Yiannis K., who is currently intubated in a critical condition at the intensive care unit of the Nikaia Hospital in Athens having received murderous blows to his head by the Riot Police, was one of the thousands of demonstrators who participated in the General Strike demonstration of May 11th. More specifically, during the entire demonstration – including the moment when he was attacked at Panepistimiou Ave – Yiannis was in the block of the assembly of resistance and solidarity of Kypseli/ Patision.
On Panepistimiou Ave, between Voukourestiou and Amerikis Str, while the demonstration was coming back from Parliament, the police launched an organised and coordinated attack with their obvious aim being the self-organised and counter-consensual blocks: the people who struggle “from below”. At that moment, the neighbourhood assemblies (Kypseli/Patision, Vyronas/Kaisariani/Pagrati), the base union of the waiters/cooks, the anarchist assembly for social self-determination, student unions and others were encircled and beaten by numerous Riot Police (MAT) units.
Us who were marching along with Yiannis holding the banner of Kypseli with him, found ourselves in an asphyxiating pen by Riot Police who would strike demonstrators, with their batons turned upside down, in the head and their bodies, throwing many to the ground. At the same time they threw tear gas and stun grenades directly into the crowd. The result was for tens of people to be seriously injured, many of which were taken to hospital. Among them was Yiannis K. who while bleeding from the head was taken away from the point of the attack thanks to the help of a fellow demonstrator. He was received by the Ambulance Service and transferred to the Nikaia Hospital where he undertook surgery.
At this moment Yiannis is fighting for his life because he chose the path of collective resistance, solidarity and struggle, against the exploitation, the poverty and fear enforced by the bosses, against their terrorism, against defeatism and passivity. Yiannis’ struggle belongs to all of us!
members of the assembly of resistance and solidarity of Kypseli/ Patision
May 11th, 2011
Yiannis Vidalis Katerina Sofianou