Thursday, 26 March 2015

Greece, December 2008.

       Let's Disappear, is a summary/critique of the events in Greece around December 2008, by the Invisible Committee, and is certainly worth a read. I was in Athens on that December 2008, and was filled with a strange array of mixed emotions, there was apprehension and exhilaration, I was awestruck by the shear volume of anger and camaraderie, of united people on the streets, a feeling that I have never forgotten to this day. I sometimes wonder if I will ever find myself in a similar situation that will re-kindle those powerful emotions, that feeling that something wonderful and new was about to happen. Of course it hasn't--- well not yet.
    Anyone who lived through the days of December, 2008 in Athens knows what the word “insurrection” signifies in a Western metropolis. The banks were in pieces, the police stations under siege, the city in the hands of the assailants. In the luxury shops, they were no longer repairing the windows, which would need to be done every morning. Nothing that embodied the police reign of normality was untouched by this wave of fire and stones whose bearers were everywhere and representatives nowhere—even the Syntagma Christmas tree was torched. At a certain point the forces of order withdrew, after running out of tear-gas grenades. Impossible to say who took over the streets then. They say it was the “600 euros generation,” the “high schoolers,” the “anarchists,” the “riffraff” from the Albanian immigration, they’ll say anything.As usual, the press blamed the “koukoulofori,” the “hooded ones.” The truth is that the anarchists were overrun by this faceless outpouring of rage. Their monopoly on wild, masked action, inspired tags, and even Molotov cocktails had been taken from them unceremoniously. The general uprising they no longer dared to imagine was there, but it didn’t resemble the idea of it they had in their minds. An unknown entity, an egregore, had been born, a spirit that wouldn’t be appeased till everything was reduced to cinders that deserved to be. Time was on fire. The present was fractured as payment for all the future that had been stolen from us.
    The years that followed in Greece taught us the meaning of the word “counter-insurgency” in a Western country. Once the wave had passed, the hundreds of groups that had formed in the country, down to the smallest villages, tried to stay faithful to the breach which the month of December had opened.
     At one spot, people might empty the cash registers of a super-market, then film themselves burning the loot. At another, an embassy might be attacked in broad daylight in solidarity with some friend hounded by the police in his or her country. Some resolved, as in Italy of the 1970’s, to carry the attack to a higher level and target, using bombs or firearms, the Athens stock exchange, cops, ministries or perhaps the Microsoft headquarters. As in the 1970’s, the left passed new “antiterrorist” laws. The raids, arrests, and trials multiplied. For a time, one was reduced to militating against “repression.” The European Union, the World Bank, the IMF, in agreement with the Socialist government, undertook to make Greece pay for the unpardonable revolt. One should never underestimate the resentment of the wealthy towards the insolence of the poor. They decided to bring the whole country to heel through a string of “economic measures” more or less as violent, although spread over time, as the revolt.
Read the full article HERE

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