Saturday, December 5, 2009

Anti-authoritarian crowds arriving in Greece aboard 12 chartered ships

Translated segment from an exclusive posted on the protesting journalists' blog:

According to exclusive information in our possession the number of chartered vessels aboard which anti-authoritarian groups from Western Europe will be arriving in our country is 12. They will be participating in demonstrations that will be held in commemoration of the slaying of Alexis Grigoropoulos.

The anti-authoritarians expected to reach our country by sea are coming from France, Monaco, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, Lichtenstein, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. They form the so-called hardcore in their circles, participating in many clashes in their countries.

Additional large numbers of anti-authoritarians are also expected to arrive at the country's
northern borders by bus from Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenja, Boznia-Herzegovina, FYROM and Kosovo.

Hellenic police appear particularly troubled by extremists who will be arriving from Azerbaidjan, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Moldavia and the Ukraine, due to the relationship of particular individuals with the Russian mafia.

In some way, all these individuals form the anarchist international - travelling from country to country to generate clashes.

Meanwhile, verified information led Greek intelligence (EYP), who received information from all the intelligence services of the aforementioned countries, to track down and seize 7 tons of cooking gas cannisters lacking EU safety labels, which were going to be used by demonstrators (instead of Molotov cocktails) against young male and female wage earners in the Citizen Protection Corps.

In fact, in an effort to prevent mass use of gas cans, the country's customs yesterday impounded all loads coming through the borders. The result has been a tragic shortage in super markets. However, authorities gave assurances that the problem will be resolved after the 8th of December and in any case before the holidays, at which time the dangerous cargo will be released.

On the other major front, which is expected to be set off by the installation of the Christmas tree at Syntagma Square, the issue has yet to be cleared even though it is 3 weeks before the holidays. In a document marked "urgent" to Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) suggests that the tallest of all Christmas trees not be raised this year for fear of rioting "that could disrupt the market's smooth operation."

"The tree will operate as a hive for the enraged bees that will be flying in the streets of Athens, a fact that could have negative consequences to the golden profitability of shops on Ermou Street, one of the most expensive streets on the planet," the statement declares characteristically. And to the new government the Chamber adds a warning: "If the tree in Syntagma Square burns again, we will all burn, including yourselves." ...

Greece to deploy 6,000 police for riot anniversary, president issues plea for calm

More than 6,000 police officers will be deployed in Athens this weekend in an attempt to quell violence that might be associated with the first anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a 15-year-old boy.

Suspected anarchist youths attacked police targets in Athens and the southern city of Corinth on Friday, injuring two officers and raising fears a wave of rioting could once again engulf Greek cities.

Riots raged across Greece for more than two weeks last year following the death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos. Police failed to contain members of anarchist groups and violent students who smashed and looted stores across the capital.

The possibility of violence poses a challenge to the country's new Socialist government, which is also confronted with a surge in armed attacks by far-left and anarchist groups after the Dec. 6, 2008 shooting.

One police officer has been killed and another seven injured in three separate shootings, while bomb attacks targeted the Athens stock exchange, banks and a McDonald's restaurant.

President Karolos Papoulias pleaded for calm Friday.

"The murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos was not only a heinous act, it was a lesson for us all ... an obligation to try and ensure a fairer society for our younger generation," Papoulias said.

"I hope the memory of Alexis will be honoured peacefully because this is the least we owe (his family)," Papoulias said.

Small protests began Friday. Groups of teenage students blocked two busy roads north of the capital, and a police patrol was attacked by about 40 youths in the centre of Athens. Police said two officers were lightly injured.

Late Friday, a group of youths armed with sticks and stones attacked a regional police headquarters in Corinth, damaging the building but causing no injuries, police said.

No arrests were immediately reported after the attack, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) south of Athens.

A demonstration is planned for 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) in central Athens Sunday to mark the anniversary of the shooting.

Authorities said up to 6,500 police will be on duty from Saturday through Monday.

~ more... ~

Police raid on anarchist social centre in Athens



Resalto, a long-standing social centre in Keratsini, Athens, was raided on Saturday afternoon by strong police forces who detained around 20 people in relation to the coming protest marches for the first anniversary of the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

At around 17:00 strong police forces smashed the front doors and windows and invaded Resalto, the anarchist social centre of Keratsini, a proletarian suburb of Peiraeus. The police detained more than 20 people who have been taken to Athens police headquarters. The unprecedented invasion in a social centre (not a squat) comes as an escalation of state preventive repression on the eve of the two days of protest marches in memory of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the 15 year old anarchist assassinated at point blank by cops last year in Exarcheia sparking the December Uprising. Claims by the police that the space was used as a laboratory for explosives are astounding given that the centre is an open space used by the neighbourhood on daily bases.The bourgeois media report that this is a first leg of an operation involving storming many anarchist havens around the city.

During Saturday 5/6/09, the day before the first anniversary of the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, torrential rains swept the country making public demonstrations difficult. Nevertheless, in Salonica anarchists and anti-authoritarians occupied the city's oldest cinema, Olympion, a symbol of prosperity in the most central spot of the city's main boulevard, Aristotelous. The radicals announced that the occupation will last until Monday and have published a list of screenings and discussions regarding the December Uprising and the coming insurections. At the same time, leftists formed a march in Salonica after briefly occupying the White Tower, ex-Ottoman prison and main symbol of the city, where they hang a large vertical banner reading: “The revolt is always just”. Later on the day, a bus was attacked on the main avenue of the city when the driver reacted to students spraying slogans on its sides – the bus was smashed with rocks.

A protest march also took to the main shopping area of Athens, Ermou, during the previous night without any damages done to the shops which were largely destroyed during last year's uprising. The situation at the time of writing in Exarcheia was forbidding. Apart from the torrential rain the streets are filled by thousands of cops who, on the pretext of two molotovs dropped against a parked car, have evacuated Exarcheia square with the use of blast grenades, have cordonned off the entire Exarcheia and surrounded the occupied Polytechneio. Several people have been detained. This marks a outspoken breach of the government's pledge to allow the commemoration of Alexandros' assassination. 10.000 cops are reported to be in operation in Athens for the prevention of riots.

~ more... ~

Thirteen people have been arrested at anarchist space in Athens

From: After the Greek Riots

19.18 Cops just stormed Exarcheia square, detaining about 20 people, without anything having happened before. There are also riot cops ready to kick off on the corner of Messologiou and Metaxa Street, literally a few meters away from the point of Alexis' assassination. Polytechnic assembly is starting soon.

Riot police have stormed the anarchist space Resalto in Western Athens. They smashed the building's glass facade and arrested thirteen people, driving them all to the Police Headquarters in Alexandras Avenue...

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