More accounts on the riots in Greece

December 17, 2008 at 1:19 am (Uncategorized)

On the Greek Riots
#23, 15:42: Riot police headquarters attacked; state TV station occupied;
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The riot police headquarters in Zografou, Athens were attacked earlier today, with one riot police van and a few cars burnt.

Indymedia reports that the state-run TV station NET was occupied for a few minutes: Students were shown holding a banner reading “STOP WATCHING – EVERYONE TO THE STREETS!”

Planed for today: a meeting of the residents of Eksarhia outside the local police station, demanding that the cops leave the neighbourhood. Meetings &anti-police demonstrations in the neighbourhods of Brahami, Sepolia, Petralona, Nea Ionia and Dafni.

“The State murders. Your silence arms them. Occupations in all public buildings, now. Occupation of the Town Hall of Agios Dimitrios”

“These days are ours, too”
Monday, December 15, 2008
(The following text was distributed at the student picket outside the police headquarters today by people from Athens’ Haunt of Albanian Migrants. I wanted to translate and upload it here because it shows something very important: that ties of solidarity are being formed and strengthened across different sectors of the Greek society – a wonderful thing!)

These days are ours, too

Following the assassination of Alexis Grigoropoulos we have been living in an unprecedented condition of turmoil, an outflow of rage that doesn’t seem to end. Leading this uprising, it seems, are the students – who with an inexhaustible passion and hearty spontaneity have reversed the whole situation. You cannot stop something you don’t control, something that is organised spontaneously and under terms you do not comprehend. This is the beauty of the uprising. The high school students are making history and leave it to the others to write it up and to classify it ideologically. The streets, the incentive, the passion belongs to them.

In the framework of this wider mobilisation, with the student demonstrations being its steam-engine, there is a mass participation of the second generation of migrants and many refugees also. The refugees come to the streets in small numbers, with limited organisation, with the spontaneity and impetus describing their mobilisation. Right now, they are the most militant part of the foreigners living in Greece. Either way, they have very little to lose.

The children of migrants mobilise en mass and dynamically, primarily through high school and university actions as well as through the organisations of the left and the far left. They are the most integrated part of the migrant community, the most courageous. They are unlike their parents, who came with their head bowed, as if they were beging for a loaf of bread. They are a part of the Greek society, since they’ve lived in no other. They do not beg for something, they demand to be equal with their Greek classmates. Equal in rights, on the streets, in dreaming.

For us, the politically organised migrants, this is a second french November of 2005. We never had any illusions that when the peoples’ rage overflew we would be able to direct it in any way. Despite the struggles we have taken on during all these years we never managed to achieve such a mass response like this one. Now is time for the street to talk: The deafening scream heard is for the 18 years of violence, repression, exploitation and humiliation. These days are ours, too.

These days are for the hundreds of migrants and refugees who were murdered at the borders, in police stations, workplaces. They are for those murdered by cops or “concerned citizens.” They are for those murdered for daring to cross the border, working to death, for not bowing their head, or for nothing. They are for Gramos Palusi, Luan Bertelina, Edison Yahai, Tony Onuoha, Abdurahim Edriz, Modaser Mohamed Ashtraf and so many others that we haven’t forgotten.

These days are for the everyday police violence that remains unpunished and unanswered. They are for the humiliations at the border and at the migrant detention centres, which continue to date. They are for the crying injustice of the Greek courts, the migrants and refugees unjustly in prison, the justice we are denied. Even now, in the days and nights of the uprising, the migrants pay a heavy toll – what with the attacks of far-righters and cops, with deportations and imprisonment sentences that the courts hand out with Christian love to us infidels.

These days are for the exploitation continuing unabatedly for 18 years now. They are for the struggles that are not forgotten: in the downs of Volos, the olympic works, the town of Amaliada. They are for the toil and the blood of our parents, for informal labour, for the endless shifts. They are for the deposits and the adhesive stamps, the welfare contributions we paid and will never have recognised. It is for the papers we will be chasing for the rest of our lives like a lottery ticket.

These days are for the price we have to pay simply in order to exist, to breathe. They are for all those times when we crunched our teeth, for the insults we took, the defeats we were charged with. They are for all the times when we didn’t react even when having all the reasons in the world to do so. They are for all the times when we did react and we were alone because our deaths and our rage did not fit pre-existing shapes, didn’t bring votes in, didn’t sell in the prime-time news.

These days belong to all the marginalised, the excluded, the people with the difficult names and the unknown stories. They belong to all those who die every day in the Aegean sea and Evros river, to all those murdered at the border or at a central Athens street; they belong to the Roma in Zefyri, to the drug addicts in Eksarhia. These days belong to the kids of Mesollogiou street, to the unintegrated, the uncontrollable students. Thanks to Alexis, these days belong to us all.

18 years of silent rage are too many.

To the streets, for solidarity and dignity!

We haven’t forgotten, we won’t forget – these days are yours too

Luan, Tony, Mohamed, Alexis.

Haunt of Albanian Migrants

http://www.steki- am.blogspot. com

#22, 14:42 High school students brutally attacked by the cops; another four arrestees ordered in pre-trial detention
Monday, December 15, 2008
17.36 A musician’s protest at the Propylea was encircled and tear-gassed by riot police (!) The musicians were performing a track when attacked. There are rumours that this is the first time police use tear gas from their new stock; apparently this is some sort of paralytical tear gas.

14.52 Another four of last week’s arrestees appeared before the prosecutor today, who ordered their pre-trial detention (which can, and more often than not lasts one year in Greece). This, combined with the pre-trial detention of arrestees in small cities (i.e. in Kozani and Larissa) shows the greek “justice” will be following a zero tolerance approach with anyone suspected of participating in the revolt. As the prosecutor told the arrestees in Kozani, “the police can no longer deal with you – so we will”.

14.42 The peaceful student sit-in outside the police headquarters on Aleksandras Ave is unprovokenly attacked by police with tear gas. The crowd dispersed in three groups, all of which started fighting back with stones and spontaneous small barrickades. At least two arrests – one young male student was arrested, handcuffed and then teargassed and kicked in front of us. People tried to save him from the police but it was impossible. Indymedia reports that another young female student was injured in the head by the pigs. The anti-police sentiment on the streets is simply phenomenal.

#21, 11:47: High school students gather outside police headquarters; solidarity meeting outside the courts; fascist attacks Chalandri occupation with gun
Monday, December 15, 2008
In the next few minutes, high school students will be gathering outside the police headquarters on Alexandras Ave – an unprecedented move even for leftie/ anarchist groups. But the students have already overcome nearly all conventional forms of political action, so far.

A solidarity meeting is called for today outside the main courthouse in Athens, in solidarity with the arrestees – the pre-trial detention (or not) of many of them is to be decided today.

In the early hours of Monday morning, a well-know local fascist/mafia- type threatened the people inside the occupied building of the town hall of Chalandri in Athens. The people in the building left under the threat of the gun, to prevent things from getting worse, and re-occupied it a few hours later.

The police helicopter is hovering over Athens for the ninth consequtive day. We are off to the police headquarters gathering; more reports to follow.

Up against the wall motherfuckers! We’ve come for what’s ours.
Monday, December 15, 2008
In these days of rage, spectacle as a power-relation, as a relation that imprints memory onto objects and bodies, is faced with a diffuse counter-power which deterritorialises impressions allowing them to wonder away from the tyranny of the image and into the field of the senses. Senses are always felt antagonistically (they are always acted against something) – but under the current conditions they are driven towards an increasingly acute and radical polarisation.

Against the supposedly peaceful caricatures of bourgeois media (“violence is unacceptable always, everywhere”) , we can only cachinnate: their rule, the rule of gentle spirits and consent, of dialogue and harmony is nothing but a well calculated pleasure in beastliness: a promised carnage. The democratic regime in its peaceful façade doesn’t kill an Alex every day, precisely because it kills thousands of Ahmets, Fatimas, JorJes, Jin Tiaos and Benajirs: because it assassinates systematically, structurally and without remorse the entirety of the third world, that is the global proletariat. It is in this way, through this calm everyday slaughter, that the idea of freedom is born: freedom not as a supposedly panhuman good, nor as a natural right for all, but as the war cry of the damned, as the premise of civil war.

The history of the legal order and the bourgeois class brainwashes us with an image of gradual and stable progress of humanity within which violence stands as a sorry exception stemming from the economically, emotionally and culturally underdeveloped. Yet all of us who have been crushed between school desks, behind offices, in factories, know only too well that history is nothing but a succession of bestial acts installed upon a morbid system of rules. The cardinals of normality weep for the law that was violated from the bullet of the pig Korkoneas (the killer cop). But who doesn’t know that the force of the law is merely the force of the powerful? That it is law itself that allows for violence to be exercised on violence? The law is void from end to bitter end; it contains no meaning, no target other than the coded power of imposition.

At the same time, the dialectic of the left tries to codify conflict, battle and war, with the logic of the synthesis of opposites. In this way it constructs an order; a pacified condition within which everything has its proper little place. Yet, the destiny of conflict is not synthesis – as the destiny of war is not peace. Social insurrection comprises the condensation and explosion of thousands of negations, yet it does not contain even in a single one of its atoms, nor in a single one of its moments its own negation, its own end. This always comes heavy and gloomy like a certainty from the institutions of mediation and normalisation, from the left promising voting rights at 16, disarmament but preservation of the pigs, a welfare state, etc. Those, in other words, who wish to capitalise political gains upon the wounds of others. The sweetness of their compromise drips with blood.

Social anti-violence cannot be held accountable for what it does not assume: it is destructive from end to end. If the struggles of modernity have anything to teach us, it is not their sad adhesion upon the subject (class, party, group) but their systematic anti-dialectical process: the act of destruction does not necessarily ought to carry a dimension of creation. In other words, the destruction of the old world and the creation of a new comprise two discrete but continuous processes. The issue then is which methods of destruction of the given can be developed in different points and moments of the insurrection. Which methods cannot only preserve the level and the extent of the insurrection, but contribute to its qualitative upgrading. The attacks on police stations, the clashes and roadblocks, the barricades and street battles now comprise an everyday and socialised phenomenon in the metropolis and beyond. And they have contributed to a partial deregulation of the circle of production and consumption. And yet, they still comprise in a partial targeting of the enemy; direct and obvious to all, yet entrapped in one and only dimension of the attack against dominant social relations. However, the process of production and circulation of goods in itself, in other words, the capital-relation, is only indirectly hit by the mobilisations. A spectre hovers over the city torched: the indefinite wild general strike.

The global capitalist crisis has denied the bosses their most dynamic, most extorting response to the insurrection: “We offer you everything, for ever, while all they can offer is an uncertain present”. With one firm collapsing after the other, capitalism and its state are no longer in a position to offer anything other than worse days to come, tightened financial conditions, sacks, suspension of pensions, welfare cuts, crush of free education. Contrarily, in just seven days, the insurgents have proved in practice what they can do: to turn the city into a battlefield, to create enclaves of communes across the urban fabric, to abandon individuality and their pathetic security, seeking the composition of their collective power and the total destruction of this murderous system.

At this historical conjuncture of crisis, rage and the dismissal of institutions at which we finally stand, the only thing that can convert the systemic deregulation into a social revolution is the total rejection of work. When street fighting will be taking place in streets dark from the strike of the Electricity Company; when clashes will be taking place amidst tons of uncollected rubbish, when trolley-buses will be closing streets, blocking off the cops, when the striking teacher will be lighting up his revolted pupil’s molotov cocktail, then we will be finally able to say: “Ruffians, the days of your society are numbered; we weighted its joys and its justices and we found them all too short”. This, today, is no longer a mere fantasy but a concrete ability in everyone’s hand: the ability to act concretely on the concrete. The ability to charge the skies.

If all of these, namely the extension of the conflict into the sphere of production-circulat ion, with sabotages and wild strikes seem premature, it might just be because we haven’t quite realised how fast does power decomposes, how fast confrontational practices and counter-power forms of organising are socially diffused: from high school students pelting police stations with stones, to municipal employees and neighbours occupying town halls. The revolution does not take place with prayers towards and piety for historical conditions. It occurs by seizing whatever opportunity of insurrection in every aspect of the social; by transforming every reluctant gesture of condemnation of the cops into a definite strike to the foundations of this system.

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