Posts Tagged ‘Greek uprising’

to all those of you who became experts overnight on Greece, this is what a Greek has to say:

I’m not going to comment or make an analysis right now on the Eurozone crisis, on whether Greece should remain in the EMU, on whether Greece taking a 2nd bailout package or on the austerity measures the Greek Parliament voted for yesterday. One doesn’t need to be Greek or even live in Greece, to be informed, to read articles, to follow politics, to investigate. We live in era that no one has the excuse of not being able to have access in information. Whoever really wants to gain knowledge on something, he just have to ask and search. In our days, a large number of people have the impression that having a computer, a mobile phone and access to the internet, makes them experts, analysts, and most importantly revolutionaries. Well, they are only armchair revolutionaries, who hide behind their computer screens and the internet’s anonymity, who by writing a famous quote on Facebook or on Twitter, think they are part of a revolution, a foreign country’s revolution at that. But there is a rough sea in their brains. Evidently they have no idea what revolution means and moreover they have no idea of the difference between revolution and vandalism and/or intentional property damage. So let’s take a very quick look at what happened last night in Athens.

– More than 150 buildings set on fire and now completely destroyed

– Historical buildings built in the 19th century completely burnt

– More than 200 shops, bookstores, coffee shops, theatres, cinemas, banks burnt

– Shops looted and completely emptied from their merchandize

– Shop-owners threatened by thieves with knives and forced to give their money in return for their lives

– Monuments, pavements, public property, cars, parks, train stations totally destroyed

– The most important: Hundreds of injuries and people taken to hospitals

I dare anyone to try and refute that all above happened last night in Athens. As from this morning Athens looks like a warzone. The damages are countless; the smell of burnt materials is everywhere, shops completely destroyed, broken glasses in every single street, broken traffic lights, broken marbles, broken cars, burnt trees, stones and dust everywhere….in one word: mayhem!

Destruction everywhere! Let’s see what Athens’ next day looks like. Private properties completely destroyed, leaving business owners without a business to run any longer, leaving shop owners without a shop, leaving hundreds of employees looking at unemployment straight to the eyes as of this morning, leaving families without income to feed their children, leaving hundreds of people not being able to rebuild their businesses and reopen their shops, leaving a city with destroyed buildings and public property and last but not least, leaving an irreplaceable gap in the city’s history, as a number of classical historical buildings, that survived two wars, were completely destroyed. And all this for what? In the name of what idea? What ideology? What value? In the name of democracy? In the name of revolution? In the name of resistance?

As a Greek, I know better than any of all those armchair revolutionaries and fake pundits, who copy/paste sonorous quotes from MLK or Che Guevara or Malcolm X that last night was not a revolution. What happened last night didn’t happen in the name of democracy. What happened yesterday was pure vandalism and criminal behavior. Two thousand hooded men, organized in smaller groups, each group with its own leader, using communication codes and pseudonyms, armed with pries, marble stones, fire extinguishers that were stolen from Athens Law School, more than 500 molotov cocktails prepared a few days ago in the premises of Athens Law School and most importantly “armed” with inexplicable anger are the ones responsible for last night’s destruction. What brave men! What spartans! What revolutionaries!

Well no! Not a single one of them who burned, looted, stole, injured, broke, threatened people’s lives is a brave man. Each and everyone of them is a coward in every sense of the word. A coward who hides his face with a hood and a mask, who has not the guts to look in the eyes the old man he threatened with a knife to take the only 5 Euros from his pocket. A coward, who needs a hood to destroy a city’s history and public & private property. A hooded coward, who has a perverted sense of democracy, freedom and revolution. A hooded coward, who doesn’t know that his idols MLK and Che never needed a hood to perform resistance and fight for people’s freedom and dignity, who didn’t need a Molotov cocktail to set ablaze innocent people’s shops and who, for God’s sake, did not purposefully block ambulances from transferring patients to a hospital. Anyone, who sits behind a computer screen, safely in their home, and who supports this kind of “revolution” is as much a criminal as those who destroyed hundreds of people’s lives yesterday.

Whoever supports this kind of destruction is as guilty as those two thousand hooded cowards. Greeks don’t need this kind of support from anyone. Greeks don’t need a lawless state that promotes violence and destruction, Greeks don’t need this perverted sense of democracy and resistance. Greeks know better than anyone what democracy is because Greeks are the ones who invented it. Greeks know how to fight and resist and will always put dignity above all else. Rest assured that not a single Greek, who has one ounce of brain, supports the hooded cowards. And if we Greeks don’t support them, then no one should. Thanks, but no thanks. They should keep the support of destruction and violence for themselves.


As news came out recently that the United States would be sending a new shipment of bombs to “Israel” from the Greek port of Astakos at some point between the middle and end of January, Palestinians sent out an urgent call to organizers in Greece to stop the shipment. Within a day, several organizations and individuals in Greece responded to the call. Perhaps most significant in the current context was that of the Greek Anti-authoritarian Movement, centrally involved in weeks of rebellion against the repressive forces of their own government:

“The Anti-authoritarian Movement calls for a Pan-hellenic gathering on Thursday, Jan. 15th at Astakos at 1:00 p.m. to block the departure of boats with American weapons which are destined for Israel.
As pressure began from below, even members of the parliamentary left began to raise questions. On January 12th, the “US” announced that it had canceled the shipment of arms through Astakos because of “concerns” expressed by the Greek government.

The prefect of Aitoloakarnania (where the port lies) announced that they would be sending instead a ship with material aid to Palestinians and expressed the sentiments of the local people:

“The people of Aitoloakarnania do not accept that Greek ports, and especially this port of Platygiali, constitute places for the transfer of weapons and ammunition which are used in belligerent circumstances and in the slaughter of the peoples of our region. … we are sending medicines and medical material to the beseiged people of Gaza instead of weapons [to Israel]…”

Resistance to Globalized State Terrorism

“Resistance to globalized state terrorism” is a call that relates the rebellion of youth and anti-authoritarians in Greece over the last several weeks to the slaughter of people in Gaza. Their opposition moves beyond the usual limits of “solidarity:” stopping a “US” arms shipment to “Israel” becomes a part of their own struggle.

State terrorism is globalized. The “US,” Greece and “Israel” collaborate not just against Palestinians, but against Greeks. It was the “US” that set up Greece’s repressive police structures: the MAT (Monades Apokatastasis Taxis)–“riot” police–are a special branch of political police that have their origins in “US” police training programs. Through the “Public Safety Program” in the 1960s and 1970s, the “US” supplied Greece with weapons and trained police in methods of repression–including torture–as part of the global “war against communism.” Just before Christmas, it was revealed that “Israel” was supplying Greece with a new harsher form of tear-gas to use against demonstrators. Protestors have described it as “asphyxiating.”

People in rebellion find their solidarity in a struggle against injustice which they know directly. It is solidarity in resistance. One can see this reading the statement of high-school students from the Coordinated Struggle of High-Schools in Athens, who chose to re-organize their national mobilization on education rights in Greece on January 9 into a mobilization for solidarity with Gaza:

“…Everyone must take a position:

–either with the victim or the executioner
–either with the Palestinians or with their murderers
–either with the peoples who fight or with the imperialists

…We are on the side of our student comrades in Palestine who have been murdered over these last days by Israeli fire.
Victory to the Palestinian people!”
Fighting zionism

The ties are concrete that link the police murder of Alexis Grigoropulos in Greece, the murder of Oscar Grant in Oakland, and the genocidal zionist assault on Gaza. The central role of the “US” and “Israel” in developing a global system of police repression has everything to do with their common history as colonial settler-states. As Aime Cesaire, Franz Fanon and others have written, it’s in the colonies that the methods, apparatus, and ideology of fascism developed. Concentration camps, special laws that expropriate whole populations based on “race,” and the systematic annihilation of peoples: Europe did this to Africa, the Arab world, and the Americas before turning to the interior. It’s in the settler colonies that whole new classes emerge whose livelihood depends on repression: the various military and paramilitary formations of the settler garrison become the police, mercenaries and prison guards of the totalitarian state. Germany, Italy and Spain recruited their own repressive forces from the colonies. The Algerian settlers became the most fascistic bloc of political power within France and threatened to seize control of the country and impose a military dictatorship as France began to back away from its colony.

Wherever the “pioneering frontier” is most active so also is the development of genocidal repressive power. The “US” contracts zionist mercenaries and companies to develop its own domestic security state. Elbit Systems–the “Israeli” company that designed and built the wall that is intended to starve communities in Palestine–was contracted to develop the “US” border wall with Mexico and flight security systems in airlines. Instinctive Shooting International–now renamed Security Systems International–provided “Israeli” mercenaries for “security” in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, and now regularly organizes trainings in “Israel” for “US” police and Homeland Security. Repression is now “Israel’s” most important global industry–all it really has to export.

The failure to confront zionism as ideology and as material power is a failure to confront a bloc of repressive, white-supremacist power within our own society. This has been a major weak point of social justice, anti-racist and anti-war organizing. To take the most obvious example, the strength of zionism within labor unions has been a major force for turning them into pro-imperialist institutions.


The Greeks have understood that solidarity means recognizing the concrete points of intersection where the fight becomes serious.

The US is dead center of the system of genocide and global repression. The physical apparatus is here in every major city and across the country in small towns: munitions factories, military bases, recruiting centers. Virtually every major university has its research institutions to develop instruments of mass murder, and its theoretical institutes to develop strategies of repressive power.

But this extensiveness is also its weakness. The main strategy of security is depoliticization: there is simply no way to defend so many nodes of violence from a movement that is serious about intefering with them.

The Greeks have given a small example of what such a movement might look like. Let’s stop the flow of weapons at the source.