As always, to understand what is going on today (Dec.11, '08) in
A few weeks after the "departure", in 1974, of the US-supported dictatorship in
Six years after the above dialogue, between the two policemen, in November 1980, the riot police attack the demonstrators that were marching towards the US Embassy during the yearly march commemorating the 1973 uprising of the students against the dictatorship. The Karamanlis [uncle] police kill 26-year-old Iakovos Koumis and Stamatina Kanellopoulou, a young worker, by crushing their skulls.
In 1981 the "socialists" (PASOK) win the elections. Andreas Papandreou, the US educated professor of economics at
The Greek people, early on, had adopt the "battle-cry": "Coppers Pigs Murderers!"
For 34 years, from 1974 to 2008, the Greek politicians, both "socialists" and rightists, as expected, have stolen millions of dollars from the money of the state [that is of the Greek taxpayers]. The latest scandal, in the tune of tens of millions of Euros, involves the government of Karamanlis [nephew] and the pious monks of a monastery on the "Sacred Mount of Athos". It is quite interesting [or quite amusing] how the "professional" Christians bestow sacredness to all kinds of material entities. For example, the above monks, besides living on a sacred mountain, they claim to have the "Sacred Belt" that belonged to the Virgin Mary mother of Jesus, the son of God.
Today these Greek politicians, mostly US-educated and some of them from Harvard or the London School of Economics, have managed to bring the young Greeks who have a university degree in engineering, or in medicine, or in law, etc to the point of a yearly income of about US $ 12,000, if they are lucky to have a job. While life in
Inevitably, the killing of the teenager was apt to cause an "explosion". The important new development, compared to previous "explosions", was that it spread as a revolt all over
Here is a very brief recording of what happened after the killing of the 15-year-old Alexis:
- On Thursday, Dec. 4, there are country-wide demonstrations by students protesting the attempt of the rightist government to downgrade the state-supported public universities. The police, in
- On Saturday, Dec. 6, Alexis is killed 25 minutes after 9 p.m., in cold blood, according to half a dozen eye witnesses. One hour later a violent reaction by the direct-action faction of Greek anarchists is initiated in
- On Sunday, Dec. 7, around midday a crowd assembles in front of the
- On Monday, Dec. 8, around 6 p.m.a huge crowd of thousands of people gather at the central building of the
- On Tuesday, Dec. 9, around 12 noon a huge crowd of pupils, students, high school teachers, university professors start to demonstrate. There are clashes with the police. Later in the afternoon the funeral of Alexis is attended by about 4,000 people. The police attacks them. Riots go on all through the night. Looting starts, mostly by immigrants, who do not take part in the riots, and by some Greeks. The same holds for most Greek cities and towns.
- On Wednesday, Dec. 10, there is a General Strike all over the country. The rioters this time are mostly pupils and students. They attack mostly police stations hurtling, eggs, tomatoes, bitter oranges [also known as
- Today, Thursday, Dec. 11, it is mostly pupils and students (14 to 17-year-olds, boys and girls) attacking police stations again with the above mentioned missiles. A few blocks from my place at Halandri, in
Now let us try to find out the meaning of this revolt:
But first an important parenthesis:
[Parenthesis: In the central hall of the police station of the
To try to persuade people about the existence of police brutality is rather redundant. Recent cases as the sodomizing of the young black in a
The groups that took part in the uprising after the murder of the 15-year-old kid are the following:
- A minuscule part of direct-action anarchists.
- A group of non-violent anarchists spread all over
- The usual police "plants" in the anarchist groups.
- A very dangerous group of police officers, of the Blackwater-type of individuals [assisted by neo-Nazis], masquerading as anarchists. [See below].
- The "KKE" (Communist Party of Greece), "traditional" communists, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
- The "Coalition of the Radical Left" ("Coalition" from now on). A formerly Eurocommunist split from KKE, numbering, now, in the hundreds of thousands.
- The "Greens", numbering in the thousands
- University students, numbering in the tens of thousands.
- High school kids, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
[The numbering refers to the power of each group in general and does not refer to the number of persons that took part in the uprising.]
The burning and breaking was done by the direct-action anarchists, the Blackwater-type pigs [assisted by the neo-Nazis], and some students and pupils.
The KKE masses demonstrated in the traditional way of marching in extreme discipline and departed. They carried the usual red flags, however the flagpoles were of the size and strength of baseball bats. This was a warning to the pigs and their political choreographers, that they meant business. The pigs got the message.
The Coalition people and the Greens demonstrated in the traditional way but they were there to assist the up-risen youths.
The uprising was carried out by the students and the teenagers, especially the teenagers!
What is of paramount importance is not the journalistic reporting or the burning, the looting, etc, but the incidents, events, and statements that show what is happening in the Greek society now. Here are some of these events:
- The head of the National Federation of Traders, Demitris Armenakis, representing the owners of the shops that were destroyed said: "No (material) damage can be compared to the life of a young man". This moral statement, coming from a person that suffered material damage, has impressed most Greeks.
- From some police stations the information leaked out that some of the policemen demanded and succeeded to take the guns out of the hands of their violent-prone colleagues.
- At some point ordinary citizens of all ages who usually are fence-sitters were so angry with the behavior of the police during the demonstrations by the young that they tried to intervene and protect the kids. Some of the parents of the younger kids did the same, placing their bodies between their kids and the clubs of the pigs.
- Today, a deputy of the Greek parliament, belonging to the Coalition, walking with two friends on a side-street of the area of the riots spotted two muscular men wearing hoods who were holding stones and carrying sticks. The deputy asked them if they were policemen. They answered angrily that they were policemen, so what. The deputy and his friends chased them, but their age did not allow them to catch the young braves. This was described, publicly, in the evening news.
- In a very unfortunate moment, the General Secretary of KKE accused the Coalition that they "caress the ears " of the hooded persons that burn and destroy. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the KKE and the Coalition leaderships have a decades long enmity that is based partly in personal antipathies.
- The usual 1/3 of a any given population, that consider themselves conservative, that is crypto-fascist, still consider the up-risen kids and the murdered child as "punks", "brats", "dirty bastards", and regard the murderer policeman as a hero.
- Two well known lawyers initially accepted the defense of the murderer, but after talking to him they declined to represent him. Eventually, a lawyer, by the name of Alexis Kougias, who has been in the forefront of the news for various reasons for almost a decade, accepted the job. Kougias stated publicly that the death of the kid was a "misinterpretation", that the death was the "will of God", and it is the job of the court to decide "if the death should have happened". We think that the case of Kougias is of great interest not only for the Greek society but also for the international community of intellectuals, university students, and ordinary people. We suggest that the Kougias case should be followed closely by all.
The conclusion drawn from the incidents of these six days in
What might one expect after the "intifada" of the Greek teenagers? The rightist government of Karamanlis (the nephew) is mortally wounded. The "socialists" have been so corrupt during their two decades-long governing of the country that the young Greeks are repelled by them. What the kids are looking towards, are: the anarchists, the Coalition, and the KKE. Also, to a lesser degree towards the Greens.
A year ago the Coalition's voting power was a little above 3%. A few months ago it rose to almost 16%. Now it is back at about 9%. The KKE for years was constantly around 5%. Now it is close to 7%. The Greens seem to reach close to 3%. It is reasonable to expect that in the next elections the Left (Coalition, KKE, Greens) could achieve a total voting power of around 20% and even much more.
If the above estimates are correct, then the "intifada" of the Greek teenagers will give a hard time to the CIA analysts in
We shall see what happens. Let us hope that my estimate is correct.