Thursday, 6 May 2010

Repressive Greek state retaliation against anarchists as parliament votes on crippling measures

From Occupied London, an update on the situation in Greece following yesterday's riots.

The names of the three bank workers who died in the Marfin bank branch that was set alight have been announced. They are Paraskeui Zoulia, 35; Aggeliki Papathanasopoulou, 32 and Epameinondas Tsakalis, 36. 

We are all very shocked and saddened by their tragic deaths and it is extremely hard to keep on reporting from here in Athens. However, the events unfolding are so crucial that it is important to do so. In brief:
  • First of all, a short disclaimer. No anarchists would ever purposefully endanger other peoples’ lives. Bank branches have been a regular target for protestors in the streets of Athens for years; for this reason, banks are boarded up on demonstration days. To lock up employees in a bank branch lying on the route of the biggest demonstration the country has seen in its post-dictatorial era is murderous negliance.
  • In the video below, Mr. Vgenopoulos, the owner of Marfin Bank arrives at the branch only moments after the deaths of his employees have been confirmed. The gathered crowd shouts “murderer” at him repeatedly. Around 43 seconds into the video one of the gathered people shouts: “how many yachts do you own?”, at which point Vgenopoulos signals with his fingers: “three”.
  • Today is the day that the austerity measures are to be voted in parliament. Union umbrella GSEE has called for a demonstration today at 6pm; PAME, the union umbrella close to the Communist Party has called for a night-long blocking off the parliament.
  • Yesterday in Exarcheia, the riot police launched more unprecedented attacks: the left-wing “Haunt of Migrants” was raided without any provocations; the riot police stormed in, smashing doors, beating people, chanting “Tonight, we’ll fuck you”. Photos from the raid (more here):
  • A few moments later, the anarchist squat on Zaimi Street was raided by the police – eye-witnesses report that the police shot bullets and threw hand-grenades inside the building. All the people inside were arrested. In total, 70 people were detained and 25 face charges. A solidarity gathering is underway outside the courthouse in Athens.
  • Moments before this raid, the riot police attacked the cafe on the corner of Stournari street and Tsamadou Str, by Exarcheia square. In the video below, they are shown smashing the facade of the cafe even though there are people inside. In the last few seconds of the video, the following dialogue takes place:
[riot police man] Erase it now, right now. Why are you filming? Who gave you permission?
[camera person] Why?
[riot police man] Because I fucking say so.

It is likely that once the austerity measures are actually implemented the anger and violence will only worsen. The Greek working class need our solidarity as this crisis continues.