[Video]: Anarchists Burn Down the Christmas Tree

Athens, Greece: It's ironic. While the greek government has been terrorizing the neighborhood of Exarcheia since the summer with squat evictions, attacks on people inside coffee shops and bars and brutal beatings and arrests for no reason -especially following the protests on 17 November and 6 December, where an atypical martial was imposed in the area-, few days ago made an attempt to cover up the riot police crimes against the people in the area, by decorating Exarcheia Square with Christmas lights and a Christmas Tree.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzrw6MzNVms

[You can find links to videos documenting some of the police crimes in the area during the last few months r at the end of this]

To get an idea of what is happening in Athens at the moment a few things have to be noted: The greek government has gone into war with anarchists and anti authoritarians, following the end of a 15 days ultimatum issued by the Ministry of “Public Order”, towards the dozens of political and refugee squats across Greece (some of them more than 30 years old), threatening them with violent evictions by the riot police and police special forces, if they did not evacuate within the deadline. The deadline ended on Thursday night on the 5th of December 2019, a political decision by the greek State aiming to agitate and create an “explosive atmosphere”.

Following the first wave of attacks and evictions, mainly against squats housing refugees during the fall, the second wave of attacks has just begun, this time against political squats and social centers. Coinciding with the arrest of antifascists and the proposed judicial acquittal of neonazi leaders in the Golden Dawn trial, the right wing greek government and its self proclaimed socialist Minister of Public Order have proceeded with the eviction of “Kouvelou Mansion” Squat in Marousi, Athens on Tuesday 17 December, while another three squats have been evicted today 18 December in Koukaki, Athens, following a massive police operation, that terrorized a whole neighborhood with police brutality, attacking people living in adjoining houses that were no squats. Brutal images of greek SWAT policemen having their boots on people's heads on the ground and a mother bound on the floor of her terrace with a hood on her head, reminiscing of Abu Ghraib torture images, have been circulated in the media.

As an obvious result at about 22:00 yesterday 18 December, approximately 200 anarchists held a sudden demo around Ermou Street, the most commercial street of Athens and proceeded to attacking several shops and banks near the main square of Athens at Syntagma. At about the same time, several miles away, the christmas tree at Exarcheia Square was set on fire. While the greek government has proclaimed that more than 20 squats, just in Athens, will be violently evicted until the end of 2019, the police attacks seems like the match that will put fire in an already explosive situation during Christmas and New Year's festivities.

Links from Exarchia under police siege in the last few months:

6 December 2019

17 November 2019

7 November 2019

1 September 2019

There are 3 Comments

If they keep this shit up, they should presume this could escalate all the way to no surrender and no prisoners taken on either side. That Christmas tree in flames sent them a message: people are NOT putting up with their shit and can hit them at any time in their most sensitive places. Same as Greece's old enemy Turkey, where supporters of the Syrian Democratic Forces have carried the war right to the heart of Turkey, including the destruction of a yacht belonging to a key war profiteer.

Hell we have done boats here in the US too: way back in 2001, both the Bank of New York and Bank of America dumped Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) after the CEO of the Bank of NY found the ALF had sunk his yacht in harbor. Years later, a visit by ALF graffiti artists to the NY Yacht Club the weekend before HLS was to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange prevented that listing from ever going through. Stockbrokers and bankers were nervous about the safety of their preckous million dollar yachts, and would not touch HLS with a ten foot pole.

Surely that Christmas tree is just the beginning: the regime and its friends in Exarchia have their own trees, their boats, and so much more. Such a target-rich environment-those who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones.

I stopped thinking big when it comes to Greek anarchy. Sure, there were some powerful attacks done during the period after the 2008 uprising, but most radicals over there seem to be lacking interest into attacking the rich and their interests. For so many years, especially during the austerity protests, all they fucking had to do was get boats to one of those huge tourist islands then mess things up there. And of course attack the yatch clubs closer to where the wealthy interests are. But most of what I've seen happening in Athens was Exarkhia anarchos doing shit in Exarkhia. Often falling for the same-old tactics of throwing molotovs around Polytechniou at cops in a quiet weekend night. Bad optics make bad insurgencies, imo.

I've said it before here: to make Exarkhia this anarchist ghetto would become another form of self-victimization in the long run. Keep it concentrated in a tiny depressing area and you're helping the State; but spread the struggle and have your lairs all across towns and keep opening new squats or support those newbies who wanna open some, and then you become uncontrollable. There's some well-known anarcho figures in the hood I been arguing with on these matters, and they wouldn't listen, they wouldn't care. They would stick to their single-minded strategy.

Carelessness is costly. I've done what I could over there, as a single person. Groups, collectives... they're the ones that got the most power to change the game. Will they? Do they ever think enough outside the box for this? I dunno. We'll see...

this action was claimed and has a communique:

On wensday 18/12/19, around 23:45, we as a group of anarchists burned the Christmas tree in exarchia square, which the regime puted in square at the same morning.
Our answer to regime is very clear:
1- Resistance in exarchia(and other area) never end.
2- We as proletariat and oppressed do not celebrate these fiesta because they are not our culture, our culture are resistance and struggle for social revolution and our celebration is the social revolution, which will create freedom and equality in our life.
3- The regime is try to change the revolutionary historical face of exarchia but the regime should know even massacring all of us can not change a neighborhood that struggle is its culture.
Solidarity to comrade Dimitris Chatzivasileiadis.
Power to hunger strike of K. Sakkas


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