From the Greek Streets blog:
Syntagma, Athens, June 15th 2011. How to put to words what we lived in this square, over the course of a single day?
A society in some spectacular turmoil; the most unusual of suspects have now taken to the streets. Syntagma was meant to be the epicentre of today’s attempt to block off Parliament as called by the square’s popular assembly. It was also the main focus point of the General Strike. At times, it felt like worlds in collusion: the naivety of pacificism, the fetischisation of anti-police violence. And around this collusion, a myriad others… In Syntagma today we fought off the Neo-nazis of the Golden Dawn, who had the nerve to show up at a General Strike. We saw the demonstrators’ clashing with police in the square’s South-eastern corner (for an unjustifiably long time) being followed by an astonishing, but only momentary, sweeping clean of the thousands on its square. People were trampled over tents, gassed like ants, fainting all over. By the time that the Delta motorcycle police tried to come into play, people had learnt the rules of the game — and they pushed them off. Twelve hours of nearly uninterrupted beating, tear-gassing, running, fighting. For these twelve hours, Syntagma compressed and showed naked the haphazard patterns into which people’s actions are cornered by this social order. A social order that is crumbling, an authority at loss, unable to manage its populace any longer. A regime that has fallen a while ago, only resting on the fallacy of some imagined national unity to try engineer change, to lengthen its days.
How can we possibly buy this? The hundreds of thousands who were out in Athens today already know: Syntagma was a storm; we are just waiting for the thunder.
#619 | Greek PM Papandreou announces government reshuffle and vote of confidence for Thursday; Syntagma protests continue
In a televised message, Greek PM Papandreou has just announced a government reshuffle and a vote of confidence in parliament for Thursday, June 16th – both in light of his government’s inability to handle reactions to his proposed new IMF/EU/ECB deal and the new round of cuts that would come with it, along with the fierce response on the street level in today’s general strike.
The Syntagma assembly is undergoing at the moment (22.25 GMT+2). Tens of thousands of people are at the square now and the assembly’s existing decision holds – that is, that the mobilisations will continue until governments, banks and the IMF are ousted.
More info as it comes.
20.41 (GMT+2) An estimated 20-30,000 people are at Syntagma at the moment and more are arriving by the minute. Tonight’s assembly is starting very soon, and it will most likely concern itself with the impeding announcements by Greek PM Papandreou, possibly about a “national unity” government.
17:43 (GMT+2) The situation in Syntagma is slightly calmer. Thousands are on the streets around the square and in front of the parliament, with more coming. Earlier, the luxurious Hotel Prince George and the Ministry of Economics were both attacked by protesters.
17:21 (GMT+2) The doctors of the clinic-tent of Syntagma Sq. are making a plea for supplies. A lot of people are injured by the brutal attacks of the police. People can approach Syntagma from Amalias Ave, from Propylea and possibly from the Metro station.
People are chanting anti-police slogans and clap ironically to the cops, battles still go on around the square, DIAS forces were hit in Fillelinon Str, while a few minutes earlier they had attacked people in front of the national garden and in Stadiou st. DIAS speed up and down on Amalias Street, hitting the rally.
17:07 (GMT+2) DIAS motorcycle police attacked people on Amalias St. People chant ‘Bread-Education-Freedom-The junta did not end in 1973′ and ‘Cops, Pigs Murderers’, gas bombs and sound grenades are thrown again by the police. Music is blasting once again from the speakers of the square. Ten minutes ago, the Syntagma Square Media Centre circulated the following announcement:
” NO PASSARAN! Now WE talk!
The Greek Parliament is under Siege. Thousands of protesters have flooded the greek Bastille and the surroundings. Since 7 in the morning, the greek “indignados”, shouting “no more!”, and with only means of struggle their own body, have blocked the streets and have encircled the Parliament.
What if the police has risen irongated barriers in front of the Parliament (V.Sofias) bombarding with unprecended teargases the gathered people…What if all the “sides and faces” of police forces (DIAS, MAT.e.t.c.)have tried to disperse the two blocks at V.Konstantinou &Rizari and V.Konstantinou & Rigillis, we are still here and we are continuing!
The greek government with the always pront to help, greek police, has for some hours now tried to murder and destroy ethically the great movement of the greek “indignados”, of the honest people who have taken to the squares and streets of the country.
To whoever tries to stop the peacefull siege of the “worthless and dangerous”, the greatest protest of the post Junta era, we will say only this! We are here to stay! All the people’s assemblies, we will stay and no ethical or politicall provocator will stop us. There is no space for such a species in our future history! ”
16:53 (GMT+2) a big group of demonstrators chased a group of DIAS/DELTA motorcycle police on Panepistimiou st. The speakers on Syntagma Sq. call for people to go back to the square. It is difficult to stay there due to the tear-gas, yet people remain.