Today, February 12th (03.00 GMT+2), 67 years have been completed since the 1945 Treaty of Varkiza, where the Stalinist KKE (‘Communist Party of Greece’) betrayed armed struggle and thousands of fighters of the Civil War in exchange for its legality in the new regime. How much longer can the people take to the streets bare-handed against the totalitarian regime? Misery or revolution the dilemma lingering in air… an outspoken cry for freedom.
The February 11th, second day of the nationwide general strike, began with several public and governance buildings, such as town halls, being occupied by people who were calling for the immediate withdrawal from the new ‘bailout’ agreement. There have also been voices not yet heard, inside and outside prison walls across Greece, calling for the complete destruction of the democratic junta, towards social revolution.
Since three days, in downtown Athens, the Law School is occupied by anarchists/anti-authoritarians and other supporters, and the Ministry of Health is occupied by workers in the mental and special health-care sector. These protesters, apart from defending their labour rights, also defend the right of tens of thousands of mentally ill people to exist and interact with us all. They are struggling collectively against the austerity measures that deprive mental patients of the basic means for survival. The latter are among the people on the precipice of permanent exclusion, since the capitalist world regards them as ‘useless’, ‘unproductive’, ‘troubled’. In spite of the non-radical claims submitted by the strikers so far, their occupation of the Ministry of Health deserves the widest possible solidarity, as they have revealed, above all, the stark reality of institutionalized social cannibalism in this country and beyond.
By 12.00 GMT+2 the occupied Law School was surrounded by heavy police forces (police squads and plain-clothes cops). The cops checked even bags of those who were trying to reach the occupation. During the morning, 40 comrades remained there, while the free radio station 98 FM transmitted from a pirate studio inside the building, which was set up since yesterday (contact phone number +30 210 3688703). The protest march started from Propylaea, on Panepistimiou Street. Meanwhile, the websites of athens.indymedia.org, as well as the free radio station 1431am.org in Thessaloniki were not operating, but one could enter chat.koumbit.net and join irc #athens. The free radio station of Mytilini re-transmitted updates from 98 FM live broadcast.
Omonia metro station was open, so a (rather numb) crowd headed to Syntagma square. At 13.00 all demonstrator blocks arrived at Syntagma. The turnout was not the expected, given the seriousness of the situation. The Stalinists of PAME walked off on Filellinon Street while police squads were in front of the Monument of the Unknown Soldier and the parliament.
At the same time, a total of 600 antifascist protesters attended the midday demonstration against conscription and compulsory military service, which started from the area of Thissio and ended in Canningos Square, central Athens. One of the many antimilitarist slogans chanted was: NO SOLDIER EVER AND ANYWHERE, WE WON’T GO TO WAR FOR THE BOSSES!
In Thessaloniki nearly 1,000 demonstrators (mainly base unions) marched from Kamara to Aristotelous Square, where demonstrators occupied the building of ‘Olympion’, a historic cinema in the city centre, in order to hold an open assembly and use the space as a coordination base for the struggle in the days ahead.
In Athens, an estimated 5,000 were protesting at 14.30 in front of the parliament. Before the demo’s ending, it was reported that two protesters were detained outside the Law School (probably having no IDs). In the lower part of Syntagma, despite the calls for strike mobilization, Ermou Street (one of the main shopping areas in Athens) was packed with prospective buyers, motivated solely by their consumerist compulsion or touristic urge. With street traffic soon back to normal, the last demonstrator block withdrew to Propylaea, on Panepistimiou Street. Soon, the anarchist block joined the occupied Law School. Some few remained for a while in front of the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, face to face with police squads who were still lined up guarding their bosses.
As soon as access to athens.indymedia.org was fully restored, news was received from Mytilini (Lesvos Island), where nearly 200 people participated in a quiet rally. Comrades shared out texts for the intensification of class war, in a city with all enterprises running (and the same strikebreaking practice occurred in other towns, too).
In the city of Patras around 30 anarchists expropriated staples from a supermarket, sharing out the goods among people gathered at a nearby open-air market. Later on, during the protest march, attended by nearly 1,000 people, attacks were carried out on ATMs and surveillance cameras in several banks. A pawn shop was also attacked with stones, and the windows of a branch of chain fashion store ZARA were smashed —from the previous day, February 10th, two more gold-buying shops (loan sharks) were attacked in Korinthou Street and Olgas square. The cops fired tear gas at the crowd, but protesters managed to regroup in Georgiou square. The demo reached the occupied prefecture and returned to the same square. The anarchist block marched until it dispersed outside the squatted space Parartima.
Nearly 400 people attended the evening gathering at Syntagma, by 17.30, against the enactment of the multinational ACTA by the European Parliament. The so-called Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is expected to be voted in June 2012 and to be ratified by the Greek parliament, too (more worldwide mobilizations against ACTA are due to follow). The protesters handed out thousands of pamphlets against the global Internet surveillance and criminalization of the free flow of ideas.
Later in the evening, at around 20.45, an open assembly began in the occupied Law School (Solonos Street/entrance from Massalias Street). The squatters have urged every supporter to join the activities of the occupation, which operates as a basis for the dissemination and coordination of resistance.
In Ilion, northwest Athens, 150 people participated in a local manifestation. During the march, slogans were written on facades of several banks, the town hall and the local branches of the two major parliamentary parties, PASOK and Nea Dimokratia.
On Naxos Island 30 members of the autonomous assembly of the city of Naxos gathered in the port and shared out texts which spoke of popular revolt.
Apart from local demos in various neighbourhoods (especially in Attica) propagating Sunday’s anti-regime protests in Greek cities, as well as several supermarket expropriations, some of the most noticeable direct actions over the last two days were those in Livadia (10/2), where militant antifascists interrupted an indoor gathering of thugs from the ultra-right party LA.OS., and in Heraklion (Crete Island, 11/2), where the studio of the local corporate CretaTV was occupied at noon by anarchists/anti-authoritarians during the news broadcast, disseminating a call for the general strike —main theme on screen read ’capitalism or revolution’. After this direct action, the same group headed to Alikarnassos prisons, where the comrades remained for half an hour chanting solidarity slogans for the prisoners in struggle.