By Chris Spannos at Dec 14, 2008
Updated Tuesday, December 23: Below is the latest Polytechnic Communiqué from the blog Occupied London.
#34, 13:32: Polytechnic raid scenario weakens; police resort to dictatorship-style surveillance; shots against riot police van; student demo set to start
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
After a quiet night at the Athens Polytechnic last night, mainstream media (which, more often than not, prepare the ground for police operations) are now reporting that a police raid of the polytechnic is unlikely. The people occupying the building have succesfully defended their right to decide themselves when to leave - this will happen at today's open assembly (6pm).
Reports are coming in, both on indymedia and the occupations' open assemblies, that the police has been approaching taxi drivers asking them to pass on information about their passengers (exactly like they would do during the 1967-1974 dictatorship). In one instance a woman who hailed a cab outside the occupied Economics University and asked to be taken to a northern suburb of Athens was driven straight to the police headquarters. Luckily she realised what was going on a block away from the police building and managed to jump out of the taxi's window and escape, chased both by the taxi driver and the police.
Meanwhile, mainstream media also report a riot police van was shot at twice at 05:50 am in the Goudi suburb of Athens, next to the university campus in Zografou; one bullet hit the van's tyre and the other hit the engine.
The last student demonstration for this year is set to start in a few minutes. There has already been a call for a fresh student demo on January 7th and it is expected that demonstrations will continue apace in the new year.
It is also expected that the anarchist occupations of the three universities (Economics, Polytechnic and Law school) will all end later this week, as fatigue is seriously kicking in at these unprecedented 17-days long occupations. Actions will, of course, continue - the biggest bet right now is to expand the revolt and unrest in time and people are focusing their plans on this. We should have a better idea of where things will go after this week's assemblies.
A report from the student demo will follow.
Updated Sunday Dec. 21 (18:40):
According a statement made by the Occupied Athens Polytechnic University, they are currently under threat of being raided by police. The university has been the base of the current student uprising in the Exarchia district of Athens and carries much historical importance and symbolism from past social struggles as well. They explain below the possible loop-hole which may enable the police raid. What is important to note here is that, because of the 1973 student uprising against the military junta (1967-1974), beginning on Nov. 14 and ending when tanks crushed the university gates on Nov. 17---resulting in at least 34 young people dead and some 800 injured---the police are constitutionally inhibited from entering the university. The students have decided to remain in the occupied grounds. The students' website is here: http://www.edopolytexneio.org (although currently not loading...) their blog is here: http://katalipsipolytexneiou.blogspot.com
See previous blog entries on the uprising below.
See previous blog entries on the uprising below.
Their statement is here:
Their statement is here:
The revenge of normality shall not pass, neither at the Polytechnic nor anywhere else!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
(Statement by the Occupied Athens Polytechnic, issued a few moments ago)
From Saturday 20th of December onward, following the clashes around the Athens Polytechnic (one of the tens of mass clashes between protestors and police that followed the assassination of 15-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos) there has been strong speculation surrounding the occupation of the Athens Polytechnic.
Continuous information that has been coming in regarding a possible police raid in the occupied Polytechnic, combined with the strategic maneuvering of the riot police during the clashes, foretold the obvious: The police are preparing to raid the occupied university. Bypassing the senate, surrendering the Polytechnic to the police and the ministry of interior, the attorney general sent us an indirect yet clear message, with threats and blackmailing, that we have "a few hours" left.
We reply to them that the time we've got left is as much as the revolted part of the society decides and that we accept no ultimatums in this. That they'd better respect and fear all who participated, participate and will continue to participate in practices of revolt. It is precisely those, the thousands of revolted, of students, workers, unemployed, migrants and comrades that we call to a high alert at the space of the Polytechnic, ahead of the coming raid.
- We call everyone to a mass presence at the Athens Polytechnic campus
- We call for an open assembly today, Sunday 21/12 at 9pm
- We call for self-guarded concert of solidarity and financial support for the prisoners of the revolt. 6pm at the Athens Polytechnic
We shall have the last word
These days and nights belong to Alexis
Athens Polytechnic Occupation
Updated Saturday Dec. 20th (See below for previous reports):
Today was an international day of Action and Solidarity in support of the Uprising in
Also, a recent poll was published, conducted last Oct.-Nov., before the uprising, stating that "Greeks are the most pessimistic people in the eurozone," with seven in ten Greeks believing that their country is going in the "wrong direction," with economic concerns worrying Greeks most: "88 percent believe that the country's economy is in worse shape than that of other EU countries and 92 percent expect things to get worse over the next 12 months. Half of the 1,000 respondents said that the economy in general is one of the basic problems the country has to tackle." This is the same paper that released a poll about a week ago stating that, rather than "riots," 60 percent of Greeks believe a social "uprising" is occurring in their country. See below for more info.
Global Day of Action against State Terrorism
Communiqué from the Occupied
Two weeks after the state murder of comrade Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the social and class counter-attack continues.
University facilities and public buildings remain occupied, whilst mobilisations, demonstrations and confrontations with the uniformed guardians of order continue to take place on the streets, throughout
Up until Wednesday 17 December, 16 of those arrested during the rebellious events of December have been imprisoned facing grave charges and 4 of them are persecuted according the "anti"terrorist law. Hundreds of people have been arrested all over the country. In
The events that took place following the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos started a wave of worldwide mobilisations in his memory and in solidarity with those rebels fighting in the streets against democratic totalitarianism. Gatherings, marches, symbolic attacks on Greek consulates, as well as confrontations with the police, have taken place in cities across Cyprus, Germany, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Belgium, the United States of America, Turkey, Ireland, Switzerland, Croatia, Australia, Russia, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Poland, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Uruguay, Austria, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, Basque Country and elsewhere.
We continue the occupation of the
Following a collective decision of the occupied Polytechnic's general assembly on Saturday 13/12, we called for global actions against state terrorism on Saturday 20/12. Because we do not forget and we do not forgive. Because the use of murderous violence by the state and bosses against those that struggle is not a localized phenomenon but rather a universal suffocating reality. Because zero tolerance and repressive terrorism, wage slavery, poverty and social exclusion, exploitation, oppression and social control are not constrained by borders -- but neither is the struggle for freedom.
The rebellion that lit up this miserable world with its flames, continues!
Immediate release of all who are being detained by the police.
Solidarity with everyone facing persecution.
Solidarity with everyone around the world who uses any means to spread the message of rebellion!
Gathering at the site of Alexis Grigoropoulos' murder.
Saturday 20/12, 9pm.
The Occupation of the
Updated Thursday night December 18th: On the eve of the two-week mark, the social uprising in Greece shows no sign of abating. Large demonstrations and clashes with police continued today in Athens. Numerous media centers, high schools and university buildings remain occupied. A friend informs me that today the state has attacked the Law School around noon, where over a hundred people have taken command of the building. Below is a video news report covering some of today's events.
Update Monday night of Dec 15. Below are various links to groups, occupations and communiqués all relating to the Greek uprising:
According to a poll published in the Kathimerini newspaper 60 percent of Greeks see recent events as a "social uprising," meaning they place the rebellion in a broader context and understanding that includes the killing of 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos and also the social and material crisis that those uprising seek to bring attention to.
I'm told that events are expected to continue into next week with more demonstrations. Government response, the legal situation, youth reaction and rebellion will be key factors in affecting the short and long-term balance of power. The best analysis of the uprising that I've read is by long-time Z writer and Athens resident Nikos Raptis. His article "Greek Teenagers" can be found here.
Below is an Al Jazeera news video update on the uprising as of today. Below that is a Communiqué from the Polytechnic University Occupation in Athens, and below that is some more video context from Democracy Now and a few dramatic video collages from various sources. There is also this link to the english translation of Athens Indymedia here.
Communiqué by the Polytechnic University Occupation
Friday 12th December 2008
THEIR DEMOCRACY MURDERS...
On Saturday December 6, 2008, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year old comrade, was murdered in cold blood, with a bullet in the chest by the cop Epaminondas Korkoneas of the special guards` police force in the area of Exarchia.
Contrary to the statements of politicians and journalists who are accomplices to the murder, this was not an "isolated incident", but an explosion of the state repression which systematically and in an organised manner targets those who resist, those who revolt, the anarchists and antiauthoritarians.
It is the peak of state terrorism which is expressed with the upgrading of the role of repressive mechanisms, their continuous armament, the increasing levels of violence they use, with the doctrine of "zero tolerance", with the slandering media propaganda that criminalises those who are fighting against authority.
It is these conditions that prepare the ground for the intensification of repression, attempting to extract social consent beforehand, and arming the weapons of state murderers in uniform that are targeting the people who fight, the youth, the damned who are revolting in the entire country.
Lethal violence against the people in the social and class struggle is aiming at everybodyÊ¼s submission, serving as exemplary punishment, meant to spread fear.
It is the escalation of the generalized attack of the state and the bosses against the whole of society, in order to impose more rigid conditions of exploitation and oppression, to consolidate control and repression. An attack that is reflected everyday on poverty, social exclusion, the blackmail to adjust in the world of social and class divisions, the ideological war launched by the dominant mechanisms of manipulation (the mass media). An attack which is raging in every social space, demanding from the oppressed their division and silence. From the schoolsÊ¼ cells and the universities to the dungeons of waged slavery with the hundreds of dead workers in the so-called "working accidents" and the poverty embracing large numbers of the population... From the minefields in the borders, the pogroms and the murders of immigrants and refugees to the numerous "suicides" in prisons and police stations... from the "accidental shootings" in police blockades to violent repression of local resistances, Democracy is showing its teeth!
In these conditions of fierce exploitation and oppression, and against the daily looting and pillage that the state and the bosses are launching, taking as spoils the oppressed peopleÊ¼s labour force, their life, their dignity and freedom, the accumulated social suffocation is accompanying today the rage erupting in the streets and the barricades for the murder of Alexandros.
From the first moment after the murder of Alexandros, spontaneous demonstrations and riots appear in the centre of Athens, the Polytechnic, the Economic and the Law Schools are being occupied and attacks against state and capitalist targets take place in many different neighbourhoods and in the city centre. Demonstrations, attacks and clashes erupt in Thessaloniki, Patras, Volos, Chania and Heraklion in Crete, in Giannena, Komotini, Xanthi, Serres, Sparti, Alexandroupoli, Mytilini. In Athens, in Patission street -outside the Polytechnic and the Economic School- clashes last all night. Outside the Polytechnic the riot police make use of plastic bullets.
On Sunday the 7th December, thousands of people demonstrate towards the police headquarters in Athens, attacking the riot police. Clashes of unprecedented tension spread in the streets of the city centre, lasting until late at night. Many demonstrators are injured and a number of them are arrested.
From Monday morning until today the revolt spreads and becomes generalized. The last days are full of uncountable social events: militant high school studentsÊ¼ demonstrations ending up -in many cases- in attacks against police stations and clashes with the cops in the neighborhoods of Athens and in the rest of the country, massive demonstrations and conflicts between protestors and the police in the centre of Athens, during which there are assaults in banks, big department stores and ministries, siege of the Parliament in Syntagma square, occupations of public buildings, demonstrations ending in riots and attacks against state and capitalist targets in many different cities.
The attacks of the police against youth and generally against people who are fighting, the dozens of arrests and beatings of demonstrators, and in some cases the threatening of protestors by cops waving their guns, as well as their cooperation with the fascist thugs -like in the incidents of Patras, where cops together with fascists charged against the rebels of the city-, are the methods in which the stateÊ¼s uniformed dogs are implementing the doctrine of "zero tolerance" under the commands of the political bosses in order to suppress the wave of revolt which was triggered last Saturday night.
The terrorism by the police occupation army is completed by the exemplary punishment of those who are arrested and now facing severe accusations leading to their imprisonment:
In the city of Larisa, 8 persons arrested are prosecuted with the "anti"terrorist law and were imprisoned facing charges for "criminal organization". 25 immigrants who were arrested during the riots in Athens face the same charges as well. Also in Athens, 5 of the arrested on Monday were imprisoned, and 5 more who were arrested Wednesday night are in custody and will be taken in front of a prosecutor next Monday, facing felony charges.
At the same time, a deceitful propaganda war is launched against the people fighting, paving the way for repression, for the returning in the normality of social injustice and submission.
The explosive events right after the murder caused a wave of international mobilization in memory of Alexandros and in solidarity with the revolted who are fighting in the streets, inspiring a counter-attack to the totalitarianism of democracy. Concentrations, demonstrations, symbolic attacks in greek embassies and consulates and other solidarity actions have taken place in cities of Cyprus, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Holland, G. Britain, France, Italy, Poland, Turkey, USA, in Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Slovakia, Croatia, Russia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Belgium, N. Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, Chile and elsewhere.
We continue the occupation of the Polytechnic School which started on Saturday night, creating a space for all people who are fighting to gather, and one more permanent focus of resistance in the city.
In the barricades, the occupations, the demonstrations and the assemblies we keep alive the memory of Alexandros, but also the memory of Michalis Kaltezas, of Carlo Giuliani, Michalis Prekas, Christoforos Marinos and of all the comrades who were murdered by the state. We donÊ¼t forget the social-class war in which these comrades fell and we keep open the front of a total refusal to the aged world of Authority. Our actions, our attempts are the living cells of the insubordinate free world that we dream, without masters and slaves, without police, armies, prisons and borders.
The bullets of the murderers in uniform, the arrests and beatings of demonstrators, the chemical gas war launched by the police forces, the ideological attack of Democracy not only cannot manage to impose fear and silence, but they become for the people the reason to raise against state terrorism the cries of the struggle for freedom, to abandon fear and to meet -more and more every day, youth, high school and university students, immigrants, jobless, workers- in the streets of revolt. To let the rage overflow and drown them!
THE STATE, THE BOSSES, THEIR THUGS AND THEIR LACKEYS ARE MOCKING US, ROBBING US AND KILLING US!
LETÊ¼S ORGANISE, COUNTER-ATTACK AND SMASH THEM!
THESE NIGHTS BELONG TO ALEXIS!
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ALL THE ARRESTED
We are sending our solidarity to everyone occupying universities, schools and state buildings, demonstrating and clashing with the state murderers all over the country.
We are sending our solidarity to all comrades abroad who are mobilizing, transferring our voice everywhere. In the great battle for global social liberation we stand together!
The Occupation of the Polytechnic University in Athens,
Friday, December 12, 2008
The assembly of the Occupation takes place everyday at 8pm in the Polytechnic.
A collage of dramatic images (accompanied by rock music):
More images (with hip hop):
Greek Democracy's Worst Enemy?