Saturday, September 08, 2007

Beaten up by the police for taking pictures

today you'll have to forgive the lack of punctuation as i'm writing this with only one hand. the other has been dislocated i think, i'm off to a hospital to get it checked out after this.
apparntly taking photos of the police is illegal here in greece as i found out to my cost when a MAT snatch squad got me during a peaceful demo. after slamming me to the ground an making sure i stayed there with a few well placed punches. i was then handcuffed violently and arrested. my crime, taking pictures. luckily they didn't bother pressing charges.


i went to the hospital an i have a dislocated left shoulder, painfully put back into place by three hefty guys, a fractured nose, and muliple bruising. all because some manic idiot couldn't control himself.


Nancy A. McKeand said...

That is really sad. Hope there is no serious damage.

teacher dude said...

dislocated left shoulder
fractured nose,
multiple bruising,
smashed spectacles,

and a slowly growing anger.

Anonymous said...

Paul and Maggie say organise that growing anger.
Don't let the bastards get away with it.

We'll ring you.

Theodora Papapanagiotou said...

I can't understand this brutality! Wishes for a quick recovery from me and Sotiri

Lesley said...

What a dreadful experience. If this sort of police brutality is possible in the street, one wonders what happens behind the closed doors of police stations.
I hope you get better soon.

Ewan McIntosh said...

Well, I'd be pressing charges on the officer in question. Should be easy enough with your pics. My pal Nova didn't have the same issues when she was snapping the police during a very real and serious terrorist alert in Glasgow:

And Greece is meant to be part of Europe? Looks more like a tyrant state when you see this.

Sean said...

Hope you recover soon. Aren't there any EU laws about police brutality?

Cheryl said...

I hope that you recover soon.

Martin Belam said...

Sorry to hear about this, I wish you a speedy recovery

Gabriela Sellart said...

Sorry to read about this. I hope you get better soon.
Unfortunately I cannot say this surprises me, here in Argentina police brutality is too frequent.
How did you manage your anger? Did blogging about this help?

Anonymous said...

I was there dude.
The attack shocked me.
I am really by your side if you decide to press charges.
I, among people i know well, witnessed the whole shit that happened to you,
and though i am familiar with law violence, i was really pissed. As i was next to you i witnessed you doing nothng wrong, you didn't take pictures of the demostrators, you were a cool pro, somehow we trusted you.
Now that i hear about your injuries i am really pissed again.
I' d need to somehow get in contact with you, want to ask you a think or two. I'll need to find your personal mail.
Most ov the comrades that were there, will happily be witnesses to a court.
We anyway respect the fact you didn't disappear in silence. I am happy to hear from you. You are a great comrade.
Most ov us there were very sorry for the shit that happened. We were too weak, too few, surprised, to do something at the point. We hope next time better.

We also wish you recover soon enough.
We wish your spirits to be as high as they seem to be. Whenever in pain, breathe, calmly, deeply.
This light, that seems to come through your eyez and into your photos, is with you, alwayz. Noone can take it. Dignity.

With respect, may

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry TD. I am also shocked and angry. A polite request not to take pictures would have been enough. I wish there was something I could do. Take care my friend and good luck should you go forward with the charges. Keep us informed....

Anonymous said...

Thanks 4 having the courage to speak out about this. All the best, Teacher!

Anonymous said...

Dude, get well soon. I'm really sorry you had to go through this trauma for art's sake.

I believe, though, that when a man, a week before some very important elections and in the middle of politically charged events (a demo, a political party rally) goes around taking close-up pictures of people without their permission, then uploads them to the internet, that you should be ready for the possibility of violence. The people you photographed were either taking part in a volatile, potentially harmful to their careers event or were working there (like those cops) and were very stressed.

Just because you are a white middle aged man, society has conditioned you into believing that you are invincible, that anything you do can be forgiven and you are unaware of the violence that your actions entail: to invade someone's privacy, without permission or an emotional give-and-take, is a very violent act and I think you realized that only when you crossed the line of another white man with power: that's why the events got very violent, very fast.

Although, there can never be any excuse for police brutality, I would also not want to be the old man or the young woman whose pictures you took at the PASOK political party. I don't know if you asked for their permission but somehow I doubt it. So, we'll never know if they want to be in such a visible way associated with a certain political party for your personal gain (be it artistic or else).

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for what happened! Can you please provide more dets about the demonstration, when it took place etc?

Get well..

brexians said...

once again
if all what you said are real!!!
why with a lawyer you didnot so far press charges!!!
because you deleted my first entry and most propably you are going to do the same and with that.
you are an oportounist non democrat with colonial behaviour!
go to your country where your policmen are angels!
and dont try to find them here!!!

brexians said...

and the anonymous comment !!!
you wrote it after the deletion of mine!!!
good nite dude and wake up in your country which is more democratic and hospitable!!

teacher dude said...

No, Dimitri, I didn't delete your original comment. That along with my reply has mysteriously disappeared. Also the Anon comment is not mine either. Sleep well.

Anonymous said...

@"Δημητριος ο Ταξιδευτης":first of all Dimitri is not only your country is mine too.And you are not the person who will decide who is going to stay here and who is going back to his countrty.if i had to choose i would choose this man, not only because he is more Greek than you,but because he is HUMAN and you are not.And if he goes back to his country then you should go to hell...minds like yours are dangerous...and am sure you are a MAT.Aren't you?

Unknown said...

I'm from Greece too and I'm very sorry for what happened to you. But I urge you not to let it go! The crazy man who did this to you is a shame for the police force and for Greece itself, not to mention illegal.. Get in contact with the Greek Ombudsman in the following website and get the man fired for the benefit of all..

Anonymous said...

as i said on flickr i hope you're feeling better by now...

it's not the first time that i heard thing like this happening in greece. i felt like adding a link to two of your articles about that incident on my blog:

and i also think that you shouldn't let them go on as if nothing had happened... if there's something i could do let me know.

best wishes,
pixelkuh/zep wernbacher

Anonymous said...

I don't think this has anything to do with Greece in particular and wonder if some of those commenting here have their own prejudices or don't read the press.

This kind of thing happens in the US and all over the EU Europe (including Glasgow!), where any check of indy mdeia can find scores of photographers struck by police at political events with civil and uncivil disobedience, and where there are many laws against photographic security police actions.

kutiepie said...

I agree with Anonymous this does not only happen in Greece I live in Chicago. I am Greek but police brutality is very common here in the US but so is crime. However I have been to France and Spain and have tried to take pictures of people and they have acted angry and insulted so I photograph things and people from afar no identities. So please file a complaint against the are not alone it happens here alot too I will pray for you ....but please be careful of who you photograph people go insane now because of everyone being filmed and being shown on the internet,

Michael Kardamakis said...

Hope you're better by now. Just wanted to let you know that I'm going to use your article for a TOK presentation. μ