Tuesday 11 May 2010

A General Strike and Three Dead Workers in Greece - Part 2

A Compilation of Censored and Under-reported News items, Critiques and Positions on the recent events
by the Cyprus IndyMedia Collective
May 10, 2010

On May 5th - the birthday of Karl Marx! - a General Strike in Greece shook up the ruling class and the Government. It was an organized popular reaction led by the Left and triggered by austerity measures enacted by Govenment in collusion with global financial bodies to prevent a near bankruptcy of the State of Greece and to ensure that the system of profits will keep serving Capitalist interests at the expense of the people.

The General Strike brought out to the streets the largest numbers of people since 1974 when the military junta fell from power. People of all ages marched together in all the major and minor cities (more than 60 cities and towns) in well-organized contingents with the flags and banners of Unions and of various revolutionary parties and groups of the Left.

The vast majority of protesters in Athens - several hundred thousands, by some reports - flooded the major avenues, surrounded the Parliament in peaceful formations and attended various rallies in central locations of the city.

At the same time various named and un-named groups of people who reportedly "looked like anarchists" attacked empty buildings with Molotov bombs (home-made firebombs). Several among those buildings caught fire that burned for hours. Many of these attacks were carried out by people who are, indeed, anarchists, plus by groups of people claiming to be anarchists (there is a vast difference) while serving other interests.

Molotov bombs were also thrown against Police lines in incidents during actual clashes, perhaps justifying their use, but also in incidents without any Police provocation at all, when Police were simply standing peacefully in line formations far away from any action.

One group of firebombers split off from a march in downtown Athens and attacked a bank in which people were working: the immediate result was three workers dead, one of whom was pregnant, and many injured.

Another group of about ten or twenty people, apparently a temporary alliance forged on the street between neonazis and some misguided anarchists, followed by about fifty protesters who just happened to be there, attempted to rush the Parliament steps chanting "burn it down". They were repulsed by chemical sprays and pushed back by Police.

Parliament immediately errupted in accusations and counter-accusations between the Left and the Right.
By nightime, everyone on the Left who in the morning had rejoiced with the tremendous success of the General Strike and the marches, and who had celebrated the tremendous expansion and rejuvenation of a well-organized militant Left, was thrown into near despair.

Three workers had been killed by people who appeared to be acting "in the name the revolution".
News of the murders immediately diminished the sense of a unified working class victory. It caused widespread confusion and loss of morale, and spread suspicion and disunity among strikers, marchers, liberals, radicals, insurrectionists, anarchists, socialists and communists.

The Movement is still recoiling from those terrible events.

An overview of this article:
o- Who carried out the firebombings?
o- No apology
o- The position of Cyprus IndyMedia
o- Making excuses for the murders; Censored condemnations
o- The context of the street violence; Distortions of Fact and Berlosconi's Mousetrap
o- Various Sources, Views and Analyses.

Who carried out the firebombings?

No one has taken responsibility for the action. It is widely assumed that the murderers were:
o- Either fascists (neonazis) or agent provocateurs pretending to be anarchists (members of the private Corporate or State security apparatus), engaged in "Black Bloc" tactics;
o- Or were "real" anarchists who acted without thinking and killed those workers by mistake;
o- Or "real" anarchists who took a reckless "Devil may care attitude" and threw the bombs anyway, because (it is assumed) they might belong to one of the many branches of "anarchist" or "anti-authoritarian" networks who actually believe that mayhem and destruction will hasten the revolution.

There is a widespread assumption among many groups and networks that claim to be anarchist, that if the State can be provoked to show the full ugliness of its power to attack and oppress people by becoming a Police State or by invoking Martial Law, then this will supposedly bring on a revolution. This is often used to justify all sorts of political actions. The debate within the Movement is that if the murderers are not neonazi or Corporate State agents, and if they are not just honest radicals who made a mistake, then they may be followers of this ideology.

So far no one knows who the murderers are except they, themselves.
"The truth is that, even if the left wing press like Eleftherotypia are right in pointing out that the tragedy might have been a result of parastate or fascist groups that were seen to have penetrated the mass rally, the possibility of it happening today or tomorrow as a result of the rising militarism and nihilism of anarchists in greece has always been very high":

No apology

Eye-witnesses who spoke on television described three "anarchists" knowing each other and working together in unison to burn down the bank. The action involved tossing the Molotov bombs into the locked building (a difficult task in itself) and then returning to throw gasoline onto the fires, since the bombs were not enough to do the job.

Obviously they knew how to co-operate, how to appear as "anarchists" and how to follow a plan. Meaning that the murderers were not just "outraged protesters" who started fires in the rage of the moment, but members of an actual political affinity group, cell, or whatever one may call it.

But what if they were "real" anarchists (not nazis or security members impersonating anarchists) who made an honest mistake? Obviously they know how to operate together, they have a high dedication and motivation that drives them to take risks for the Movement (in however way they perceive that), so why did they not issue a statement of apology? It is very easy to issue an anonymous or pseudonymous statement to the establishment Press or to alternative media, without any risk to their safety or security.

There is a large and honourable history of statements, communiques, announcements from the revolutionary underground of almost every country and every age in which apologies are made for loss of innocent life or for injuries resulting from radical actions that went wrong.

If the May 5th arsonists were just "real anarchists" who only made an honest mistake, why are they still silent?

The only explanation is that either they are impersonators (nazis or Corporate State agents), or they are "real" anarchists who just don't really care that they made a lethal mistake. Who actually believe that this kind of mindless arsonism is the right thing to do.

The position of Cyprus IndyMedia

We applaud the General Strike and its attendant marches, and we truly appreciate all the co-ordinated efforts to organize these vast operations. We look forward to a new longer and deeper General Strike and a popular mobilization that will bring down the ruling class and replace Capitalism with a new Feminist Green Socialist reality.

We strongly condemn the murderous bombing action and all ideological efforts to justify it or "explain it away".

We believe that revolutionaries must hold themselves up to the highest and strictest levels of morality and justice, and to be judged by principles and criteria much higher than those that are embraced by our ruling class opponents and their servants who do not care about civilians or non-combatants who are killed or injured by their operations. To them this is just "collateral damage". To us, the victims of this unjustified political violence are our co-workers, our neighbours, our loved ones.

For us, morality and justice are the bread and butter that feeds and nurtures the people's forces - if we accept the idea that innocent, unarmed, uninvolved working people are to be killed to promote someone's political agenda then we become one with the Beast. The peoples' own sense of justice will eventually rain down a wrath and rage against all oppressors and so-called "revolutionaries" who consider people to be fair targets for a killing spree. On this event we stand with the people and AGAINST any political faction who tries to justify the killings or to reduce their significance.

If we allow our Movement to drink this poison, what we will get is more meaningless deaths.
If we allow "revolutionaries" to act among us and kill innocent people, then we are preparing the ground for a much worse dictatorship than the present one. Who can accept the idea that these murderers might be walking among us, attending demonstrations, coming to our political meetings, or even someday through political strife and struggle might actually ascend to hold State power? Can we imagine State power in the hands of these "revolutionaries"?

A strong condemnation by one of our Collective's founding members:
Deaths, during rebellion in Greece

A Death Threat against one of our members specific to the events
The fake-anarchist ideology that justifies the senseless and murderous violence that took place in Athens is alive and well among us. This attitude is very widespread among sections of the Left not only in Greece, but almost everywhere within the Euro-American subversive Left:

Making excuses for the murders; Censored condemnations

The Athens IndyMedia Editorial group issued a statement on the events. In it, the entire blame for the deaths is laid at the feet of the Marfin bank management, and of its owner, a Big Capital player named Vgenopoulos. The firebombing is not condemned. The deaths are called "tragic" and the action is described as "επιπόλαια", a hellenic (greek) word that means "flaky, shallow, naive".

In its Feature article on the events titled "General Strike Updates, Wednesday 5th of May", the Editorial team promotes an article titled "Updates about the 3 deaths" consisting of entries by readers who at first say that the news of the deaths are "lies" and "propaganda by the regime", complete with "eyewitness reports". Further on in the article, when the denial of the deaths becomes no longer possible, entries that are posted imply that the workers' deaths were justified because they were supposedly "strikebreakers". Calls by other members of the radical community for statements of remorse or reflection are ridiculed [hellenic (greek) language]:

The Editorial team refused, or neglected, to give any front-page prominence to a very thoughtful and carefully articulated condemnation of the events that was issued by a compendium of Anarchist and Anti-authoritarian organizations, titled "Anarchy is a Struggle for Life, not for Death" - [hellenic (greek) language]:

Here is an english language translation of a slightly different version of the collective statement:
"Anarchy is a Struggle for Life, not for Death"

The Statement is signed by the Panoptikon Publications group; the Strangers' Publications group; the Insurgents Defeated Publications group [Εκδόσεις Στάσει Εκπίπτοντες]; Exarcheia Publications; ; Black Pepper of the Evoikos group; NightInsurgency Magazine. And it lies neglected in the "back pages" of Athens IndyMedia under the sub-category of "Announcements" where a reader might find it only accidentally after scrolling down six or more times the length of a full screen.

This under-reported Statement by a significant section of Anarchist counter-institutions posits the questions:
"What kind of dangerous hypocricy makes some people now speak out about the absence of fire-fighting equipment at the bank and not about the lives that were lost? What kind of orwellian inversion of reality makes some people speak out about the tragic event as if it were some simple shortcircuit?
Don't we understand that this hypocricy is the equivalent of NATO's killers who used to speak of 'collateral damage'? "

The context of the street violence; Distortions of Fact and Berlosconi's Mousetrap

The lethal firebomb attacks took place in the context of a larger series of actions which had a specific content and a specific strategy behind it. These were orchestrated by an unknown counter-insurgency strategy team that sought to generate "false flag" events to discredit the General Strike and mass mobilizations. They included an effort by neonazis to infiltrate a column of Communist Union marchers. After stealing banners and flags from the group they attempted to misdirect the marchers up the stairs leading to Parliament by chanting "Burn it down", while at the same moment inside the Parliament the right-wing neonazi Member of Parliament representing LAOS (a neonazi parliamentary party) accused the Communist Party of leading the masses into "street violence" and atrocities.

The only people who followed the neonazis up the Parliament stairs were either "real" or "fake" anarchists and some confused demonstrators; the Police repulsed the tiny crowd on the stairs while the Union marchers distanced themselves and the security volunteers for the march wrestled back the Union banners from the thugs and restored them back to the workers' columns.

At the same time, either "real" or "fake" anarchists attacked the Marfin bank with Molotovs and killed the three workers.

Athens indymedia erroneously reported (or distorted the facts?) by claiming that supposedly "200.000 people of all ages on the street (employed and unemployed, public and private workers, locals and immigrants) attempted for hours in successive waves to surround and invade the Parliament" [hellenic (greek) language]:

That lie was repeated here, and in various other sources of alternative news media, helping to "disconnect" the lethal fire-bombings from the conspiracy that unfolded on the steps of the Parliament whereas the timing of the bombings and the total lack of apology from the killers suggests a very strong connection to the conspiracy [english language]:

Here is an undistorted summary of the events:

And the Communist Party newspaper sources that convey the "game plan" blow by blow,
and here

The unidentified counter-insurgency office that planned this operation may or may not have been aware the bombings and deaths would take place at the same time as the staged false flag "storming of the Parliament" that was being carried out by neonazis pretending to be Communist Union members and followed by misguided "real" anarchists. Whether the bombers and murderers were knowingly part of the plan or not is irrelevant; the fact is that either by mistake, or by ideology, or to further someone's political agenda, the murderers became the "gods ex machina" for the conspiracy that was set on the Hellenic national stage, right inside Parliament and on national television, where the Communist Party was to be falsely accused of instigating "mayhem, chaos and anarchy" by the very same people who were involved in those actions of mayhem.

The counter-insurgency strategy used in Athens on that day is the exact same strategy that was used in Genoa, Italy, during the tremendous anti-globalization mobilizations of 2001 that resulted in a Police riot that killed Carlo Guiliani and heavily injured large numbers of activists, including the international IndyMedia Center where our people were attacked brutally while they slept.

IndyMedia produced a most excellent feature length documentary movie about those events, precisely detailing that lethal counter-insurgency strategy. The movie is titled Berlusconi's Mousetrap. It was a brilliant production by Ireland IndyMedia in collaboration with Italian IndyMedia activists and others. In it, the particular strategy is detailed and its various stages, twists and turns are explained very ingeniously. The most striking part of the conspiracy (a "mere detail" some might say) is that at some point during the peaceful demonstrations, an unexpected entry of truckloads of fascists and neonazis from the countryside is facilited into the core of the protest area by the Police itself, while at the same time, Police and other security units block off hundreds of thousands of people into narrow areas of the city forming perfect traps. Then the fascists initiate violent attacks on the Police; the Police retaliate indiscriminately against all the entrapped protestors who have nowhere to run to and all hell breaks loose, leading to the now infamous scene of Police shooting Carlo in the head and then driving a jeep over his body several times to ensure he is dead, desecrating and mangling his body beyond description.

The key to the events is a clever use of fascist militia and manipulation of "real" or "fake" anarchists who helped to trigger the deadly trap. By the end of the day, not only Carlo Guiliani had died, but all hopes of a Europe-wide peaceful anti-globalization insurgency.

We know that our people have the knowledge and are conversant with the history, both of our own Movement and that of counter-insurgency techniques. But as organizers and activists we keep ignoring this knowledge, behaving as if not wanting to know, giving ourselves over to blind, instinctual, brainless participation in the Movement.

It is time that we rescue our own Movement from those who have hijacked it in the name of unspecified and nihilist death-cult ideologies, and restore it back to serving the People.

Cyprus IndyMedia Collective
May 10, 2010
Various Sources, Views and Analyses

o- An earth shattering strike while reaction takes advantage of three murders

o- Berlusconi's Mousetrap

o- Berlusconi's Mousetrap - a review

o- Is firebombing a bank an acceptable tactic?

o- "...Verging on the dangerous limits of what one could call "an unprincipled struggle" where violence has acquired an almost totemic dimension...
"The truth is that, even if the left wing press like Eleftherotypia are right in pointing out that the tragedy might have been a result of parastate or fascist groups that were seen to have penetrated the mass rally, the possibility of it happening today or tomorrow as a result of the rising militarism and nihilism of anarchists in greece has always been very high.

I do not want to exploit my position as a contributor to articles here, but the situation is very serious and no one can keep silent any longer: since December the anarchist scene has been characterised by a mass quantitative increase and a critical qualitative leveling. As a result it is verging on the dangerous limits of what one could call "an unprincipled struggle" where violence has acquired an almost totemic dimension. That is not to say that there are no groups which have engaged critically with the issue of violence in the last year or so, but these efforts have been brushed aside as either too academic or too pacifist or whatever, and marginalised.

The only thing that can save the anarchist scene in the eyes of the much wider social and labour movement in greece is at last some trace of self-criticism. Anarchists should develop a sense of public responsibility and realise the consequences of "playing war" on the backs of others. If the anarchist believe they are the vanguard of society that need give word to no one because they embody some historical necessity, they are no better than the Stalinists in the KKE." :

o- Political Economy, Karl Marx and the Rage in Athens
A long but worthwhile reading into subjects that most people might say is "too much theory".
Many thanks to Carol (The Artist), member of the Action Greens group, for sending this.

Reading The Grundrisse; Thinking About Athens’ Rage


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