Friday, July 3, 2009

The Athens' Heat


The summer in Athens is in full-swing! The temperature rises, the days are longer, sweat paints your t-shirt to your body, and most Greek natives escape to one of the countries 227 islands. With the heat in the city reaching new heights, theres no harm in adding a few more degrees to the thermometer. With that being said, a tax office was bombed in the central district of Ambelokipi. The bomb that exploded at 1:30 am on Friday was placed under the office's disability ramp and the blast found its merry way to a McDonalds nearby. Before the 4.4 lbs dynamite bomb was denotated, police say an anonymous call was phoned into newspapers to warn about the coming attack.



To add more flames to the fire, a gas canister bomb was left in the car of newly appointed chairman of the Council of States, Judge Panagiotis Pikrammenos as a congratulations gift. The attack occurred yesterday afternoon in the parking lot of Greece's highest administrative court in the heavily trafficked city center. As Prodigy of Mobb Deep once said, "in broad day light get right." What a splendid welcoming for a new judge!

The journalist strike in solidarity with the closure of Eftheros Typos, which has been publishing since 1983, disrupted the production of newspapers, television, and radio transmissions but is now over. Journalist occupied newspaper offices and took shifts guarding the building from police eviction. Also, the electrical facilities of the fascist newspaper Stohos was sabotaged by anti-fa. This week Stohos was unable to print its anti-immigrant and anti-semetic garbage. In other labor news, Emporiki Bank workers are ready to strike after the bank announced that it is cutting the jobs of 1,500 workers. Emporiki bank, one of the 500 largest in the world, has 370 branches across Greece.

Four people were detained yesterday for the January kidnapping of magnate Pericles Panagopoulos, who was then released after his family paid a multi-million-euro ransom. Panagopoulos, one of Greece’s richest men and a key player in the country’s ferry business, was snatched in broad daylight on Jan. 12 by three men wielding assault rifles as he was being driven to work near Athens. Last week, the 73-year-old wife of shipowner Aris Theodorides was abducted after her car was ambushed by armed men in Paleo Faliro. The chauffeur was immediately released but Theodoride's wife was only released only after her family paid a ransom of 1.8 million.

As the Greek state continues to mass arrest immigrants in the city center, the police are complaining that their facilities are overcrowded with those captured. It is now an all too common site to see police stopping, beating, and arresting anyone with dark skin in the squares of the city center. It is estimated that over 1,551 immigrants were arrested in the last month. Huge demonstrations are scheduled for next week to protest the recent xenophobic State policies and fascist and police collaboration to terrorize immigrants. Let the street fights begin!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Instead of a Conclusion



The text below, "Instead of a Conclusion, appears as the last chapter in the first proper book (to my knowledge) about December's insurrection published in Greece. Although the translation from Greek to English, done by a wonderful comrade, has already set these words in a new motion, I can't help but feel a paternalistic urge to guide their further movement. Of course, words are like children, they'll go where they go despite anyone's futile wish, but this fact does nothing to quiet the reservations that come with posting "Instead of a Conclusion" to be read by the milieu in the States. More specifically, I worry as to whether its even worth presenting a text that celebrates barricades to readers that condemn their constructions in Chicago streets. In my eyes, what could only be worse is for "Instead of a Conclusion" to be looked at as an exotic applause to blockades, riots, and street fights only in places and lives far from our own. Gladly and on the other hand, there were those who neglected the banal criticism from the "anarcho-liberals" and erected barricades to for once impede the State's grip on their entire existence. Let be. For better or for worse, a split is inevitable. A split so that the tired discussion about whether or not to build barricades can be silenced like a drunk giving an inappropriate eulogy at a solemn funeral. A scission so that we get on with the important questions, refuse to consider the morality of barricades, and only correctly concern ourselves with how to make them taller, stronger, more terrible, so that metropolitan avenues can become as uncontrollable as an element of nature. So, while suppressing any false sense of guardianship, I send "Instead of a Conclusion" to only those who build barricades for the sake of barricades. Enjoy!


(the wonderful comrade reading the text in Greek)



Instead of a Conclusion

For if there is something to be won it is dignity, for if life has to be laughter and a laughter will bury them, then you have to create the conditions to laugh.

For burning souls should not comply to moulds, for we don't fit anymore within the limits of narrow fucking microcosms, for sickness lurks everywhere. We saw, we dreamt and lived feral yells, we blocked roads with barricades of craze and desire, we addressed to deaf ears numerous times, we bled with wild joy, we followed, we incarnated and created the wild dream and the experience (sometimes they don't differ from each other) of uprising, of this seductive goddess who haunts our heads for years now. Our necks that we risked, risk, and will risk... For there is nothing left to lose apart from self-respect, self-respect, which is tried, which is won and lost every hour and moment, every moment and second, with an action, with a glance, a consequence of clear and outright choice, which tries all the time to be better, more comprehensible, more dangerous... We sharpened knives that first hurt us when we judged ourselves inadequate. We extinguished our thirst with sea water a lot of times, knowing that in a few moments we would be more thirsty, sickly to some extent with an insatiable desire for clash, for revolt, for truth...

Let be, what counts is the derive in the oceans. Their waves raise and drop, crush, crash, and obliterate the castaways in a vortex. But the wave is us. The wild power that springs from the being of the liberated turns into a rough sea that will avenge with a rage that only an uncontrollable element of nature can have. It will avenge for centuries of coercion, it will extinguish kingdoms of exploitation in murky abysses, it will drown in blood the ones that have be drowned and then... Then it will relish, it will relish her dead, her jailed children living again, breathing again, getting lost in incredible dizzy color formations in her moist whirling and free embrace. Our sea is revolution, our insurgent sea is here, it always has been... SWIM...

- a comrade, July 5, 2005

Friday, June 19, 2009

Anarchist A. Kiriakopoulos To Be Released From Prison

Today, the good news came in that A. Kiriakopoulos along with three other insurgents held in state captivity since the December insurrection are scheduled to be released from Koridallos prison before the coming Monday. After a solidarity campaign that inspired dozens of attacks, the state relinquished the remand that held the prisoners for over six months without trial. The wave of actions over the past weeks shows that solidarity, concieved as the furtherance of the class clash with the state, can indeed free our imprisoned comrades without compromising our revolutionary principles.

In other news (I write this with the dryest of eyes: not a hint of saltwater to be found), an anti-terrorism police officer was shot around 20 times and killed last Wednesday in Athens. The police officer was attempting to protect a snitch who testified for the prosecution in the 2004 trial of a man the state claims was a member of the armed group ELA.

In what can be seen as nothing other than a thuggish act by a police gang with recently damaged egos, about 40 members of the newly formed police Delta Team attacked an occupied parking lot turned neighborhood park in the center of Athens. The swine arrested about 15 locals without warning or reason.

And so the struggle the continues...

Solidarity is the weapon of the people! (a greek anarchist protest slogan)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Katerina Gogou (1940-1993)


There is little information in English on poet Katerian Gogou. She is also known for her work as an actress, usually playing the roles of a servant in the houses of the rich, but from what I understand, her words were the words of the movement.









Katerina Gogou: "May 25th"

One morning I will open the door
and I will go out in the streets
as I did yesterday.
And I won't be thinking about anything other than
just one piece of the father
and one piece of the sea
-those two pieces they didn't deprive me of-
and the city. The city which they transformed into a rotting corpse.
And our friends that are no more.
One morning I will open the door
straight into the fire
and I will enter as I did yesterday
shouting "fascists!!"
constructing barricades and throwing rocks
with a red banner
held high, shining in the sunbeams.
I will open the door
and it's time to tell you
-not that I am afraid-
but, see, I want to tell you that I didn't make it in time
and that you have to learn
not to be going out in the streets without weapons as I did
-because I didn't make it in time-
because then you will disappear as I disappeared
"like that" "in the void"
cracked into little pieces made
of sea, childhood years
and red banners.
One morning I will open the door
and I will be gone carrying the dream of the revolution
within the infinite loneliness of the paper-made barricades
bearing the label -do not believe them!-
"Provocator".
Translated by G.Chalkiadakis


I want us to talk together in a coffee house
one where the doors are open
where there's no seaonly unemployed men
silence and dust lit by sunlight
- the sunlight in the brandy -
and the dust and cigarettes in our lungs
and let's not take precautions today, my friend,over our health
and don't give advice
about how I'm tossing it back
and how I'm wasting myself
and let the make-up, snot and tears
on my face
run.
Just look calmly
at my nails, my hair and the years
which are dirtyand me
I don't give a damn about all that
They only care about the Party, for Christsake!
why the Party hasn't been fixed all these years
and you a friend. A real friend
just like Kazantzidis sings it
and the brandy's shit
and the contractor hasn't shown
there's a room above the coffee house
for those on the run
I'll let it all spill out at some point
I do that when I'm drunk - just to throw you -
to see you without your underpants, to see what you'll do
but you, you're not like the others
you'll get up and dance a request
...your hands took a birch rod and thrashed me . . .
and in your cupped hands you'll hold my brain
with love and care
it's ready to explode into a thousand pieces. It hurts.
And when
they come to tell you
that this is not
the time
or place
for such things
draw your stiletto and slash.
The Koemtzis brothers were right.

Translated From Greek by G.Chalkiadakis.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Anarchists Disrupt Popular Jazz Festival

Yesterday, comrades took the stage at an outdoor jazz festival in Athens (you are right to assume they weren't invited.) Two banners were hung across the stage and, in between sets, two texts were read. One was about A. Kiriakopoulos and the other prisoners still held in jail after December's insurrection and the other was about state terrorism against immigrants. Jazz likely hasn't been this interesting since the musicians kicked heroin.

Friday, May 29, 2009

FIRE TO CLEANSE THE EARTH



FIRE TO CLEANSE THE EARTH

A movement that is not capable of looking after its comrades in prison is destined to die, and that at a high price under atrocious torture.’

- Daniela Carmignani, Revolutionary Solidarity

The insurrection in December was a visible and mass expression of the social war that rages at all times and will continue until the destruction of all domination.

Thousands fought in the re-appropriated streets of the necropolis. Hundreds were arrested and, with exceptionally swift procedures, several were thrown in prison. Six of them still remain imprisoned up to this day. Because for those in power someone has to pay the price for the negation in practice shown by all of us against this decaying world.

Within the first two weeks of June the remaining prisoners of December, amongst them the anarchist A.Kiriakopoulos, will be coming in front of a board of judges who will determine whether their imprisonment will be extended. Days of action will take place between the 12-15 of June in solidarity across Greece.

Prison is a direct and violent tool that power has at its disposal to use against those that are not able or refuse to follow its rules. Especially in moments of intensified struggle or revolt, prison plays the role of isolating the “troublemakers” to weaken our collective attack and instill fear in those who may be willing to join the fight. In this way, prison and the justice system are structures that aim to inhibit the generalization of social conflict. Therefore, solidarity with all those imprisoned for the insurrection in December is necessary for the furtherance of the revolutionary project.

Solidarity should not be viewed through the lens of duty, obligation or charity nor does it require a personal relationship or absolute political identification with those imprisoned but is a means to strengthen our ties as collaborators in a conspiracy against the existent. Solidarity is our weapon by which we attack not only the prison but all the structures of power in a continuation of the social struggle as a whole. At the same time, solidarity is a tool used to obtain the immediate practical result of freeing our comrades in prison.

This is a call to comrades wherever they may be to start a wave of solidarity that sends shudders down the spine of the bastards in power. Let’s prove to them that the Athens syndrome is indeed a contagious disease.

Inside and outside the prison bars, the insurrectionary perspective is a permanent condition which does not wait for a specific moment, does not accept charity but attacks directly, everywhere, always.

Until the destruction of all prisons

FREEDOM TO THE COMRADE A.KIRIAKOPOULOS AND TO ALL THE PRISONERS OF DECEMBER

SOLIDARITY WITH THOSE PROSECUTED

- For the generalization of the insurrectional clash

NOTHING IS OVER: EVERYTHING CONTINUES

Insurrection is permanent, everywhere, and inevitable. Insurrection does not wait for the masses, the vanguard or the moment.

Though December will come again every year, nothing will ever be the same. It is war; paths of ashes leave the past behind, towards the total dismantlement of this old dead world, against which the attack accelerated in the past months, that will never be over; there is no going back from it. This war knows no innocence, while living in this reality makes us all a hunter for life: the ones that cry; the ones that sleep, the ones that sigh; the ones that spit in its mouth, the ones that build; the ones that break out. Once ignited the revolt continues in a dynamic of tension, recuperation and attack, by many, by few, by dark, by light; for as long as our time, our bodies and our freedom remain stolen from us. There is no counting on where the revolt begun or where it will go to, the open unknown is in the hands of the ones with the eternal youth, the stones, the passion and the gasoline. It will all continue.

Smelling the fire, the state took hundreds of people off the streets in a fearful attempt to maintain its fragile power, to weaken the attack. But rebellion cannot be outnumbered, cannot be softened. As long as the prison society holds a grip on lives inside and outside, there is no desire to wait for a “second December”, because if waiting in the streets takes long; waiting in the prison takes eternally, while the state, the capital and their dominion find their space to root in the normality of apathy ever more. With an increasing amount of security and surveillance measures, they try to alienate reality more and more from its rebels in high speed and it speaks proudly of clean streets and sweet dreams, of law and order.

But nothing is over, Everything continues.

As long as the world of authority and exploitation builds roads of dialogue and content, there will be holes smashed in them. As long as they hand out candy of dependence and devotion, it will be poisoned. As long as they build their high walls of separation and punishment, they will be burnt down. As long as we are all prisoners; nothing is over, and will the insurrection continue.

6 People were taken out of the negation in practice during December, and now, 5 months later, the state is trying to use their freedom as an example for its revenge on all those revolted. Not one fitting key coming from the politicians, the judges, or the guards will be able to unlock the door of their confinement.

Only a sledgehammer will be able to liberate by tearing down the entire fa├žade of the prison. Therefore we will not make any demands to those in power, nor will we put any pressure on them to do “the right thing”. We are simply digging holes in its fortress, undermining its vests, until we’ve reached our beloved rebels.

- anarchists

Letter from anarchist A.Kiriakopoulos from Koridallos prison

Five months after the explosive events of December, the mass arrests and the prosecutions that took place, six of us remain captives in the claws of the state.

Recently, the so called “justice state” and its servants decided to extend my pre-trial detention (remand) stating that what should come first is the extermination of my person and of my “criminal” activity and the protection of society. According to their characterization, I am a reckless and fanatical person. To sum it up they characterized me an enemy of society. But the enemies of society are all those who after the cold-blooded murder of comrade Alexis Grigoropoulos tried to repress the social phenomenon of the violent insurrection in December with the reckless and mass use of teargas to the extent of torture, the beating of protestors, and their swift imprisonment. Anyway, it is known for years now that the cops, especially when dealing with anarchists demos, unleash chemical warfare with the slightest pretext so they can torture people. Despite the vicious repression of December’s insurrectionary violence, it continues to persist and is proof that the fire that was lit cannot be put out. After all Alexis’ murder was the cause and at the same time the pretext for the outbreak of social rage.

As always, a special role was taken on by mass media and the lowlife journalists brought their propaganda to the limit of vileness. After the state murder of Alexis, they reported about the widespread destruction in the whole of Greece and that the police made no arrests. I believe that the fact that all of us imprisoned for the insurrection face the same charges is no coincidence. The line from the state was exactly the same for nearly all of us.

Inside prison, time is the worst enemy. Especially when you are in custody awaiting trial there is a continuous uncertainty as you never know exactly when you are going to be released. This is a situation that definitely wears you down psychologically. This is also an effect of being locked up against your will with four people for 14 hours a day in a 9 square meter cell designed to fit only one person. It is especially felt when relationships of camaraderie or even of understanding are rare as they are outside the prison bars. Of course there are always those who choose to stand in dignity and struggle.

Incarceration is an everyday psychological warfare enforced upon you by the system when you are in prison. On top of this you also have the screws usually treating prisoners who take part in struggles (hunger strikes, refusal of prison food, demanding their printed material from the censorship) in a derogatory and sly way. One typical example is the last time prisoners were refusing prison food as a protest for the murder of Alexis, the warden of the wing came in together with other screws and threatened the prisoners taking part in the protest with disciplinary prison transfers.

Generally, when you are not subjugated to their correctional system they try to create a climate of fear. Anyway prison is like a large melting pot of souls. If you are a coward it will mince you up and make you even more of a coward but if you are tough it will make you even tougher and colder as a person. The cell makes the prisoner suffocate. Outside in the prison yard is the illusion of freedom…

Still through all of this nothing has ended, the struggle continues

Those who are right are the rebels

not the snitches and those who bow down

(a popular greek anarchist chant)

Police Everywhere, Justice Nowhere

(The text below, translated into English, French, and Arabic, was distributed at today's demonstration against the State's racist and xenophobic policies. The demonstration, sadly, didn't end in a riot, but there was some spraypainting, huge canvas campaign posters were ripped from kiosks, the right-wing party's campaign booth was smashed, and so was a shop window. I think what was actually most significant about the protest was the tension in the air when it left Omonoia square. Of course, I don't know if everyone felt it but if you've been to a demonstration or two you've felt it before... )


Police Everywhere, Justice Nowhere



After three weeks of continuous police operations against immigrants in the center of Athens, one cop tears up a Koran carried by an immigrant. This was the reason for a large immigrant demonstration that clashed with the police, which ended with savage beatings, tear gas and arrests.

We know it is enraging to be driven off from your home, a place where povery and war rule, to be shot and hunted on the borders, to reach countries where you are welcomed with racist looks and behaviors, to live in horrible basements, to be given humiliating jobs and to be forced to wait in the line to get a permanency card. When they send cops into your neighborhood and fascists to humiliate, beat and arrest you, the only thing you can do is defend yourself.

The war of the police against the immigrants in the countries of the west is the other side of the war that the same countries conduct at the immigrants' lands. They are the same countries that cultivate islamophobia and racism because they need immigrants only as cheap labor for their own growth and well-being.

The immigrants' rage is justified and cannot be confied by political parties or any kind of leaders, which try to manipulate the immigrants' struggle for their own reasons. As long as we are split by borders, countries and religions, we will remain divided and weak. We see in the immigrants' struggle, the struggle for dignity and freedom and will be in the streets next to them at every act of resistance and self-defense against the police and fascist gangs.

IN THE BOSSES' WORLD WE ARE ALL STRANGERS
SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON

- Patision 61 & Skaramaga Squat


Thursday, May 28, 2009

everybody's mask has now fallen for good

(The greek government has announced its plan to arrest and transport immigrants living in the center of Athens to a camp, that once served as a Nato base, on the outskirts of the city like human cargo. In response to the State's xenophobia and racism, demonstrations have taken place almost daily. The text below was translated into English for a wider readership than usual and was distributed at a rally that took place on Axarnon street. The street, located in the center of Athens, for the past few days has been terrorized by the fascists and their police bodyguards. The filth has gone as far as to lock the gate of a playground closed in order to prevent the children of immigrants from enjoying it. Today, the lock was destroyed!)


everybody's mask has now fallen for good...

"fight against those who want to live a
"quiet" life they are ruthless."


The incidents that have happened here in the last weeks are so clear that they speak for themselves: the racist gathering of May 28 at Omonia square that was called by the neo-Nazi organization Xrisi Avgi or Golden Dawn (signing as the "committee of greek citizens") and the attack they made -together as always with the MAT police force- to the occupied place of the old court at Sokratous street where hundreds of immigrants and refuges found shelter. There was also a police occupation of the whole neighborhood for a repressive attack on May 20th, where hundreds of cops made their presence on Axarnon street, made hundreds of checks, detained people, and made dozens of arrests. Because of all of these police actions, the rightful rage of the immigrants was triggered. The violent demonstration on May 22 was followed by 46 arrests and brutal beatings. The arson attack that happened the same night against a Muslim worship house (mosque) at Attaksi square resulted in the injury of five immigrants. On May 23 and 24, the aggression exhibited by the assholes in "committee of citizens and shop owners" at Ag. Padeleimonas against the leftists and the pograms against the immigrants that happened was always done with the help and tolerance of the police.

All these actions are so loud that they are impossible to misinterpet. Within this condition, there is no room for silence and passivity. The racists, the worshipers of the dictatorship and the "respectable" people of the "committee of citizens and shop owers" at Ag. Padeleimonas, together with the para-state fascists believe that the time has come to develop their actions as if they were the modern assault battalions the Middle Ages. Those who are the most obedient and cowardly become accomplices to the State's plans which include the "cleaning operations," beatins, arrests, and the torture of immigrants. Those who demand quiet, order and security, dream of apartheid, crystal nights, and crematoriums.

We, from our side, will never get tired of reminding them of the obvious with action. The racist violence of the "indignant citizens," their neo-Nazi friends, the police occupations and pograms against people who have experienced the most raw repression and exploitation, against people that have left their homes to escape from military occupation of their countries (in which the greek state participates actively) will always find in front of them an imponderable fact. This is working class solidarity among those who are being exploited, the anti-racist and anti-fascist action against all the defenders of the fanciful "cleanliness and superiority of the race," the collective and self-organized struggle for a world liberated from borders, states, gods, masters and oppressors. And this factor will determine the outcome of the social war...

the neighborhoods and the squares belong to everybody.
racists, "respectable citizens" and para-state fasicsts
crawl back to your holes!


anti-fascists, anti-authoritarians, anarchists

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in being lazy.

Most of all, democracy triumphs by telling us where to think. The 1900 paper reader could choose to buy a socialist or a rightwing daily, but he had hardly any influence on the structure and evolution of the press. The organization of the Internet is equally beyond the reach of a website browser or writer : for a start, he was never asked about the birth of the web itself. Saying the Internet was created by (and would not exist without) millions of Internauts, is as true as saying that millions of drivers are responsible for the development of the car industry. Making a principle of maximum information and discussion, is inevitably prioritizing the framework where information circulates and discussion takes place. Of course, everyone wishes the channels of communication to be as much “bottom up” as possible, but how could they be if the whole life of the communicators is “top down” organized ? Society is not the addition of millions of publicly shared experiences or views.

“The idea of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas”: this is as much true as in 1845. The difference is that billions of ideas are now being circulated and (nearly) universally available. But who has the power ? The political system is still tuned to general and presidential elections, and the rest is an accessory to the rhyme. In 1900 or 1950, politics was talked about but not made in village hall debates. Neither is it made today on the Internet. Spectacle-induced passivity (as analysed by the S.I.) has taken the form of a constant show of activity.

- Gilles Dauve


"Don't hate the media, become the media!" argues some asshole in a cowboy hat. I'd like to tell him, "I hate the media, I hate the green party, and I'll become whatever the hell I want. Don't get yourself shot in front of Gilman street." To make a long story short, I'm too lazy to write a post today about Greece, so I'll let the bourgeoisie media do the talking. If you got a problem with that Jello, we can battle with raps or we can battle with gats.

Greece: Arsonists Damage State Buildings

From Etaiwan News

The Greek fire service says arsonists have set off incendiary devices at two state power utility buildings in Athens, causing damage but no injury.

The attacks early Tuesday damaged the ground floor of a Public Power Corporation building in the southern suburb of Agios Dimitrios, and five PPC cars in Psychiko, northern Athens.

A fire service statement did not say what kind of devices were used, and the full extent of the damage was not immediately clear.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Small anarchist groups frequently set fire to symbols of state authority and wealth, government buildings and cars with foreign number plates, to protest government economic and social policies.

Arrests are rare.


Greece: Bomb Destroys Athens Bank

From the New York Times

A powerful bomb blast shook southern Athens on Tuesday, wrecking a Greek bank and shattering windows of nearby buildings but causing no injuries, the police said. The explosion was triggered by 44 pounds of explosives stashed in a suitcase left at the entrance of a Eurobank bank branch in the suburb of Argyroupoli.

No one claimed responsibility.

Greek militant groups have staged more than 30 attacks since violent riots erupted after the police shooting of a 15-year-old boy in December.



Monday, May 11, 2009

A Slow Day in Athens



As much as we want it to be, life isn't so much like a movie. A concussion grenade explodes in Kaniggos square in Athens. Roughly 150 anarchists with poles and hammers stand in silence, undaunted by what seems like a premature attack by the police. The pigs, in formation down the street, also stay quiet as if they are questioning the false start in their heads. If it was a Hollywood motion picture, once the blaring noise of the grenade ripped through the peace a furious clash would erupt. But the script wasn't written with box-office sales in mind, this is a demonstration in Athens, Greece, where the standoffs between anarchists and the police are always unbearably too long for my short MTV generated attention span.

After a few minutes that seem to me like decades, comrades nonchalantly turn their back to the police and slowly begin to walk in the opposite direction. Nothing epic initiates our choice to act. About ten comrades wearing motorcycle helmets casually begin destroying the door to what I believe to be a government office, but honestly, if the building doesn't have aMcD on it I have no clue what it actually is. A younger comrade lobs a pole at a surveillance camera placed far above him on another unknown building. Stones fly over his masked head shattering the windows of the same building. Another concussion grenade explodes in the air.

The riot police (here they're called MAT) and the newly formed Delta team of police on their mopeds begin their charge. With the help of the poisonous Israeli tear gas burning my skin, familiar feelings from December arise. Stones fly from our side with the hopes of stopping the police charge, but the cops are too many. Comrades run in two directions; some to the Polytechnic and others towards Exarchia square.

We run - Joe Strummer "Police On My Back" style - towards the Polytechnic. Reminiscent of last September's RNC, one comrade jumps on to a car in the middle of the chase and strikes a pose. We chaotically smash into each other as we all try to squeeze our way through, at the time noticeably small, gates of the asylum. Once inside the no-police zone, the cat and mouse game I learned in December is the default plan of action. We rush out of the gates and hurl molotovs and stones and the cops chase us back into the Polytechnic with tear gas and concussion grenades. The police, being the undignified mess they are, even toss the stones we threw at them back at us.

Meanwhile in Exarchia, flaming dumpsters barricade each cobble stone alley to the square. The street fighting continues well into the night much longer than at the Polytechnic.




The wider situation.

Yesterday, March 9th, about 100 fascists held a demonstration in Omonia square against the recent increase in Greek immigration. The infamous nazi group Golden Dawn took the square, usually frequented by Asian and African immigrants, much like fascists groups in the States that often choose historically black neighborhoods to stage protests. Leftists groups staged a counter protest that begin two hours before the fascists were set to take the square and the anti-racist groups entered a courthouse occupied as a living space by immigrants to help ward off an attack by Golden Dawn.

The police surrounded the fascists demonstration under the pretense of making buffer between the fascists and the immigrants and leftists in the occupied courthouse but it is well known the cops and fascists in Greece have a long history, which dates back to the Junta, of working together. The most recent example of their partnership was seen in December when undercover policeman and Golden Dawn attacked several protesters and insurgents with knives during the uprising.

At roughly 7 pm, a clash ensued between the leftists and immigrants and the fascists and police. As fascists hurled stones at the courthouse and those standing outside to protect it, iron bars and concrete slabs came raining down from the courthouse. Road flares exploded over head as the fight began. Injuries and arrests occurred but the exact numbers are not yet confirmed.

In recent years, Greece, due to its location, has become the first location for immigrants arriving to Europe and human trafficking on the Greek ports is rampant. Beatings and murders of immigrants by the police and fascists are frequent in Athens. Fascists are known to stab undocumented workers at their makeshift street stands, a common source of employment for immigrants unable to work legally. Weekly, immigrants are forced to register their papers at the immigration offices where they are met by attacks from the police.

Attacks on anarchists are also common, two squats in Athens have been torched by fascists in the past months. In last year's fascists demonstration, two anarchists were stabbed as the riot policed attacked comrades with fascists stabbing at them with knives and axes behind the police line. Due to the allegiance between the cops and the fascists, it was expected that the anarchist march would not make it to Omonia square from Kaniggos square.




After

If yesterday's clashes would have occurred in the States, I'm certain that the anarchist choros (meaning "mileu" literally translated as "the space") would be talking about it for years to come. But in Greek standards, the street fights were minor, very little property was destroyed and, sadly, the anarchist contingent never made it to Omonia square to confront the fascist as planned. Among the comrades, frustration and disappointment with yesterday's events is the consensus. In the States, such a widespread dissatisfaction would doubtlessly lead to name-calling and finger-pointing but this wont be the case here; there is no Greek anarchist message board to talk shit. Instead of specific people, poor planning takes the blame. Although fascists and revolutionaries have a long history of conflict, the most memorable being the Greek civil war, large anti-fa actions like yesterday are relatively new. The fascists who are small in numbers compared to left-wing or revolutionary groups often act in small groups and rarely call demonstrations that would exhibit their size.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Another Cocktail For The Gentleman?

During a visit to a friend's house, my friend sat with me, real time translated, and read to me texts that were produced after I left Greece when the insurrection was slowing down. In result, to be really real with you, the kid got a little teary eyed.

As a child, I was always an emotional little brat. The best, although patriarchical, expression for my disposition at the time was a "momma's boy." As I got older and suffered the backlash from crying fits in inappropriate places like department store dressing rooms and church pews during the collection, I got myself together. But now that I'm back in Greece, my outbursts are back in full effect. Yeah, in the States, I run around acting like I'm super thug but here I'm always getting choked up like a gangster in a '90s South Central LA flick that lost his dead homie.

After hearing texts like the one below, read to me in an English tickled with a Greek accent, who the fuck can blame me for getting all emotional? This text was produced and distributed as people began to leave Athens to celebrate Christmas in their home villages, a widespread tradition in Greece, a tradition that poured water on the flames that burned the tree in front of parliament. "Another Cocktail For The Gentleman?" turned out to be one of the most popular texts written during the insurrection. When I say "popular," I don't mean "popular with radicals," but it was a common occurrence to see little old ladies, with their heads wrapped in dark scarves, lining up in front of an occupied university to get their copy of an unapologetically radical article or magazine. To add to the bizarreness of this whole exchange, the texts were often distributed by comrades wearing black ski masks, who at the same time protected the university from the police with iron bars. In the case of this particular text, the queue of elderly women wrapped around the block!


Another Cocktail For The Gentleman?

“Every citizen in a time of civil war has the obligation to take sides, otherwise he shall be condemned to indemnity and will be stripped of his civil rights” Solon, Constitution of Athens, 6th century BCE.

Once the flames were extinguished, the state’s sages came out to the light to make estimations, analyses, overviews and predictions – but above all promises: “We shall disarm the police” – i.e. we shall arm it with a brand new non-lethal weaponry of electric globs, teizers, and armored vehicles. “We shall reform education” – i.e. we shall gather all the deans and principles and the rest of the chancellors of that bog of separated and useless knowledge called science and we shall craft a new system of debilitation, a new system of training young people to bow, snitch and beg. “We shall save democracy” – i.e. we shall find new ways of selling apathy, relegation, and voluntary servitude as an achievement, as a right, as freedom. The insurgents listen to the sirens of democracy and wonder: Bligh me, these people in their wilderness, haven’t they heard yet that negotiating is dead?

Who do they hope to come to the rescue of their Bastille? The cops? The merchants? The journalists? The trade union bosses? The student unions? Even if all the forces of repression, the market and mediation, from the highest priest of the spectacle to the lowest functionary of state violence put aside their internal differences for a moment, they will not be able to render the founding stone of any and all negotiation credible: the possibility of having anything to win from the perpetuation of this system. Even if the banks do away with all our debts. Even if the cops patrol the streets with flowers in their hair, and the “savoir vivre” underarm. Even if the ministry abolishes the finals, gives everyone an A, and sends all pupils to study at Harvard with a scholarship. Even if they invent a thousand demands for us, and realize every one of them with a simple presidential order, even then, reality proves stubborn: in this insurgency there has been not a single pathetic demand, not because we have waited for others to make demands for us, but because insurgencies do not demand – they attack. We need nothing – we want everything!

The slaves of capital, the lackeys of mediation cannot even perceive of politics without negotiation, because for them all life is an endless bazaar. Saturated by the logic of commodities, the only thing they can think is selling-off and its conditions. But the insurgency has proved how the wretched of the earth do dialogue: by uprooting stone by stone with their own hands that which exploits them, that which alienates them, that which oppresses them. And this is not only or primarily the police state, but the totality of the capital-relation, from class exploitation and the panoply of commodities, to the theaters and operas of bourgeois corruption, the pretentious veil of those who, after watching Brecht and listening to Shostakovich, rape Ludmila and force Ahmet wax their wooden floors.

The insurgency was not a step before the negotiations; it was the end of the bazaar, the end of the universal capitulation called the Republic. That is why the bosses are at loss. For their merchandise stands dusty and unsold. And the only thing remaining in their hands is an ever more clumsy management of the representation of violence. When those who attack police stations are high-school pupils. When entire neighborhoods instead of complaining about flaming barricades stone the pigs with flowerpots from their balconies. When it is nowadays hard even for a mounted pig to give a parking ticket without being piled with abuse, then power knows that all its efforts to demonize social counterviolence have been squashed. In the lightening of the insurgency that tears the darkness of ideologies, society acquires, even briefly, eyes and sees the contour of the real: the oppressive basis of its spectacular privileges. Those who weep over burned shops, let them go to Asia and see how the slaves produce the commodities that the ruffians of high street stuff their window panes with. Those who cry for the broken marbles of the universities, let them ask the dean’s cronies for the bill, for they have bought them six times over and have decorated their villas with them. And those who are outraged about their destroyed cars, let them take a stroll to the Niger Delta and see how blood runs next to the oil fields that fill their engines.

The exception, Alexis’s assassination, has brought about the overcoming of the logic of exception by uncovering it as what it really is: the rule. The rule of structural violence that is exercised daily for securing class, gender and racial privileges: from the acid that burns K. Kouneva’s face, to the slaves of the strawberry field of south Greece, and from the murdered prostitutes of the center of Athens and the invisible dead immigrants at the police station which issues permits, to the slaughter houses of Palestine and the Congo. That is why social counterviolence is turned against the system of exploitation and oppression as a totality – it does not personify the enemy. It is not reduced to a momentary and spasmodic act of revenge, but organizes itself in a constant and persistent attack on the foundations of this system: the social relations that reproduce it.

We have all the reasons in this world with our side. For they did not only kill one of us, nor is it just that the crisis of their system has weakened the promises that have kept us idle. It is that this world can only give birth to alienation, loneliness, separation, discipline, pillaging, destruction and death. It is that ever more dense refusals appear on the horizon as a storm that prepares to sweep away every last privilege of this rotten world. It is that, finally, all of us met united, alive, and decided and turned against it all. That is why every school, every university, every street, every town is now open to our will to let it never be the same again. This knowledge will transform the silent death they are preparing for us whatever its name be, reform, repression, or change of government, into a new frontline of the life we want to live. Every time more massively, every time more polarized. Every time more affirmatively, every time more unmediated, more collectively.

WE SAID IT AND WE SHALL SAY IT AGAIN: WE HAVE NO REASON TO GO BACK/ ALL BELANGS TO ALL/ ALL REMAIN IN OUR HANDS

SOLIDARITY TO THE PERSECUTED OF THE INSURGENCY
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THOSE IMPRISONED

A Photo Tour No Travel Agency Would Dare Offer


A photo of the ASOEE, the once occupied Economics university, where I stayed in December. Unlike the historically radical Polytechnic, the ASOEE was a center to experiment and challenge everyday life instead of planning actions in the street. In the ASOEE, there was a collective restaurant, a computer lab where many of December's texts were written and distributed, and a communal sleeping area. Like all the comrades who participated in the occupation, I have a hard time passing by the building now that it has been returned to its previous use as a site for the social reproduction of capitalist relations. But, as a middle finger to the reproduction of everyday life, revolutionary graffiti from December still sticks to the walls of the building!



A photo memorial of Alexis found by his memorial close to Exarchia square. The corner where he was killed, where the photo is hung, is now officially named after the murdered teenager.




A wider shot of Alexis' memorial. Letters from his friends written in December are still stapled to the wall. Flowers and candles are constantly placed in front of the memorial.




A production painted by an anarchist graffiti crew. The character was painted in the classically downtrodden south of Athens, the birthplace of the Rebetiko subculture, that in recent years has experienced a wave of gentrification. The graffiti crew is known in Athens for painting murals with a political message.







The Skaramagaz squat opened about two months ago in the center of Athens during the squat wave sweeping Greece.


Photos skillfully flicked by my man Rat!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Let the Street Fights Begin!

I'm in the center of Athens, looking for a bustdown, make me put my two hands up...TOUCHDOWN!

Yeah, that's right, your main man has made it back to Athens for the first time since the December insurrection, and now that I'm back in the motherland I set up this blog so I can answer all the paparazzi's question.

To be a little more specific, let me give you an example. In the States, I'll be trying to just chill in an infoshop, looking fly, and people ask me:

“Yo, I don't hear anything about Greece anymore, what's still going on there?”

Usually, I tell them:

“Stop sweating me and concentrate on me and my gold Social War chain!”

But nowadays, the kid is feeling a little more talkative, so I set up 277 Street Fights the blog to fill you in on all the gritty aspects of the struggle.

So to begin answering your questions, basically occupations are the hip new fashion in Greece. Especially in Athens, which unlike Salonica, has never had a strong squatting tradition. In fact, I'm staying at a squat called Skaramagas (which I call Scaramanga after the scientifical Rawkus records rapper) that used to be the mansion of a famous Greek opera singer. On the day the squat opened comrades set up huge speakers and played her rendition of “Carmen.”

I shouldn't forget to mention that new squats are popping up in smaller towns and cities despite the government's new measures against occupations. (As if those right wing assholes in parliament could do anything right.) Last week, in Athens, there was a huge anarchist march in support of the new squats. Comrades tell me that the uncharacteristically high attendance for an anarchist demonstration surprised everyone. There has been a ton of new faces after the uprising in December.

On my first day in Skaramagas, fascists tried to burn down the banners draped in front of the building. Just like you would expect in Greece, we left the squat looking for the culprits carrying flag bats. Sadly, we couldn't find the Neo-Nazis to kindly ask them if they wanted to play a game of stick ball but it brought back all these fond memories of December's unrest.

Yesterday, I saw a friend I met in December and she told me that as glad as she was to see my face, it made her sad because it reminded her of the of the lost insurrection. I'm not going to front either, your man is a little distraught. Last time I got off the plane in Athens, I stepped into a fucking inferno, this time, the buildings ain't even slightly roach clip flamed. Today, Greece feels like a foreign country, but in December, it was a homeland to everyone.

Yeah, so what, I cried. I don't care, judge me all you want. Thugs can drop a tear or a thousand and even sob those sobs that inevitably spew mucus everywhere. But, really theres no reason to sit in Exarchia and feel sorry for myself. So, I've been rubbing my snot and all those big crocodile tears on my fists. That's right, packing my wrecking balls with all types of face gunk. So, dig it, when the first street fight jumps off, I'm unleashing all types of swine flu on the pigs the second I start throwing blows. The cops better have their vitamin C game up or they'll be dropping like Hakim Bey's underpants in a pre-school! You feel me?

Till the next street fight,

x x at gmail dot com or something

ps. I see you San Francisco!