Greek Embassy Protest Dec. 08 Dublin We don't forget, we don't back down - Killer cops in everytown

A good crowd gathered at the top of Grafton street at about 5.15pm on the cold dark Tuesday evening in December. We moved off towards St. Stephens green, about 25 of us heading towards Lesson street and the Greek Embassy. We went against the flow of people escaping work and rushing towards the illuminated beacon of the shopping centre. By the time we reached the embassy, we were greeted by the sight of three Gardaí who were standing on the top steps to protect the Greek States property. The Greek embassy are a particularly paranoid bunch and they always appear to seek the protection of the Gards when they hear wind of any picket or protest. They had also prepared for the demonstration by taking in their flag. Perhaps the cunning ambassador thought this trick could help them blend into the city landscape as just another gradiose georgian house. We unfurled the banners and started to let the local residents, (are there any on Pembroke lane that haven’t fled the country for winter) and passers-by know why we were there. He had the right to agitate, MURDER in the Greek State. Our Passion for Freedom is stronger than your prisons. In Anger, In Greif in SOLIDARITY. Unfortuantely, we didn’t have leaflets, but I think that people very quickly became aware that this building was indeed the Greek Embassy. Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15 year old student became the latest death in a long list of various State killings. He was killed in Athens, in the quarter known as Exarchia, which is known to be an anarchist and militant activist quarter. When the ‘special forces’ killed this young boy it sparked off riots which quickly spread throughout the country. A General strike was called for the following day after our picket, and 10,000 marched on the Greek parliament. The usual protrayal by the State and the media is that this young man was in with a bad crowd, as if that in some way legitimizes thekilling. The repercussions of Alexandros’s death display that the Greek people are all too aware which side they are on when it comes to a battle between the State and young activists. Exarchia is an area of Athens which has organised itself against further developments on their green spaces. They have dealt with issues around drug pushers themsevles. The area has battled the State when it has needed too. That is why old ladies chuck potted plants on the Special forces when they enter there. The special forces are trained by the old guard, the military who were in power. They are not respected by the people, and neither is the governement which mirrors our own with its corruption and inepititude. Don’t take my word for it, the guardian reported that people feel the system there “thrives on corruption, party political affiliations and patronage. (Siddique, 2008)“ Greece is in the grip of its greatest social upheaval in decades. As the banner on the picket stated, remember the dead, and with our picket were were doing that for young Grigoropoulos, who on that same day was buried in Falrio. But we must fight like hell for the living, and that means taking on those liars and theives who thrive in the current system. After a certain amout of chanting, we took a break and a Greek comrade addressed the crowd which had swelled to about thirty or more cold souls on that footpath. He told us the background, the details of that area of Athens, the words about the campaigns and battles that they’d fought with the authroties, and the way the authorities dealt with people. The special forces are not liked by the Greek populace and after this killing it is easy to see why. State brutality is a fact of life or I should say death, in all states, and we have our own cases here, like that of Terence Wheelock or young Brian Rossieter whose inquest is ongoing. People need to remember the dead, and we need to challenge those who are responsible and make them accountable. Justice appears like a folorn hope when dealing with State killings. Our Greek comrade went on to say that this is not an ‘islolated incident’ and that refugees were killed at the beginnig of the year. Then we chanted a bit more in anger, in grief and in Solidarity. As we broke up and went our spearate ways, we didn’t expect justice, but we had remember our dead. The Greek people are fighting right now to ensure that his death was not in vain, and that change comes from it. In this way the people of Greece are an example to us all. Don’t mourn, organise and fight for change.

  


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