Meanwhile, in Europe, ¡anarcholocos!

The bourgeois media [@ndy Slackbastard—>The Iron Sheik—>”Ptoo!”] has been speculating on the myterious ways of teh anarchists. First Athens, then Thessaloniki, then Greece, then… Europe? How is it possible! What does it all mean?!?

Greek unrest spreads to rest of Europe: Sixth Day In Athens
Roddy Thomson (Agence France-Presse)
The National Post
December 12, 2008

ATHENS – As Greek riots continued for a sixth day yesterday with high school students hurling stones and fire bombs at police stations in Athens suburbs, there were signs the unrest was spreading to the rest of Europe…

Arsonists torched two cars outside a Greek consulate in southwestern France and scrawled slogans in support of the youth riots gripping Athens.

Eight residents were evacuated unharmed from the consulate building, in the city of Bordeaux, and a door was damaged in the blaze.

Police found graffiti on a wall opposite the consulate, and on a nearby garage door, reading “Support for the fires in Greece,” “Insurrection Everywhere” and “The Coming Insurrection”.

The latter slogan is the name of a 2007 book seized as evidence last month following the arrest of seven people who were charged with sabotaging French high-speed rail lines.

France’s Interior Ministry alleged the manifesto has inspired a network of potentially violent “ultra-left” anarchist groups.

With Europe sliding into what may be a painful recession, the unrest may prove a harbinger of things to come.

“A violent reaction comparable to what has happened in Greece is possible, if there’s some kind of spark to light the fire, such as a youth’s death,” warned Roberto d’Alimonte, professor of political science at Florence University.

In France, officials in Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s office said he was “following the situation carefully,” and President Nicolas Sarkozy told ruling party deputies to beware a revolt against falling living standards…

In the week prior to the Interior Ministry’s assignation of responsibility for the burned door and graffiti to the publication of a text titled The Coming Insurrection, the Interior Minister made a very similar denunciation, this time in order to justify a contemporary French Terror against nine anarchists — the Tarnac 9 — arrested in early November and accused of ‘terrorism’ (Use of French terrorism law on railroad saboteurs draws criticism, Celestine Bohlen/Bloomberg News, International Herald Tribune, December 4, 2008):

Government officials say the suspects are dangerous. Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie described them on Nov. 11 as “ultra-leftists” who share a “total rejection of any democratic expression of political opinion, and an extremely violent tone.”

The suspects are mostly graduate students from middle-class families, aged 22 to 34. One of the two suspects still in custody, Julien Coupat, 34, is being charged with “directing a terrorist group,” said Isabelle Montagne, a spokeswoman for the Paris Prosecutor’s office.

She said the police believed he was the anonymous author of a 2007 book entitled “The Coming Insurrection,” which mixes an anarchist political philosophy with instructions on disrupting state symbols, like railroads.

The book’s implicit threats prompted the police to begin monitoring Coupat’s group in mid-2007, said Xavier Raufer, a professor of the Institute of Criminology in Paris.

Montagne said various objects, such as heavy cable cutters, climbing gear, screw cutters and leftist literature were found in the searches of the farmhouse at Tarnac…

Closer to home — and therefore to this Aussie Patriots’ P.T.B.A. heart — Paola Totaro reckons ‘YouTube, Facebook fan fallout over slain Greek teen’ (Sydney Morning Herald, December 12, 2008). Apparently — and contrary to the mountains of evidence to the contrary; remarked upon for at least the last decade or more — anarchist and other troublemakers only discovered teh Intertubes when Facebook and YouTube did. Mind you, Paola also writes “In Turkey, 12 [sic] protesters were reported to have painted the Greek consulate in the same colour red used on the Turkish flag”; alternatively, in the colour of blood. Which has symbolic resonance. Apparently.

In Germany, three journalists ask: What Unites the Stone-Throwing Black Bloc?, Florian Gathmann, Jan Grundmann and Philipp Wittrock, Spiegel Online, December 12, 2008. In summary: “They’re considered the militant spearheads of an international scene that is largely united by violence.” And the article proceeds along very much the same line: “real organization would contradict the very self-image of anarchists”; “each individual tends to fight his or her own battle against the state”; “the one thing that seems to unite these diffuse ideological fragments is a preference for the prefix ‘anti'”; “much as football hooligans like to travel to the World Cup for shows of strength, these political hooligans head to the annual G-8 meetings to battle with the host nation’s security forces”. On this final note, the hacks share a good deal in common with local hack Marxist theoretician Mick Armstrong, chief ideologist with Trotskyist groupuscule Socialist Alternative:

Australia, fortunately, has not previously been blighted by the sort of black bloc anarchist activities which [have] had such a disastrous impact on demonstrations in Europe. These people are simply provocateurs that open up protests to police repression. In Europe their ranks have been riddled by police agents and fascists.

What gave them a certain critical mass at the G20 was the presence of considerable numbers of anarchists from overseas. One of our members from New Zealand said he recognised at least 40 NZ anarchists. He knew at least 20 of them by name. There were also a considerable number of black [bloc] anarchists from Europe. We know of people from Sweden, Germany and England. These people are like football hooligans who travel the world looking for violence.

Surprisingly, recent coverage of the riots in Greece has failed to uncover the presence of the 40 Kiwi anarchists (fuelled by vast quantities of Epic Pale Ale, fush ‘n’ chups, and a love of rugger) who have master-minded the ultra-violence — but who knows what the future may bring?

Nikos Raptis, writing on the subject of ‘Greek Teenagers’ for ZNet (December 12), has a few ideas:

The conclusion drawn from the incidents of these six days in Greece : The uprising was in reality the uprising of the Greek teenagers. It was a Greek “intifada”. The “weapons” used by the teenagers in this “intifada” were their burning anger, their maturity, and predominately… Seville oranges, the traditional Greek student weapon against the police. Their targets were the police stations. The police stations, whose historical meaning was touched briefly in the above parenthesis.

What might one expect after the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers? The rightist government of Karamanlis (the nephew) is mortally wounded. The “socialists” have been so corrupt during their two decades-long governing of the country that the young Greeks are repelled by them. What the kids are looking towards, are: the anarchists, the Coalition, and the KKE. Also, to a lesser degree towards the Greens.

A year ago the Coalition’s voting power was a little above 3%. A few months ago it rose to almost 16%. Now it is back at about 9%. The KKE for years was constantly around 5%. Now it is close to 7%. The Greens seem to reach close to 3%. It is reasonable to expect that in the next elections the Left (Coalition, KKE, Greens) could achieve a total voting power of around 20% and even much more.

If the above estimates are correct, then the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers will give a hard time to the CIA analysts in Langley. These analysts initiated the 1967 dictatorship of the colonels. The result was that in 1974 the Communist Party was legal after decades of being outlawed. The murder of Alexis by a “copy” of a US “Rambo”-policeman that initiated the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers, could give birth to a new Left in Greece. Also, this is a very good opportunity for the Parecon vision to be promoted among the Greek teens. It seems that the Coalition has an affinity to the Parecon vision [?!?].

We shall see what happens. Let us hope that my estimate is correct.

Um… OK.

The following statement was issued by a group of Greek anarchists and anti-authoritarians in the southern suburbs of Athens. This is in the area (Ag. Dimitrios) where there has been a takeover of the local City Hall. The takeover, now in its second day, has received significant local support. Last night, a popular assembly was attended by over 300 people. The takeover has also been supported by a statement from the Association of Employees of the City Hall of Ag. Dimitrios and many of these employees are helping to guard the building from a police attack…

THE STATE MURDERS

The evening of Saturday December 6, 2008, a murderer pulled out his gun and executed in cold blood a citizen, Alexandros. What is most tragic about this murder is that the murderer, police officer by profession, killed a 16-year-old kid.

The incident occurred at Exarhia, at the intersection of Tzavella and Mesologgi Streets. At a place where any one of us could have been. At a place that could have been at any neighborhood. The eyewitnesses to the incident state that the murder was preceded by a simple verbal incident. But the Macho Greek Murderer could not stand the insult and pulled the gun. And he executed. In cold blood.

This murder is neither an accident nor an isolated incident. It is one more link in a endless series of murderous attacks of the various departments of the police. Let us not forget the murder of the Pakistani immigrant at Petrou Ralli Street(1), while he was waiting in line to apply for asylum (in a line that the state itself had told him to wait). Let us not forget that recently a woman was murdered in Leukimmi(2), from actions of the MAT(3) against the XYTA(4) establishment in their area. The list, unfortunately, is endless. Let us not forget the torture by police officers in police stations and prisons. Let us not forget the in effect murderous behavior of the instruments of order, with infinite chemicals [tear gas, etc.], flash and stun grenades, shootings, beatings, in every instance when people get out in the streets, during strikes, during student and local actions (it has not been very long since the police drowned the entire area around the KYT(5) of Argiroupoli and beat up mercilessly neighbors of ours). This is their function. Let us not delude ourselves. To beat up and murder so that their message gets through “we and the bosses are the
law, whoever resists will be beat up mercilessly, and then some.”

And who are their bosses? Is it maybe the stockholders of the banks? Is it maybe the stockholders of the chain stores? Is it the president of EBEA(6)? Is it maybe all those who demand more work from us, for less money and less security? Is it maybe all those who get rich charging interest while thousands despair? Is it maybe those who profiteer, both against us and the producers, with the prices they set in the supermarkets for basic goods? Is it maybe those who during the periods of fat cows make huge profits and when things get rough they lay off workers and cut wages? Well then, it is logical for the popular rage to be directed at them. They talk of material damages while there is one more death. If private property is the only thing that interests them, then those who rebel are justified. We must comprehend than when the horror doesn’t wake up consciences, then unfortunately the smell of burning is necessary.

In the midst of all this and the developing uprising, is it possible to not take a stand? Can we stand with those who always ask for “order and calm”? Who even during the [Nazi] occupation and the junta the only thing they wanted to do was to “mind their own business and live their lives”? Who always see “provocation” and “known unknowns”(7)? Who see conspiracies behind every social movement they don’t control, accustomed to being “leaders” behind closed doors? Let us not be deceived that every time the events concern the “strikers”, the “students”, the “youth”. These days it is the people who are in the streets, without “central administrations”, “instructors” or “enlightened vanguards”. The means used are decided freely by each participant in the insurrection. This concerns us as much as the residents of Exarhia, who faced with the so called “cat and mouse vendetta between anarchists and police”, took a stand. Over the weekend they were throwing flower pots from their balconies and demanded the removal of the MAT squads and the cessation of the use of chemicals [i.e. tear-gas]. They took a stand, they didn’t look the other way. They took a stand against state repression. All of us therefore must take a stand. We must counterpose in action our refusal to the imposition of the regime of terror and the police state.

NO STATE MURDER LEFT UNANSWERED
FREEDOM TO ALL THOSE ARRESTED
SILENCE IS COMPLICITY

Initiative of anarchists and anti-authoritarians from the southern suburbs

1. At an Immigration Office. Police attacked immigrants standing in line under the pretext of “maintaining order.” A 24-year old Pakistani was fatally injured. At least 14 others were injured.
2. During a demonstration against the local landfill police clubbed a 16-year old who was driving his motorcycle. He crashed into a 43-year old pregnant woman who died days later of head injuries.
3. Μονάδες Αποκαταστασης Ταξης , literally Units for the Restoration of Order. They are the Greek Police’s riot units
4. Χώροι Υγειονομικής Ταφής, literally Places for Sanitary Burial, aka the landfill.
5. Κέντρο Υπερυψηλής Τάσης, Super High Voltage Station
6. Εμπορικό και Βιομηχανικό Επιμελητήριο Αθηνών, Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry
7. “γνωστοί άγνωστοι” Media, state and police reference to anarchists and other militant protesters. Implying that they are known to the police but are not arrested for unknown reasons. Similar to the phrase “usual suspects” but it refers specifically, and conspiratorially, to anarchists.

See also : How police shooting of a teenage boy rallied the ‘€700 generation’, Maria Margaronis in Athens, The Guardian, December 13, 2008 | Greeks riot for 7th day; anger at govt escalates, Elena Becatoros and Derek Gatopoulos, AFP, December 13, 2008

bloggy goodness

NEA από όλο τον Κόσμο : “The objectivity of the presentation of news is almost impossible. So I simply reproduce what others say, and that seems to be quite effective. A continuous «collage» of news or “arpakola / paste-copy” .. with a few comments of mine .. ”
Center for Strategic Anarchy : “The Center is a syndicate of strategically-minded anarchist soldiers of fortune—psychotic individuals pitilessly destroying post-modern civilization at every available opportunity, living like debonair criminals, the kind of people who use stolen limousines as getaway cars, who build infernal machines that sow chaos and confusion, who obliterate golden calves and stone tablets alike, who eat gods. We are the lords of our Company, the enemies of God, pity, and mercy…”
greece-unrest | libcom.org
occupied london : on the greek riots
tapes gone loose : fiery the angels fell from the spires of my fortress of youth
Teacher Dude’s Grill and BBQ: Random thoughts on teaching EFL/ESL and living in Greece : monkey business in thessaloniki

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  1. That ZNet article is ridiculous. Where is the basis for the assertion that the Greeks have a Parecon vision? That is as absurd as Greg from the anarcho-commies saying that we need a movement based in the workplace the other day. If you were talking about Greece Greg I have news for you, there is already a massive movement in Greece that is not based in the workplace and for good reason. There are no jobs. Mindlessly spewing out theory without looking at the contextual application is what Trots do, we don’t need this sort of shit coming out of anarchists mouths.

    Yes I am angry 🙂

  2. …well, in parts it’s a bit silly. For example:

    The groups that took part in the uprising after the murder of the 15-year-old kid are the following:

    – A minuscule part of direct-action anarchists.
    – A group of non-violent anarchists spread all over Greece, numbering in the hundreds.
    – The usual police “plants” in the anarchist groups.
    – A very dangerous group of police officers, of the Blackwater-type of individuals [assisted by neo-Nazis], masquerading as anarchists. [See below].
    – The “KKE” (Communist Party of Greece), “traditional” communists, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
    – The “Coalition of the Radical Left” (“Coalition” from now on). A formerly Eurocommunist split from KKE, numbering, now, in the hundreds of thousands.
    – The “Greens”, numbering in the thousands
    – University students, numbering in the tens of thousands.
    – High school kids, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

    [The numbering refers to the power of each group in general and does not refer to the number of persons that took part in the uprising.]

    The stuff about Parecon I think is just Nikos grabbing the chance to wave his flag — which I think also explains his rather dubious pseudo-scientific mathematical calculations (above).

    Re the workplaces: I think rebellion can be/should be/is being spread to all sectors: on the streets, in the communities, in the workplaces, in the (counter-)media; everywhere.

  3. Those calculations do seem ahem dubious. I’ve read in a few places that the KKE have more-or-less condemned the ‘uprising’… and I’m not sure that the KKE’s paper-membership is necessarily such a great way to judge/categorize participation in these events anyway, whatever positions the organization takes. Of course, struggles often circulate as a kind of Rorschach test into which anyone can project their own fantasies, which often then become – surprisingly enough – the historical vindication of their own politics and hence a good advertisement for whatever those politics are supposed to entail.