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Update from Greece: Alexis' funeral, terror strategy by the government

No justice, no peace | 10.12.2008 01:45 | Repression | Social Struggles | World

Thousands attend the funeral of Alexis Grigoropoulos. Thousands stay in the streets, the government starts a propaganda operation to terrorize.

Tuesday December 9 was the day of the funeral of Alexis Grigoropoulos, the 15-year-old boy murdered in cold blood by greek police on Saturday. Thousands of people of all ages and social strata attended the funeral. Near the end of the ceremony, tension broke between some attendants and the police who were at some distance. Tear gas was fired at them by the police, and a chase and stone fight broke out in the streets of the wider area. During the fights, a police motorcyclist pulled his gun and fired 10 or more shots in the air, without being directly threatened by anyone in particular. So, the police made sure that Alexis' final voyage was accompanied by tear gas smell, gunshots, and the sound of the police chopper that made passes high over the cemetery during the ceremony. But he was also accompanied by many, many white flowers that those who attended brought.

Clashes continued all over Greece. In Athens, a pan-educational protest was organised at noon. It came before the Parliament peacefully, however then there was object throwing against the riot police guarding it, who at first took it passively, however after some time responded agressively and chased highschool students, about the same time that Alexi's funeral was taking place. The students took refuge in the Metro station nearby, and the riot police stood at the entrance waiting for them to come out, creating outrage by people who were on the spot. Later they retreated. Clashes continued locally in the evening, mainly near the Economics University (ΑΣΟΕΕ) which was sieged by the police and drowned in chemicals. In Zefyri, at the westmost and most poor side of the city, the police station was attacked. Reportedly, gunshots were fired at the police.

In Thessaloniki, clashes continued near the area of the universities. Late in the evening, the student station 1431AM reported that riot police were making an attack, firing tear gas canisters directly against the students. In Volos, major port in central Greece, the police department was sieged by protestors, who earlier held a very massive protest. In Kozani, a student was seriously injured (50 stiches and fractures) when a tear gas grenade exploded near his face. In Mytilini tear gas was fired for the first time in the island's history. All over Greece many arrests were made, as the state sent out swarms of plainsclothes policemen. There have been reports that some of them dress up as protestors and commit vandalisms in non-political fashion in order to defame the uprising.

The state apparatus pulled another of its cards today as it used the neo-nazis of Hrisi Avgi against protestors in Patras. A demonstration of 5.000 was hit by neonazis and policemen working in tandem. A still unverified report spoke of a demonstrator with a knife wound in Patras. Reportedly, the neonazis were brought in Patras from some other cities. The situation reminds of 1991, when again the New Democracy party used para-state teams in Patras to smash student uprisings. For the sake of history, that move backlashed and resulted in the death of 5 people and the retreat of the government.

Terror is the word that the state wants spread in peoples' minds, trying to make part of the society close ranks around it. Reports are coming in from all over Greece that police are "advising" store keepers and home owners to watch out for vandals, keep their stores closed, etc. The neonazi attacks in Patras are being presented by mainstream media as "shop keepers defending their property". Government uses again the magic word of "asymmetric threat", as govt spokeperson Panagiotopoulos spoke of "dark motives" of those who revolt and Interior affairs and police minister Pavlopoulos wondered "which purposes those who revolt serve".

Tomorrow is a day of general strike, and a major demonstration is scheduled in Syndagma, Athens, and most major cities.

No justice, no peace