Immediately after the uprising of December 2008, the state attempted to restore its wounded prestige and re-establish a funereal social peace, fearing riots and unrests that could erupt in anticipation of the economic recession. It targeted Exarchia, mainly as a place of social iniquity, and imposed a military-style police occupation. In the meantime, the state sought to strengthen its legal arsenal in order to better control the social sphere, either by ordering – through prosecutor Sanidas – searches in hangouts and squats, or by applying the ‘koukoulonomos’ (hood-wearing-law) in demonstrations. At the same time, a sustained effort to remove the university asylum status began, with the police guarding the Propylaea in December ’09, continuously violating it in the Thessaloniki and Athens campuses.
The state sought to reorganize public order, increasing the number of cops and creating new units, such as the mechanized units “Delta” and “Dias”. Meanwhile there was a considerable increase of police presence around all neighborhoods. In March 2010, in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki, there was a flux of 2000 motorcycles of the newly created bike unit “Dias”, in an attempt to shift the police-state existing in the center of Athens throughout all neighborhoods. The government is trying to project the only image they can offer to society, that of the alleged safety of citizens. Thus, the cops-bikers will ride daily their motorcycles, which cost around half a million euros.
All these actions set up the background of the doctrine of zero tolerance, which applies to all social protests attempting to break the silent consensus to democracy: a police force acting preventively, bringing in protesters, invading free social spaces, (Resalto, Giannena), forcefully suppressing demonstrations that become progressively more militant (with arrests, beatings and chemical weapons). Indicative are the marches in Nikaia and Byronas protesting the state murders of Mohammed Kamran Atif (after torture in a PD) and Nikola Todi (on the street during a cops’ shootout).
This harsh political repression is strengthened by the media and other mechanisms of mediation, such as political parties and trade unions, which assume the role of changing the perception on facts and execute ideological attacks on protesters. A typical example is the attempt of criminalization of the anarchist movement through offering bounties, imaginary scenarios on its relationship with “criminal offenders”, armed groups etc.
Simultaneously, a very good level of cooperation between Greece and Turkey in the area of repression has been fostered. Lately, an upgrade to the software of the weapons systems is taking place, in order to link with those of Frontex deployed along the borders, in the air as well as in others. Meanwhile, the government agencies are using the flights of aircrafts of their colleagues, presenting them as “violations”, as it has been found in the past an effective means to use the “external enemy” to deal with internal crises, such as the current financial plight. It is no coincidence that the threat is always appearing when the local rulers feel uneasy in their position.
Also Hungarian translation by ‘Shelter of Crime’