Athens, Greece: About the 6th of December
The murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos in 2008 was for some of us our first contact with insurrectionary practices and anarchist, libertarian speech, regardless of our degree of participation in the insurrection. The muder happened within the generalised erosion of the first year of the financial crisis. These historical conditions as combined with the murder being the departure point was generally accepted that they would lead to mass insurrection; they nonetheless repeated themselves, in different form but with similar core characteristics (i.e. the referendum period, the opening of migrant prison camps and the continuing state repression), without, however, leading to a similar insurrection. Thus, after the openness of December perhaps the politicised parts of Greek society realised that the latter is structurally conservative and that the social call is not responded, especially when the fascist danger became a normality as the more reactionary form of Kyriarchy, the intersection of systems of oppression, but also after the seizure of the struggle by the “left guardians”. What we have experienced in the broader movement-wide space after ’08 is disappointing: non-inclusive movements, with perceptions of superiority and denial of the existence of privileges cannot co-exist with a stable mass resistance.
Long story short we are observing the intense contrast between generalised state violence and selective solidarity according to the identities of the murdered people. On the one hand the state systematically murders and oppresses human and non animals, in cities, working places, forests, prison camps, slaughterhouses. On the other not every case is met with the same reception and solidarity from the movement. Specifically, when Zak Kostopoulos was murdered by cops, fascists and bosses, many of us were waiting for mass acts of resistance to take place, if not another December. However, from the first days of the murder it became clear that there was no chance of experiencing a new insurrection, neither of resisting massively on the streets.
Much has been written about the open assemblies that followed the murder, but maybe the most important point that we should never forget is that it was fully perceived that the majority of the a/a space has no interest whatsoever to address such issues meaningfully and in a solidarian manner when it is about subjects that have decided to struggle from different political spaces and possess identities that do not interest the manarchist analysis. Facing yet another murder it was exposed that the movements in Athens are complicit in a normalising process of misogyny, islamophobia, denial of the existence of privileges, transphobia, homophobia and narcophobia. The resistance died out before it even reached the street and the gap that the a/a movements left was filled by NGOs and pseudoselforganised groups working with them. Worse was even the reaction of the a/a space after the murder of Ebuka Mamasubek who was beaten up by cops at Monastiraki and was transferred to Omonia P.D., where he was murdered, while the cops tried for 2 days to cover up and silence his murder. There was no substantial reaction on the streets for it, except for a couple of actions outside Athens, whereas here only texts were written. There are many similar cases of murder of black migrant imprisoned subjects murdered when cops try to label them as suicides or accidents (such as the case of Oury Jalloh in Germany) and more that will never get justice. Exemplary there are efforts and struggles of other movements globally to not allow these murders of black bodies to be forgotten.
To many of us the question remains: why did the murder of Alexis lead to an insurrection whereas other state murders, like the one of Zak, of Ebuka and many migrants and refugees did not? Especially when we see that the conditions remain the same and only its management has changed. For us, specifically, this condition is the violent repression and organised attack by the Kyriarchy against underprivileged groups during a crisis that affects all facets of the social fabric. As mentioned above we believe that there is no difference, that this condition is one of permanence as the crises are a given and structural for technocapitalism and the state. Nonetheless the previously mentioned subjects have many differences with Grigoropoulos. Ebuka was an adult black person, refugee that was murdered in Omonia P.D. A couple of meters further Zak was murdered, white adult, activist and known member of the LGBT+ communities. We believe that identity-related differences, such as age, played a big part in the socially emotive and was a factor affecting the mass mobilisation of the insurrection. Adult deaths are always more normalised, whereas children are surrounded by symbolic elements of innocence and, thus, an invocation of the emotive is easier. Another important factor was also urban geography, meaning that while Grigoropoulos was murdered inside Exarchia, in an area that made it easier for the a/a space to face the murder as an attack, the 2 other deaths happened in Omonia, in a “downgraded” area where those who fall through the cracks of ‘normality’ exist. Also one of the most important factors was the racist hierarchisation and contrast between white and black bodies, individuals with Greek nationality or not. Other reasons that lead to the “modest” solidarity with Ebuka and Zak was the ‘lawless’ profile constructed by Greek media, police and the state: Zak was labelled as a thief and a “junkie”, Ebuka as an illegal street seller.
We also find important to mention the generalised and organised murder of non-human animals from technocapitalism and the state, in slaughterhouses, in executions of those who managed to escape, in the systematic destruction of forest and the following direct or indirect murder of those who live there. Despite this daily and systematic form of state- and capital-sponsored murder, and the multiple “isolated” cases of violence and abuse of non-human animals by ‘family men’, there is systematic barely any to no reaction at all. Just as in 2008, today the state and capital continue to propagate that they are in crisis, continue to threated that, if there is no compliance, there will be punishment. The media of capitalist propaganda misinform and mislead just like then with the murder of Alexis, so today again with the murder of Zak, of Ebuka and many more, with fake news and material, hate and phobia speech, in an unprecedented furry to charge the murdered with offenses and crimes. They unleash the same rhetooric against squats that have recently become targeted by the state in an attempt to exemplarily implement the dogma of law and order. Thus the squats are labelled as hubs of lawlessness, a danger for the lifestyle of the peaceful family man and for regularity, much more than all the murders we mentioned earlier. Indeed, our squats are spaces of lawlessness, self-education, insurrection against their regularity that reeks of death. For us every murder is a reason for insurrection.
No peace with cops, bosses, tv, judges, petty bourgeois, peaceful citizens.
Until the street belongs to all, until the end of every repression, for a diverse insurrection for total liberation.
The above was written from our perspectives as queer, trans, poor, white, resident, antispeciesist subjects, in the intersection of privileges and disadvantages. Our critique starts but also is limited from this position, and thus, mentioning less privileged positions we tried to not speak on their behalf.