Heraklion, Greece: Riot police attacks, but faced with determined protesters, is forced to retreat


Heraklion, Crete: While people in “democracies” around the world have rights, like the right to protest or the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association, or the right to freedom of speech, in Greece, where the proud self-proclaimed democrats boast that it is the place where democracy was born, no such rights exist anymore, the greek right-wing government has quickly but steadily, in just one year and half, delved into neo-fascism .

The vast majority of the protests all over Greece, in solidarity to the hunger striker Dimitris Koufodinas, have been attacked, without even an excuse, as soon as people started to gather by scores of riot policemen trying to spread fear and terror amongst those that dared to raise their voices and their feasts in the air to protest the prisoner’s imminent death.

This was the story too yesterday in Heraklion, Crete, (28 February 2021), where thegreek riot police attacked with teargas and flash-bang grenades approximately 30 people that were approaching the gathering point just before a protest in solidarity to Dimitris Koufodinas(on hunger strike since January 8, 2021). If Dimitris Koufodinas dies it will be the first prisoner on hunger strike to die in the European Union, since the death of Bobby Sands and his comrades in 1981, in Northern Ireland, under the Margaret Thatcher regime.

Regardless of the police terror tactics, dozens of people managed to gather and stood their ground in the main square of the city, thus forcing the riot police to retreat faced with their perseverance and determination.

Dimitris Koufodinas, now 63 years old, is on hunger strike for the last 53 days and has begun a thirst strike too since 23 February.

His death is considered imminent. His current demand is to be transferred to Korydallos prison, as well as, an end to these arbitrary interventions against him.

Even after 53 days without food, the greek government refuses his right to equal treatment.

– The rise of right-wing fascism within the greek government –

Even by the elastic standards of what was used to be known as a parliamentary democracy in Greece, the right-wing regime that governs Greece has gradually turned in just one year and half in power into a neofascist state.

While Athens is still on lockdown for the last 4 months, the right-wing government of “New Democracy” has used this time to act like a mafia organisation, settling scores with its perceived enemies, the greek people, human rights and freedoms.

In a violent legislative crescendo, the government has managed to establish a junta-like police State, using the pandemic lockdown as a period to quash rights and freedoms with no resistance by the people, (since the right to protest has been indefinitely revoked), that no other greek government even thought to destroy since the military junta regime was overturned in Greece back in 1974.

From establishing police stations inside the greek universities to the banning of gatherings and protests above a certain number of people and the ban on the freedom of journalists to move freely and report the news, and their plan to criminalize anti-establishment speech and lyrics in songs and art, the ironically self-proclaimed “New Democracy” governing party has decided that hiring thousands of new policemen as the answer to everything, even the pandemic.

Amongst the government’s enemies and its settling of scores is political prisoner Dimitris Koufodinas, serving 11 times life sentence plus 25 years, convicted as a member of the “Revolutionary Organization November 17th” (17N). 17N was active in Greece from 1975 to 2002, when it was dismantled after a failed attack. In 1989, the politician Pavlos Bakogiannis, the current Prime Minister’s brother-in-law and father of the present-day mayor of Athens, fell victim to the group. During the trial of 17N, Dimitris Koufodinas assumed political responsibility for the actions of the guerrilla group and his general stance during the court proceedings have earned him respect amongst some parts of the greek public, a fact that the current prime minister, the mayor of Athens and the American embassy cannot accept. So they constantly use their power to violate the founding idea that “justice is the same for all” or that “democracy does not seek revenge”, thus, treating him more like a hostage rather than a prisoner, constantly changing legal rules just to take their revenge.

As a result, Koufodinas has gone for the 5th time in 18 years on a hunger strike to be treated as a prisoner and not like a political prisoner, that according to the greek law does not exist as a prisoner’s classification.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the president of the current governing party, “New Democracy”, had publicly promised that if he came to power, he would exclude Koufontinas from the right to prison leaves and the right to serve his sentence in agricultural prisons.

[Video source: Alerta.gr]