.
the clashes have been isolated so far, and nothing like the scope of
the chaos in Greece, which was triggered by the police killing of a
teenager on Saturday and has ballooned into nightly scenes of burning
street barricades, looted stores and overturned cars.
Nevertheless, authorities in Europe worry conditions are ripe for the contagion to spread.
Europe plunges into recession, unemployment is rising, particularly
among the young. Even before the crisis, European youths complained
about difficulty finding well-paid jobs — even with a college degree —
and many said they felt left out as the continent grew in prosperity.
Greece, demonstrators handed out fliers Thursday listing their demands,
which include the reversal of public spending cuts that have brought
more layoffs, and said they were hopeful their movement would spread.
"We're encouraging nonviolent action here and abroad," said Konstantinos
Sakkas, a 23-year-old protester at the Athens Polytechnic, where many
of the demonstrators are based. "What these are abroad are spontaneous
expressions of solidarity with what's going on here."
Across the continent, Internet sites and blogs have popped up to spread the call to protest.
Greek Web sites offered protesters real-time information on clash
sites, where demonstrations were heading and how riot police were
deployed around the city. Protest marches were arranged and announced
on the sites and via text message on cell phones.
In Spain, an anti-globalization Web site, Nodo50.org,
greeted visitors with the headline "State Assassin, Police
Executioners" and told them of hastily called rallies Wednesday in
Barcelona and Madrid.
"We stand in solidarity" with the Greek protesters, the site said.
in Europe, reports about the clashes in Greece were quickly picked up
online by citizen journalists, some of whom posted details of
confrontations on Twitter.
At the Independent Media Center, photos and video of the demonstrations
were uploaded and plans were listed for "upcoming solidarity actions"
in London, Edinburgh and Berlin.
One writer on the site london.indymedia.org
exhorted people to follow the Greek example and "reclaim the streets.
Burn the banks that robbed you ... It is a great opportunity to expand
the revolution in all europe."
happening in Greece tends to prove that the extreme left exists,
contrary to doubts of some over these past few weeks," French Interior
Ministry spokesman Gerard Gachet told The Associated Press.
But, he added, the coming days and weeks would determine whether "there's a danger of contagion of the Greek situation into France."
In cities across Europe, protests flared in solidarity with the demonstrations in Greece.
One rally outside the Greek Embassy in Rome turned violent on Wednesday, damaging police vehicles, overturning a car and setting a trash can on fire. In Denmark, protesters pelted riot police with bottles and paint in downtown Copenhagen; 63 people were detained and later released.
And in Spain, angry youths attacked banks, shops and a police station
in Madrid and Barcelona late Wednesday. Some of the protesters chanted
"police killers" and other slogans. Eleven people — including a Greek
girl — were arrested at the two rallies, which drew a total of about
Daniel Lostao, president of the state-financed Youth Council, an umbrella organization of Spanish youth groups,
said young people in Spain face daunting challenges — soaring
unemployment, low salaries and difficulty in leaving the family nest
because of expensive housing.
Still, he said he doubted the protests in Spain would grow.
"We do not have the feeling that this is going to spread," Lostao said. "Let's hope I am not wrong."
In France, protesters set fire to two cars and a garbage can
filled with flammable material outside the Greek consulate in Bordeaux
Thursday and scrawled graffiti threatening more unrest, Greek Consul
Michel Corfias said.
Graffiti reading "solidarity with the fires in Greece," was
scrawled on the consulate and the word "insurrection" was painted on
the doors of neighboring houses.
"The events in Greece are a trigger" for French youth angry by their own lack of economic opportunity, Corfias said.
Associated Press reporters Matt Moore in Berlin, Daniel Woolls in Madrid, Ariel David in Rome, John Leicester and Jamey Keaten in Paris, and Elena Becatoros in Athens, Greece, contributed to this report.