'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, May 13, 2011

Greece, As Always (Part 1) 

On Wednesday, there was a general strike in Athens and much of Greece over the continued imposition of austerity measures by the government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Towards the end of the day, the police attacked a group of people participating in a protest march, with the doctors who treated the injured, many of them severely, condemning the assault:

Today, we witnessed the the barbarism of the IMF government, which seeks to repress every healthy act of resistance to their plans, laid out by Greek and international capital, and faithfully implemented by their local servants. Dozens of injured demonstrators were transfered to our hospital by ambulances, or by themeselves. Most of them were suffering from fractured skulls. Among them, a 30-year old demonstrator, which arrived in a serious antemortem ["prothanatio"] state, anisocoria and extradural hematoma. At this moment, he is in surgery, operated by colleagues fighting to save his life. We denounce this form of police brutality, and consider the members of Greek government as responsible for this attempt at murder, as well as all attacks upon demonstrators.Violence and repression against the people will not serve them much longer.

A common response to such protests has been police and fascist terror against the undocumented, and the anti-authoritarian movement has, as usual, attempted to defend them. Consider, for example, what has happened in the aftermath of Wednesday's protest, as reported by Occupied London:

In the early hours of May 12th a 21-year old Bangladeshi migrant was stabbed to death in the Kato Patisia district of Athens. The victim, wrongly reported in mainstream news (and reposted on this blog) as a Pakistani migrant, was lethally stabbed almost certainly by fascist thugs who have launched a series of attacks in the centre of Athens following the murder of a Greek man on Tuesday night, on the corner of Ipirou and Tritis Septemvriou Street. Eyewitnesses report that the murderers of the 21-year old man chased him around the neighbourhood and spoke Greek. On Wednesday night alone fascist thugs roamed through a number of districts of central Athens, injuring at least another fifteen migrants most of which were hospitalised.

And, then, more recently, this:

In Thessaloniki, a fascist gathering at the square opposite the city’s train station was temporarily cancelled after approximately 300 anti-fascists gathered at the point first. The fascists were forced to meet at their headquarters instead. There are two demonstrations in the city at the moment, a fascist one (around 50-people strong) and an anti-fascist one, with about 300 people participating.

In Athens, there are reports that fascists stopped public transportation buses passing by Tritis Septemvriou street, where the murder of a 44-year old man on Tuesday night sparkled the tension. The fascists forced passengers out, beating those who looked foreign to them.

Did anyone stand up for the foreigners forced off the buses? The report does not address this urgent question. In Greece, as in France and Italy, the government is complicit in the scapegoating of the undocumented for its political and econcomic failures.

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