Archive for December, 2008

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Rage on stage: Turning Athenians into Romans

December 20, 2008

 

by Nikolas Kosmatopoulos

Three scenes as a prelude to Greek riots:

Scene no.1:

Around 2000 people are gathered in front of the Greek parliament following a call to a sit-in by the open assembly of the occupied Law University. The atmosphere is serene, people’s chats and scrolls are often accompanied by slogans against police brutality and state violence. Police forces are not in sight. Suddenly a young man takes off half of his clothes, and bends his naked upper body in such a way as to simulate a human being in chains, humiliated: his hands bonded behind his back, his knees folded, his head hitting the floor, his exposed back revealing a tatooed crucified Jesus. In this position screams comes out of his mouth, which is only 3 cm far from the ground: “How does it feel to live an entire life bent like this, how does it feel?”. The relaxed atmosphere is changing at once. People and journalists gather around the young man, a crowd of 15 others follow him suit and uncover their upper bodies, taking the same body posture. The crowd is shocked, electrified, speechless. Heavy silence, reflection, a sudden applause. One girl, part of the crowd, screams back to the bystanders: “Don’t applause, just follow us and see how does it feel by yourself”. Kids with school backs undress… Within seconds, divisions of riot police appear from all directions heading to the spot. The silence is gone, slogans against police vibrate the air allover the parliament. The crowd turns the back to the spontaneous performers and heads towards the police forces angrily. They attack them verbally, demanding they leave immediately. The police retreats in order to re-deploy only meters in front of the ad hoc “stage”. After moments, a new performance takes place: A riot police in full gear is approached by a student with long hair. The student bends in front of him on his knees, remaining there for at least an hour. The police officer fails to look the young man in the eyes and soon both of them are joined by two more “actors”: a 10-year-old Roma child, having his face covered all up with Mallox, the anti-teargas liquid cream, and his right hand dressed with a huge boxing glove, with which he occasionally hits the policeman’s shield. A TV reporter joins in extending his camera so close to the scene, almost intercepting the looks of the youngman and capturing the empty look of the officer. 

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The revenge of life

December 17, 2008

Some thoughts on the events that are reshaping Greece these days

by Ilias Z

Published firstly on Dec 14th at indy.gr (www.indy.gr)

(abstract — This is not a “no future” generation, it’s simply a generation that does not accept the present as its future, that simply can’t stand the idea that this present will freeze and reproduce forever. At 32, still “unsettled” in every sense of the word, this is how i feel part of this youth. We do not share the cynicism, the dysthymia of a society that keeps on repeating “what can you do, that’s the way things will always be”. We crave to construct our own, autonomous future. And there are a lot of things standing in our way. That’s the point of unity between pupils, students, young working /unemployed /precarious adults. When you really want to live, a spark is enough to make you instinctively attack anything that you think stands in your way. In these moments the youth feels that police stations, riot police squads and banks are blocking their way, so they’re just trying to push them aside. If they won’t budge, you just have to burn them down (which of course doesn’t work that way, but that’s the drive to do it). And in personal life, the obstacles are being realized as your family, your bosses, your “responsibilities”. –)

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Beware!!! The Greek state is restoring order…

December 11, 2008

Some of the mainstream media, television channels in their majority, have played an important role on how the events, mostly the riots, have been perceived by the Greek public during the last few days. While in the beginning they participated wholeheartedly in the outcry of a fifteen years old killing, they gradually withdrew to playing their traditional role of judging the situation and promoting the mainstream public perspective…

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The shame of Greek media these days

December 9, 2008

On the ninth of December two people lost their jobs in Greece for reasons related to the events in Athens. First a photographer who demanded the publication of a picture showing a police officer pointing with his gun to the crowd, a provocation that took place a day after the killing of the teenager who drove the crowds in rampage all over the country. Initially the newspaper “Eleftheros Typos” which ironically in Greek means “Free Press” published the picture in an inside page. But the photographer was not spared the determination so the next day, probably after the management received relevant complaints from high rank personalities,  lost his job.

Another lay off was announced in “MEGA” TV channel. An anonymous video that circulated on youtube by an anonymous user showing the moment when the policeman fires at the kid on Friday night before everything started. It seems this was not enough for the production of the channel who inspired by the hot mood of the days added demonstration sounds and effects in the version it screened after borrowing the video. In a wonderful demonstration of stupidity the people responsible for this fraud failed to notice that the video had already been screened by other channels without these effects.

To the complaints that followed instead of accepting the responsibility the channel responded by firing a journalist or technician who was involved in preparing the video.