Mittwoch, 15. Dezember 2010

Greece is striking and celebrating a great molotov party against European austerity

From the Greek Streets, UK, reports this from today's General Strike in Athens :

"More than 100,000 people marched in central Athens today against the freshly-voted labour relations law and the austerity measures imposed by the government and the EU/IMF/ECB troika. One of the biggest mass demonstrations the city has seen in recent times was met by brute police violence; the police, nevertheless, proven unable to quell peoples’ anger. A former conservative minister, Kostis Hatzidakis, made the unfortunate decision to be present at Stadiou Street at the time of the demonstration and felt the anger of the demonstrators, quickly leaving the scene injured. Street-fighting erupted across the city, which saw chaotic scenes for hours. Barricades were erected across Patision Avenue, which leads to the Polytechnic School; waves of demonstrators arriving at Syntagma square, outside Parliament, fiercely fought with the police. An – eventually unsuccessful – attempt by demonstrators to occupy the building of GSEE (the country’s mainstream trade union) saw people fighting off the notorious Delta motorcycle police and two of their bikes were set ablaze.

From reports coming in so far, 23 people were detained in Athens today and of those 10 are arrested and face charges. There will be an update on the arrested tomorrow.

One of the most empowering elements of today’s demonstration was peoples’ sheer anger and their willingness to fight back at the police repression and to defend their right to be on the streets. New tactics, including the incredibly successful use of fire extinguishers in keeping police away from demonstrator blocks, is surely a legacy for the struggles to come.

A good selection of photographs on Athens IMC: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [some English picture legends here]

Apart from the spectacular images circulating around global and local media, an astonishing feeling in the streets of Athens is the rage felt by ordinary people toward authority, the police and of course, the people who have lead us all to today’s situation."

Parrhesia = Free Speech. Not all cops are bastards, if you can't beat them, talk to them ...

This man’s placard reads: “They are bringing us the [Axis] Occupation, 1940-1944″

From Free Voice Network via Europeans against the political system:

Huge protests and mass strikes stormed Greece today. Rallies and marches ran not only in the major big cities but even in smaller towns. Workers, trade unionists, anarchists and people from all kinds of political parties expressed their anger against the austerity measures of the government and the stance of the European Union. For once again what we see, is the reactionary broadcasting from the Western media. Here is a screen-shot of what the BBC has broadcasted today, definitely one of the most outrageous lies ever seen about Greece:

[Apparently the merry old aunt BBC has meanwhile elaborated her text, so I have copied this revised version:]


"Greek police have clashed with protesters in the capital Athens as unions stage a general strike against government austerity measures.

Demonstrators threw petrol bombs and police responded with tear gas as the violence flared outside parliament.

A former minister was chased and beaten by a mob and forced to seek shelter in a building [Reuters Video, and other here].

The day of action has grounded flights, disrupted public transport and closed schools across the country.

It is the seventh general strike this year following tough reforms needed to receive a 110bn euro (£84bn) bail-out from international organisations.

Police said about 15,000 people were taking part in marches in Athens.

Protesters started fires around luxury hotels in Syntagma Square, outside parliament, and cars were set ablaze. Riot police fired several rounds of tear gas in response.

The BBC's Malcolm Brabant in Athens says the scenes are some of the ugliest in a year of protests marking the country's economic crisis.

He says a lynch mob atmosphere developed as former conservative minister Kostis Hatzidakis emerged from parliament and was chased by dozens of protesters.

Former conservative minister Kostis Hatzidakis was surrounded and beaten by a crowd.

The opposition MP was pictured surrounded by a mob and with blood pouring from a head wound. Mr Hatzidakis's office said he was unable to reach hospital because of the crowds.

Witnesses said demonstrators shouted at him: "Thieves! Shame on you!"

Police said at least 10 people had been detained and three had been injured.

Roads jammed

With public transport at a standstill, major roads connecting the centre of Athens were jammed as motorists struggled to get to and from work.

Journalists were also on strike, affecting news bulletins on TV and radio.

Teacher Anastasia Antonopoulou, 50, travelled from the Ionian island of Zakynthos to join thousands marching through Athens on Wednesday.

"I can't sit on the sofa and watch my country go down. I'm here to shout and struggle," she said.

"Many of my students' parents are jobless."

On Tuesday, the Greek parliament voted through key economic reforms stipulated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union, which are funding the bail-out.

The new legislation will cap the salaries of workers in state-run companies such as the public transport networks.

In the private sector, employers will no longer have to abide by union-negotiated agreements and can set their own wages.

Prime Minister George Papandreou said the measures were designed to keep struggling companies afloat.

But union leaders have condemned the moves.

"We need to send the government a message that we will not accept measures that lead us only to poverty and unemployment," Ilias Iliopoulos, general secretary at the civil servants' union Adedy, told Reuters news agency.

Our correspondent says opposition groups are angry with the government for taking just 10 hours to debate such major changes to employment law.

However, as a result Greece is now more likely to receive its fourth instalment of financial aid due in the New Year, he adds.

Wednesday's strike is part of a European day of action against economic reforms.

Workers have been rallying against austerity measures in countries including Spain and Belgium, ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday."


The BBC shamefully mentions only what the police claims ignoring any other source. The protesters in Athens were not only 15.000 but according to local people 100.000. Many claim that the number is much higher, close to 200.000! It is very obvious that BBC reproduces cheap pro-capitalist propaganda trying to show that the clashes between Greek protesters and the police are the actions of a minority while the majority of the people support the austerity measures which is not true at all! Only in the second major city of Greece, Thessaloniki, there were more than 10.000 protesters. In Volos it is estimated that more than 2.500 people marched. 4.000 also gathered in Patra, 2000 in Heraclio (Crete), 2.000 in Ioannina, 1.500 in Xanthi (the numbers are approximate). Rallies took place also in small islands such like Skopelos and Naxos.

The BBC instead of being focused on police brutality where repression forces attacked even peaceful protesters, spends too much of its analysis for what happened to Kostis Hatzidakis, a conservative MP who was beaten up by an angry crowd. He was nothing more but a person who belonged to the previous conservative government of New Democracy, one of the most corrupted governments in the history of Greece. He knew that thousands of angry people were gathered in the Athens city centre, he knew that all of them are very hostile towards any Greek politician but instead of avoiding the “battlefield” area decided to cross this crowded street ignoring the possible consequences.

Around 14:00 in Athens, members of the riot police attacked people who were standing around Sina area. There are serious witnesses that a couple was brutally beaten up by 4 policemen. In the same area, police threw tear gas against the student’s block. The atmosphere was suffocating. The block of the trade Union GSEE has been also targeted by the riot squad as well. When a group of people reached the GSEE building and opened the main door, members of the riot squad entered, trying to kettle, many of them pulling out even guns. However, at the same time another angry crowd appeared and attacked the riot squad which finally retreated due to the huge number of gathered people.

Heavily armed police forces followed strict orders to evacuate Parliament square because patrol cars and police vehicles offered help to some MPs who wanted to escape. Rumours say that the evacuation of the Parliament square happened in fear of a rebel invasion into the Parliament House.

In Athens, “everything smells like a junta” says a protester. Close to the office of “Deposits and Loans” the police arrested a 55 year-old photographer without any single reason despite the reaction of many bystanders who did everything possible to liberate him but with no success. Another has been insulted for taking pictures and there are witnesses of the arrest of a girl with a camcorder. “Suddenly, a red car appeared coming down the university. When the people realised that it was taking pictures the driver rushed with speed against the protesters! People could have been killed because of that” said another protester.

Ordinary people chased a group of about 20 police undercover forces while others were setting barricades at the Polytechnic school. When the crowd started shouting against the police, the riot squad fled. The undercover forces run away towards the area of Exarcheia but one of them who did not escape from the angry crowd, was beaten up. Later on, a girl was taking pictures while a policeman was dragging a person outside of the University and members of the riot squad confiscated her camera.

In Thessaloniki several people called for first aid in a local pharmacy while some were taken away by an ambulance. As it is estimated that they have been brutally attacked by the riot squad. 28 people have been arrested while later on, 17 of them were released. Many protesters also condemned the actions of some trade unionists, accusing them for being “sold off to the government”.

CNN Reporting: John Psaropoulos, Athens, interviewed by Charles Hodson, London, with Reuters Pictures. Or the other way round. A joint venture, I suppose ...

Turkish TV Live Reporting

Greek Video with a Street Fighting Scene

See also

La mort de l'euro, un fantasme (Jean Quatremer, Coulisses de Bruxelles)

Europe Staggers as Critical Summit Looms (New York Times)

Street violence, trade union demos cast shadow on EU summit (EUOBSERVER, Brussels)

WRAPUP 1-EU hopes to seize debt crisis initiative at summit (Reuters U.S.)

Greek finance ministry set ablaze in Athens protest (Indo-Asian News Service via, India)

Anti-Austerity Protest in Greece Turns Violent (New York Times)

Greece: Anti-austerity riots erupt (Photos) (3news, New Zealand)

More fotos from today Athens (Act for Freedom Now !)

Athen: Generalstreik schlägt in Krawalle um (German Reuters Video via Der Spiegel)

Ex-Minister in Athen blutig geschlagen (Iran German Radio)

Aus dem

15.12.2010, 09:00

Massive Streiks legen Griechenland lahm

In Griechenland hat ein massiver Streik begonnen. Landesweit geht heute den ganzen Tag über praktisch nichts mehr: Flüge fallen aus, Fähren laufen nicht aus, auch Schulen sowie Busse und Bahnen werden bestreikt. Die Proteste richten sich gegen das harte Sparprogramm der sozialistischen Regierung. Gestern hatte das griechische Parlament eine Reihe von einschneidenden Änderungen im Arbeitsmarkt verabschiedet. In den kommenden Tagen soll der Sparhaushalt 2011 gebilligt werden.

15.12.2010, 13:22

Schwere Ausschreitungen in Athen

In Athen ist es im Zusammenhang mit den Streiks gegen die Sparpolitik der griechischen Regierung zu schweren Ausschreitungen gekommen. Mehrere Brandsätze wurden gegen die Beamten geworfen. Diese antworteten mit massivem Einsatz von Tränengas und Blendgranaten. Vor dem Parlament in Athen herrschte Chaos. Vermummte versuchten den Eingang des Finanzministeriums zu stürmen. Sie warfen mehrere Brandflaschen. Immer wieder waren Explosionen zu hören. Die Polizei lieferte sich regelrechte Straßenkämpfe mit den Randalierern.

15.12.2010, 16:05

Streiks und Krawalle legen Griechenland lahm

Vermummte Demonstranten haben sich in Athen Straßenschlachten mit der Polizei geliefert. Die Krawalle brachen am Rande eines zunächst friedlichen Protestes gegen das Sparprogramm der griechischen Regierung aus. Vor dem Parlament attackierten Randalierer die Polizei mit Brandflaschen. Die Beamten setzten Tränengas und Blendgranaten ein. Immer wieder waren Explosionen zu hören. Streiks gegen den Sparkurs der Regierung legten zudem weite Teile des Landes lahm.

Holy shit, Monsieur le Député ! Former Member of European Parliament and Ex-Minister Kostis Hatzidakis (45), from the conservative Nea Demokratia Party, was ambushed by protesters angry with his role in precipitating the 2010 debt crisis and beaten by a dozen of them (see Reuters Video )

Yes, we can : It's not only rock 'n' roll, so we like it ...

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