Friday, July 01, 2011

Updates from the General Strike in Greece

Tuesday, June 28th: Constant updates Contra Info

First day of nationwide general strike

24.00 GMT+2 Downtown Athens has become a battlefield. Yet, the people
remain on the streets despite the relentless use of tear gas and the
fierce attacks by cops, which culminated during the night. The protesters
are in urgent need of aid; whoever withdraws from streets does this
because of great fatigue, rather than fear. All day there were blunt
orders by the regime to evacuate Syntagma area, via a superpower of
repressive forces and a strong presence of plainclothes. Also cops were
conscripted from across the province. It should be reminded that tomorrow
at 2 pm the mid-term memorandum will be put on vote, so the strikers are
asked to flood Syntagma from early in the morning in order to encircle the
parliament. Many strikers in solidarity are expected with the first train
from Thessaloniki.

23.50 GMT+2 A few minutes ago, police squads stormed from Stadiou Street
and suffocated people with tones of tear gas. At the lower side of
Syntagma Square barricades are erected. Protesters resist despite their
great fatigue. The entire area vibrates by the slogans COPS, PIGS,

23.39 GMT+2 After a 3hour detention, detainees were transferred to police
HQ in Athens for another six hours. All 20 detentions were swiftly turned
into arrests. All people in solidarity are calling for a gathering
tomorrow, June 29th, at 10 am outside the courthouse in Evelpidon Street.
Among others, a 56-year-old woman has been arrested earlier at Syntagma

23.30 GMT+2 Up to this time, there are constant harsh clashes.
Continually, medics run to help numerous injured protesters, transferring
them from outside Hotel Grande Bretagne.

23.17 GMT+2 Dissent is generalized; there are people hurdling rocks to the
police across the centre of Athens. In Stadiou Street police are now
attacking demonstrators, and the clashes continue in Syntagma as before.
Filellinon and surrounding streets are lined with police squads. There are
at least 5-6 police units outside the Russian Church near Syntagma. At the
Zappeion hundreds of DELTA motorcycle police forces. At the junction of
Ardittou and Vouliagmenis streets, near First Cemetery of Athens, there
are dozens of motorcyclist cops.

23.15 GMT+2 A huge crowd at Syntagma tonight, multiple times larger than
the crowd at the general strike demo in the morning. Clashes between
police squads and demonstrators forced the temporary halting of the
concert. There are many stun grenades and tear gas thrown against
demonstrators’ heads.

22.55 GMT+2 In Athens large-scale clashes still go on. People are
committed to struggle despite the extremely brutal suppression.

22.35 GMT+2 Cops’ attack against people who are situated in Amalias Street
in front of the parliament; at least one detention. The live concert was
interrupted. People ostracize stones against police squads.

22.20 GMT+2 Syntagma: The live concert continues. For quite some time,
people have lit bonfires at different points in order to extinguish the

21.24 GMT+2 The clashes between people gathered at the square and police
have started, once again. Live stream from Syntagma also here.

21.10 GMT+2 Police tried to evacuate Syntagma square, to no avail. The
people are defending the square.

21.00 GMT+2 Street battles outside Hotel Grande Bretagne. Extensive use of
tear gas; shock grenades.

20.35 GMT+2 Motorcycle rally just arrived from Thessaloniki at Syntagma.

19.50 GMT+2 Syntagma: Police squads’ attack in front of the parliament on
the pretext of plastic water bottles throwing. Gathered people regrouped
and counterattacked: Almost with bare hands they moved towards cops,
pushed them back and put aside the four rows of railings; so they retook
the point in front of the Unknown Soldier Monument. Continually people
swarm in Syntagma square.

19.02 GMT+2 Athens: A photojournalist and a lawyer faced threats and
insults by uniformed police officers when they ran to help two more
detainees at the junction of Panepistimiou and Omirou streets. According
to the official police bulletin, 5 arrests and 17 detentions were made. At
the moment, lots of people are gathering at Syntagma Square.
Self-organized demonstrators are cleaning the square of chemicals with
buckets of water. There are also motorcycle rallies and occupations in
town halls in many Greek cities. For tomorrow, there is a call by various
collectives and neighbourhood assemblies all around Athens for the
encirclement of the parliament. A ship has already departed from
Heraklion, Crete, to Piraeus with organized demonstrators coming to join
the general strike tomorrow morning in Syntagma.

19.00 GMT+2 Heraklion, Crete Island: 2-3,000 protesters participated in
the rally. There were two pre-gatherings: at the Labour Centre and
Eleftherias Square. By 11.15 the demo began from Eleftherias Square. Also,
nearly 800 people participated along union fat-cats of the Labour Centre.
Most blocks were dynamic; flyers [trikakia] were thrown while slogans were
written on walls. In addition, eggs and red paint were thrown against
PASOK ruling party’s offices. The demo was under close observation by cops
situated in nearby alleys. Several protesters from Heraklion had already
traveled to Athens; a gathering was called out at 17.00 in Eleftherias
Square, in order for people to go to the port to participate in tomorrow’s
mobilizations in Athens —the afternoon’s assembly meant to decide whether
the protesters will travel free of charge or not.

17.50 GMT+2 People are heading again from the square towards Amalias Street.

17.45 GMT+2 According to eyewitnesses, one police squad’s officer threw
away his helmet and shield, giving up his democratic duty of massive crowd
suppression. Other police squad’s cops have beaten him fiercely, forcing
him not to leave. Cops fired tear gas while a Red Cross [Erithros Stavros]
ambulance transferred the injured protesters and persons suffering from
respiratory problems to hospital.

17.39 GMT+2 A generalized pogrom across the area of Syntagma Square.
Police squads chase after demonstrators, pushing them back towards
Propylaea. Unconfirmed reports of 3 arrests, 18 detentions.

17.25 GMT+2: A few people remain in Syntagma Square holding banners. A
fire truck arrived to extinguish a fire coming from the van of a mobile
phone company. Reports suggest the van caught fire as the result of a
shock grenade. Clashes continue; demonstrators fight back against the
cops’ chemical warfare by building barricades. There is an unconfirmed
number of detainees; correspondences refer to 4 arrested and 21 detained,
while the police report 4 cops injured.

17.00 GMT+2 Demonstrators move away, so the tension shifts to the lower
side of the square. Othonos Street has re-opened and is gradually filled
with people. The area is under continuous attack from tear gas and shock

16.50 GMT+2 Syntagma: A lot of tear gas inside the metro station, from
Amalias Street. The majority of anarchists are not present at the time,
but comrades remain near Syntagma. Police raid en mass the upper side of
the square; melees between demonstrators and cops. From Othonos Street a
minor militant group with football fans’ distinctive features throws
stones against the numerous repression forces. Several organizers of the
Syntagma Assembly, possibly along with far-right ‘300 Greeks’, are
offering Maalox in order to protect people from chemicals.

16.40 GMT+2 Ongoing clashes; tear gas thrown now in front of the Unknown
Soldier Monument. The majority of the people have split away from the
place. It is estimated that approximately 2,000 remain gathered.
Nevertheless, demonstrators do not leave the square.

16.05 GMT+2 According to reports, three people have been detained at
Syntagma – one of the detainees is a trade union member.

15.57 GMT+2 Protesters are taking back the area around Filellinon Street,
at the lower side of Syntagma square.

15.45 Athens: Police squads evacuated Amalias Street by a savage chemical
warfare operation; asphyxiant gases were poured inside the metro station
and thrown even against the Medical Centres’ tend in Syntagma square.

15.36 GMT+2 Ioannina: Strikers occupied the premises of the municipal
radio station (98.7fm). A popular assembly that was held in the central
square immediately after the demonstration, decided to undertake this
occupation in order to propagate this evening’s assembly, at 8 pm,
concerning the organization of tomorrow’s activities and the march itself
which will begin at 10.30 am from the Labour Centre of Ioannina.

15.25 GMT+2 Stadiou, Filellinon, Othonos streets, parametrically: People
surrounded and trapped in Syntagma Square resist by throwing stones, using
also fire extinguishers against police squads. Meanwhile, other protesters
surround the cops that attack the square. Demonstrators that head from
Syntagma to Propylaea can hear shock granades every thirty 30 seconds.

15.02 GMT+2 Syntagma: The police are throwing broken marble against

14.55 GMT+2 Syntagma: The main demonstration block has been in the square
for approximately an hour. A total of 32 police squads, guarding the
parliament, are firing tear-gas extensively and attempt to break up the
blocks. For the past 40 minutes there are constant clashes on the lower
part of Syntagma Square, by Karageorgi Servias Street. There are also
clashes on Stadiou Street. According to people at the square, police are
firing tear gas every few seconds.

14.52 GMT+2 Cops raided Syntagma Square.

14.40 GMT+2 Maroussi, Athens northern suburb: At least 200 DIAS police
force motorcycles crossed Kifissias Avenue at high speed, defiantly
pressing horns.

14.32 GMT+2 Syntagma: A Greek flag is burning at the moment. Clashes take
place in Fillelinon and Voukourestiou streets and in front of the Hotel
Grande Bretagne.

About 14.30 GMT+2 Thessaloniki: Minister of Health Loverdos was blocked
inside ‘Papafeio’ Institution by a big number of demonstrators. Reports
mention that the minister managed to escape.

14.20 GMT+2 Protesters smash McDonald’s; bonfires are lit and barricades
are erected; shock grenades, tones of chemicals. A lot of people take part
in the clashes. Flares, stone throwing up to Stadiou Street. Many
demonstrator blocks remain in front of the parliament.

14.10 GMT+2 Stone throwing against the cops that fire tear gas and shock
grenades; first clashes at the lower side of Syntagma Square. People split
and moved towards Stadiou and Panepistimiou streets, but other
demonstrators remain at Syntagma.

14.05 GMT+2 Syntagma, Othonos and Amalias streets: The fascist scums were
previously blocked inside 10, Othonos Arcade by at least 1,000 protesters.
Police squads tear gazed the area up to Filellinon Street. People
retreated to Syntagma Square, but gradually re-gather in front of the

14.02 GMT+2 Prisoners’ mutiny in the A wing of Koridallos men’s prisons;
they refuse to enter the prison cells.

13.40 GMT+2 Syntagma: About fifteen neo-Nazis chanted fascist slogans near
the Citizens Service Centre at the corner of Othonos and Amalias streets.
Anarchists have rushed to repel them.

13.14 GMT+2 Patras: The march of 2-3,000 people completed without
problems. Before its beginning, comrades expropriated the banner of the
Labour Centre which attempted to lead the demonstration. Then, all blocks
passed by the Labour Centre’s block which eventually withdrew completely.
About 300 anarchists of ‘Ergaleioforos’ and ‘Perasma’ groups participated
in one common block. Leftish parties have completed the rally in Georgiou
Square where the ‘indignados’ normally gather, while several rank’n’file
unions along with the anarchists’ block terminated in Olgas square. There
is an ongoing occupation of the Labour Centre of Patras by

13.03 GMT+2 Athens: The block of the sold-out General Confederation of
Greek Workers (GSEE) is reaching Syntagma Square, with approximately 5,000

12.34 GMT+2 In Xanthi, northern Greece, there were three different bodies
of demonstrators. In the morning members of PAME occupied the Tax Office
building. In general, the participation both from the Resistance
Initiative of and the Labour Centre was lower in comparison to previous
strikes. As result of their attempt to seclude the trade unionists, the
Resistance Initiative’s block marched without politically independent
workers, only with several members of the anarchist block on its side.

12.20 GMT+2 Athens: Approximately 15,000 protesters of various base unions
along with the anarchist block begin to march from the National
Archaeological Museum (Patission Street) towards Syntagma. The body of
demonstrators head to Kolokotroni Street. People are gathering at Syntagma
while protesters from other Greek cities also arrive there.

12.17 GMT+2 Thessaloniki: Demonstrators of rank’n’files unions joined the
strikers’ pre-gathering at the junction of Egnatia and Aghia Sophias
streets. The march of approximately 10,000 protesters is heading from the
Labour Centre of Thessaloniki to Aghios Demetrius Street.

12.14 GMT+2 Mytilini, Lesbos Island: The rally of nearly 600 demonstrators
is completed. An open popular assembly will follow.

12.05 GMT+2 According to the announcement of the General Federation of
Personnel of Electricity Sector (GENOP/DEI: PPC), today between 11.00 and
15.30 blackouts of almost one and a half hour will be rotating at various
areas in Attica.

11.00 GMT+2 At the port of Pireus, since early in the morning, dockworkers
as well as members of PAME (of the so-called ‘Communist’ Party of Greece)
seized the ships’ launchers, blocking the sailing from the central port of
the country. In Athens approximately 25,000 people have gathered in front
of the parliament, mainly demonstrators of PAME.

01.01 GMT+2 Prisons across Greece: Excerpt of a prisoners’ text about the
mid-term memorandum — ‘[...] Prisons are a mechanism which is based on
poverty and reproduces inequalities and injustice. Prisons are an unjust
and inhumane mechanism which demoralizes and enrages people. It is a class
and antisocial mechanism which should be abolished. We know that there is
no potential for basic living problems’ substantial solution inside
prisons because, as we said before, life behind prison walls becomes even
more difficult due to the crisis. Hence, the main slogan of inmates in
Greek prisons today is “Immediate release of all prisoners.” Today our own
struggle cannot but be common. Common among all prisoners, common among
all the oppressed of all nationalities who are in the streets and squares
of Greek cities. Let’s start here and now a real confrontational struggle
that will prevent the mid-term memorandum’s voting. And the only way to do
so is to factually threaten the political and economic system’s function.
[...]’ This text is co-signed by a total of 468 women and men inmates of
the prisons: Koridallos (also F male wing), Ioannina, Avlona, Nafplion and
Corfu. At least 789 women and men prisoners decided to remain outside the
prison cells during the midday closing in: Koridallos (also A, D, F male
wings), Diavata, Amfissa, D1 male wing of Grevena. A total of 1,508
inmates will protest via abstention from mess in: Grevena, B male wing of
Larissa, Ioannina, Avlona, Malandrino, Diavata and Cassandra in
Thessaloniki. On the day of the mid-term memorandum’s voting, the
prisoners protest against the financial and political impasse in which the
Greek society is situated, against the country’s occupation by the big
Capital, against the parliamentary junta. This mobilization is also held
in solidarity with those who fight in cities’ streets and squares across

About 00.00 GMT+2 Arta, western Greece: Dozens of workers and
solidaritarians blocked the entry of the poultry cooperative’s factory of
the city. They had decided to blockade the factory throughout the entire
48hour general strike, but the blockade ended at about 4.30 am. Reports
mention that lately the employers practice factual terrorism against the
workers, intimating them not to participate in strikes. The unpaid workers
of the cooperative invite all people to participate in the strike.

Transportation information for the 48hour general strike

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