Rebellion, December 2008

News and photos from the rebellion of December 2008 in Greece. Statements by the Communist Organization of Greece.

23 December 2008

Interview of a member of the Communist Organization of Greece to the Ukrainian Left Press


- Tell our readers about yourself. Do you participate in the revolt?

Nikos: All the members and sympathizers of the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE) are actively participating in the revolt all over Greece, and I am not an exception.

- The revolt in Greece goes on for more than two weeks. We know that the violence of police, that killed a 15 years old antifascist, affected people. But media says nothing about social situation that pushed people to the streets. Could you say why thousands go to the street?

Nikos: The cold-blood murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos triggered a social protest that rapidly took the characteristics of a revolt. The youth, and especially the secondary education students, are in the frontline of this wave of protests that overwhelmed the whole country: from the capital Athens and other big cities, as Thessaloniki, Patra, etc., until the smallest towns of the countryside. Indeed, dozens of thousands get to the streets every day. The murder of Alexis spilled over the social discontent that accumulates since long time, and increased further during the last months. The current episode of the capitalist crisis was the coronation of a long period of attacks against the social and democratic rights of the broad popular masses. Since 20 years, the youth and the working people of Greece witness a continuous degradation of their living standards. The unemployment, the low salaries and pensions, the rapid increase of the basic goods’ prices, the lack of future for the youth … all this situation, together with the continuous financial scandals that implicate the two main bourgeois parties as well as many businessmen and the Church, fed the social discontent, increased the political crisis and became the base of this revolt.

The first huge demonstrations of the youth salute the New Year!

On Friday 9 January dozens of thousands of youth and progressive people took on the streets all over GreeceOn Friday 9 January 2009, on the 18th anniversary of the murder of Nikos Temponeras [*], the youth of Greece gave the adequate answer to the attempts of the Karamanlis government and of its allies, aiming at terrorizing the youth movement. Despite the terror campaign developed by the government and all the bourgeois Media during the previous days, who "warned" the youth not to dare to demonstrate [**], . Friday's demonstrations were organized by the Coordinations of Occupied Faculties, as well as by teachers' Federations and other Unions, and were actively supported by the forces of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA). In Athens alone, around 20.000 people marched towards the Parliament with slogans against the criminal government and in defense of the democratic and social rights. Big youth demonstrations took part also in Thessaloniki, Patras and other cities all over Greece, supported by the Radical Left. It is noteworthy that the same day and time the KKE forces decided not to participate in the youth demonstrations and, in turn, organized pickets in solidarity with Palestine (and this, despite the fact that the Palestinian communities called for unitarian solidarity demonstrations the next day - these took place without KKE's participation, despite the pleas of the palestinian community for united action...)

Police Forces guarding the Athens' Christmas Tree. People is laughing...On Friday 19 December the Coordination Councils of occupied schools and faculties organized in the centre of Athens a big concert of support to the rebellious youth, with the participation of many music groups and singers. During hours thousands of people followed the concert, with slogans against the government and the state terror. In Peristeri (the suburb of Athens where the new murderous attempt against the youth took place during the night of 17 December – see 8th Statement) a new march took place with the massive participation of secondary education pupils, teachers and parents.

On Saturday 20 December hundreds of activists “visited” the new Christmas tree in front of the Parliament (the previous one was burned a week ago) and threw many sacks full of garbage on it. The Special Forces attacked the protesters and proceeded to new arrests; the bystanders booed the police and liberated some of the arrested. The Athens’ Christmas tree is now guarded round the time by hundreds of Special Forces and the people of Athens are laughing at the attempt of the government and of the mayor to “recreate the Christmas atmosphere in the centre of the city” – under the protection of the fully armed Special Forces guarding the tree!

For Alexis

Do we live in a society where they will kill one of our peer group and we are going to carry on with our lives as if nothing has happened??? And what about this life so unjust taken away???  Are we going to let it go when any of us could be in his place???

We are not terrorists, “hoodies”, “the known unknown”
These known unknown…
We have dreams – don’t kill them!
We have impulse – don’t stop it,
You were also young once.
Now you are after money, you care
only for prestige, you became fat and bold,

We do not forgive!

Let’s make the government of murderers to pay!

One of our fellow students 16 years old dropped down dead by police bullets. Once  more the politicians and the media will speak for a ‘mistake’ and they will look supposedly for the conditions of the death. But it wasn’t an accident, but a murder in cold blood without any reason. And those who armed the hand of the killer are those who order the police.

On Wednesday 17 December students of the secondary education and from the universities’ occupations blocked the buildings of the Athens’ Court of Justice in solidarity with the hundreds of arrested youth, demanding their immediate liberation. In the broader area of Athens the youth blocked main avenues and highways. The same day, the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA) realized a coordinated nation-wide campaign in dozens of neighbourhoods and cities with local demonstrations and other actions, under the general slogan: “Billions for the banks – Bullets for the youth: Let’s throw them down!”. The anger of the youth and of broad popular masses mounts again, as the government and the “justice” are manipulating the evidence, leaking information that the cold blood murder of Alexis was not the result of a premeditated action of the policemen! The previous day, a large group of young activists from SYRIZA went to Acropolis and unfurled two giant banners, calling for Resistance and solidarity demonstrations.

On Monday 15 December thousands of secondary education pupils demonstrated for hours in front of the Athens’ Police General Headquarters their anger for the murder of Alexis and for the government’s attempts to “balance” it with the “destruction” provoked during the ongoing revolt. The youth offered flowers to the Special Forces; when the police “responded” with globs and then chemicals, the youth threw plastic water bottles and bags full of flour and paint against them.

“I asked the political leaders to explicitly condemn the acts of violence. It is the responsibility of both the government and of all the political forces to immediately isolate, socially and politically, those who promote violence, illegal actions and antidemocratic attitudes”.

Declaration of Prime-minister Kostas Karamanlis, after his meetings with the leaders of parliamentary parties

“The leadership of the Coalition of Radical Left must cease petting the rioters”.

Declaration of Aleka Papariga, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), after her meeting with the Prime-minister

“There are political forces who display responsible attitude, and there are others who are petting the rioters, as I heard someone saying a while ago”.

Declaration of Georgios Karatzaferis, head of the extreme right-wing party “LAOS”, after his meeting with the Prime-minister

“Tell me who praises you, so I can tell you which errors you fell into”.

V. I. Lenin