Friday, December 12, 2008

A week of living dangerously

No end to violence in Greek cities

This week has been one of the most intense I ever experienced and I don't know where to begin as far as my personal feelings are concerned. I feel that I've crammed six months of memories into the last six days. Today I was ready to take a break from participating in marches and just stick to my day job. I was exhausted both physically and emotionally by the last week but when I woke up I read that the ballistics report on the death of the 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos had supposedly vindicated the cops version of events. I was so filled me with anger that there was no way I wasn't going to demonstrate.

The sheer brazeness of the cover up and the outrageous statements made by the defendents' lawyer concerning the victim fuelled me today. I went to the centre in between lessons and came across a group of high school students demonstrating outside the central police station in Aristotelous square. I pulled out my camersa and almost immediately some guy came up and threatened to beat me, accusing me of being a journalist. "Roufianos" was the term he used which roughly translates as "snitch" or "lackey" in English though neither term conveys anything like the odium the word carries in Greek.

I've lost count of the number of times I've been threatened in such a manner over the last few days but I think that the pictures are important as they tell a story that the official media either ignores or does not have access to.

Later on once I'd regained my composure I went on a rally which wound its way peacefully through the city and ended up at the Ministry of Northern Greece. At least this time it wasn't tear gassed by the riot police.

If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will be Next

Manic Street Preachers




The future teaches you to be alone
The present to be afraid and cold
So if I can shoot rabbits
Then I can shoot fascists

Bullets for your brain today
But well forget it all again
Monuments put from pen to paper
Turns me into a gutless wonder

And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
Will be next
Will be next
Will be next

Gravity keeps my head down
Or is it maybe shame
At being so young and being so vain

Holes in your head today
But Im a pacifist
Ive walked la ramblas
But not with real intent

And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
Will be next
Will be next
Will be next
Will be next

And on the street tonight an old man plays
With newspaper cuttings of his glory days

And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this
Then your children will be next
Will be next
Will be next
Will be next

1 comment:

Zack said...

Oh, sir, how I respect your desire for justice.

I don't know your own history; I'm an anarchist in the states, and I know just how it feels to have months of emotional rollercoaster and action crammed into the space of a few days. I know you don't need anybody's approval, but sometimes it's hard to just stop and take the rest you need, and I've been in the same position. I know that I've felt guilty in the past when I needed to take that break, or I'd just fall down from exhaustion. I also know what it means to be so driven that the exhaustion becomes secondary to 'what must be done'.

I have a deep and profound respect for what you're doing, as do many of my comrades here. Please stay safe, breathe deeply, and rest when you need to! I wish I could be there to demonstrate alongside you and everyone else.

Have you tried telling the demonstrators that you're taking pictures for indymedia? I mean, what you're doing is basically indymedia.

Anyway, take care, and do what you must do without compromise...

Solidarity!
-Zack