text archive: Athens October 2011

(An older text of mine which was published at gift magazine no1. in two version english and german) 

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 The spectacle of protest has potential to evolve even further. Once upon a time in Greece.

Leftists were beating each other with red flags, in October 2011 in front of the parliament in Athens. It was during a general strike. Unions, anarchist and other leftists and alternativist organisations called for a big mobilisation with its main principle being the overthrowing of the social democrat government, and to block the discussion and voting in the parliament concerning the new economic measures like cuts and taxes, known as Memorandum (1,2). The majority of the political movements and sects in Greece, announced few days before the 21 of October, a mass attack towards and crossing of the riot police lines in front of the parliament. Beside the various extra-parliamentary movements and trade unions, the communist party (a party with parliamentary representation, aproximately 8% of the votes that time) mobilised seperately in front of the parliament. Worth noting here is that the communist party has the strategy of always trying to keep its demonstration “clean” from other protesters and other political fronts.

The clash between hundreds of thousand protesters and the police could have possibly meant a disaster for the whole political unstable greek system. What ultimately hindered that anger of the protest from targeting the parliamentary process was a joining of forces of the police and the communist party members to protect the parliament from the expected insurrection that day.

Who was beating who? Who were those guys beating each other with red flags? Firstly, we may want to understand the role of the KKE in some essential historical moments. The communist Party (their central committee) was in the front row of negotiations after World War II, known as “the treaty of Varkiza” in 1945. The communist guerrillas resigned from the armed struggle, as a result thousands of communists were slaughtered by the greek fascist paramilitary forces. A younger crime against communism of the KKE is its hostile position concerning the uprising and the social movement against the Greek dictatorship in 1974, were the students occupied the polytechnic university in the center of Athens. In general one can say that KKE is aiming to control social movements and to put them under their leadership, otherwise those movements are viewed as an enemy that is then fought.

And on the other side in front of the parliament? We cannot summ up the history of the extra parliamentary groups as well as the anarchist groups in Greece here as a whole. One important remark could be that many of them, especially the formal and informal leader structures or oldies, were once close to the KKE and moved away in political and special inner leftist conflicts and development.

October 2011 we see the two sides of the vanguardism collide. On one side the black block as the messiah of the revolution, willing to escalate the violence in front of the parliament. Probably some were imagining the coming of the “desired” upcoming insurrection. But apart from this “desired insurrection”, the violence of this part of young anarchist movement is not one single gesture, we should therefore not analyse them as one fraction, but maybe rather as fragments of the ideological traditions described above. The umbilical cord of this tradition seems to never have been cut.
Some see also another ideological umbilical cord with the spectacular order and the culture industry and explain the fetish for action of the insurrectionalists like that.

In the end we have as opponents those young insurrectionists who seem to have found their enemy in pointing towards bankers and politicians instead of producing a criticism on the height of knowledge about present day social and economical relations. And as the other opponent the KKE with their strategy of socialism in one country and its aim of a strong national economy. The growing stronger of nazi groups like Golden Dawn that ensued the months after these events is not the result of the left beating each other up in this freakshow on parliament square. It is even worse: the left is preparing the ground for the right wing ideology with their nationalist chauvinism and limited criticism. Athens October 2011

The spectacle of protest has potential to evolve even further. Once upon a time in Greece.

Leftists were beating each other with red flags, in October 2011 in front of the parliament in Athens. It was during a general strike. Unions, anarchist and other leftists and alternativist organisations called for a big mobilisation with its main principle being the overthrowing of the social democrat government, and to block the discussion and voting in the parliament concerning the new economic measures like cuts and taxes, known as Memorandum (1,2). The majority of the political movements and sects in Greece, announced few days before the 21 of October, a mass attack towards and crossing of the riot police lines in front of the parliament. Beside the various extra-parliamentary movements and trade unions, the communist party (a party with parliamentary representation, aproximately 8% of the votes that time) mobilised seperately in front of the parliament. Worth noting here is that the communist party has the strategy of always trying to keep its demonstration “clean” from other protesters and other political fronts.

The clash between hundreds of thousand protesters and the police could have possibly meant a disaster for the whole political unstable greek system. What ultimately hindered that anger of the protest from targeting the parliamentary process was a joining of forces of the police and the communist party members to protect the parliament from the expected insurrection that day.

Who was beating who? Who were those guys beating each other with red flags? Firstly, we may want to understand the role of the KKE in some essential historical moments. The communist Party (their central committee) was in the front row of negotiations after World War II, known as “the treaty of Varkiza” in 1945. The communist guerrillas resigned from the armed struggle, as a result thousands of communists were slaughtered by the greek fascist paramilitary forces. A younger crime against communism of the KKE is its hostile position concerning the uprising and the social movement against the Greek dictatorship in 1974, were the students occupied the polytechnic university in the center of Athens. In general one can say that KKE is aiming to control social movements and to put them under their leadership, otherwise those movements are viewed as an enemy that is then fought.

And on the other side in front of the parliament? We cannot summ up the history of the extra parliamentary groups as well as the anarchist groups in Greece here as a whole. One important remark could be that many of them, especially the formal and informal leader structures or oldies, were once close to the KKE and moved away in political and special inner leftist conflicts and development.

October 2011 we see the two sides of the vanguardism collide. On one side the black block as the messiah of the revolution, willing to escalate the violence in front of the parliament. Probably some were imagining the coming of the “desired” upcoming insurrection. But apart from this “desired insurrection”, the violence of this part of young anarchist movement is not one single gesture, we should therefore not analyse them as one fraction, but maybe rather as fragments of the ideological traditions described above. The umbilical cord of this tradition seems to never have been cut.
Some see also another ideological umbilical cord with the spectacular order and the culture industry and explain the fetish for action of the insurrectionalists like that.

In the end we have as opponents those young insurrectionists who seem to have found their enemy in pointing towards bankers and politicians instead of producing a criticism on the height of knowledge about present day social and economical relations. And as the other opponent the KKE with their strategy of socialism in one country and its aim of a strong national economy. The growing stronger of nazi groups like Golden Dawn that ensued the months after these events is not the result of the left beating each other up in this freakshow on parliament square. It is even worse: the left is preparing the ground for the right wing ideology with their nationalist chauvinism and limited criticism.

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