Greek Riots – What The Media Isn’t Telling You

dim – For updates see http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/
The police had completely lost control yesterday, so on Tuesday they used every mean possible to gain control of the situation. The riot cops attacked the protesters in many occasions for no reason, trying to break up even the peaceful protesters, took out the guns and opened fire, made numerous arrests, used huge amounts of tear gas in urban areas and thousand of residents had trouble breathing.

On Tuesday morning, thousands of highschool students were on the streets again. In many cities they classed with the police and there were arrests. During the past 2 days in EVERY greek city, even the smaller ones there were demonstrations and attacks on police stations and banks by students and others.

The media are covering the police and they follow the police’s guiding lines trying to make the people turn against the protesters. They are trying to scare the people and stop them from participating on the revolt. They also mislead the viewers, saying that the anarchists are burning down small businesses and shops without showing any images. However the vast majority of the attacked and burned buildings are banks, governmental buildings (ministries etc), multinational businesses and big corporations.

Today the funeral of Alexis took place and the police in many occasions used violence to stop students that were heading to the cemetery to attend. However thousands of students and people showed up. The streets around the cemetery were full. The police was also there when they had no right to be and they were provocative as always. Reports say that riot cops were shouting to students things as “Where is Alexis now?” and “You will be next”. Of course the people reacted and started throwing rocks at them and setting fire barricades. The police’s plan was obviously to break up the people attending the funeral and they used tear gas and their sticks on students who where there for the funeral of their friend. One (at least) cop, took out his gun and fired 15 shots! The police said that it was only one shot because he was alone and he was surrounded and attacked by anarchists but the shots from cameras are different. At the moment of shooting, there is a group of about 15 bike cops together, the protesters are far away and the cop just takes his gun out and start firing in the air!

Photos and video of the shooting:  http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=937475

In the afternoon the demonstrations and classes continued in many cities. In Athens and Thessaloniki around the universities, in Patras protesters try to reach the Central police station. In smaller cities the same.

In Patras right-wing thugs and members of neo-nazi groups together with undercover cops are helping the police (this it not the first time that they act together, there is a huge issue in greece about their collaboration in numerous occasions) by hunting protesters and throwing rocks at them. Even the city mayor confirmed that! In the early 90’s, in the city of Patras, in a similar situation, a teacher was MURDERED by a right-wing thug (at the time he was a member of the then and now in power party) who was again helping the police, during school strikes. The thugs are in groups of 10-20 people, carrying sticks and knives, organized by the cops are walking around in the streets trying to find protesters. A protester was STUBBED! The media say they are plain people and shop owners trying to protect their stores but this is not true since there are reports that only the police, banks and governmental building were attacked in Patras. Lies, lies, lies by the media!

Right-wing thugs and members of the Chrisi Augi (neo-nazi group) seem to work together with the police in other cities too. There are reports of a girl stubbed in Athens and protesters and immigrants attacked! It’s hard to gather information. The media keep lying about shop-owners and raged residents…

Tenths of gatherings and demonstrations outside greek embassies and consulates took place across europe! There is need for international solidarity.

International Amnesty about Greece


Amnesty International
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008

Amnesty International Urges Greek Authorities to End Unlawful, Disproportionate Police Force Used Against Peaceful Demonstrators

Human Rights Organization Calls for Prompt, Impartial Investigation into 15-Year-Old Alexis’ Death

Contact: AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302,  lspann@aiusa.org

(Washington) — As anti-government demonstrations continue inGreece for the fourth day running, Amnesty International calls for a clear commitment by the authorities to end the unlawful and disproportionate use of force by police.

“Images in the international media and eyewitness statements to Amnesty International present mounting evidence of police beating and ill-treating peaceful demonstrators,” said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Program director at Amnesty International.

Members of Amnesty International in Greece have reported that officers involved in policing the riots engaged in punitive violence against peaceful demonstrators, rather than targeting those who were inciting violence and destroying property. In this context, the human rights organization is concerned about the ill-treatment of two of its members, who were beaten with batons by the police.

It is the duty of the police under international law to ensure that policing of demonstrations is carried out in a manner that complies with international standards, including those on the use of force. Amnesty International acknowledges the difficulties they face during the demonstrations in which hundreds of buildings have been torched and dozens of people injured and notes that the Greek authorities have both a responsibility and an obligation under international law to ensure the safety and security of people and property.

The riots started on the evening of December 6 after 15-year-old Alexandros-Andreas (Alexis) Gregoropoulos was killed by an officer serving in the “special guards” unit. Accounts of the events that led to his death vary.

According to the police, two police officers in a vehicle were initially attacked by a group of 20-30 young people. In a second encounter, one of the officers threw a flash grenade while the other fired two shots in the air and one towards the ground; one of these shots ricocheted and fatally wounded the 15 year old.

According to information received by Amnesty International, the teenager was out with his friends on Saturday evening. The group was approached at around 9:00 p.m. by two police officers in a vehicle who engaged in a verbal exchange with the youths. As the officers left the scene, one of the teenagers threw a beer bottle towards the police vehicle. The police officers parked their vehicle, returned on foot and engaged in further verbal abuse with the teenagers. During this exchange, another officer fired three shots, one of which fatally wounded Alexis Gregoropoulos.

“The statements made by police and eyewitnesses are contradictory. Only a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the full circumstances of the shooting can establish the sequence of events and the responsibility for the 15-year-old’s death,” Duckworth said.

The officers have been suspended. The officer who fired the shot currently faces charges of unlawful use of firearms and manslaughter with intent. The second officer faces charges of complicity.

“The killing of Alexis Gregoropoulos and the apparent disproportionate use of force in policing the demonstrations follow a distinct pattern of serious human rights violations by the police which includes excessive use of force, torture and other ill-treatment, misuse of firearms and impunity throughout law enforcement bodies,” Duckworth said.

Amnesty International has extensively researched human rights violations committed by law enforcement bodies in Greece and repeatedly called on the Greek authorities to undertake a thorough investigation of the system which allows them to happen. The organization urges the authorities to take immediate steps to break the chain of impunity by instituting independent mechanisms for investigating allegations of unlawful police conduct, reviewing policing of demonstrations, and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.