In Greece schools have been occupied for a week, and today the rector of Athens University locked the university with the same riot police standing guard that attacked the demonstration yesterday bloodying the heads of two students.
It’s been sometime since we last heard from the Greek movement. But, thanks to the Greek government and its riot police, today became a day of large student demonstrations, clashes with the cops, injuries and rising tension. First, let’s see what happened. Early in the morning, the Athens Law School students arrived at their University in order to apply their Assembly decision, which included a symbolic occupation of their University until the 17th of November, commemoration day of the 1973 student revolt against the military dictatorship.
Police attacking tonight’s demo.
The problem was that the school was already occupied by the riot police. The Athenian Universities’ rectors had decided to apply a peculiar “lock out” of the students and employees, supposedly for “security reasons”. The government gave a helping hand by sending hundreds of cops, in riot gear, to apply the decision. The cops assaulted the students, seriously injuring a couple of them and dispersing the rest. The news circulated, public outrage was expressed for the police blockades and violence, hundreds of students demonstrated in the center of Athens during lunchtime, and another protest, involving thousands, is now going around the Universities, confronting a total police blockade of the city center.
Video Police assault on student protest.
A question I guess the Italian reader would put is why this mess, and why now? November is the traditional month of student mobilization in Greece. Yet, in the last years, seldom –if ever- did the protests go beyond the symbolic level, as the movement was too preoccupied with the country’s current problems to seriously devote itself in commemorations.This school year (anno scolastico) though, started with incredible problems for both schools and universities, due to underfunding and lack of teaching and administrative personnel. Hundreds of schools were occupied in the previous weeks and soon enough the universities joined the struggle. The mobilization, if we want to be sincere, seemed quite weak until now. In a collapsed country, where everyone is waiting for the government to collapse as well and for the elections that will bring the left-wing SYRIZA to power, some hundreds of occupied schools do not make a real difference. It is also noteworthy that the student population of Greece, which was traditionally at the avant-garde of the movements and had led all major mobilizations since the 1990s and up to 2008, was largely absent from the large anti-austerity protests of 2010-2012. But, as it seems, our surrealist government is doing its best to reverse the situation. As I am concluding these lines, the student protest arrived at the Polytechnic University of Athens in Exarchia (where it all started back in 1973), the students forced open the doors and entered with the purpose of making yet another Assembly. The police immediately attacked. Eye-witnesses report several injuries among protesters; hundreds are barricaded inside the Polytechnic. The burning smell of tear gas is spreading, once again, in Athens. text via Dianamopress
Yesterdays Demo of Athens University students. Two students were injured when they were hit on the head by riot police batons. When the student march tried to the Law School of Athens when police attacked. (Photos & Video below are from yesterday’s demo)
On Wednesday October 23rd , the anarchist Stella Antoniou was arrested in Dimitsana, Tripoli, for “violating” the restrictive conditions which is not true, as Stella has no restriction on going away from Attiki.
Stella contacted some comrades and let them know that despite her denial, 5 cops from the Counter-Terrorism Unit, tried 2 times to take DNA from her. At first, closing her nose so as she opens her mouth and they can take saliva from her with a cotton swab. Then pulling her hair and violently push her and throw her on the ground.
Due to the violent behavior, the comrade has a rupture under her eye and, as a result, she bleeds. This is very dangerous especially for Stella because of the problems she generally has with her eye.
There was a gathering today in the Tripolis court, but the cops didn’t let the solidarians enter the court.
There will be more information soon.
Yesterday, after reports that a mysterious fire had been set to a Michael Brown memorial, a photo allegedly depicting a Ferguson, Mo., police officer wearing an “I am Darren Wilson” bracelet, in support of the officer who shot and killed Brown, began to circulate on social media.
Early this morning, a series of photos began to spread over social media that showed a memorial to…Read more
The photo was first published on the Instagram account MediaBlackOutUSA. In a press conference today, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson confirmed the bracelets’ existence and argued that they were a personal statement for the officers wearing them, BuzzFeed reports. “I think that was not a statement of law enforcement. I think wearing that was an individual statement,” he reportedly said.
According to St. Louis alderman Antonio French, Johnson also said he would “have a talk” with whatever agency the bracelet-wearing officers work for.
Johnson said he’ll be having a talk with the agencies of the officers who wore the “I Am Darren Wilson” wristbands. Presumably Ferguson PD.
The burning of the Brown memorial appears to have stoked renewed unrest in Ferguson, where the 18-year-old was killed August 9.
[Image via Mediablackoutusa/Instagram]
March 15th marks the International Day Against Police Brutality. Many events were held worldwide, and for the second year in a row, 250+ people were detained in Montreal.
A local activist described the event:
The anti police brutality march in Montreal was kettled before it even started and all participants arrested. The SPVM (municipal police) had a massive PR blitz yesterday in advance if the whole deal in order to prejudice media from the beginning and letting them know they wouldn’t be allowed to film. Strangely enough some journalists from mainstream media didn’t believe them and got roughed up. A local indie media group was the only one to get images by filming from a residential rooftop after asking permission from the occupants. The cops still tried to intimidate the residents by asking if they “really were sure” they had given permission.
The International Day Against Police Brutality occurs on March 15. It first began in 1997 as an initiative of the Montreal based Collective Opposed to Police Brutality and the Black Flag group in Switzerland. In Montreal, a march is usually held which defies law P6 by not declaring its itinerary to police. In 18 years the march has only avoided arrests and hassling twice. The protest is immediately declared illegal and crackdown begins shortly after the protesters have gathered. Hundreds of people are arrested most years. The police use kettling, batons and are dressed in riot gear (wiki).
In Seattle, activists took to the streets to protest Police Brutality, no arrests were reported. More pictures available here.
Anons in Yakima, WA protested outside of the local police department, and reportedly had some words with the local Police Department.
Activists in Kansas City held an event at 31st and Main, and held signs that commemorated victims of police brutality in the area. They gained the support of the fire department – who honked and turned on sirens (see videos below) – for representing Anthony Bruno, a firefighter who was murdered on his wedding night by police.
KC activists also interviewed local residents about their experiences with police brutality.
In Copenhagen, Denmark activists had a very colorful demonstration, as they played loud music and danced in the streets.
Activists in Hamilton, a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario, marched as well. ”There have been five people who have been killed over non-violent crime in four years under the administration of Chief Glenn De Caire,” said Warrand Francis, 54 (source).
Many other events took place as well, in cities such as Oakland, Fullerton, Baltimore, and Melbourne. Clearly, the international day against police brutality has become a tradition that shows no signs of stopping. It’s no wonder, when statistics show that police have killed over 5000 people in the US alone since 9/11.