17 November 2020: On the day commemorating the bloodied student revolt against the dictatorship back in 1973, this is how the right-wing government in Greece honored the dead of the fascist regime. By banning all gatherings of more than 3 people, something that has happened in Greece for the first time in its modern history, on the 21 April 1967 when there was a fascist military coup d’état and on 17 November 1973 during a student revolt against the military junta of that same regime.
The banning of public gatherings of more than 3 people on that particular day, (and on the 6th of December on the day commemorating the revolt that occurred back in 2008 following the murder of a 15 years old by a cop at Exarcheia in Athens), during the 9 months of the pandemic awoke memories of a fascist regime creating an incomprehensible precedent of banning protests. It is obvious to the people that the banning of public gatherings was imposed with one and only aim. To ban protests.
While for 9 months since the pandemic other places around the world were preparing for the 2nd more dangerous and lethal wave of the pandemic, by strengthening their public health systems, hiring more doctors and nurses, setting up new hospitals and Intensive Care Units, the neoliberal right-wing government in Greece chose to hire thousands of policemen (true fact) and to provide the Mass Media with free money to promote the government’s propaganda. Hiring cops instead of doctors and nurses during a deadly pandemic! Imagine that!
Faced with the complete incompetence of the greek government to handle the pandemic and a direct attack on people’s rights, many all over Greece defied the banning of public gatherings and symbolically took to the streets taking all health precautions, to protest, wearing masks and keeping distances (as it can be clearly seen in the video). These people were not anti maskers or anything of that sort. The essence of anarchism and communism is based on the notion that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
And then the greek government and the police showed their true face. As it can be seen in the video, while all health precautions were being taken by the protesters, scores of policemen ruthlessly launched an attack with batons, flash-bang grenades, asphyxiating gas, water cannons and dozens of police bikers chasing protesters for many kilometres. The idiotic paradox of power. They injured and asphyxiated people to protect their health!
Similar scenes like in the video above, (shot by @kinimatini on Twitter) took place all over Athens and other greek cities and towns. And yet in an Orwellian new life, as it is now being formulated by those power, people still managed to break the wall of fear being built around their lives, and take back the streets to show that this is going to be a long battle.