Athens, Greece : info updates about the Demonstration on 8th of May, 2020 Let’s Take back the streets

The night of the 8th of May, more than 500 persons took back the streets to express their rage against sexism, the state and the imposed “normality”.
Around 9pm, Agiou Giorgiou square was filled by the first individuals and voices and music coming out from the speakers made clear that “if you touch me again, I will fucking kill you”. Banners were put up on the square with «No god, no master, no husband, no boss», «Rage against the machism» written on them.
A bit more than one hour later, a fiery pink flare started the demo. The front banner : “Reclaim the streets, squat the night. Λύσσα και οργή για καθε σεξιστη (Rabid and rage for every sexist)”. After a few meters, our voices became written words and stencils on the walls, streets and shop windows. They were screaming our rage.

As we were passing Ithakis street, a rooftop was lighted up with flares and a banner picturing a witch saying “From the streets to the roofs we fight back” dropped from the building by the granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn.
Upon arriving to Acharnon avenue, the demo was in great spirit, shouting slogans in different languages : «Tout le monde deteste la police», «ακόμα κι αν φορέσω τη φούστα μου καπέλο, όταν λέω όχι σημαίνει πως δε θέλω» (even if I wear my skirt on my head, when I say no it means I don’t want), «Solidarite avec les», «H Ελλάδα να πεθάνει να ζήσουμε εμείς, στο διάολο η οικογένεια, στο διάολο και η πατρίς» (to death with Greece so that we can live, fuck the family and fuck the homeland), «Alerta, alerta, alerta feminista»… and gave Ag. Paneleimonas church a much needed hot feminist make-over fully covering it in sprays and stencils.

On the way to Victoria, we passed a Choriatiko bakery, a notorious chain that has been involved in women trafficking, and covered its windows in slogans.

People were joining the demo along the way. Reaching Victoria square, we noticed a small presence of riot cops leaving as we made our way back to Kypseli. On Drossopoulou street, when water was thrown on us from a balcony, the demo responded spontaneously with rabid anger, slogans, sprays and a garbage bin found its way in front of the door of the harassing neighbours.
The demonstration finished its route in Fokionos Negri with a lot of energy, sprays around and people wanting to continue. All among the way, attacks and provocations from sexists were answered immediately and in an offensive way. People filming the demo with their phones were stopped, we refused photos taken of the demonstration so as not to become once again just a spectacle.

The demonstration had consciously no guarding. This gave the possibility to individuals to defend themselves, how they want and without depending on an external authority. However, some people from the demonstration still found a way to calm the conflicts that exploded against sexist incidents like insults and slut shaming on the way. But the rage and the desire to bash back was well there.
For most of the demo, a police car opened the way. We regret that the car was not attacked and that the demo was dependent on it. However, it was positive that the cops did not know where the demo was going and so did not really know how to react. At many points the car created more mess than minimised it.
Around 11:30pm at the end of the demonstration, as the protesters were breaking off, some of them stayed to chill in the squares of Fokionos Negri and Agiou Georgiou. Two hours later, the cops attacked Agiou Georgiou square with tear gas and batons. There were prosecutions and arrests.
On Saturday 9/5, a lot of different anti-authoritarian groups called for a demonstration as an answer to the police attack on the previous night. The big majority of them limited this incident to repression from capital and state. Even though this is obviously true, these analyses silenced the existence of the demo and its anarcha- queer transfeminist content.
One day before the demo, on the 7th of May, the demonstration caught the media’s attention with star channel showing the poster of the 8th of May demo in the evening news. They reported that anarchist collectives were gathering to break the quarantine and take back the streets. The feminist content of the demo was once again completely ignored and wilfully erased in a conservative fury over disobedience. As women, trans persons and queers on the escalated policeocracy and the gentrified squares, we want to recall that the streets were never ours, in all.
The demonstration that was called in response to the attack of the police at Agiou Georgiou square had a feminist block. The vibe at the 9th of May demo was very different from the day before as it was full of men taking up all the space the previous demonstration tried to open. During the demo, escalating the 8th of May anger, a church was attacked. The reaction of the demo to the attack of the church was mainly negative, showing us once again the copification and internalised authority to preserve order of our own so-called comrades. The same response sadly applied for attacks against supermarkets, shops, a supermarket van and to a certain extend ATMs.
Whether before or after the 8th of May demo the call for a non-mixed bloc at the front created a lot of frustration to the point that the call was censored from multiple anti-report media, especially for the cis male comrades that could not for once give up their privileges. Not leading the demo holding their sticks and disciplining the crowd, was probably a threat to their authority over the movement and the demos. In the 8th of May demo there was no gender policing, no ban based on passing, no real separation based on social gender.
Authoritarian, harassing and oppressive behaviours have no space in our demos no matter the gender. We don’t need any man to protect us and tell us how things work.
Some more thoughts about non-mixity: we are tired of constantly sharing spaces with toxic men, abusive harassing “comrades”, and rapists. We have no more patience for their apologist friends who give them space underestimating our experience. There is no comradeship when the indifference and neutrality within the anarchist male community leads to our exclusion instead of theirs. Rape culture cuts across all society including the anarchist movement. Rapists are not scary monsters, they are everyday men* that exist around and next to us.
Desiring the destruction of all authority we cannot limit ourselves to the attack of external power structures (eg. Police station). The destruction of authority includes a constant and uncompromising war against society, as well as the individual responsibility towards acts and internalized authoritarian behaviors (eg. Sexism, speciesism…).
Some rabid queer-feminists
*Men are not the only gender that rapes, but we gender it because most rapes are gendered.

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