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Newsletter (in English)


Solidarity with the youth protests in Greece!

For the last several days, the news has been filled with reports of what is happening in Greece. Left-wing youth have started the biggest riots in 25 years and according to different sources, Athens’ left-alternative neighborhood Exarchia is completely cop-free. How did this happen?

The reports differ a lot. The Greek police claim that a ricochet bullet hit the fifteen-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in the chest, after “30 autonomists” had attacked a police car. Two of the three bullets fired were aimed at the ground, one of which hit the young man in the chest. This story is dubious.

The reports by eyewitnesses seem a lot more credible, and they say it was “cold-blooded murder”. As the teenagers were leaving a bar, they made fun of two police officers and threw a plastic bottle at their car. Two minutes after the incident, the cops came back; one of them threw a flash grenade and the other shot Alexandros in the chest. It is completely irrelevant if he shot him with one bullet or with all three.

The news spread rapidly, across not only Athens but all of Greece, and the first riots erupted shortly after, including on the islands of the country (Corfu and Crete for example). Rage about the miserable economic situation which is hitting the youth especially hard – youth unemployment is over 25%! – was channeled by this incident together with the rage against the state and police brutality.

Everywhere in Greece, police stations were attacked, cops were injured and police cars destroyed. But the riots were aimed not only against the authorities, but also against symbols of wealth which will never be accessible to many young people. Since the incident, every night fancy stores, luxury cars, banks and barricades have been burning. The police are using tear gas on a massive scale, but this has virtually no effect on the protesters. The de-escalation tactics of the police resulted in failure and the government is toughening its stance towards the riots. The police are getting attacked with stones and incendiary devices. Even on an international level, solidarity protests have taken place, for example the occupation of the Greek consulates in London and Berlin.

We, the independent youth organization REVOLUTION, support these protests. All who defend themselves against the state and the police have our solidarity. We welcome the cop- free neighborhood of Exarchia and the short-lived control over Athens’ inner-city by thousands of protesters. We support the strikes and occupations of schools and universities, and we are especially happy about the three-day solidarity strike by teachers. Although we have to criticize a reckless attitude towards uninvolved civilians in private homes, we maintain our solidarity with the left-wing young people who are rising up against the endless violence of this system.

In 1983, a 15-year-old teenager was shot by the police. Back then, the riots lasted for two months. But in the long term, they changed nothing about the nature of the capitalist state, including police violence. To prevent the same thing from happening again – to prevent the justified eruptions of rage remaining without effect – a connection to the workers’ movement has to be sought. The riots must not remain isolated, but instead have to secure the support of immigrants, the workers, the exploited. In the same way, the left-wing youth have to support the general strike was already planned for today (December 10). Only in this way is there a possibility to overcome class rule – which makes police murder possible – in a revolutionary way.

For the release of all protesters who have been arrested! For unconditional solidarity with the protests! For the cooperation with and radicalization of workers protests! For the revolutionary smashing of the state and capitalism!

Evey, Revo Berlin, December 10, 2008

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