December 6, 2009
Extensive episodes in the center of Thessaloniki
Last updated: Sunday, December 6, 2009, 15:03
People cut off from the planned path threw Molotov bombs at roadblocks setup by the police which responded by throwing teargas, making the surrounding atmosphere suffocating.
A little earlier, unknown people set fire to the Starbucks of Kamara, limited following direct intervention by the fire brigade.
They then burned rubbish along the Via Egnatia and smashed shop windows aroud the church area.
Traffic is stopped, and remains closed at Tsimiski. Diversion of vehicles from the new City Hall and Velideio.
translations (french & italian)
ATENE: COMUNICATO DAL POLITECNICO OCCUPATO, 05/12/2009 23H30
Un anno dopo l’assassinio di stato di Alexandros Grigoropoulos l’esercito di regime cerca di occupare la citta`. Gli assassini armati hanno prima invaso lo squat autogestito Resalto e poi il municipio del Pireo, che era occupato da compagni in protesta contro l’irruzione degli sbirri nello squat.
Questa sera la sbirraglia ha messo in stato d’assedio gli spazi di lotta politica e sociale e accerchiato il quartiere di Exarchia e il politecnico, mettendo parecchia gente in stato di fermo o di arresto. I media, porta parola di regime, riproducono il clima di terrore creato dalla propaganda di stato.
Un anno dopo la rivolta sociale di dicembre, il sistema dell’oppressione e dello sfruttamento vuole riguadagnare terreno cercando di instaurare uno stato d’urgenza per addomesticare la rabbia popolare e calare sulla societa` un silenzio di morte.
Sapendo che la citta` e` sotto assedio, noi occupiamo il policlinico e invitiamo tutti quelli che resistono a continuare la lotta con ogni mezzo.
Siamo determinati a mantenere questo spazio occupato e dichiaramo la nostra solidarieta` con tutti quelli che subiscono la repressione di stato.
ESIGIAMO LA LIBERAZIONE IMMEDIATA DI TUTTI I COMPAGNI FERMATI E ARRESTATI.
SCENDIAMO TUTTI IN STRADA DOMANI 6/12/2009 A PROPYLEA 13H30.
NON SI DIMENTICA.
NON SI PERDONA.
TUTTO CONTINUA !
Communiqué de l’occupation de l’école polytechnique d’Athènes
Un an après l’assassinat d’Alexandros Grigoropoulos par l’état grec, l’armée d’occupation du régime essaie de controler chaque coin de rue.
Les assassins armés ont envahi le squat autogéré Resalto et la mairie du quartier occupée suite à l’entrée des flics dans le squat.
Ils ont isolé les espaces de lutte politique et sociale, ils ont encerclés le quartier d’Exarchia et l’école polytechnique, en procédant à un grand nombre d’interpellations et d’arrestations
(pour des controles d’identité et certains avec des chefs d’inculpation)et cela continue en ce moment. Les portes parole parole du régime,les médias, reproduisent la propagande d’etat en créant un climat de terreur.
Un an après la revolte sociale de décembre, le système de l’oppression et de l’exploitation tente de regagner du terrain.
Il tente d’imposer un état d’urgence afon de museler la rage populaire et d’imposer un silence de cimetierre dans la société.
Prenant acte que la ville est sous occupation, nous occupons l’école polytechnique. Nous appelons chacun qui résiste à continuer la lutte par tous les moyens.
Nous tenons cet espace et nous déclarons notre solidarité à tous ceux qui subissent la répression d’état.
NOUS EXIGEONS LA LIBERATION IMMEDIATE DE TOUS LES INTERPELLES ET DES INCULPES
TOUS DANS LA RUE DEMAIN 6/12/09 PROPYLEA 13H30
ON N’OUBLIE PAS, ON NE PARDONNE PAS
occupation de l’école polytechnique d’Athènes
Approximately 150-160 people have been detained as a means of terrorizing the people in order to prevent and deter others from participating in demonstrations marking the anniversary of the murder of a 15 year old youth in Athens.
A year after the murder of Alexandros Grigoropolous by the Greek state, the regime enforcing army, the police, are attempting to seize every corner of the city.
The uniformed murderers have invaded the social centre, “Resalto”, in Keratsini. They have attacked youths and have blockaded all entrances and exits to places of social and political struggle. They have surrounded Exarhia and the Polytechnic, and continue to make large numbers of arrests and detainments.
The puppets of the regime, the media, are transmitting state propaganda and as a result are creating an atmosphere and terror.
One year after the social upheaval of December 2008, the system of oppression and exploitation is once again attempting to re-assert its authority. The Government is attempting to enforce a state of emergency in order to drown out social outrage and enforce the silence of a cemetery on society.
Due to the seizure of the city we are occupying the Polytechnic university.
We are calling every person who wants to resist to do so by any means possible
We will keep the space, and are showing solidarity with all those who face state persecution.
We demand the immediate release of all those arrested and detained
EVERYONE ON THE STREETS TOMORROW AT 13.30pm, PROPYLEA
WE DON’’T FORGET
WE DON’T FORGIVE
Remember, Remember, the 6th of December: Northeast Day of Actions in
Solidarity with the Greek Anti-Authoritarian Movement. Stand Against State
Repression, From the Left or Right.
In Boston, we will meet on the Copley Square green at 4pm and march to the
consulate building (on Beacon st, between Arlington and Charles st)
The Greek insurrection began almost a year ago. As we approach the
anniversary of its beginning, the day when a young anti-authoritarian was
shot dead by police in the anarchist “free neighborhood” of Exarchia in
downtown Athens, we must ask ourselves what happened, what’s happening,
what failed, and, most importantly, what worked? As we reflect, we must
also recognize our roles as U.S. anarchists in solidarity with this
insurrection. We can all remember how we felt last year when we heard
Alexi was killed and that Athens was burning. We held solidarity actions
then, and we must demonstrate again.
The Greek insurrection led to the fall of the right-wing government and
the election of a socialist government. While its president calls it
“antiauthoritarians in power,” and the Minister of Public Order claims to
have many anarchists as good friends, on the new administration’s first
day the Greek Socialist Party invaded the anarchist neighborhood of
Exarchia in Central Athens with 1,000 police. Since then, repression of
anarchists has been constant. The socialist administration attacked
November 17th demonstrations commemorating the 1973 rising against the
military junta, and have maintained a media blackout in Exarchia, whose
residents they continue to raid, detain, arrest, and pummel. These actions
will not go unpunished.
Regardless, the movement in Greece is only gaining steam, and the stage is
set for another Greek December to remember. Already, 400 schools and 30
universities have been occupied, anti-authoritarians are carrying out
“urban guerilla” actions against banks, government institutions,
multinational corporations, and the repressive police. Anarchists have
occupied several news stations to spread their messages,and workers have
declared dozens of strikes across the country.
On the other hand, the politicians, vowing to not let Greece fall into
“chaos” again, have announced a “Zero Tolerance” plan, deploying 6,000
officers in Athens to repress the inevitable uprising. “We want to send a
clear message, we won’t tolerate a repeat of the violence and terror scene
in central Athens, we won’t hand Athens to vandals,” Citizen Protection
Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis told reporters today.
Our comrades in Greece, those who fight for their freedom and prepare now
to escalate their struggle, need the support and solidarity of those of us
across the world who believe in their cause.
It is a time to once again muster the feelings of love and rage in order
to hold another day of solidarity on Sunday December 6th, 2009 the
anniversary of Alexi’s death. We will hold actions and demos at Greek
consulates, school occupations, and candle lit vigils so the spirits of
our comrades are not forgotten.
In Boston, we will meet on the Copley Square green at 4pm and march to the
consulate building (on Beacon St, between Arlington and Charles Streets).
See you there!
A group of young people came out of from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and tried to write slogans on the bus for the anarchist prisoners and for Alexis.
Afraid, the driver tried to flee from the reaction of the young people, who were throwing stones that hit the bus.
Many Molotov cocktails!! were thrown by unknown youths, a few minutes after 01:00 in the morning at the Police Department in Zografou.
According to reports, the youths, who were in the interior space of the Technical University, threw the Molotov cocktails, much damage to the fucking police station of Zografou in Athens.
|Violence erupts during Athens march|
Police and protesters have clashed in Athens as the city marked the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy which led to Greece’s worst unrest in decades.
Riot police, hoping to avoid the lengthy riots of last year, fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators as they marched through the capital and other Greek cities on Sunday.
Greece’s government had deployed more than 6,000 police officers onto the streets of Athens to avert a repeat of the severe rioting that hit the capital and major cities last year which caused millions of dollars of damage.
Sporadic scuffles between stone-throwing protesters and riot police broke out around the Athens march.
Police in full riot gear fired tear gas to disperse small groups of hooded youths.
“We are using teargas on several fronts where youths are damaging stores and setting fire to garbage bins,” a police official, who requested anonymity, said.
“It’s been a year since police murdered the boy and the government which caused the murder has collapsed but nothing has changed in terms of police brutality,” Panos Garganas, a university employee, told the Reuters news agency.
Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips, reporting from Athens, said: “There has been trouble during the last two or three hours very much centered around the university buildings in the centre of Athens.
“Under Greek law it is very difficult for the police to go into the university buildings and make arrests. Hard lined groups were armed with many bricks, stones, Molotov cocktails, and catapults and they fought running battles with the police around these buildings.
“Meanwhile the main march to commemorate the shooting of this 15-year-old boy, who was killed by the police last year, went through the city centre past the parliament building, and on the whole there things seemed to be peaceful. So, it’s been a mixed picture – there has been sporadic trouble in parts of the Greek capital but the whole march itself was varied in tone,” he said.
On Saturday, Greek police arrested more than 150 people in Athens, to head off trouble on the anniversary.
The arrests took place after hundreds of people rallied in the central district of Exarchia, where Alexis Grigoropoulos was gunned down by a police officer on December 6 last year.
The youths reportedly attacked police officers with stones and petrol bombs.
In a raid in the western district of Keratsini, police detained at least 20 people.
The group of teenagers arrested included at least three Albanians, seven Greeks and five Italians.
“Five Italians and seven Greeks have been arrested, while dozens have been detained,” a police official said.
“Some were throwing stones at police and others were armed with wooden sticks.”
Greece’s government also said it will not tolerate a repeat of last year’s riots while Karolos Papoulias, the president of Greece, pleaded for calm ahead of the planned protests.
“The murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos was not only a heinous act, it was a lesson for us all … an obligation to try and ensure a fairer society for our younger generation,” he said.
Theodoros Pangalos, the Greek deputy prime minister, said: “We will not tolerate lawlessness and attacks on innocent citizens.”
Grigoropoulos was shot dead by a police officer who claimed he fired into the air whilst under attack by youths.
Two police officers have been charged with murder and attempted murder for the teenager’s death and are scheduled to stand trial on January 20.
Fears of violence have been heightened by reports that groups of anarchists from other European countries are planning to join the protests in Athens.
Today an unauthorized demonstration took place against repression and police violence, as well as in remembrance of Alexis Grigoropoulos and all the victims of capitalism.
There were about 100 people at the demonstration. The demonstration was loud and strong. Police did only attack the demonstration once by driving into the demonstrators with a car. Besides, there were some identity controls. No one was hurt or arrested.
There were slogans shouted like “No Justice, No Peace, fight the police”, “Polizia Assassini”…Some firework was used.
Solidarity with the Greek uprising and all liberated spaces!
Greetings to all the fighting people in Greece and everywhere!
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.