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Controversy is welcome as long as it is done in a respectful fashion. In these times where none of the means and theoretical approaches applied before seem to work appropriately in our everyday activity we badly need to come out with some kind of common ground among different branches and schools of thought within anarchim.

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Gert from the well and his 69 different personalities.

Winter, Year 26 of the Orwell Age. (2010 of the obsolete Christian Era).

Tuesday, 25 May 2010



Thursday 27th of may.

Monday, 24 May 2010



FRANKFURT -- The International Monetary Fund on Monday urged Spain to push forward with a major restructuring of its economy, including an overhaul of union-dominated labor markets and progress on cutting government budget deficits.

The IMF statement, issued at the end of a routine consultation with the country, served as a reminder of how the same issues that have caused an acute panic in Greece are troubling other European nations.

In Greece's case, issues including high government debt and uncompetitive labor markets pushed the country to a near-default before the IMF and a collection of European Union countries offered an emergency bailout.

Spain has not requested similar assistance, but E.U. nations and the IMF have assembled a trillion-dollar fund to try to assure global bond markets that the 16 nations that share the euro will repay any money they borrow.

But the long list of IMF recommendations for Spain shows just how tough a climb it might be for the euro area, as it tries to renew growth and regain its competitive footing.

Spanish labor markets are "dysfunctional," the IMF said, using a set of collective bargaining agreements that "hamstrings" companies' ability to hire and fire and set wages.

The situation "is ill-suited to membership of a currency union," the IMF said, since it allows other nations in the eurozone with more flexible wage and work arrangements, such as Germany, to produce more cheaply and attract more investment.

While Spain's still-stagnant economy should begin growing again, the country's recovery will be "weak and fragile" without efforts to restructure, the fund said.

The IMF also demanded a clearer accounting of the Spanish banks that are at risk of failure. Banks are still plagued by the collapse of a real estate bubble and uncertainty about the real value of assets they hold, the IMF said. While the country's banks overall have "robust" levels of capital, "the risks remain elevated and unevenly distributed" in different institutions.

As in Greece, the IMF has been pressing highly indebted countries such as Spain to reduce their budget deficits. The fund complimented recent public-sector wage cuts and other efforts to bring down spending, but it said the country needed to do even more to meet deficit-reduction goals.

Given the sensitivity of the situation, with markets reacting zealously to bad news, "any slippage should be aggressively pre-empted."

(The Washington Post website: 25/05/2010)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


athens 16/5

The general strike on May 5 against the harshest financial anti-social measures imposed the last decades became the moment for the expression of a combative social and class dispute of the entire bankrupt political-economic system. That day, we witnessed the manifestation of the accumulated popular rage and resentment, which is more and more threatening to explode, shattering not only this country but even the whole Europe, passing beyond the borders the dominators have drawn.

Especially in Athens, the demonstration of about two hundred thousand protestors, walking the open ways of struggle and through the ruptures created to the deceptively omnipotent regime by the revolt of December ’08, headed to the parliament and repeatedly clashed with the forces of repression, threatening to storm the building in waves.

As anarchists, workers, jobless and youth, continuing our mobilizations and our long-lasting struggles, we chose to participate in the demonstration of 5th May through our own political blocs, contributing from our part to the broader social and class struggle.

Nobody knows how much more the thousands of people could have achieved that day in the streets of Athens if a tragedy hadn’t taken place; a horrible event that was disruptive and catastrophic for the struggle, and an unexpected present for the state, its forces of repression and its propaganda mechanism who used it in order to slander the struggle and intensify their repressive attack in the streets, re-establishing their forces and the consent around them.

It was the murder of three bank employees caused by the arson of Marfin bank in Stadiou street. An atrocious act which was the end of a race of arsons by unknown persons who were moving in an estranged and hostile towards the demonstration manner, using it for hitting targets right next to the blocs, showing no interest in whether human lives were in danger by their actions.

The state is definitely the first responsible for this event, as well as for a series of everyday crimes. With the attack the state is launching against society, it is more and more creating the conditions of a kind of cannibalistic war of all against all; conditions in which eventually anything can happen, even the inconceivable.

Of course, also, the tragic outcome of the arson in Marfin bank, where the three victims and other people were trapped, has largely to do with the fact that the owner of the Bank forced his employees to work in a day of general strike inside a building which had its doors locked and had not any necessary precautions, such as fire safety measures and emergency exits. Yet, given that Vgenopoulos (the bank owner) is a capitalist, member of a class which, by definition, consists of cruel exploiters and murderers, his indisputable culpability cannot be an excuse for those whose actions led three working people to death.

Neither the claim that these people were working the day of the strike can be an excuse for their loss, since this was not an issue to be solved by anyone self-appointed, but an issue of the employees themselves, or their co-workers and of any probable strikers’ committees; and, in any case, the response to situations of unintentional or intentional strike-breaking couldn’t ever be what happened on the 5th of May.

Of course the masses of demonstrators, anarchists and anti-authoritarians among them, who became a human flood in the streets of Athens that day and confronted state repression with tactics of disobedience and social counter-violence are not to be held responsible for the triple murder. That murder came as an ultimate result of an irrational, meaningless and needless violence which is promoted by an autistic, un-political and anti-social concept that has become a parasite to the anarchist – antiauthoritarian movement, sucking its blood and disparaging it, leading it to criminalisation and social isolation. It is a concept that is elitist, hostile and antagonistic towards the resisting society as much as against anarchists; a concept whose emptiness is covered by the ideological rags of a individualistic-chaotic-nihilistic muddle which has, after all, embodied “values” and mentalities that belong to the world of Domination.

That outrageous event made the crowds of demonstrators freeze and emptied the streets of struggle at the most crucial moment for the social resistance. The wounded regime gained time to recover and re-organise its forces as much as it could. At the same time the lackeys of the regime, the media, literally acted as tomb-raiders, exploiting the deaths to promote the state’s ideological and repressive campaign against the people who struggle, and especially against the anarchists whom they attempt to charge with situations completely irrelevant to them.

Anarchists have absolutely nothing to do with what happened in Marfin bank, and could never have done such an action, ignoring human lives. It is also true that anarchist comrades and other protesters, although they were being threatened and physically assaulted, tried as much as they could to hinder inconsiderate attacks and to put out fires wherever lives were in danger.

No matter how much some would wish, we will not shoulder any collective responsibility for situations completely strange to us, which undermine and corrode our struggle and that would annul us as anarchists; nor will we be silent, hiding our complete opposition to such situations. Our political responsibility lies in the fact that, despite our clear conflict with those situations, we were not able to deal with them and politically isolate them as effectively as it should have been done; and in the fact that we have to create the terms to do so from now on. For this reason all of us are called to have a clear position, given that the tragedy in Marfin is a crucial moment and a crossroad for our struggle.

Moreover, it is our responsibility to act in solidarity and collectively in order to repel the slanderous attack by the state and its lackeys, and to continue fighting in political terms, in terms of a movement, within the community, together with its resisting parts.

As anarchists we have a lasting, multiform solidarity activity within the social-class struggles, always on the side of workers, youth, migrants and refugees, and other oppressed and resisting people; and in no way will we stop doing so.

We will not tolerate the denigration of our struggle, which is a struggle for life, freedom and dignity against death, enslavement and humiliation both of the individual and of society; a struggle against inequality, hierarchy and injustice, against any form of exploitation and oppression.

We don’t forget the three dead workers.


No peace with the bosses – Wage slavery is terrorism

The struggle continues… for social revolution, anarchy and communism

We express our solidarity with the people who were beaten and arrested by the police on 5th May and we stand by the side of Zaimi 11 squat in Exarchia which was evacuated after a police raid during which eleven comrades were arrested.

Anarchist collective “Circle of Fire”

Thessaloniki squat “Terra Incognita” on the deaths of May 5th

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thessaloniki Squat “Terra Incognita” on the events of May 5th

(for a full list of all translated statements on the May 5th events on Occupied London please see “the anarchists speak out”. Here is the news as it broke out; for our updates on the events of the day, follow the May 5th tag )

[Greek original ]
Concerning the events of May 5th

May 5th. Thousands of people take to the streets, we live through a shocking historical experience. In this atmosphere comes the news that makes our blood freeze. Three dead workers. The enthusiasm immediately turns into grief and rage. We can only put together a political statement regarding the events with much difficulty, however we believe that it is worth trying in this direction.

The tragic death from suffocation of three persons, is one more piece of information that the regime and its mechanisms of propaganda try to manage, expecting of course to gain maximum profit of it. In the remainder of the statement, we will not be possessed by any tendency of answer or plea in the calumnies as perhaps it appears. For us it is apparent that an attack is being launched against the entire anarchist/ anti-authoritarian radical scene and against the ideas and the values for which it struggles as such, in face of accusing it for the death of these three persons.

If one thing is known for certain, it is the fact that the state and its mechanisms can manage any deaths they leave behind in their course. From the galleys of labour with the hundreds of labour “accidents” every year, to the borders and the cold-blooded murders of immigrants. From the civilizing wars of Afghanistan, to the bordello – prisons of the countryside and the super-profiting businesses of the trafficking of women. And the list has no end – it always continues.

And to imagine, we only talk of direct (if we can we use this term) deaths that the system manages comfortably. Because the system of raw exploitation of persons produces violence every day. Violence that is channelled through the direct or indirect terrorizing of societies which, fragmented as they are, and without essential knowledge and real information, are not in most cases in position to conceive this violence – let alone to respond. It is no coincidence that henceforth the most famous threats hanging above our heads are:

“Strike equals Unemployment”
“Claiming dignity equals Hunger”
“Resistance equals Imprisonment and torture”

An immeasurable daily death is that of seediness produced by the terror-state of the market and the bosses, whose marks we see only little by little, from the individuals lead to suicide due to debt, to the unverifiable and henceforth even blind metropolitan violence exercised by the oppressed to all directions.

This is the result that the system foresees and tries to adapt to its own account. We do not try to justify the diffusing of violence from the side of the oppressed, we only try to explain this violence. The regime seeks the disorientation and by extension the easier management of the results of the crisis at all levels – a crisis it continuously produces itself as an essential mechanism of bloodletting and submission.

In order to avoid its own collapse, the system seeks and aims to manage for its profit the death of social relations, nodal and leading condition of its very existence.

We experience an attempt to manage yet another death.
How this management is taking place within this particular economic situation is something that we shall henceforth in our skin.
- With the raw terrorizing and our bombarding with misinformation at the same time.
- With the falsification and concealment of the state attack against the society.
- With the effort of breaking into pieces the society and its parts that are in struggle, under the orchestrated targeting and calumniating of its most aggressive political components.

The ostensibly “fanatic defenders of human life and democracy” try in any way and especially in this particular economic situation to step on bodies, to stop an evident tendency of large parts of the society to engage into radical practices of struggle and by this we do not only mean [attacks with] “fire” (see the recent occupation of the National TV Channel from teachers, and its violent repression).

Trying to turn the eyes of the “peaceful demonstrators” to an “internal enemy” of the demonstrations themselves this time, they accomplish one thing. They reveal how much the system and its supporters shake in the idea of their challenging. Some challenging that takes flesh and bones as mass conflict with toppling terms.

At this time the choice of counter-violence, (once again we do not mean only “fire”) has been diffused.

And the authorities know this well. Thus they create, once more, an atmosphere that now has some entirely obvious targets, beyond trying to make an example of those who consider making claims with dynamic terms: to scare, to terrorize and to de-contextualise something that as it seems, they themselves who try to form such an atmosphere are afraid of.

The “fanatic defenders of human life and democracy”, the “civilized” cannibals of the “news” and “informative” programs do not hesitate in face of anything. The mouthpieces of the regime will be the last ones to apologize for their crimes. The fact that the woman was pregnant for them was only an occasion for more blood.

That they do not give a dime for the human life was, is and will be the basic characteristic of all willing supporters of this miserable system.

We are not surprised. This is what we always have been saying.

We are unable to know “who”, because we were not there. We can, however, interpret partly the “how” and the “why’s”. In the street meet disparate [social] pieces that not only hide a lot of internal oppositions but also bridgeless gaps. What we know is that the choice of violence not as means, but as treaty of existence, self-construction, confirmation through an image, does not have anything to offer to what we call competition with political terms. On the contrary, it is as far as hostile. When somebody operates with spectacular terms, they make action an end to itself. Counter-violence is a political tool among many, what it is not is a tool of survival in the street, or a habit. Thus the tripartite means-institution of means-economic situation is not separated. It is continuously checked by the subjects, and their choices that are translated in political responsibility, give it substance, name and space. It is the capable and necessary treaty in order to promote the issue of social emancipation and it is in this frame that we owe to act, to the extent that we can deter and isolate the logics that destroy overnight what people in struggle have been constructing for years.

According to our previous analysis, as anarchists, we cannot have any relation with the paranoia that power promotes. We do not see windows, we see the persons and their relations. We fight so the windows are broken at last from the inside. And this will not happen from one day to the other, nor can it happen in a moment. The gaze of people in struggle should not be locked to the shield or the shop-front.

As anarchists, we struggle for the emancipation of humans from what oppresses them. For solidarity and dignity. For human life. No miserable beings will accomplish changing the course of the anarchist antiauthoritarian movement, let alone its history.

It is the authorities who murder
and they know it, as much as each and every person does
Terra incognita squat, May 2010

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

“In critical and suffocating times” – TPTG on May 5th

The Ta Paida Tis Galarias (The Children of The Gallery) group report on the recent demonstrations in Athens against austerity measures, including the events leading to the tragic deaths of three bank workers and its implications for the movement of opposition.

What follows is a report on the demo of the 5th of May and the one that followed the day after and some general thoughts on the critical situation the movement in Greece is in at the time being.

Although in a period of acute fiscal terrorism escalating day after day with constant threats of an imminent state bankruptcy and “sacrifices to be made”, the proletariat’s response on the eve of the voting of the new austerity measures in Greek parliament was impressive. It was probably the biggest workers’ demonstration since the fall of the dictatorship, even bigger than the 2001 demo which had led to the withdrawal of a planned pension reform. We estimate that there were more than two hundred thousand demonstrators in the centre of Athens and about fifty thousands in the rest of the country.

There were strikes in almost all sectors of the (re)production process. A proletarian crowd similar to the one which had taken to the streets in December 2008 (also called derogatorily “hooded youth” by mainstream media propaganda) was also there equipped with axes, sledges, hammers, molotov cocktails, stones, gas masks, goggles and sticks. Although there were instances that hooded rioters were booed when they attempted or actually made violent attacks on buildings, in general they fitted well within this motley, colourful, angered river of demonstrators. The slogans ranged from those that rejected the political system as a whole, like “Let’s burn the Parliament brothel” to patriotic ones, like “IMF go away”, and to populist ones like “Thieves!” and “People demand crooks to be sent to prison”. Aggressive slogans referring to politicians in general are becoming more and more dominant nowadays.

At the GSEE-ADEDY demo (general and public sector worker unions) people started swarming the place in thousands and the GSEE president was hooted when he started speaking. When the GSEE leadership repeated their detour they had first done on the 11th of March in order to avoid the bulk of the demo and come to the front, just few followed this time…

The demo by the PAME (the Communist Party’s – CP’s – “Workers’ Front”) was also big (well over 20,000) and reached Syntagma Square first. Their plan was to stay there for a while and leave just before the main, bigger demo was about to approach. However, their members would not leave but remained there angered chanting slogans against the politicians. According to the leader of the CP there were fascist provocateurs (she actually accused the LAOS party, this mish-mash of far-right thugs and junta nostalgic scum) carrying PAME placards inciting CP members to storm the Parliament and thus discredit the party’s loyalty to the constitution!

Although this accusation bears some validity because fascists were actually seen there, the truth is –according to witnesses– that the CP leaders had some difficulty with their members in leading them quickly away from the square and preventing them from shouting angry slogans against the Parliament. It’s maybe too bold to regard it as a sign of a gradual disobedience to this monolithic party’s iron rule, but in such fluid times no one really knows…

The 70 or more fascists stationed opposite the riot police were cursing the politicians (“Sons of a bitch, politicians”), chanting the national anthem and even throwing some stones against the parliament and probably had the vain intention to prevent any escalation of the violence but were soon swallowed into huge waves of demonstrators approaching the square.

Soon, crowds of workers (electricians, postal workers, municipal workers etc.) tried to enter the building from any access available but there was none as hundreds of riot cops were strung out all along the forecourt and the entrances. Another crowd of workers of both sexes and all ages stood against the cops who were in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier cursing and threatening them.

Despite the fact that the riot police made a massive counter-attack with tear gas and fire grenades and managed to disperse the crowd, there were constantly new blocks of demonstrators arriving in front of the Parliament while the first blocks which had been pushed back were reorganizing themselves in Panepistimiou St. and Syngrou Ave. They started smashing whatever they could and attacked the riot police squads who were strung out in the nearby streets.

Although most of the big buildings in the centre of the town were closed with rolling shutters, they managed to attack some banks and state buildings. There was extensive destruction of property especially in Syngrou Ave. because the cops were not enough to react immediately against that part of the rioters as the police had been ordered to give priority to the protection of the Parliament and the evacuation of Panepistimiou St. and Stadiou St., the two main avenues through which the crowd was constantly returning to it. Luxury cars, a Tax Office building and the Prefecture of Athens were set on fire and even hours later the area looked like a war-zone.

The fights lasted for almost three hours. It is impossible to record everything that happened in the streets. Just one incident: some teachers and other workers managed to encircle a few riot cops belonging to Group D –a new body of riot police on motorcycles– and thrash them while the cops were screaming “Please no, we are workers, too”!

Demonstrators pushed into Panepistimiou St. kept returning in blocs to the Parliament and there were constant clashes with the police. The crowd was mixed again and would not go. A middle-aged municipal worker with stones in his hands was telling us, moved, how much the situation there reminded him of the first years after the fall of the dictatorship when he was present at the 1980 demo in commemoration of the Polytechnic uprising when the police murdered a woman, the 20-year old worker Kanellopoulou.

Soon the terrible news from foreign news agencies came on mobile phones: Three or four people dead in a burnt down bank!

There were some attempts to burn down banks in various places but in most cases the crowd didn’t go forward because there were scabs locked in them. It was only the building of Marfin Bank in Stadiou St. that was finally set on fire. Just a few minutes before the tragedy started, however, it was not “hooded hooligans” who shouted “scabs” at the bank employees but organized blocks of strikers who yelled and swore at them and called on them to abandon the building.

Given the bulk of the demo and its density, the turmoil and the noise of the chants, it’s obvious that a certain degree of confusion –common in such situations– makes it difficult to provide the accurate facts concerning this tragic incident. What seems to be closer to the truth (from fragments of information by eye-witnesses put together) is that at this particular bank, right in the heart of Athens on a general strike day, about 20 bank clerks were made to work by their boss, got locked “for their protection” and finally three of them died of suffocation.

Initially a molotov cocktail was thrown through a hole made on the window panes into the ground floor, however, when some bank clerks were seen on the balconies again, some demonstrators called them to leave and then they tried to put the fire out. What actually happened then and how in no time at all the building was ablaze, remains unknown.

The macabre series of events that followed with demonstrators trying to help those trapped inside, the fire brigade taking too long to take some of them out, the smiling billionaire banker being chased away by the angry crowd have been probably well reported. After some time the prime minister would announce the news in the Parliament condemning the “political irresponsibility” of those who resist the measures taken and “lead people to death” while the government’s “salvation measures” on the contrary “promote life”.

The reversal was successful. Soon a huge operation by the riot police followed: the crowds were dispersed and chased away, the whole centre was cordoned until late in night. The libertarian enclave of Exarchia was placed under siege, an anarchist squat was invaded and many were arrested, the Immigrants’ Haunt was invaded and trashed and a persistent smoke over the city as well as a sense of bitterness and numbness would not go away…

The consequences were visible the very next day: the media vultures capitalised on the tragic death representing it as a “personal tragedy” dissociated from its general context (mere human bodies cut off from their social relations) and some went so far as to criminalize resistance and protest. The government gained some time changing the subject of discussion and conflict and the unions felt released from any obligation to call for a strike the very day when the new measures were passed.

Nonetheless, in such a general climate of fear, disappointment and freeze a few thousands gathered outside the parliament at an evening rally called by the unions and left organisations. Anger was still there, fists were raised, bottles of water and some fire crackers were thrown at the riot cops and slogans both against the parliament and the cops were chanted. An old woman was begging people to chant to “make them [the politicians] leave”, a guy pissed in a bottle and threw it to the cops, few anti-authoritarians were to be seen and when it got dark and the unions and most organizations left, people, quite ordinary, everyday people with bare hands would not go.

Attacked with ferocity by the riot police, chased away, trampled down Syntagma square steps, panicked but angered young and old people got dispersed in nearby streets. Everything was back in order. However, not only fear was in their eyes; hatred was visible as well. It is certain they will be back.

Now some more general reflections:
1. Cracking down on anarchists and anti-authoritarians has already started and it will get more acute. Criminalizing a whole social-political milieu reaching out to the far left organizations has always been used as a diversion by the state and it will be used even more so now that the murderous attack creates such favourable conditions. However, framing anarchists will not make those hundreds of thousands who demonstrated and even those a lot more who stayed passive but worried forget the IMF and the “salvation package” offered to them by the government. Harassing our milieu will not pay people’s bills nor guarantee their future which remains bleak. The government will soon have to incriminate resistance in general and has already started doing so as the incidents on the 6th of May clearly indicated.

2. There will be some modest effort from the state to “put the blame” on certain politicians in order to appease the “popular feeling” which may well turn into a “thirst for blood”. Some blatant cases of “corruption” may get punished and some politicians may be sacrificed just to pour oil into troubled waters.

3. There is a constant reference to a “constitutional deviation” coming both from the LAOS or the CP in a recrimination spectacle, revealing though of the ruling class increasing fears of a deepening political crisis, a deepening of the legitimization crisis. Various scenarios (a businessmen’s party, a proper junta-like regime) get recycled reflecting deeper fears of a proletarian uprising but in effect are used as a re-orientation of the debt crisis issue from the streets to the central political stage and to the banal question “who will be the solution?” instead of “what is the ‘solution’?”

4. Having said all that, it is time to get to the more crucial matters. It is more than clear that the sickening game of turning the dominant fear/guilt for the debt into a fear/guilt for the resistance and the (violent) uprising against the terrorism of debt has already started. If class struggle escalates, the conditions may look more and more like the ones in a proper civil war. The question of violence has already become central. In the same way we assess the state’s management of violence, we are obliged to assess proletarian violence, too: the movement has to deal with the legitimation of rebellious violence and its content in practical terms. As for the anarchist-antiauthoritarian milieu itself and its dominant insurrectional tendency the tradition of a fetishized, macho glorification of violence has been too long and consistent to remain indifferent now. Violence as an end in itself in all its variations (including armed struggle proper) has been propagated constantly for years now and especially after the December rebellion a certain degree of nihilistic decomposition has become evident (there were some references to it in our text The Rebellious Passage), extending over the milieu itself. In the periphery of this milieu, in its margins, a growing number of very young people has become visible promoting nihilistic limitless violence (dressed up as “December’s nihilism”) and “destruction” even if this also includes variable capital (in the form of scabs, “petit-bourgeois elements”, “law-abiding citizens”). Such a degeneration coming out of the rebellion and its limits as well as out of the crisis itself is clearly evident. Certain condemnations of these behaviours and a self-critique to some extent have already started in the milieu (some anarchist groups have even called the perpetrators “parastatal thugs”) and it is quite possible that organized anarchists and anti-authoritarians (groups or squats) will try to isolate both politically and operationally such tendencies. However, the situation is more complicated and it is surpassing the theoretical and practical (self)critical abilities of this milieu. In hindsight, such tragic incidents with all their consequences might have happened in the December rebellion itself: what prevented them was not only chance (a petrol station that did not explode next to buildings set on fire on Sunday the 7th of December, the fact that the most violent riots took place at night with most buildings empty), but also the creation of a (though limited) proletarian public sphere and of communities of struggle which found their way not only through violence but also through their own content, discourse and other means of communication. It was these pre-existing communities (of students, football hooligans, immigrants, anarchists) that turned into communities of struggle by the subjects of the rebellion themselves that gave to violence a meaningful place. Will there be such communities again now that not only a proletarian minority is involved? Will there be a practical way of self-organization in the workplaces, in the neighborhoods or in the streets to determine the form and the content of the struggle and thus place violence in a liberating perspective?

Uneasy questions in pressing times but we will have to find the answers struggling.

“Oh sky, your mirror image can be seen on the mud also”.

At first, we want to make it clear that our anger is indescribable, for the cowardly para-state gang who is responsible for murdering three people, two women, one pregnant on the fourth month, and a man who worked at Marfin bank at Stadiou Str., as well as for the gang of politicians and journalists who rushed to associate the fair uprising of hundreds of thousands of people in Athens and other cities with this atrocious murder.

But the truth cannot be erased. An angry river of protesters surrounded the Parliament and for hours and hours attempted to invade during a ferocious battle with the forces of repression.

This fact cannot be hidden or covered by tons of mud, which the panic-stricken state employees, gloomy party-directors of every colour and the ‘elite’ managers of ‘journalism’ try to throw. Even the video-feedback that they supposedly commented with their almost pale faces , is an irrefutable evidence of what actually happened for hours either on the stairs leading to the courtyard of the parliament, or in front of the Unknown Soldier, or at Amalias Ave. in the wider area of “Sintagma”.

Tens of thousands of protesters tried to break the ring of the repressive forces, while the entire demonstration not only applauded this effort but they also supported by not moving from the area which was full with tear gas. People of all ages with their face covered or not, rattled the atmosphere with the slogan ”Burn the parliament this bordello”, which was shouted just from the lips of anarchists some years ago. As for the anarchists, yes they were among all those who gave a thunderous message to local officials of the IMF and EU but also to their famous bosses.

Here is the Balkans, it’s not funny. The people still know how to struggle, to uprise, to revolt, to bleed in order to hold just a piece of hope for what they believe is fair. The neck of the dissidents in Greece has proven to be sensitive to state oppression, their recalcitrance feeds every insurgency, every social conflict.

International news agencies, once again, record an uprising in Greece in a crucial “moment” for the lords of the EU and beyond. They fear that this fiery message would, once again, pass the blaze to other grounds, which would gradually become a fire. The European south, which appears unable to “adapt”, is attempted to be put in the ‘gypsum’, to be disciplined in any way.

So, let’s welcome the new plans. Let us make them sure that the whip is not enough to make us passive and unable to lift our head. Let them have no doubt that the fairy tales and ideologies of ‘national survival’, ‘patriotism’, ‘national emergency’ and certain other stories have unraveled.

As far as we are concerned, we have not forgotten, not for a single moment, that we have every reason to stick the knife as deep as we can into the bone. To do everything to keep the wounds of the authoritarians open. The failure is all their own, we did not and will not ever have anything to share with those who suck the lives of people, who now deny to them even the crumbling they granted yesterday. As for those who waver, those who will be placed outside, because the fate that the system of domination and exploitation holds for them is now worse, we have nothing else to do but to welcome them.

Finally, we reiterate once again that the anarchist militants have nothing to do with any sort of miserable gang. They participate in social struggles, proposing first of all the ethics, their selflessness and abnegation. They do not intend to gain economic or other kind of profit. They don’t bear the flag “steal, break, grab”. They deplore and do not associate with anyone who wants to impose, in a revolutionary way or not. They explicitly disregard any kind of “medals”, claimed by supposedly “enlightened vanguards” and turn their back without a second thought to the “movement majorities”, who, however, seem so few and so small…

The 5th of May, will be surely recorded in the strongest way possible in the history of social struggles. We wish to believe that the painful fact of murdering three people will be the swan song of those who attempt to tie down social practices, promoting – from the position of an assignee – various para-state gangs, whatever disguise they have.

Of course, “don’t just wait for help from Gods, u have to move your hands yourself” …

Athens, 5th May 2010

Anarchist’s Coil

“Without emergency exit” (from

On May 5th demonstration and the three dead Marfin bank employees

To the strikers that are still smashing shit up

It is indeed inappropriate to “put the entire responsibility” and blame on Mr. Vgenopoulos for the depressing deaths of the three employees of the burnt Marfin bank. The fact that he forced his employees under threat of dismissal to remain locked in the upper floor offices of a seemingly empty and unprotected bank, without any fire protection or emergency exits, in the epicentre of the greatest strike demonstration of the last thirty years, was not just another criminal negligence on the altar of profit [1], that his class has got us used to. This conscious use of workers as a human shield for banks and businesses [2] is one of the boss class’s responses to December and the common violence of insurrection that spreads, de-legalising and destroying the circulation of commodities, breaking and torching vehicles, shops, its police guards and most of all its headquarters: the banks.

To be clear, the intention of Vgenopoulos and his class to sacrifice a few workers in order to block the process followed by insurrections up until now, must be answered as such. Legal points or leftist evasions such as: insurrection means storming the parliament and not the banks/shops, having no idea what they’d do there of course, do nothing more than refuse to address the issue.

You see, it is common for a boss to know better what his interests are and how to pursue them, than the workers do. And any boss always knows that “we’re at war”, even if they’ll never cry it out openly, as these naive people that think that in a war it is ok to hit but once challenged one should rely on an intervention of an allegedly neutral justice. By setting ourselves (or other workers) under the tutelage of the state, we recuperate even the most extreme act into nothing more than violent reformism. The only justice in the streets, to the degree they are under our power, is us. The responsibility for whatever happens there, who lives and who dies, is ours: PROLETARIAN DICTATORSHIP period. If we lack – other than an effective guard of strikes that wouldn’t leave any colleague in the hands of the bosses – an essential trust among us, a trust manufactured through our common experiences in struggles and meeting in the streets, then the next step will be to call the police ourselves in our demonstrations, for them to be in charge and bear responsibility for whatever happens. WHOEVER CARRIES VIOLENCE, FORCES JUSTICE. To perform violence, ignoring the “sense of right” it comes with, to bring – abstract – chaos, doesn’t promote anything other than the highest organized structures, that come with their own ferroconcrete plan of “justice” (the Stalinists, the police, the mafia, the parastate groups…). Victory belongs to those who bring chaos WITHOUT CARRYING IT INSIDE THEM.

Fetishising insurrection as the destructive act itself, represented a past phase of our movement, weak and marginal at the time, though after December, and the stripping of every fetish from violence with its simultaneous open communisation, must now be overcome. A second December would no longer be a victory but a defeat. Any related invocation, shows nothing more than a complete lack of any plan for afterwards. Our enemy has advanced, we are forced to do the same if we are not to disappear from the historical scene.

We must not sit home to be disciplined by their TV programs as if we were naughty children given too much leash. We must retake Logos (speech) back to the streets. Spit on the bourgeois and TV justice that “vindicates” the pain of one with the suffering of another, accumulating misery for all and socializing their cannibalism. The most retarded of these vultures, before they ascertained how the three employees’ deaths would paralyze us, were trying to make us feel guilty for a bunch of ridiculous things, from the expected fall in the tourist trade to the country’s image abroad. To make us feel guilty for fighting. To divide us into “peaceful workers” and “hooded criminals with molotovs”, now that everyone knows (except of course the Communist Party that only saw provocators) that on 5/5 there were no peaceful workers that didn’t stand up – with or without hoods and molotovs, no importance – to the State’s last playing card: its police terror.

Their justice devours blood, the blood of the offenders, of anyone that resembles them, or most of all the anarchists, since it is they that generously have given their flag to any insurrectionary violence of even the most isolated elements of our class, globally [3]. But, it wants something more than that. It wants to open as a larger trauma to the social memory, that would break our familiarization with our own violence, with the violence of our struggle, with its subjects and the communication among them. Our justice will deal with nothing other than the healing. We don’t know what kind of persons the dead were, if their sense of dignity would cope with the fascist scum and the TV vultures mongering their deaths or not, but we are sure that as workers their interests were with the victory of our struggle, with all the workers of Europe and the World. We won’t drag one another down – we will rise together:


Let’s embrace the occupations!
Let’s stay in the streets!
Let’s talk!

2 of the 200.000 provocators



[1] For the time, let’s bear this in mind : 36,1% pure rise in profits for Marfin bank this year, in the middle of the “most harsh crisis” to which every worker must reconcile working and obeying in the name of the nation.

[2] Similar incidents with that of Marfin bank on 23, Stadiou street, proceded to Bazaar supermarket behind Omonoia square, where a worker from inside put out the fire with an extinguisher, and Ianos bookstore that was open (as it is known, culture merchandising doesn’t give a fuck about strikes).

[3] The night of 5/5, armed gangs of Delta, Zeta, plainclothes cops and riot police stormed the squat of “anarchists for a polymorphic movement” on Zaimi street, the Immigrants Haunt on Tsamadou street, and many houses and cafes at Exarchia, beating and intimidating people. In the same time on the TV, everyone was more or less asking for the anarchists’ heads.



The Morbid Explosion of Ideology

We have received and publish the following statement (English version follows; for Greek click here) by the Athens-based magazine “Flesh Machine”, announcing that it ceases publication in light of the May 5th events and the (non-)reactions that followed. A very important statement and one that will be disseminated widely, we hope – OL.

The Morbid Explosion of Ideology

Why is this age worse than earlier ages?

In a stupor of grief and dread

have we not fingered the foulest wounds

and left them unhealed by our hands?

(Anna Akhmatova “Why is this age worse?”, 1919)

On May the 5th the explosion of ideology that has plagued radical circles for some time now reached its tragic apex: 3 dead bank workers. With few honourable exceptions, in the next days knee-jerk reactions to the deaths consisted of blaming the police, the bosses, or even more abstractly Capital and the State for the carnage. Among these accusatory rituals, the lack of self-criticism is deafening. If the great silence were merely the result of some sort of existential numbness, it would be purely proof of the radicals’ inability to cope with the inevitable. Yet this silence is structural. It is an organisational component of the degeneration of the radical movement into a cult with its own oaths of secrecy, its own rules of speaking the truth, and of course its own precious totems and taboos.

After almost 16 months since December 2008 there has been an astonishing lack of critical analysis on the social uprising and the conditions of possibility and impossibility that it has opened. On this arid soil a morbid plant has cast its roots: a string of actions that can only be interpreted as ritual invocations for the return of the event, a mode of fidelity to December that both fails to recognise its historically situated uniqueness and attempts to substitute its spontaneous social dynamism with the programmatic dynasticism of some revolutionary vanguard. Such actions, focused as they are on the implementation of some absolute truth, are not only pillaging the event of December of its radical potential, but are projecting into the future the image of an evental trace which is intelligible only in terms of an impotent present, a present that contains no positivity other than an imagined negation of negation, that Hegelian double-bind that entraps the social into a dialectical circle of the return of the same: authoritarianism. Thus all that made the bourgeois criticism against the December Uprising (in terms of “nihilistic narcissism”, “a vicious sterile circle”, etc.) look like a Persian exercise of beating the sea with chains, today acquires a disturbing validity that can only make us conclude that the worst enemy of the revolution are the revolutionaries themselves.

Some people during the last general strike march, seeing 200,000 protestors roaring in rage and some even trying to storm the steps to Parliament, could only think of a means to perform their own petty identity as the vanguard of militancy. For that is what this cult has at its core: rituals of performativity, rituals of sustaining and reproducing the equilibrium of “toughness”, of “strength”, of “militancy”, of “fist-readiness”, or what may the symbolic order of rebel-masculinity consist of. Violence, so abstractly demonised by the bourgeoisie, is only a functional component of this process – not the objectified problem but the effect of an acutely problematic relation. A relation of competition for the most “advanced”, the most “dynamic” action, the most aggressive and seemingly uncompromising “attack”, the most one-dimensional being-in-the-world. What connects all these performances of “revolutionary singularity” is not their violence per se, but the vainglorious competitive culture of militaristic machoness. The establishment of a gendered hierarchy of “will” to the exclusion of the open mass-struggles that are developing throughout the country: a new Stalinism.

Voluntaristic activism, that bastard of the worst Blanquist traditions of the Left, is thus posing self-content as a spectacular substitute to the long and painful processes of self-organisation and proletarian recomposition. With the abyss of egoistic ambition as its only promise, it threatens to devour any sense of principled struggle, any sensibility of egalitarian responsibility towards social emancipation, and any value of mutual help. This militantism is growing into the symptomal kernel of an ailing society. And like all symptoms it functions only so that this society and its ailment endure.

The 5th of May signalled the final end of innocence. In its nearly four years of publication Flesh Machine has tried to introduce into the radical movement a critical perspective in the hope to sweep away the stale air of revolutionary ritualism and help equip people who genuinely care for the creation of a social and desiring rupture with tools of analysing the real in non-dogmatic ways. This was an effort based on the tradition of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Judith Butler, the great heretics of western philosophy and aesthetics. Trying to engage these in the actual social struggles of its time was the prime goal of the magazine and its auxiliary publications, a process not without its problems or contradictions, yet sincerely committed to social and desiring emancipation. If Flesh Machine was in its own terms a desiring machine, it has turned out to be a locomotive deprived of its tracks. An effort of deterritorialisation (in terms of theory, ethics and aesthetics) that can no longer relate to the ground it originally invested as a plane of immanence. Rather than degenerating into a frustrated and resentful process of intellectual exploration within an increasingly alienated environment, Flesh Machine and its human component have decided to withdraw their labour, and interrupt permanently any contribution to the radical milieu.

This move will be inevitably interpreted by professional revolutionaries as a final proof of the bourgeois nature of the project, of the weakness of intellectuals, of the treachery of academics at the “height of the struggle” and so on and so forth. We leave them at their antiquated Marxist meta-narrative to enjoy the surplus-enjoyment of their position as being eternally right on the condition that they always fail. Let them remember however that the breaking point of every revolutionary process is when subjects who have no objective class interest in the revolution but who are committed to social emancipation because of an ethical mode of inhabiting the world decide that the revolutionary process in place can only lead to a new form of tyranny. Some people will remember the murder of Kitsos Maltezos, more the Soviet invasion of Hungary, the Chinese invasion of Vietnam etc. – these were events that revealed how the revolutionaries, being so preoccupied with changing the world, had forgotten to change themselves and were thus bound to reproduce the same old world in ever more suffocating and brutal versions of authoritarianism. This does not mean that all revolutionary processes are doomed to failure – for they only do so when people forget that what lies outside the state of things is always-already part of a structural relation of that state of things. Only when people forget to walk through the Oedipal wound that constitutes them in their negation of the symbolic Other.

In its desertion Flesh Machine does not forget the readers who have supported this heretical project and pointed out at its various mistakes and weaknesses. With them lies the force of rupturing thought and critique. With them lies the force of responsibility.

FIN (En Fin)

Flesh Machine, 10 May 2010

The “Anarchist Crouch” on Wednesday’s events

The “Anarchist Crouch” (Sispirosi Anarchikon) group issued the following statement only hours after the death of the bank employees on Wednesday in Athens. A rough translation follows, as part of our effort to put together some of the responses by anarchists to that day’s tragic events – OL.

The just uprising of 120,000 demonstrators, the raid on parliament of tens of thousands of enraged people neither has, nor could it have anything to do with the para-statist gang which murdered three people at Marfin bank and attempted to do the same at the Ianos Bookstore.

“In the muds, sky, you are reflected”

First of all we want to make clear that our rage is indescribable; not only for the para-statist gang responsible for the death of three people, two women – one in fact four-months pregnant – and one man, but also for the riff-raff of politicians and journalists who were quick to link the just uprising of hundreds of thousands in Athens and other cities with this heinous murder.

And yet the truth cannot be erased. An enraged river of demonstrators surrounded Parliament and kept trying to invade it for hours, giving tough battles with the forces of repression. This fact cannot be hidden, nor can it be buried under the tons of mud which the panic-ridden state employees try to throw; these sad party-leaders of every colour and the “select” administrators of “journalism”. Even the TV footage, which they were commentating on with near-blanched faces, stand as indisputable witness of all the shocking things that took place for hours – either at the steps leading to the courtyard of the parliament, in front of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or at Amalias avenue and the wider Sintagma area.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators were attempting to break through the ring of the repression forces, while the demonstration in its entirety was supporting their attempts by refusing to abandon the area which was been flooded with tear-gas. People of all ages with or without their faces covered were shaking the area with the slogan “burn, burn the Parliamentary brothel” – a slogan that a few years ago would only be mouthed by anarchists. As for the anarchists themselves, yes, they were among all those who sent a loud message to the local employees of the IMF and the EU, as well as their notorious bosses.

This is the Balkans and there’s no messing about around here. People over here still know how to struggle, to rise up, to bleed in order to keep even a hope alive for what they believe to be just. The neck of the disobedient of the greek territory has proven to be rather sensitive to the statist yoke; their disobedience grafts every revolt, every social clash.

International media are once again recording an uprising in the greek territory at a crucial “moment” for the bosses of the EU – and beyond. They are afraid that the fiery message which was once again transmitted will pass down the fire to other nuclei, which might slowly turn into blaze. The european south, which is presented as incapable of being “adjusted”, is attempted to be put into “plater”, to be forced to obey by any means possible.

Let us welcome their new plans then. Let’s assure them that the whip will not be enough to turn us passive and incapable of raising our heads. They should have no doubt that their bed-time stories and doctrines of “national survival”, “patriotism”, “national emergency” and the rest have worn off log ago.

As for us, we do not for a moment forget that we have every reason to cut the knife to the bone. To do everything to ensure authority’s wounds stay open. Bankruptcy is all theirs; we don’t have, nor will we ever have anything to share with those who suck the lives of people, the people who now refuse the crumbs they were offered until yesterday. As for those who are still irresolute, those who will pragmatically take a stance because the fate reserved for them by the system of domination and exploitation is now miserable, we can only welcome them.

Finally we will repeat once again that anarchists in struggle have nothing to do with any sad gang. They participate in social struggles premising first and foremost the morality, altruism and self-denial. They do not aim at gaining financial or other benefits. They do not raise the slogan of “steal, break, grab” as their flag. They despise and never crowd with anyone who might want to dominate, by revolutionary or other means. They despise any credentials claimed by the supposedly enlightened avant-guards and they turn their back, without a second thought, to the movements’ majorities, which nevertheless seem so few and tiny…

The 5th of May will undoubtedly be recorded in the most stark of ways into the history of social struggles. We would like to think that the sorrowful event of the assassination of three people will also comprise a “swan song” for all those who attempt to bound social practices – promoting, from the position of the mandate’s recipient, these various para-statist gangs, regardless of the cloaks these might wear.

Of course, none of this will come by itself._

Athens, May 5th 2010

Anarchist Crouch

The Anti-authoritarian Movement of Athens (AK) on Wednesday’s events

In yesterday’s big strike society experienced a huge victory which was undermined by an attempt to charge it with a tragic event, a defeat that does not belong to it.

The fire in “Marfin” bank offered “warmth” to a political and social system that has already started “cooling” from the frosty touch of gold.

The tragic incident, lying outside of the atmosphere of popular rage and how this was expressed from Alexandras Avenue up to Syntagma Square, was to derive from the intolerance of the “specialists of violence”. The mantle of the aggressive avant-guard has fallen and denuded the role of the “fighting-pest”, as a role that lies outside and against society. Roles, commandment and an obsession of a perception of being against society, rather than on its side, led to the death of three employees.

It was revealed that such practices and rationales lie side-by-side and serve the interests of the bosses and the state. Such an ingenuous offer to the forces of domination is even more effective than a formal collaboration with the bosses and the state would have been. The massive march of 200,000 people in downtown Athens is the answer to haberdashers of violence. Social anger and the way this will be expressed each time (squats, clashes and demonstrations) is a choice of society itself, rather than of self-appointed rescuers.

The Anti-authoritarian Movement, consistent with its conceptualisation of society and the slogan “direct social action – direct democracy”, crouched together thousands of people in a massive, self guarded and solid block just like the other structured blocks of anarchists. As an organic part it participated in the expression of an enormous radical social portion which showcased that the state has no social legitimacy.

Despite the regime’s grave robbery, which tried to build consensus on the deaths of the three workers, the employees of “Marfin” themselves pinpointed the instigators: “my colleagues got killed today by malice. The malice of the bank and of Mr. Vgenopoulos personally, who instructed that anyone who does not work should not bother come to the office the day after.” Perpetrators who turn working conditions into crematoria of waged slavery. The people who got killed from the fire cannot be mourned by the tears of the political leaders, only by the popular movement.





Anarchy is struggle for life, not death (GREECE)

Anarchy is struggle for life, not death

In December 2008, during the events that followed the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the anarchist/ anti-authoritarian movement responded to the fascist pleas of the Mass Media for a return to “quiet, order and security” with the disarming slogan: “you talk about shop fronts, we talk about human lives”.

What dangerous hypocrisy makes some now talk about the non-existing fire extinguishers of the bank rather than the lives that were lost? What Orwellian twist of reality makes some talk about the tragic event as if it was some short-circuit?

Don’t we really understand that this hypocrisy is on par with the NATO murderers who spoke of “collateral damage”?

Don’t we really understand that the granted and obvious cynicism and thuggery of a mega-capitalist, who blackmailed his employees in being in the bank, does not redeem anyone for the dead?

Don’t we really understand that if you use the tactics of the beast you are fighting against, you become one with it?

If anarchists struggle for something, if there is something worth for people to struggle for, this is Life, Freedom and Dignity. For a world where death will no longer hold any authority…

At the demonstration of May 6th in the centre of Thessaloniki, which came as response to the call-out by the union of hospital workers of Thessaloniki and grassroots unions, many people – mostly anarchists and anti-authoritarians from the demonstration’s last block – shouted repeatedly: “these were murders, we hold no illusions, the State and Vgenopoulos murder workers”. Surely for many such thoughts will be soothing. But do they definitely comprehend the content and the extension of what they are wishing for?

We do not know what exactly happened at Marfin bank on the afternoon of 5/5/2010. What we do know is that at the moment when we heard of the tragic news none of our surrounding was in a position to categorically reject that it was what the attorneys of the Corporate Media had declared it to be. And this is tragic too.

Because if through our practice we do not make it evidently impossible (to us, first and foremost) that such an act would come from people active in the same political space with us then we have already paved the way for tragedies to take place (from murderous irresponsibility, warped nastiness or malice).

In a generalised revolt there are uncontrollable dead; it happened in Los Angeles, it happened in Argentina. No-one ever thought of charging an organised political current with these deaths.

The fact that the three murdered workers of Marfin bank are charged to anarchy certainly reveals some huge responsibilities. Who can ignore the tolerance to avant-guardist logics and the contempt for human life? No matter if you say that the experienced anarchists, all these years, have set alight so many banks and no-one ever was endangered. No matter if you say that it is Vgenopoulos’ fault because he forced the employees to stay in the bank, which had no fire protection etc.

You cannot shake off the responsibility.

If there are even some few people who define themselves as anarchists and get to the point of irresponsibility to torch buildings alight with people inside them, this irresponsibility has somehow been cultivated.

If, worse even, you have paved the way for the largest act of agent provocateurs in Greece post-WWII, then the long-term consequences exceed even the tragedy of the three murdered people.

And the answer is not that “the enemy of ruthless”. We know of both Piazza Fontana in Milan and Scala in Barcelona.

The answer is the emergent, dense opposition which is growing roots across social spaces, across the country – with persistence and toilsome labour; with camaraderie, mutuality and solidarity. the answer is the struggle for life, not death.

Panopticon publications/journal, The Foreigners’ Publications, Stasei Ekpiptontes Publications, Exarcheia Publications, Black Peper of the Evian Gulf, Nixtegersia Magazine

Friday, 7 May 2010

What do we honestly have to say about Wednesday’s events?

Friday, May 7, 2010

The text below summarises some initial thoughts on Wednesday’s tragic events by some of us here at Occupied London. English and Greek versions follow – please disseminate.

What do we honestly have to say about Wednesday’s events?

What do the events of Wednesday (5/5) honestly mean for the anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement? How do we stand in the face of the deaths of these three people – regardless of who caused them? Where do we stand as humans and as people in struggle? Us, who do not accept that there are such things as “isolated incidents” (of police or state brutality) and who point the finger, on a daily basis, at the violence exercised by the state and the capitalist system. Us, who have the courage to call things by their name; us who expose those who torture migrants in police stations or those who play around with our lives from inside glamorous offices and TV studios. So, what do we have to say now?

We could hide behind the statement issued by the Union of Bank Workers (OTOE) or the accusations by employees of the bank branch; or we could keep it at the fact that the deceased had been forced to stay in a building with no fire protection – and locked up, even. We could keep it at what a scum-bag is Vgenopoulos, the owner of the bank; or at how this tragic incident will be used to leash out some unprecedented repression. Whoever (dared to) pass through Exarcheia on Wednesday night already has a clear picture of this. But this is not where the issue lies.

The issue is for us to see what share of the responsibilities falls on us, on all of us. We are all jointly responsible. Yes, we are right to fight with all our powers against the unjust measures imposed upon us; we are right to dedicate all our strength and our creativity toward a better world. But as political beings, we are equally responsible for every single one of our political choices, for the means we have impropriated and for our silence every time that we did not admit to our weaknesses and our mistakes. Us, who do not suck up to the people in order to gain in votes, us who have no interest in exploiting anyone, have the capacity, under these tragic circumstances, to be honest with ourselves and with those around us.

What the greek anarchist movement is experiencing at the moment is some total numbness. Because there are pressurising conditions for some tough self-criticism that is going to hurt. Beyond the horror of the fact that people have died who were on “our side”, the side of the workers – workers under extremely difficult conditions who would have quite possibly chosen to march by our side if things were different in their workplace – beyond this, were are hereby also confronted with demonstrator/s who put the lives of people in danger. Even if (and this goes without question) there was no intention to kill, this is a matter of essence that can hold much discussion – some discussion regarding the aims that we set and the means that we chose.

The incident did not happen at night, at some sabotage action. It happened during the largest demonstration in contemporary greek history. And here is where a series of painful questions emerge: Overall, in a demonstration of 150-200,000, unprecedented in the last few years, is there really a need for some “upgraded” violence? When you see thousands shouting “burn, burn Parliament” and swear at the cops, does another burnt bank really have anything more to offer to the movement?

When the movement itself turns massive – say like in December 2008 – what can an action offer, if this action exceeds the limits of what a society can take (at least at a present moment), or if this action puts human lives at danger?

When we take to the streets we are one with the people around us; we are next to them, by their side, with them – this is, at the end of the day, why we work our arses off writing texts and posters – and our own clauses are a single parameter in the many that converge. The time has come for us to talk frankly about violence and to critically examine a specific culture of violence that has been developing in Greece in the past few years. Our movement has not been strengthened because of the dynamic means it sometimes uses but rather, because of its political articulation. December 2008 did not turn historical only because thousands picked up and threw stones and molotovs, but mainly because of its political and social characteristics – and its rich legacies at this level. Of course we respond to the violence exercised upon us, and yet we are called in turn to talk about our political choices as well as the means we have impropriated, recognising our -and their – limits.

When we speak of freedom, it means that at every single moment we doubt what yesterday we took for granted. That we dare to go all the way and, avoiding some cliché political wordings, to look at things straight into the eye, as they are. It is clear that since we do not consider violence to be an end to itself, we should not allow it to cast shadows to the political dimension of our actions. We are neither murderers nor saints. We are part of a social movement, with our weaknesses and our mistakes. Today, instead of feeling stronger after such an enormous demonstration we feel numb, to say the least. This in itself speaks volumes. We must turn this tragic experience into soul-searching and inspire one another since at the end of the day, we all act based on our consciousness. And the cultivation of such a collective consciousness is what is at stake.

Thursday, 6 May 2010



Tonight’s tragic deaths in Athens leave little space for comments – we are all very shocked and deeply saddened by the events. To those (on the “Occupied London” blog even) who speculate that the deaths might have been caused purposefully by anarchists, we can only reply the following: we do not take to the streets, we do not risk our freedom and our lives confronting the greek police in order to kill other people. Anarchists are not murderers, and no brainwashing attempted by Greek PM Papandreou, the national or the international media should convince anyone otherwise.

That being said, and with developments still running frantically, we want to publish a rough translation of a statement by an employee of Marfin Bank – the bank whose branch was set alight in Athens today, where the three employees found a tragic death.

Read the letter, translate it, spread it around to your networks; grassroots counter-information has a crucial role to play at a moment when the greek state and corporate media are leashing out on the anarchist movement over here in Greece.

I feel an obligation toward my co-workers who have so unjustly died today to speak out and to say some objective truths. I am sending this message to all media outlets. Anyone who still bares some consciousness should publish it. The rest can continue to play the government’s game.

The fire brigade had never issued an operating license to the building in question. The agreement for it to operate was under the table, as it practically happens with all businesses and companies in Greece.

The building in question has no fire safety mechanisms in place, neither planned nor installed ones – that is, it has no ceiling sprinklers, fire exits or fire hoses. There are only some portable fire extinguishers which, of course, cannot help in dealing with extensive fire in a building that is built with long-outdated security standards.

No branch of Marfin bank has had any member of staff trained in dealing with fire, not even in the use of the few fire extinguishers. The management also uses the high costs of such training as a pretext and will not take even the most basic measures to protect its staff.

There has never been a single evacuation exercise in any building by staff members, nor have there been any training sessions by the fire-brigade, to give instructions for situations like this. The only training sessions that have taken place at Marfin Bank concern terrorist action scenarios and specifically planning the escape of the banks’ “big heads” from their offices in such a situation.

The building in question had no special accommodation for the case of fire, even though its construction is very sensitive under such circumstances and even though it was filled with materials from floor to ceiling. Materials which are very inflammable, such as paper, plastics, wires, furniture. The building is objectively unsuitable for use as a bank due to its construction.

No member of security has any knowledge of first aid or fire extinguishing, even though they are every time practically charged with securing the building. The bank employees have to turn into firemen or security staff according to the appetite of Mr Vgenopoulos [owner of Marfin Bank].

The management of the bank strictly bared the employees from leaving today, even though they had persistently asked so themselves from very early this morning – while they also forced the employees to lock up the doors and repeatedly confirmed that the building remained locked up throughout the day, over the phone. They even blocked off their internet access so as to prevent the employees from communicating with the outside world.

For many days now there has been some complete terrorisation of the bank’s employees in regard to the mobilisations of these days, with the verbal “offer”: you either work, or you get fired.

The two undercover police who are dispatched at the branch in question for robbery prevention did not show up today, even though the bank’s management had verbally promised to the employees that they would be there.

At last, gentlemen, make your self-criticism and stop wandering around pretending to be shocked. You are responsible for what happened today and in any rightful state (like the ones you like to use from time to time as leading examples on your TV shows) you would have already been arrested for the above actions. My co-workers lost their lives today by malice: the malice of Marfin Bank and Mr. Vgenopoulos personally who explicitly stated that whoever didin’t come to work today [May 5th, a day of a general strike!] should not bother showing up for work tomorrow [as they would get fired].

An employee of Marfin Bank.

Source: Occupied London.

Statement by the Skaramanga squat in Athens regarding today’s events: The murderers “mourn” their victims

The murderers “mourn” their victims

(Regarding today’s tragic death of 3 people)

The enormous strike demonstration which took place today, 5th of May turned into a social outflow of rage. At least 200,000 people of all ages took to the streets (employees and unemployed, in the public and private sector, locals and migrants) attempting, over many hours and in consecutive waves, to surround and to take over the Parliament. The forces of repression came out in full force, to play their familiar role – that is, of the protection of the political and financial authorities. The clashes were hours long and extensive. The political system and its institutions reached a nadir.

However, in the midst of all this, a tragic event that no words can possibly describe took place: 3 people died from infusions at the branch of Marfin Bank on Stadiou Avenue, which was set ablaze.

The state and the entire journalistic riff-raff, without any shame toward the dead or their close ones, spoke from the very first moment about some “murderer-hooded up youths”, trying to take advantage of the event, in order to calm the wave of social rage that had erupted and to recover their authority that had been torn apart; to impose once again a police occupation of the streets, to wipe out sources of social resistance and disobedience against state terrorism and capitalist barbarity. For this reason, during the last few hours the police forces have been marching through the center of Athens, they have conducted hundreds of detentions and they raided – with shootings and stun-grenades – the anarchist occupation “space of united multiform action” on Zaimi street and the “migrant haunt” on Tsamadou Street, causing extensive damage (both these places are in the Exarcheia neighbourhood of Athens). At the same time the threat of a violent police eviction is hanging over the rest of the self-organised spaces (occupations and haunts) after the Prime-ministerial speech which referred to soon-to-come raids for the arrest of the “murderers”.

The governors, governmental officials, their political personnel, the TV-mouthpieces and the salaried hack writers attempt in this way to purify their regime and the criminalise the anarchists and every unpatronised voice of struggle. As if there would ever be the slightest of chances that whoever attacked the bank (provided the official scenario stands) would possibly know there were people inside, and that they would torch it alight regardless. They seem to confuse the people in struggle for themselves: them who without any hesitation hand over the entire society to the deepest pillage and enslaving, who order their praetorians to attack without hesitation and to aim and shoot to kill, them who have lead three people to suicide in the past week alone, due to financial debts.

The truth is that the real murderer, the real instigator of today’s tragic death of 3 people is “mister” Vgenopoulos, who used the usual employers’ blackmailing (the threat of sacking) and forced his employees to work in the branches of his bank during a day of strike – and even in a branch like the one of Stadiou Avenue, where the strike’s demonstration would pass through. Such blackmailing is known only too well by anyone experiencing the terrorism of salaried slavery on an everyday level. We are awaiting to see what excuses Vgenopoulos will come up with for the relatives of the victims and for the society as a whole – this ultra-capitalist now hinted by some centers of power as the next prime minister in a future “national unity government” that could follow the expected, complete collapse of the political system.

If an unprecedented strike can ever be a murderer…

If an unprecedented demonstration, in an unprecedented crisis, can ever be a murderer…

If open social spaces that are alive and public can ever be murderers…

If the state can impose a curfew and attack demonstrators under the pretext of arresting murderers…

If Vgenopoulos can detain his employees inside a bank – that is, a primary social enemy and target for demonstrators…

…it is because authority, this serial murderer, wants to slaughter upon its birth a revolt which questions the supposed solution of an even harsher attack on society, of an even larger pillage by capital, of an even thirstier sucking of our blood.

…it is because the future of the revolt does not include politicians and bosses, police and mass media.

… it is because behind their much-advertised “only” solution, there is a solution that does not speak of development rates and unemployment but rather, it speaks of solidarity, self-organising and human relationships.

When asking who are the murderers of life, of freedom, of dignity, the ferments of authority and capital, they and their tuft hunters only need to take a look at their own selves. Today and every day.





from the open assembly of the evening of 5/5/2010