On Saturday 6th of December at around 10pm, two Greek policemen were in patrol in a central street by Exarchia square, in the centre of Athens. They had a verbal argument with some young people who were there. During the argument, one of the cops pulled his gun and shot a 16-year-old guy twice [Video]. The victim was moved to Evangelismos Hospital to be pronounced dead. According to eye-witnesses, the cop had been swearing against the young man, showing his genitals, before shooting him.
This immediately sparkled some of the heaviest protests in Greece for over 20 years. Many Greek cities have seen daily clashes with police for over a week, and are still continuing, together with University occupations in Athens and in Thessaloniki [more], schools being closed down and further demonstrations spreading throughout the country [Infoshop's media gallery]. Some argue that Greece is at the "verge of a serious crisis" [more].
Regular updates and eye-witness accounts from Greece (Eng): Occupied London blog | Center for Strategic Anarchy blog | Libcom.org archive.
Solidarity protesters have taken to the streets all over Europe. In London around 70 activists blocked the entrance of the Greek Embassy for several hours on Monday 8th, and it was effectively closed down for most of the day. The blockade ended with at least two arrests. See full report and photos in IMC-London [BBC Video] Another protest took place on Wednesday 10th, and on Thursday 11th a picket outside the Greek embassy was heavily repressed by the Met police. On Sunday 14th yet another solidarity demonstration took place in the Dalston area of London, with over 100 people facing a heavy handed police presence [Report and Photos 1 | 2 | Video]. Protests also took place in Newcastle [Pics 1 | 2] Edinburgh [Video | more] and Leeds, and there are also reports of actions taking place in Bristol [more], Cardiff and Birmingham.
In Germany there have been protests in several cities, including a solidarity demo in Berlin where the Greek embassy was also occupied (de) for the whole day. Demonstrations also took place in Hamburg (de), Dresden (de), Bremen (de) and Cologne (de), whilst the consulate in Cologne (de) was attacked with red paint. The same as in Bologna (It) where the Greek consulate was blockaded and attacked with red paint. In Venice (It) activists occupied the Greek Institute and Consulate. Other solidarity protests include Bern (Swz), Copenhagen (Dk) [more], New York (Us) [Pics], Toledo (Sp), Madrid [Pics | Video], Barcelona [Pics 1 + 2 | Video], Melbourne, Ljubljana, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, Oaxaca and several Russian cities. Further calls for solidarity demos have been made in Glasgow, and Dublin.
Updates from Greece:
• Wednesday 14th January 09: Round-up report of recent events.
• Thursday 25th December 08 / Tuesday 6th January 09: Round-up report of recent events.
• Wednesday 24th: The occupation of the Polythecnic University ends after 18 days of continuous assemblies and demonstrations. Read announcement by the Polytechnic Occupation. Greek trade-unionist brutally attacked. Daily round-up report.
• Monday and Tuesday 22nd / 23rd: Daily round-up report.
• Saturday 20th: Daily round-up report.
• Friday 19th: Daily round-up report.
• Thursday 18th: Last night, another 16-year old student was shot and injured in the area of Peristeri, Athens. This morning there have been large student demos in Athens, which have been heavily tear gased by police. The trade union building in Patras has been occupied, as well as a TV station in Crete. Read summary report of the day´s events. A Day of International Solidarity Actions has been called for Saturday 20th.
• Wednesday 17th: Round-up day´s report from Greece
• Tuesday 16th: The riot police headquarters in Zografou and Kaisariani, Athens, were attacked earlier today [Report]. And the national broadcasting network (NET-ERT) was occupied while on air [Video] See IMC-Athens new listing of arrests and convictions since December 6th.
• Monday 15th: Students have gathered outside the police headquarters in Athens. Their sit-in picket has been attacked by the police using tear gas, followed with more clashes around Alexandras Ave area [day's summary of events]. A text by a group of Albanian migrants called “These days are ours, too” was circulated at the picket, showing solidarity between different sections of Greek society. Occupations of Town Halls and Universities continue. Meanwhile further evidence of police brutality and of undercover police working alongside neo-fascist groups is coming to light. Solidarity actions are continuing all over the world, and a Day of International Solidarity has been called for Saturday 20th.
• Sunday 14th: Demonstrations started in the early hours today from the area where Alexandro was murdered a week ago [Video]. Reports of heavy clashes in the Gazi and Psiri districts of Athens, as well as in the areas surrounding the Polytechnic campus, where protesters have been using laser pointers to 'try to blind the police' [Video]. In London there was a solidarity demonstration in Dalston with over 100 people facing a heavy handed police presence [Photos]. There were at least two arrests.
• Saturday 13th: Popular Assemblies are being set up around Greece, whilst the occupied Polytechnic University of Athens has called for a day of international action for Dec 20th. Meanwhile some of the over 200 people arrested so far are starting to appear in court, some with visible signs of mistreatment whilst in custody. Another solidarity demonstration has been called in London for Sunday 14th.
• Friday 12th: Fresh demonstrations have taken place across the country. In Athens 5-6000 students marched to the Parliament. The demo ended with further clashes with the police [AP Video]. Read new communique from the Polytechnic University Occupation in Athens, and watch a video [translation] of the broadcast from the occupied TV station SuperB in Patra. Meanwhile solidarity actions continue in the UK, whilst another solidarity demonstration has been called in London for Sunday 14th.
• Thursday 11th: Protests are not over. Students take to the streets again marching towards police stations in Athens and Thessaloniki. Government buildings are also being occupied in other parts of the country [Reports 1 | 2] Meanwhile it transpires that the cop that killed Alexis is a member of a far right organisation. Report of his court appearance.
• Wednesday 10th: Today there has been a General Strike all over the country called by Greece's main unions. High School students joined the trade union march in Athens which ended with renewed clashes with the police [Reports 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9] There are also now several reports showing gangs of fascists working alongside the police against the demonstrators [Eyewitness report | Videos] In London the Olympic Airways office was blockaded and the Greek embassy picketed again [Pics]
Report from Saturday 6th night:
In a spontaneous response, thousands of people gathered in the centers of most of Greek cities. In Athens, people gathered outside Evangelismos Hospital, in order to prevent the cops from entering the building. A little later the riot police attacked in a street in Exarchia resulting to one person being arrested. The evening in Athens evolved with a spontaneous assembly in the Polytechnic University, a lot of riots in the whole center of Athens, including attacks against police departments and banks, until the early hours of the next morning. Meanwhile, a spontaneous demonstration took place, but it was confronted by the riot police with tear gas. Three more University building, the Economic, the Pantion and the Law School have been occupied.
Rallies, demonstrations, direct actions and riots took place all around the country. In Thessaloniki, a big spontaneous demonstration took place, while 2 Police Departments were attacked, several bank departments were burnt and Egnatia str., the main street, was blocked by burning trash bins for hours. Reports have been also posted about actions in Yannena, Iraklio [photos], Chania, Komotini, Mitilini, Xanthi, Serres, Sparta, Alexandroupolis and Volos.
Demonstrations in all cities of Greece have been announced for tomorrow afternoon, starting at 1pm.
According to the mainstream media, two Ministers offered their resignation, but it was not accepted by the Prime Minister. The two policemen have already been detained and accused for murder, while they insist that the bullet was shot on the air to keep the young men away, but it was reverted by a metal label towards the stomach of the victim.
And so it begins. The biggest string of riots the country has seen in its post-dictatorship (1974) era. Talking heads on TV screens are completely freaking out. “What would the rest of the world say?” Endlessly shifting between the reaction of international media and the damage inflicted by the riots to the christmas shopping trade. The hanging threat of a declaration of a state of emergency. Government officials, for now, deny this is a possibility. But who can tell? No-one can; no-one has any way to predict what can happen from here on. Even for Greece, a country with high levels of violence in political demonstrations, this is terra incognita. No-one has been here before. No-one has come straight from three days of unprecedented rioting onto a fourth one (Tuesday, the day of Alexandros’ funeral) and a fifth one that is sure to follow on Wednesday, the day of the general strike. And no-one can possibly imagine just how things will calm down after that. The masses on the streets keep breaking through an ever-increasingly violent police: Students are injured inside the university of Thessaloniki, shot at with rubber bullets. In Athens, riot police beat senseless another 15-year old boy in front of shocked passers-by begging them to stop. And yet, the police have already lost control. Trapped between trying to avoid a second (surely catastrophic) death yet equipped with the single technique they possess in handling the demonstrators – sheer violence. The government, a sorry get-together of more talking heads on the TV, locked up in meeting rooms, one emergency cabinet meeting after the other. A dead government standing. The question is not if – the question is just about how it will fall.
On the other end of the line is a friend from Eksarhia. “I could not believe what I saw. Every single… Every single shop, every single traffic light, across the whole of the centre – all smashed up, burnt. I just can’t believe it”. In Patras, the furious demonstrators’ block besieged the main police station only hours after the assassination. The first five arrests. The following day, a well-known local poet, now in his fifties, walked up to the police station, alone. He calmly opened his bag and, one after the other, he lit and threw the molotov cocktails he had in his bag. A new form of poetry?
The plane is descending into Athens. It is Tuesday, December 9th, the day of Alexandros’ funeral and only a few hours away from the general strike. Yet at a few thousand feet from the ground, things seem pretty normal. I am coming home. Or am I?
repost from Occupied London blog
alternative youth hangs around there. It used to be a no - go area for
police. Although things are more quiet now, compared to the 80s and 90s,
the area is still not the most hospitable place for police. It is quite a
common thing for police cars to be attacked by groups of people. Some even
call the cops themselves in order to attack them. This has led the police
to two different strategies for the area.
They hang around in big groups of riot police, in order to protect certain
places but also to provoke the youth, and they refuse to patrol the area
in small groups, claiming that they are afraid of attacks against them.
Recently the residents of exarchia have protested, asking for better
police response to their calls, not against the youth (many are still
sympathetic) but for petty crime which is pretty high in the area (more
serious crimes are low in exarchia).
Exarchia used to be the place where many groups had their office, though
many have moved, also due to the situation there, as rioting has made
other kinds of political action hard to organise.
The policeman that killed the 15 year old kid was working for years in the
area. He was a "special guard". These officers were hired to guard
government buildings and other agencies, but due to lack of personell on
the streets they also do street patrols. The circumstances under which he
was hired are dubious. At around 1999, many cops were hired by the state,
with no real training, in order to satisfy voters for the then- at-power
social democrats,that were looking for a job.
The officer and his colleague were patrolling the area on saturday night,
when they were confronted with a bunch of kids (i dont know if you could
call them anarchists, since they were not part of a group). The kids must
have thrown stuff at the police car, though nothing serious happened. The
cops parked the car a few hundred meters away and returned on foot ten
minutes later. Then there was verbal dispute with the kids, and the cop
drew out his gun and fired, most probably straight at the kid's heart.
What followed is known. Today is tuesday 9th of december and the whole of
greece is burning for three days. There have been riots in all big cities
(something that hasnt happened before). Thousands of people came down to
the streets and hundreds took part in the riots, especially in athens and
thessaloniki. Tonight seems to be pretty much the same
The greek people were initially very sympathetic to the demos. Everybody is
frustrated with the police and the state in general. Recent economic
scandals and the big international crisis have also played a part in the
general unrest. There were people that threw pots and stuff at the police
from their balconies. Also, many schools took part in demonstrations.
Pupils marched and threw stones at the police.
Even now, outside my window in a neighborhood away from the center i hear
kids shouting stuff against the police (no police is in the area). The
youth of this country is very angry.
The demonstrations consist mainly of youth. There are, it could be said,
two reasons for this: The youth is identified with the victim. We feel
that one of our brothers has been assasinated. That is also the reason why
you see all these pupils, more than students, on the streets. The fact
will have a big impact on the new generation, that is for sure. The kids
are shocked. The second reason is the massive scale of violence and
rioting that took place during these three days.
Many youth took part in the riots, not just anarchists or the usual
suspects. Students, pupils, young immigrants. Most people in hoods are
under 20 years old. This is new. Usually there were certain people or
groups that took part in the riots. Not this time.
Although the media speaks of the usual anarchist plot, this time it is far
away from the truth.
Although the demos were quite big, around 5000 people in athens, many more
hesitated due to violence. The situation is really out of hand. Although
there have been atempts to concentrate the attacks only against banks
(which are totally trashed) and big stores, violence has gone pretty
blind. Theaters, museums, libraries, traffic signs and small shops have
been attacked. Especially the kids are trashing everything at sight. It is
a moment of extraordinary freedom for them, and they really dont seem to
be able to understand the difference between trashing a bank and burning a
little kiosk or a bus stop. But then again not only the kids are guilty of
that. There has also been a lot of looting. Kids took mobile phones and
playstations from electronic stores, older people took clothes from big
It is feared that things will take a serious turn. Arm shops have been
shacked, and yesterday at the thessaloniki demo, an unknown guy drew a
knife on a young protestant. Also, policemen have been reported waving
guns against the protesters. Of course, many people will go back home
after all this is over, but nothing will be the same for them after what
happened. It is expected that violence will escalate. Fear of the events
giving birth even to a new chapter of armed violence are not tottaly
All this violence has made society feel desperate. On the one hand the
police has totally ridiculed itself, and looks incapable of doing anything
right. There has been a long history of murders by "wild" policemen.
Mostly young kids and migrants. On the other hand though, the situation on
the streets makes a lot of people feel insecure. Many lost their property
and ask for something to be done. Although people blame the police, it
wont be long till they ask for order to be reinstated. They really
sympathise with the kid that died, but the demos cannot express the
sympathy of the people, because of all this rioting
The police has followed a strategy of non- intervention until today. There
is many reasons for that. First, they are illegitimised by the most of
society. Second, they wouldnt risk the injuries of other people. But it is
also probable that they recieved these orders in order to let chaos happen
and turn society against the demonstrators, a strategy that seems to work,
though it cuts both ways, as government and police have been accused of
doing nothing but watching things burn.
Today, things have changed. After the destruction of the city centre of
athens and other cities, the police has become more aggressive. Arrests
are made, pupils and protesters harrassed and there is a growing fear that
the police will turn violent, especially during tomorrow morning's demo.
The demo is organised by the big trade unions of the country. It was
planned to have workers demands, but now it will most certainly address
the issue of bad police and government, demanding the latter to resign.
The prime minister has asked the trade unions to postpone the demos, but
Thus, a possible break of police violence could conveniently be blamed on
the protesters and the trade unions.
The wrath of the people does not only turn against the police. There is a
general frustration for what seems to be a state that does not function
properly. The corruption, the economic crisis, the dismantling of the
public sector. Nothing seems to work. The so called modernisation plan for
Greece seems to have failed.
The people are also distressed with politicians and politics in general.
Noone is to be trusted. Especially the young seem to be suffocating, from
what can not be called as a merely economical problem. There seems to be a
total lack of set of principles and ideas to inspire the young. The
family, school, politics, society are disintegrating into mediocrity,
corruption and conformity. Thus the youth, when no other political option
seems to work, turns to blind violence.
There is certainly a big gap in the political and social life of greece.
Let's just pray that something more than mere nihilism takes its place...
Homepage: http://Opion and information from Greece
Press release: Past Saturday, November 6th, during a students’ demonstration a special squad cop shot three times and killed Alexandros. A 15 year-old boy shot dead with a “legal” gun. This happened in Athens, the home of western democracy, neighbourhood of Exarchia, symbol of resistance againt fascist regime.
Since them men and women, both activists and not, rushed in the streets rioting to express their dissent. Rage is spreading everywhere from Thessaloniki to Patrasso in all corners of Greece. But also around Europe where movements are expressing solidarity to the ones that live and struggle in Greece.
This is why today we wish to bring the voice of Greek activists in Venice. The Ellenic State and its government is today a symbol of lack of culture and humanity, whereas police brutality and repression tries to stop an important huge protest that is spreading to thousands of pleople. As it happened in Genoa during 2001 anti-G8 demonstrations shooting a boy dead is their reason…which we shall never accept.
Immediate freedom to all activists jailed in Greece. Resignation of Karamalis government and of police.
Justice for Alexandros.
Morion, Rivolta and Pedro social centres
No matter if in big cities or small towns, action take place everywhere.
Here a short report about what was going on until now – more to come within the next days.
Our solidarity does not know any border – acab everywhere!
Berlin: spontaneous demonstration with 200 people in teh district of Kreuzberg.
Hamburg: spontaneous demonstration with over 100 people.
Köln: paintbombs against the greek consulate.
Dresden: a courthouse get its windows smashed and graffitis in solidarity with greek comrades spaypainted.
Berlin: occupation of the greek consulate by a group of 30 anarchists, a banner reading “Alexander Grigoropoulos, 16 years old, murdered by the State!” was hanged from the consulate' s balcony, leaflets have been thrown on the streets and distributed, while about 70 solidarious people held a rally in front of the building. Nobody got stopped by the cops and the action finished in the evening.
Hamburg: meeting with over 70 people to discuss further moments of solidarity, spontaneous demonstration with 100 people afterwards, the banner reading “solidarity is a weapon – revolt an argument – we remember Alexander!”
Pictures of both demos (sunday/monday) : http://de.indymedia.org/2008/12/235472.shtml
Dresden: 50 people gather for a spontaneosu demonstration.
Bremen: about 100 people demonstrate.
Köln: 250 take the streets towards the greek consulate, speeches in greek and german are made about the situation, fireworks exploded against the cops, some chairs fly against some shop windows.
Potsdam: 60 people gather for a spontaneous demonstration, distribute flyers and explode fireworks in front of the local police station screaming “police murders”.
Schnerverdingen: 25 people take the streets and distribute flyers
Dresden: 30 people take the streets through the local christmas market, creating chaos by pulling down trashbins and other material on the streets, when passing in front the police station they smashed one of the cop car parked on its front.
Leipzig: spontaneous demonstration with 200 comrades, also in solidarity to Timo, a german comrade currently under trial in Thessaloniki and the acquittance of the cops who burned the african refugee Oury Jallo in Dessau in 2005, acquittance just happened on the 8.12, cops try to stop the demo without succeding.
Jena : 30 anarchists take the streets and smash a bank.
Dortmund: 60 people take the streets.
Frankfurt: 150 take the streets towards the greek consulate, some smashed banks on the end.
Rostock: 150 take the streets, the banner reading “policemen are murders – Greece is everywhere – Genoa, Athens, Dessau”, several fireworks have been exploded against the police.
Konstanz: 30 people take the streets.
Hannover: 70 people make a spontaneous demonstration to the greek consulate and distribute flyers
Düsseldorf: 150 comrades hold a demonstration to the greek consulate, which get blocked by the cops.
On Friday there is going to be a demonstration in Berlin in solidarity with the MG-defendants under trial: surely another occasion for showing solidarity...
On Saturday, a demonstration will take place again in Hannover against State murders – Alexander, Oury Jallo, Halim Dener (17 years old comrade killed in 1994 by plainclothes police while putting up posters, cops got acquitted) and Michalis Kalzetas (killed in 1985 by the cops in Athens)
For Sunday, perhaps a rally or a demonstration to general greek consulate in Hamburg is going to be organized.
More update soon...
Copenhagen. Thirty-two people were arrested in Copenhagen on Wednesday night when their protest in support of Greek rioters turned violent, police said, adding that more arrests were expected, AFP reported.
"We have at this time made 32 arrests, but we're planning a lot more. There will probably be around 100 arrests by the end of the night," Copenhagen police commissioner John Hansen told AFP.
Around 150 people belonging to a Copenhagen "underground" movement took to the streets, Hansen said, "throwing bottles and paint bombs at buildings, police cars and officers."
"They wanted to demonstrate in sympathy of what has happened in Greece ... They wanted to go to the Greek embassy ... but we said no."
Greece has been shaken by daily riots since police fatally shot a 15-year-old boy in Athens on Saturday.
At 10 pm (2100 GMT) Wednesday, Hansen said, "there are around 70 demonstrators left. At this time they're just roaming around the streets of Copenhagen, throwing these paint bombs and playing games with the police."
"We don't want to play. We will arrest most of them," he added.
solidarity means attack!
El PERIODICO: 2 detained in incidents in the old town after a concentration in support of the Greek youth
link is in spanish and includes 2 min video from the actions
[Fotos] Manifestació en solidaritat amb la revolta grega
Mes fotos mani solidaritat amb la revolta a Grecia - more photos from the solidarity protest with the revolt in Greece
BCN with Greece
the BBC, in their reporting of the funeral of Alexandros Grigoropoulos yesterday, claimed that 'local residents' joined with the police to attack the protesters. This is a lie.
here is the truth:
Tuesday’s demonstration was called by local anarchist groups. Participation was phenomenal by the city’s standards - around 3,000 people (some reports put this number up to 5,000) took the streets of Patras behind the anarchist banners and against state violence. The march cruised through the city; banks were smashed. Meanwhile, the city’s police force had gathered around the main police station in order to protect it.
Toward the end of the demo however the riot police launched a major attack, forcing it to retreat toward the city’s historical university building (the so-called parartima). Soon thereafter, the most incredible attack began: Tens of fascists (that seem to had gathered in Patras from across the country, in a pre-planned joint operation with the police) attacked the demonstration with knives and stones. Co-ordinating perfectly with the police, they continued their attack and, according to some reports, even did some joint arrests. The demonstrators were confronted with the following unbelievable spectacle: They were facing a group of people throwing them police-owned tear gas while chanting “blood-honour-golden dawn” (the name of a nazi group in Greece).
The demonstrators’ block (which only numbered around 500 at the time, as this happened near the end of the demo) was completely torn apart; people were chased all the way into their flats; demonstrators had to seek refuge in flats in 10s and 20s, while the cops and the nazis would smash their windows and try to force entry.
Patras Indymedia reports 26 detentions and 9 arrests. Thankfully, the reports that the fascists would head for the city’s Afghan refugee camp have proven false so far.
What makes the above story even more unbelievable is that the mainstream media report it as the “local business owners” being the ones who attacked the demonstrators, “taking the law into their own hands”. Putting aside the …minor detail that absolutely no local businesses were damaged (only multinational banks, the courts and the police station), these supposed “shop owners” and “respectful citizens” were depicted in media in their balaclavas, holding knives! There was an unbelievable joint police-fascist operation in Patras today and they are trying to cover it up and to claim the public has turned against the demonstrators.
It is crucial to confront their lies and to resist their repression - the future of this movement could depend on this. Please spread the word.
Posted by darren redstar at 11:31 AM "
SOLIDARITY PROTEST AT THE GREEK EMBASSY IN LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA
On Tuesday evening, 9th December 2008, spontanous protest took place in front of the greek embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Around 70 anarchists gathered in autonomous centre to march through the city center towards Embassy of Greece.
They were carrying banners "GREECE RESIST!" and "CAPITALISM AND THE STATE = ORIGINS OF VIOLENCE", anarchist flags and were shouting slogans in support of greek uprising.
In front of the Embassy they light 15 candles in the memory of Alexandros Grigolopous and hanged banner and the anarchist flag on the building. In front of the entrance they wrote with red colour "ALEXANDROS - MURDERED BY THE STATE". The red colour was spilled also on the doors and signs of the Embassy.
Activists protested against the state violence and showed solidarity with all the people on the streets of greek cities. The red colour symbolised the blood that was spilled by the greek state.
On Friday, 12th December 2008, group af activists and students gathered at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana to spread the word about the greek uprising among students. Two banners were hanged (one from the building and one in the faculty hall): "WE ARE ALL ALEXANDROS GIRGOLOPULOS! POLICE-MURDERERS-FASCISTS! AGAINST THE STATE AND ITS APARATES". Many copies of special edition of anarchist bulletin on the greek riots were distributed. More activities on the faculties should take place next week and most probably a demo on saturday.
You can find photos and report here:
All the story:
SL Left Unity