December 5, 2009
December 5, 2009
Public testimony of an eyewitness of the assassination of 15 year’s old boy Alexis Grigoropoulos from Greek Police that lead to December riots and general social revolt that still going on in Greece. The girl that she speaks in this text videotaped from her balcony above the spot of the assassination of Alexis the short-video that became world famous. She will be witness against the cop Ep. Korkoneas in his trial. This witness is a fragment from a bigger text and is included in the book “WE ARE AN IMAGE FROM THE FUTURE / The Greek Uprising of December 2009” that will be released in U.S.A. in February 2010 in U.S.A. from AK Press and is edited by A.G.Scwartz and comrades from Void Network.
Testimony of Eyewitness of the Assasination of Alexis Grigoropolous
I am an Exarchia resident whose balcony overlooks the spot where Alexis Grigoropoulos was murdered
I’m not so involved in any political activities. I’m not an activist. I can only speak about the killing. I can’t take a position on all the other things that happened because all these other things are very complicated and I don’t have clear thoughts on them.
Exarchia has always been an alternative, counterculture neighborhood. For many years it was a frequent occurrence that something would happen on a street corner in Exarchia and suddenly everyone from the cafes and the bars and the sidewalks would pour out into the streets and run to see what was happening. Usually it was incidents between people and police, some fights, confrontations, insults, shouting matches. In the old times it happened very often. Then there was a period when this didn’t happen so much, but in the last years it has started becoming more common again.
The reason that I found myself with a camera on the balcony that night was because I had always wanted to film one of these confrontations that are always taking place below my window. But every time I would come to my balcony to see what was happening, I got delayed. By the time I went back inside to get my camera it was too late, it was already over. This happened to me many times. And the last time that it happened, I said to myself, the next time, first I’ll grab the camera and then I’ll go to the balcony.
And in the end the next time turned out to be an incident that I never expected could happen. Two years earlier a friend visited me from Germany and he mentioned to me that the police here seem very provocative and dangerous. Even though he was a tourist, the way they behaved made him feel less safe, they made him feel endangered. And when this friend heard about what happened on the 6th of December, he wrote that he wasn’t at all surprised. But I was.
All the previous times, I never got scared observing these fights between people and the police. It was part of my everyday life in Exarchia. It was something commonplace. Because the Exarchia locals express their negation of authority firmly, and they believe in it, whenever something was happening I didn’t need to take a position or make a stand because it was just a part of life in this area. Of course in the ten years that I’ve lived in this flat, I’ve observed year after year a gradual increase in the police presence, an intensification. Policemen began to appear on every corner in the neighborhood, in groups, and also they were armored. The feeling of observing armored police in full riot gear carrying pistols, tear gas guns, and machine guns—it was getting more and more intense. In this period the slogan started to appear on the walls: “on every street corner there are police, the junta didn’t end in ’73.”
On 6 December I was here in the apartment with my German friend. He was cooking in the kitchen and I was in the living room. Suddenly I heard a bang. I hadn’t heard any noises before that. Nothing was happening in the streets, no shouts, nothing. Without warning there was just a bang. It seemed to me that it came from down the street, on the lefthand side. Despite the surprise this time I remembered to grab my camera first. I was not in a panic, I didn’t feel anything unusual, I just calmly got the camera and went to the balcony. I didn’t think anything extraordinary had happened. I looked outside, but I didn’t turn the camera on in the beginning because nothing was happening. I saw a few youths down to the left, sitting like they always do. The young anarchists are always hanging out down there, although this night there were fewer than normal. And on the righthand side, up the street, I saw a police car parked at the corner. One moment after the police car drove off, I saw two cops coming back on foot, and this was very strange to me. I asked myself, what are they going to do? They arrived at the spot where the car had been before, and started provoking the kids, saying come on you pussies! When I heard this I shouted to the German guy, come look! The police came and they’re starting a fight. He would get a chance to see this phenomenon of the Greek cops provoking a fight by insulting people. It’s normal that the police speak bad to people, but this was too much. It was provocative because they parked the police car and they came walking back and shouting challenges. That’s how normal people start a fight. It was like a personal fight, not the usual provocation by police.
Immediately after that they both took out their guns, both the cops. This was never mentioned by the media. And I got one surprise after another. First they came back on foot, then they started a fight by insulting the kids, then they took out their guns, and then they took aim, in a moment when there was no challenge and no threat, there was no fight or confrontation going on. And they shot. I heard two shots but I can’t say if both of them shot or if one shot twice. It’s possible that one of them shot twice. And they turned around and just left, simple as that, as though nothing had happened. Me, until that moment, it didn’t occur to me to look to the left, to the group of kids, because it was all so incredibly strange, the behavior of these two policemen. There was no need to look to the other side because nothing was happening there. And then I heard the people in the street shout that a kid had been shot. And then I felt panic. I ran inside, grabbed the telephone and called an ambulance, and I went down to the street. I saw just one kid lying there, and I was shocked. Everybody was shouting and many people were fainting. The kid wasn’t dead yet, and a doctor had appeared and was trying to administer first aid. Then the ambulance arrived and he died inside in the ambulance, I think.
I found out from other people that the first bang had been a concussion grenade. Apparently someone had thrown a plastic bottle at the police car and yelled an insult as it was passing and the police responded by throwing the grenade from the car. That’s not so unusual here. It’s normal to shout, everyone in Greece is shouting at each other. So I’m sure the policemen hadn’t been threatened, they weren’t defending themselves. Really, if a policeman feels a serious threat, he doesn’t drive down to the next corner then walk back to clean up the situation. Usually when the police feel a threat or feel like they’re under attack, they drive off, they get out of there. The police were not on the defensive at that moment.
I went back up and tried to watch the video on my computer, but I couldn’t because I was missing some program. So I knocked on my neighbor’s door and said I record
ed something but I don’t know what it is. Can we put it in your computer so I can see what it is? And we saw the video, and the way I felt, I had never felt that way in my entire life. We called down all the people from the entire neighborhood, everyone, we all came down onto the streets, and the energy, the atmosphere, was one of rage. It was overflowing all the streets, everywhere people were pouring out of their houses onto the streets. Everybody.
The riot police had the gall to come here, back to this corner where the first cop car had stopped, and where the shots were fired. And of course everybody started shouting at them, young people, old people, normal people, everyone was shouting at them to go the hell away.
About two hours after the shooting, it’s impossible to say exactly how long but it was about two hours. The secret police came. I was back in my house listening to the radio and the TV, which were saying there were riots in Exarchia, that the police had been attacked and fired in self-defense, but this wasn’t true. And the riots hadn’t even started yet. And from my window I saw men without uniforms looking at the walls of the buildings around the shooting. The secret police had come to search for the shell casings and the bullets, to investigate the area. I was with my neighbor, and I told him I was going down. I wanted to react somehow to what they were saying on the news. So I went down and I said that what they’re reporting on the television wasn’t true. One tall old guy came up to me with a greasy smile, and said, yes, and who are you? And I felt an amazing fear. Because I’m very naïve, I just felt the obligation to go down and say the truth. But this guy, he terrified me. So I backed off and said, no, who are you? And he told me his name and his position. He was the chief of the secret police agency, and he was in charge of the autopsy and investigation. They took my name and telephone, and they asked me if I was going to come to the central police station to testify, and I said yes.
He asked me what happened. I brought him to the exact point where the policemen were standing when they opened fire. And exactly at that point was where they found the shell casings. And they asked me if I had a vehicle, if I could drive myself to the station. And I said no and they told me I would come with them. I said I hoped the people wouldn’t bomb the police car on the way, and the chief laughed and said have no fear. He directed me to where a large group of riot police were gathered, and I found myself in the middle of a MAT squad. It was right at that moment that the people attacked. The chief disappeared immediately, he ran away and they left me while the people were attacking, and I saw all the guns that the police had and I flipped out. I couldn’t focus on anything, I felt how powerful theHe asked me what happened. I brought him to the exact point where the policemen were standing when they opened fire. And exactly at that point was where they found the shell casings. And they asked me if I had a vehicle, if I could drive myself to the station. And I said no and they told me I would come with them. I said I hoped the people wouldn’t bomb the police car on the way, and the chief laughed and said have no fear. He directed me to where a large group of riot police were gathered, and I found myself in the middle of a MAT squad. It was right at that moment that the people attacked. The chief disappeared immediately, he ran away and they left me while the people were attacking, and I saw all the guns that the police had and I flipped out. I couldn’t focus on anything, I felt how powerful people were, they were full of rage. I can’t remember if they were attacking with stones or molotovs or clubs, only that they were overpowering and I had to get out of there. I ran away by myself and came back to my house.
Of course I was expecting that they would call me for an interview as a witness. But they never did. I spoke with a lawyer of the movement, Yianna Kurtovick, she’s one of the members of the Network for the Defense of Political Prisoners and Immigrants. And she brought me to the examining magistrate. I had to go to find the judge because the police never called me to testify. And after I testified, some days later, they closed the whole area to make the official report to prove whether the bullet hit the kid directly or if it richocheted off the ground. That was the official story, that the one cop had fired at the ground and the bullet bounced up and hit him.
The magistrate, the photographer, and the secretary came up to my balcony to take photographs. The chief of the secret police was down in the street. I called out to him, Oh hello, you left me alone last time in the middle of a riot. And he answered, I didn’t abandon you, it was you who was afraid that the rioters would burn us alive. And I said to him, Don’t tell lies in front of all these people.
I remember telling myself some years ago that I lived in a military camp, with all the police around Exarchia. Now I say that I live in a warzone. What happened in December, I never believed that it could ever happen. Despite all the feelings of military occupation provoked by the police. For me, there was always a limit, always a final line, and when the police crossed this line, it was a qualitative change. Everything changed. Everyone understood that there was a certain horizon to the situation and beyond it everything was different. We have passed this horizon. And now I say that it is not a conflict anymore, now it is war.
In comparison with before December, everything is more powerful. The assassination of Alexis was like the cherry on top, the last straw. Now there is no more tolerance for the police. The killing was so outrageous, so far beyond the limits, that the people reacted and still they continue to react. They are getting empowered from the rage that was expressed at the moment of the killing. There were many other problems too besides police brutality, and these problems continue, but the people don’t tolerate these other problems either, not anymore.
So I’ll be in the trial of the policeman who killed Alexis. I was worrying about how I’ll feel towards the defense lawyer, because he’s defending a very bad person. Then I started to worry about the outcome of the trial, because if this cop ends up with only two or three years in jail, I don’t know how I would react. How do you react to the decision of a trial like this? Because many terrifying things are happening, and we hear about them and see them on the news, but it is very different when you saw it with your own eyes. It is not just words, it is a clear truth for you, there is no doubt about this, there is no distance from it. It is such an absolute truth, the assassination, it is like if you steal something from me in front of my eyes and then tell me it never existed. It is not something you just heard about from somewhere else. And I fear very much that if they find this cop not guilty, maybe my reaction will get me thrown in jail. I think about this all the time, as I prepare to testify.
Occupied Theatre School Salonica
Sunday 6/12 Manifestation
The only way to find out if we can swim, is to dive in the water…
If we have one thing to keep from last December, this is that the silence has finally been broken. Together with the social outbreak a great need for discussion broke through. We saw in the most barbaric way that the fairy tale we are being told, about “no dead ends in democracy” is nothing but a cheap lie of the authorities. There are plenty of dead ends. We see them in our dozens of everyday problems.
So how do we, as a society, react to that? We accept the “fairy tale”?
There is an exit from this system that destroys out lives and does nothing more than recreating and dealing with the corruptness created by its own self.
This exit exists in each one and all of us together. We just have to keep listening the message that came out from last year’s insurrection.
That the only way to liberate ourselves from the horrible reality we are living in is to start deciding for ourselves by ourselves. We have to realize that the logic “vote every four years and I’ ll do the best for you” is the logic that maintains this rotten system.
Everybody is responsible for their lives and the society they are living in.
We have to recognize this responsibility and start making steps in order to cut the umbilical cord that still connects us with all kinds of authority. Steadily we have to start changing our surroundings, in order to manage to abolish calamitous institutions like the representative democracy, and to create other institutions based on the equal participation of everybody. These are the paths last December opened. And we need to continue walking on these paths without fear. In every neighborhood, every school, every university, in working spaces, for the immigrants, for the environment…without fear in everything concerning out lives.
It’s better to decide for ourselves by ourselves, even if we make mistakes.
If so, the mistakes will be ours as well. We will learn, we will keep on, we will stand on our own feet
Open assembly at the occupation of the Theatre School, 122 Egnatias str, Thessaloniki Saturday 5/12 19:00
Manifestation Sunday 6/12, 12:30, Kamara.
At 8 pm a demo in memory of Alexis began is the small city of Corinthus. The demonstration was not previously called and started spontaneously by people gathered for other reason there. About 150 demonstrators moved in the central streets of the city. Near the university a riot police group with shields and teargas guns tried to approach the demo, but it was attacked with rocks. After that a bank was torched. The demonstration approached the police station and a few demonstrators attacked the cops that were standing in front of it, using molotof cocktails. 5 of the cops caught fire, dropped their shields and started running. the conflict with the police continued for some time… 1 arrest by the police is reported and he will pass tomorrow from the prosecutor, who will decide the charges. People are planning a solidarity gathering outside the court.
Sunday 6th december 2009
Solidarity demonstration with the struggle in Greece,
and to promote social struggle in the Netherlands.
Meeting point 15:00
Marie Heinekenplein (de Pijp)
Don’t let murderers carry weapons in the name of the law.
6-12-08 Killing of a 16-year-old boy in Greece by the cops.
Not the first and not the last event of exploitation by the authoritiets.
Our Silence is complicity.
When the cops kill your kids, then you will get out of your cages.
“solidaridad aqui y ahora”
|Athens, Polytechnic, Exarhia|
|Διοργάνωση:||Assembly of Open Polytechnic University|
OPEN ASSEMBLY OF POLYTECNIC YNIVERSITY ATHENS
One year after the December 6th 2008 MURDER of Alexandros Grigoropoylos
WE DO NOT FORGET – WE DO NOT FORGIVE
December 6th 2009: ALL IN THE STREETS [PROPYLAIA] 1.30[pm]
DIRECT RELEASE OF THE ARRESTED COMRADE AFTER THE SOLIDARITY RALLY FOR THE ANARCHIST G DIMITRAKIS December 3rd 09
VIDEO PROJECTION FOR THE UPRISING OF DECEMBER 08 — FRIDAY DECEMBER 4th 6.00pm
OPEN ASSEMBLY — FRIDAY DECEMBER 4th, 7.00pm
Activists from around the world who have gathered in Athens for the December Uprising Anniversary are welcome. Open 24hr a day for as long as we decide to keep it open. Come and participate!
FRIDAY 4 OF DECEMBER/09 (///)
GREAT MARCH OF RASH UNITED (///)
ALL SECTIONS, CAF, BAF & ANTIFA MOVEMENTS!
GREAT ANTIFA MANIFESTACION IN ALL THE WORLD!
SUPPORT THIS IDEA IN YOUR ZONE NOW!
FOR IVÁN KOSTOLOM OF RASH MOSCÚ AND ALL DEAD ANTIFA
ACTION DIRECT ON THE STREETS NOW!
R.A.S.H UNITED CREW! – THE CREW OF THE ACTION & THE
7 and a half years’ imprisonment imposed by the Grand Jury in Thessaloniki on 26year old Elias Nikolaou, for the explosion of improvised incendiary devices outside the building of the Municipal Police in Evosmos, 2 on the morning of January 13, 2009. The Court decided to suspend the right to appeal.
After a hearing of two days, which ended late Thursday afternoon, the court found the 26year old guilty of possession of explosives (unanimously) and explosion hazard to people and things (a majority of 4-3 votes), and recognized mitigating circumstances in his former good character.
In his defense the 26 year old denied the charges, saying that a conspiracy was set up by the police against those of the antiauthoritarian movement. Members of the antiauthoritarian movement on the side of the accused, denounced the court’s verdict, shouting slogans, while the withdrawal was completed without problems.
Meanwhile, the Alternative Initiative of the Thessaloniki Bar, announced its strong condemnation of police presence at the Court to mark the trial of Elias Nicholaou. The provocative presence led to abuse and civil rights lawyers recalled trials conducted in the emergency Military Courts of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and the Military Courts of the Turkish junta.
Indeed, outside the Chamber of the trial there were two sets of riotcops prohibiting entry to those who were not “liked” it said in the communication, and even lawyers had to show their identity in four consecutive “blocks” in order to enter.
FREEDOM TO THE ANARCHIST COMRADE ELIAS NICHOLAOU!
FIRE TO ALL PRISONS!
Faced with political announcements and rumors of the closure of the universities from Thursday, December 3, given the protests a year after the state murder of Alexander Grigoropoulos, comrades in Athens decided to come and stay and with their physical and political presence keep the space open, preventing its closure.
The University and all colleges are large estates of any government and rectors shut them whenever they decide. They belong first and foremost to struggling people. This is why it was decided by the state to close schools in order not to let them be used by comrades as places of assembly, fermentation, counter information and actions.
We are keeping the University open and call tonight, Thursday, Dec. 3, to a 9 pm debate – Meeting for working out and coordinating collective action to fight the next day.
Asylum is in society and UNIVERSITIES! AND NO TO THE POLICE!
DO NOT FORGET – we do not forgive, 6 December 2008
The insurrection is not suppressed, the specter is haunting THE CITY
* Summer Entropy Commandos
* Summer Tranquility Disturbance
* Arsonists’ Collective
* Arsonists with dirty consciousness
* Anomie Cores “carpe noctum”
* “Zero Tolerance” Organization
* Solidarity Paths in Light
* Insurrectionary Consciousness
* Fighting Solidarity
* Conspiracy of the Fire Cores
* Immoral Vandals
* Antifascist Attack Cores
* Commandoes – Solidarity Memory
* Attack groups for the liquidation of the nation
* Fire Path Group
* Non-Patriot Saboteurs – Cores for the Spreading Insecurity
* Fire Shadows (they sabotaged the HSAP city trains)
* Revolutionary Consciousness
* “Fire Solidarity” (Hania)
* Anarchist Attack Group “Alexandros Grigoropoulos”
* Anomie’s Contract / Erebus’ Ambassadors
* Comandos Husscheyn Zhachyndhoul Jhachanghir / Revolutionary Intelligence Agency
* Morning Sabotage Group
* comando mauricio morales duarte.chile 22-5-09
* Syndicate for short-circuiting the system
* Antisexist Group
* Immediate Intervention Hood-wearers
* Coalition of Arsonists – Security Project / Night Arsonist Groups
* Council for the de-structualization of Order / Coalition of Arsonists
* Wild Wolves
* Night Arsonists from Halkida
* Conspiracists for the realization of insecurity
* Immoral City De-Structuralists
* Revolutionary Cores Alliance – Speedy Arsonist Agency
* Fire Cores Conspiracy / Nihilist Commandos
* Night Attack
* Destroyers of whatever is left of social peace
* Manières à la Liberté & Max Stirner Fighting Cores
* Consciousness Gangs
* Perama Extremists
* Revolutionary Match
* Arsonanarchist Strike
* Night Arsonist Groups
* Sectarians of Revolution
* Council for the de-structualization of Order
* Happy Sleep’s Apostates
* Criminals of Thought and Action, 31/3/2009
* Delta Group (Disturbance of Order and Control)
* Arsonists’ Millennium Cooperation
* Attack Group “Catherine Gulioni” (she was a prisoner killed by the state)
* Practical Anarchists
* Revolutionary Action for Freedom
* Organizers of Night Entertainment
* CHAOS: Chaotic Groups of Sabotage
* De-Structruralization Cores
* Nikola Tesla Commandos
* Carnivalists in the tune
The trial has been going on for several hours and many partners are there … The cops are numerous and located around the courts. There is no information
by the courts 1:12 pm, Wednesday, December 2, 2009
sat only deposit the first cop (lasted 2 hours) that caught ypoteithetai Elias. Accept many questions and dropped several contradictions. . In general, however, be read, but it was just that (in my opinion always) emerged, and it is in our favor. He appeared in several places that the ditty have read and understand words iven one litel baby!….
but as we saw elias is bouncing and strong!.theare many people in the courts, and a room full of comrades and friends of Elias
freedom to elias nikolaou.
Teleiose for today
telephone from 3:12 pm, Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Just finished the process today after having examined all the cops-witnesses who have committed a great contradictions.
tomoroow morning the trial is going on again! greece saloniki.
On the 25th of April 2007 happened in Lisbon an anti-authoritarian demo against fascism and capitalism. Close to 500 people took part on a march through one of the city’s richest areas, where paint was thrown at shops, banks and a riot cop van and slogans were spray painted on walls. To this shamelessness the guards of democratic order replied with a police charge and beatings against the demonstrators and everyone who were passing-by. As a result of this charge and of a few Hollywood-style chases throughout the city centre 11 individuals were arrested, charged among other things with insults and assaults on police officers. On the 7h of December 2009 the trial is due to begin, at the court Campus de Justiça de Lisboa.
We know that the real point is more than a few damaged windows and offended cops. It is the attempt to grab the totality of life and of using all the tools we want in the struggle against a social order that consumes and destroys individuals, our relationships and the world we inhabit. It is precisely because this democratic order can not tolerate all the beautiful and wild things and people that still exist that in the last few years we´ve seen and felt a growing criminalization in the media, and the persecution by the forces of repression, of many of our and others’ actions and daily activities.
In the struggle for the liberation of our lives, we know who our comrades are and who are our enemies, and we go on finding all the others with whom we can meet in the joy of revolt. The solidarity with the accused is not limited to that court nor to the dates set by others: it must spread and become part of a struggle that doesn’t have as a point of reference the steps taken by repression, but the steps that we in our own rebellion want to take.
Their attempt to stop us through fear, to isolate us or to make us change our discourse can only have as a result the merciless attack to a power that has no borders.
A few anarchists from Lisbon
SDAC releases new poster
Ten years after Seattle many in in radical movements are looking to that day as an example of how we should organize, and this approach has led us down a route of tactical repetition. In the days since Pittsburgh it has become clear to many of us that not only have we begun to see another way of fighting, we have begun to construct a whole other way of approaching action, an appraoch based in fluidity, affinity, and the ability to shift with circumstances. Gone are the days of the large scale mass protest with tactics planned down to the last detail, plans that can never adapt to any change in circumstance. Seattle was 10 years ago and even though it is an action that inspired many of us to get involved the conditions have changed. From the expansion of the police state to the construction of our spaces around the concept of “security” the state has become that much more pervasive. In the midst of this we have begun to find new ways of organizing, fighting, and moving that are more adapted to this shifting terrain. The static tactics of the past no longer are effective against an ever shifting state apparatus which has spent the last 10 years figuring out how to defeat these tactics. It is time to stop looking into the past and start seeing ourselves as the harbingers of the future.