Wednesday, December 17, 2008

News from ten minutes ago

News from ten minutes ago

I was just about to sit down 10 minutes ago and start preparing my lessons when I heard the familiar sound of protesters chanting anti - cop slogans. I grabbed my camera and followed the noise until I caught up with a small group of marchers heading towards the centre.

I think that this indicative of what has happened over the last few days in Greece. The protests over the death of Alexis Grigoropoulos have mutated and fragmented. There are now thousands of smaller demos which have moved out of the centres of the big cities and migrated to the suburbs in the form of occupations of schools and local council offices. Less dramatic than previous outbursts but new for the country.

There also seems to be a glaring disconnect between the version of events being offered on much of national TV and that being seen in the rest of the world. For much of the foreign press the events in Greece are being seen as a form of rebellion against the present political establishment and the deep rooted ills in Greek society whereas the local media is offering their own interpretations based on pre-existing ideological formulas.

For the supporters of the conservative New Democracy party the violence and protests are simply the actions of a criminal minority hell bent on mayhem and theft. For others such as the Greek Communist Party (KKE) the violence is part of an orchestrated plan to distract people's attention from the government's economic woes. Others see the hand of foreign intelligence agencies guiding the protesters, who are seeking to undermine the independence of the government.

What they fail to see is the real rage felt by those protesting at the failure of the current political system to offer hope to young people faced with an economy heading into recession and the total lack of accountability of politicians to those the supposedly serve.

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