Greek-inspired protests spread across Europe

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 It is, quite simply, a historical document.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.

#12, 21:41 ATHENS, PATRAS, THESSALONIKI, KOMOTINI: Fascists and cops get the response they deserve

Athens 2-3,000 took the streets responding to the
callout of the Law school occupation for a demonstration. The cops
seemed very passive, for once. There are rumours that they are running
out of tear gas, which is why they had to play passive today. A large
part of the demonstrators passing in front of the police lines spat at
them, throwing them stones, paint.

Patras at least 5-6,000 people took the streets for
the demonstration called by the university occupation and in response
to the recent coordinated police &fascist attacks. Eyewitness says:
“one of the most beautiful demonstrations I’ve ever been to. The
atmosphere was simply amazing, an unprecedented amount of people on the
streets… The riot police are still on the street, together with the
hordes of their undercovers, but the demonstrators made them look so
much weaker today”.

Thessaloniki Eyewitness account: “The
demonstration, called by the occupation of the Theatre School of
Thessaloniki, started off with around 500 people. High school students
kept joining in though, so we ended up with 1,500-2,000 people marching
through the working class suburbs of the city. The cops tried to
provoke us but it was impossible. The most amazing thing about today’s
demo was that the meet-up between the anarchists and the high school
students that we were all hoping for, did happen”.

Komotini Reports are coming in on Athens IMC that
the besieged students in the town’s campus have managed to leave. The
students who were from the neighbouring city of Xanthi are on the way
back; local students left the campus also. The fascists, undercovers
etc who were following the demonstration with crowbards and knives,
attacked and besieged the students with no excuse and no provocation
from their side whatsoever. No passaran…

#11, 18:52, THESSALONIKI: Cops provoke 2,000-strong demo; students besieged in the Northern town of Komotini

Eyewitness in Thessaloniki: 2,000-strong demonstration in
Thessaloniki is constantly being provoked by the police. In the
Northern town of Komotini, in Thrace, 300 local students and students
from the adjacent city of Xanthi are besieged in the university -
around the university grounds, 200 riot cops, undercovers and Golden
Dawn fascists are threatening to enter.

More updates will follow.

#10, 14:18: 25 police stations besieged by students. The murderer cop was member of a nazi group (?)

Mainstream media report that 25 police
stations are besieged across Athens, with heavy clashes at some. They
also report that more than 4500 tear gas cannisters have been thrown by
the police these days; their supplies are running out (!) and more are
being ordered from abroad.

Fresh demonstrations have been called for
Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and many more cities this evening. Reports
on indymedia this morning claim that Alexandros’ murderer was a member
of the nazi group “Golden Dawn” in the late eighties/ early nineties
(without cutting his ties since) and that his family was active in the
nazi collaborationist forces.

 

This is the global civil war: It is their world…

(nazi with a knive spoted outside the Athens Polytechnic)

 

 

that we are fighting against.

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
"insurrection."

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.

Still,
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.

As
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.

In
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.

Several
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.

Elsewhere
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."

"What's
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
200 protesters.

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.

Topic: 

Tactic: 

Region: