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Flash brief from the #greekrevolution

by talos Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 12:34:07 PM EST

...And "Greek Revolution" seems a very appropriate term to describe what is happening in Syntagma square right now...
Too busy demonstrating and participating, to post (Although see some notes from yesterday below), I've managed only tweets... Here's a brief note, to sevrve as an update repository...

Police violence is escalating, propped by groups of partially dubious "anarchists", clashes to day involved "regular" demonstrators, you can cut the rage with a knife, just like the air since teargas is so thick that it's like an alien planet. I'm very worried about where this leads. When the indignants met the first 48 hour strike in 50 years, they became again a force worth reckoning....

The Greek parliament, meaning the compliant team of "socialists" minus just one MP of the ten that hinted they might vote against the Medium Term Programme, just voted 155 for and 138 against (5 present, 2 absent), to sell off the country to banksters and crooks (if they find buyers that is, else they'll give it away), lower life expectancy and gut social spending. At this moment with the scenes in Syntagma looking more and more like Tahrir square and pictures from a battleground, luxury hotels being evacuated and grandfathers (never mind kids) chanting "Cops, Pigs Murderers" and calling for the burning of parliament. I don't think its over yet.

I'm off again to Syntagma. Although getting back might be a tad difficult at this moment...

Promoted by Colman


Yesterday's notes (that I didn't find time to post here):
Today was a long day. World attention was focused on Greece, its parliamentary decision to accept deficit colonization to save the eurozone and "the world economy", or remember that it is accountable to the Greek people who are by a huge margin (66% to 23) against the programme and a majority of them would rather have it voted against (47,5% versus 38,9%) despite the imminent threat of default.... Thus when the new IMF director Christine Lagarde rushes to admonish Greek politicians:

"If I have one message tonight about Greece, it is to call on the Greek political opposition to support the party that is currently in power in a spirit of national unity"

She is demanding thus, that these politicians ignore the wishes and sentiments of their voters. Ignore them completely. This blatantly undemocratic intervention in the Greek political system, which everyone in the ECB, the EU and the IMF seems to be repeating nowadays is really solidifying public outrage and makes the already onerous terms of the Medium Term Programme even more unbearable through the sheer colonialism of it all.

Just like the 15th of June a couple of weeks ago, the "Indignant" movement merged with union strikers and then was pushed by a one-two combo of anarchist-police violence and counter-violence, towards chaos, violence and tear gas - and all sorts of tremendously unpleasant noxious (and possibly toxic) chemicals.

The 15th precipitated some major developments in the Greek government, a charade of indecision on a "national unity government" and musical chairs in the Cabinet that turned Ev.Venizelos, a politician with a singularly unimpressive record of managing economic issues (he was in charge of the Olympic preparations and we all know how well that went fiscally) but with very large clout inside the party, and especially with MPs ready to jump ship. This move has bought Papandreou, nothing more than some internal part consensus, although tomorrow and Thursday we will find out how much, since there are at least 4 -10 MPs who are threatening publicly to vote against the Medium Term programme [update: as I said we now know that PASOK's parliamentary team had just one single self-respecting MP - now ousted!].

However the world at large, faced with the possibility of Greek ungovernability, blinked then, and much was said about how Greece can be helped. This was 100% due to the brilliant mobilization of the Unions and the Indignants, who made life difficult for the MPs and put enormous pressure on them. The only red lines are drawn in the streets. Keep that in mind, I think that this will be pertinent in many EU countries in the coming months and years...

Display:
The only red lines are drawn in the streets.

Practical wisdom and a real take-away.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 11:08:03 AM EST
In Greece, the painful start of the first advanced-democracy revolution | Matina Stevis | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

If there are going to be austerity measures taken by the Greek government, the Greek people seem determined to ensure that everyone shares in the sacrifice.

Anything else wouldn't be ... democratic. And the Greeks do know a thing or two about democracy.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:20:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A random tweet: @sophies_voice
Inside my house 1,5km from Syntagma and I can smell tear gas. And my throat and eyes hurt. This headache's going to last all week.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 12:47:51 PM EST
Tear Gas Exposure

The best defense against tear gas is a gas mask, but if you don't have a mask there are still steps you can take to minimize damage from tear gas. If you think you might encounter tear gas you can soak a bandana or paper towel in lemon juice or cider vinegar and store it in a plastic baggie. You can breathe through the acidified cloth for several minutes, which should give you sufficient time to get upwind or reach higher ground. Goggles are a great thing to have. You can use tight-fitting swim goggles if chemical safety goggles aren't available. Don't wear contacts anywhere you might encounter tear gas. If you are wearing contact lenses, immediately remove them. Your contacts are a loss as is anything else you can't wash. You can wear your clothes again after you wash them, but wash them separately that first time. If you don't have goggles or any sort of mask, you can breathe the air inside your shirt, since there is less air circulation and therefore a lower concentration of the gas, but that is counterproductive once the fabric becomes saturated.

First Aid

First aid for eyes is to flush them with sterile saline or water until the stinging starts to abate. Exposed skin should be washed with soap and water. Breathing difficulties are treated by administering oxygen and in some cases using medication that are used to treat asthma. Medicated bandages can be used on burns.



Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:05:31 PM EST
If nothing else perhaps urine would help as an acid.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 07:59:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heard claim it will work.

How 'bout I let you check it out?  Let me know how it goes.

:-)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 08:25:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not currently in Greece or anywhere remotely close to teargas at the moment.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 08:46:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was used by the canadian Army in WWI against chlorine gas s it was thought it would chrystalise the gas. Tear gas you have a variety of different gasses and powder air suspensions that attack the mucous membranes, what works for one may not work for another

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 08:50:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The demonstrations didn't sway the ruling elite. The Greek Government won the austerity vote by 155 to 138.

Greece's parliament approved the five-year austerity plan with 155 votes in favour and 138 votes against.

Only one member of prime minister George Papandreou's socialist party voted against the law and the speaker of parliament announced he had been immediately expelled from the party. One deputy from the conservative opposition cast a vote in favour.

And these are the "Socialists". The looting is only okay when it is state-sanctioned.

by Magnifico on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:24:16 PM EST
So the question becomes: what are the Unions and Indignants going to do?

Papandreou isn't going to call an early election he is almost certain to lose.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only option they have if they want to prevent the looting is to take the parliament, TV and central bank.. closing all bank operations, at least until tomorrow, so that the vote on the schedule of the austerity measure do not happen.

In other words, they would have to face the army.. otherwise, the political elite of Greece will commit suicide.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:41:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, they would have to face the army..

So in other words, Greeks must decide if they will kill other Greeks in a civil war?

by Magnifico on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:44:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I see it.. yes. Otherwise, the measures will stand.. for now.

The other option is long-term passive revolt: not paying any tax, issuing local coins, non-stop general strike....

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:51:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It ain't 1967. The army would revolt if given orders to strike against the people.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 02:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could a sufficiently determined assembly of protesters push their way into the legislative assembly? At what cost?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:40:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If history is any guide, in general that happens when organized groups with knowledge of and access to heavy machinery join as groups. They can then remove blockades and can in general not be stopped by anything less then deadly force (or placing tanks in their way, but tanks tend to be in the stage of deadly force anyway). Miners has played this role at least in Serbia and Roumania.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 05:19:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Listen: Athens is home right now possibly to the highest ownership rate of gas masks per capita in the world. A surprisingly rapid dissemination of anti-police violence survival and counter-attack tactics, a small but vigorous nucleus of anarchist protesters having been practically raised skirmishing with the police and having all sorts of asymmetric street-fighting know-how, and the rapid increase of unemployment combined with the sort of quasi-Mubarak level police violence we saw yesterday is bound to increase the ranks of those ready, willing and able to fight. You see police throw tear-gas or charge the crowd and the amazing thing is that most of the protesters react quickly, but not panicky, as if they are seasoned veterans, very unimpressed by the riot-gear and the blatant readiness of the police to inflict grievous bodily harm to people of all ages. It is amazing to witness. You realize that people adapt pretty quickly to circumstances.

If the protesters weren't peaceful in their great majority yesterday, there is no way short of actually shooting people, that the police could stop them. Should the Communist Unions (who have a rather dim view of "petty bourgeois rebellions" such as what is unfolding in Syntagma) ever decide to act violently (not likely) they could storm the Parliament, in circumstances similar to yesterday's, in half an hour. Heck even the much less muscular unionists of SYRIZA and the extreme left could do it. Possibly with no casualties. They won't though. Most of the relevant parties are wedded deeply to representative democracy. Most of the left considers (with some justification) that establishing democracy after 1974 is its own doing. And they will not allow all Hell to break loose.

After all, the question would then be: what next? And there's the rub: no one has any idea what to do after storming the Winter Palace any more.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 06:35:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Listen: Athens is home right now possibly to the highest ownership rate of gas masks per capita in the world.

Outside Israel, I suppose...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 06:50:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, I wouldn't bet on that...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:04:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After all, the question would then be: what next?

With people who represent the 80%+ majority of the Greek people physically occupying the Parliament, demand that the Parliament dissolve itself and call for new elections within a month. Demand that the government order the police to stop attacking mostly peaceful protestors and in return the protesters will begin instead organizing for the coming election. Demand that ongoing discussion of economic alternatives be presented on TV and the internet with Yanis Varoufakis and others to rationally discuss what are and are not options.

That at least would constitute working towards a peaceful and functional resolution of the problem. Now all that exists are doomed projects that harm the Greek nation and people and the future looks very bleak. The current iteration of Greek democracy has already ended in a ditch. This would provide an alternative other than fascism, fascism administered by foreign fascists at that.

You are correct that no one knows what to do after storming the Winter Palace. So don't take that route. We know how that ends. The future is uncharted territory largely because it has been in the interests of the Serious People to never allow that territory to be charted. That territory is one in which a government is in fact accountable to the majority of the people instead of a clique of the wealthy.

The failing of previous revolutionary movements, from the revolution that led to the USA to the present is that they have not addressed the economic and social problems in a functional manner. The most important issue is likely to be the control and direction of monetary policy. Give Yanis Varoufakis and like minded Greeks a chance to present alternatives to TINA. Let TARA shine.

What is needed are policies that put the whole of society ahead of the profits of a few sociopaths. It is because of that sociopathy that attempting to do something sane seems crazy. As I have said: "If sanity be culturally normative, by the norms of this culture I claim insanity!" It is past time for new norms. My sincerest apology for the fact that the actions of my own government are one of the biggest obstacles to the development of a viable future. But we are all tainted by that same original sin.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 12:02:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was reading through this on another computer because I wanted to link to a dkos piece on Greece.  As I was reading through it I liked it so much, especially the final paragraph, that I signed in just to recc the comment.  Nicely done.  It is a fight we all need to root for each other on.  

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 01:01:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are correct that no one knows what to do after storming the Winter Palace. So don't take that route. We know how that ends. The future is uncharted territory largely because it has been in the interests of the Serious People to never allow that territory to be charted. That territory is one in which a government is in fact accountable to the majority of the people instead of a clique of the wealthy.

It's not like the current occupants of the WInter Palace have a clue, either.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 03:04:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No one knows what to do after storming the Winter Palace.

This is the very same situation the Parliamentarians faced in the 1640s in England. The existing thought system made it impossible to deal with a monarch who was bent on imposing Divine Right absolutism. Christopher Hill described the situation after the King had been captured pretty well. He said the Parliamentarians suffered from a "mind-stop" which made it impossible to contemplate the next step. But that "mind-stop" was overcome, to the detriment of Charles I. We have been through many iterations since that time.

It took another 45 years or so to arrive at another quasi-stable political solution, but the outcome of 1688 has served as the original part of the foundation for the current system in England, while allowing that foundation to be greatly expanded over time. Yet a similarly radical expansion is needed in the U.K. today. Likewise in the USA.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 09:24:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't you missing out the Putney debates there?

The Debates

The Levellers wanted a constitution based upon manhood suffrage ("one man, one vote") and a fairer reorganisation of parliamentary constituencies. Further, they also wanted authority to be vested in the House of Commons rather than the King and Lords (with elections every two years) and "native rights" to be declared sacrosanct for all Englishmen:

 

 freedom of conscience, freedom from impressment into the armed forces, everyone equal under the law and no penalties should be made for not going to church, or attending other acts of worship. 

 

 

The Leveller's ideas had come to dominate the thinking of soldiers and officers in Cromwell's New Model Army. In October 1647, five of the most radical cavalry regiments in elected Agitators (Latin to drive) who were known as New Agents to represent their freethinking political and religious views. 

 

The New Agents issued a political manifesto: The Case of the Armie Truly Stated, and endorsed the constitutional proposals drafted by civilian Levellers in the Agreement of the People.  



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 11:21:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't you missing out the Putney debates there?

Yes, it was a simple gloss with no attempt to convey the marvelous diversity of ideas that emerged, however briefly, during the Civil War. Another question would be how the Restoration might have been avoided.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 12:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-nelson/the-dark-side-of-acing-the-tests_b_887160.html

Train them from a young age to have a unidirectional mind.

Bruner's primary concern was that children are being pressed to do too much too soon. The negative effects of early academic work are several fold, he stated. Young children are too often asked to do things for which they are developmentally unready. This leads to frustration, stress and a potential aversion to learning. More debilitating, the early introduction of so-called academic work has a conditioning effect, perhaps unintended, but very powerful. Gradually, children in what we now call "high stakes" learning situations, whether at school or home, are conditioned to see learning as, and only as, the process of delivering the "correct" response to the powerful adult in whose presence they find themselves.

Children like to please parents and teachers. If extrinsic and intrinsic rewards are conditioned on giving "right" answers, children will indeed work hard to figure out what the adult will accept as the "right" answer. The process is self-perpetuating as the rewards are compounded over time. When strongly conditioned to see learning this way, qualities like imagination, skepticism, eccentricity, originality, invention and creativity will be extinguished. These are unreliable mechanisms for discerning "right" answers.

by Upstate NY on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 12:24:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Putting the army on the streets, to enforce the diktat of extra-national financial interests, carries a high risk of splitting the army, opening the door to Civil War.  

The End Game, right now, is Greece leaving the euro and the EU to prevent the country becoming a colony.  People will put-up with sustained economic deprivation when they think the choice is Us XOR Them.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:59:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And they know they are going to suffer economic deprivation anyway.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 02:01:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or, they can use the greatest Greek weapon they ave, and it's quite an effective weapon that the Greeks have perfected. Use their lazy sunny dispositions, acumen for dysfunction and ineptitude, to implement the austerity measures in a fashion that creates an even bigger black hole and sops that next tranche of funds instantly. It would give pause to the Europeans who meet in the next two months to determine the way forward.

(In case this isn't obvious, part of my post was snark, but I do think it's time that Greece stopped implementing the measures they agreed upon).

by Upstate NY on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 02:47:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, they might take a clue from Organized Turtles.


NEW YORK -- About 150 turtles crawled onto the tarmac at New York's Kennedy airport Wednesday in search of beaches to lay their eggs, delaying dozens of flights, aviation authorities said.

The slow-motion stampede began about 6:45 a.m., and within three hours there were so many turtles on Runway 4L and nearby taxiways that controllers were forced to move departing flights to another runway.

"We ceded to Mother Nature," said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the airport.

We're hoping for more serious but creative actions. A vested suicide bomber with huge explosives at the Parthenon (which turn out to be...)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaďs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 03:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A vested suicide bomber with huge explosives at the Parthenon (which turn out to be...)

... a really good way to get your activist killed.

Dumbasses who show off pretend-weapons around trigger-happy security gorillas tend to get real dead, real quick. And in that particular case, I can't say I blame the trigger-happy security gorillas.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for a european summer.
by wu ming on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:43:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep it moving right across the Atlantic if you can.  Might be a waste but who knows what the birth of social media might do before it gets stomped down

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 06:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with this type of revolution is tactical. Instead of the masses engaging the police on the streets, it might be more effective for small groups to engage with the 100s, if not 1,000s, of soft targets such as power, media, network, traffic, and commerce. The state cannot yet physically police all places at all times. I think the police and military, after hundreds of years of practice, have found effective ways to shut down any street protests and they need not be as deadly as Napoleon's tactics on 13 Vendémiaire.
by Magnifico on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Problem is.. that would not delay tomorrow's vote.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 01:45:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A broad-based civil disobedience movement can have a lot of fun: Don't charge for services (or charge them, but give the proceeds to the unions instead of the employers). Don't clear out garbage from the residences (or even neighbourhoods) of particularly odious banksters. Picket sell-out politicians like you'd do if they were neo-Nazis. "Accidentally" release embarrassing documents and footage. Release cockroaches or termites into your property when it is foreclosed on. And so on and so on.

More risky, both in terms of crackdown and in terms of public support, would be systematically counterfeiting €-Mark notes. This has a certain ideological appeal, since it would simply be rectifying the ECB's unwillingness to do its job and print enough money to cover the €-zone's needs. But the potential backlash is, perhaps, not worth it.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 02:16:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Then get the army on your side and the politicians will flee for their lives. That will work, if you don't end up with a military dictatorship.

Today Greece ... tomorrow CA. I'm taking notes.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:10:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by wu ming on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:49:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek PM: Austerity is Patriotic Duty

Goerge Orwell is so obsolete.

by das monde on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 09:19:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm back from downtown and the scenes are like from a civil war. Hundreds (or thousands, impossible to estimate) are trapped inside the metro station in Syntagma, where it was impossible until a while ago to escape, because the atmosphere above is unbreathable. Dozens of injured, poisoned, burned by teargas canisters shot against them from close range, are being treated in makeshift hospitals, since the camp's hospital was teargassed away from the square. The situation is barely discernible from martial law. Cops on motorcycles hit people walking on the road, riot police threw tear gas in coffee shops, 2 km away from Syntagma and even grocer shops, three metro stations were blocked by police forces throwing tear gas and terrorizing people away.

The clashes continue. There is no doubt, the chief of police has said as much apparently, that the police wanted to dissolve the demo in Syntagma for good. The government media (and that includes the major private channels) are trying to spin this situation as the working of anarchists or even of the left. They are desperate and they are dangerous. Democracy has failed. Europe has failed democracy.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 02:06:27 PM EST
The police can keep that level of repression up for a couple of days before they'll have to de-escalate.  Eventually, they'll have to let people go off-duty -- to sleep, if nothing else.  The backlash, when they do lift the violence, is apt to be stronger, in more places, and with more protesters on the streets.

Panda-what's-his-name is making a BIG mistake.  This isn't a bunch of students and young people anymore.  This is beginning to shape as a wide based nationalist revolt against foreign domination.  The psychology, aims, and fervor of which is completely different from what the elites have previously seen.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 02:28:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Flash brief from the #greekrevolution
deficit colonization

great meme...

needs to be endlessly repeated. they are too clever to fly any flags any more, they-who-must-be-obeyed. their puppets like SK and the new ice queen are just the front line stooges, the real movers and shakers are in the shadows, hiding behind the near-total lack of democratic transparency in the upper financial stratosphere.

lizards with political leverage, hijacking the forces of law and turning them into blackshirts who provoke mayhem to cover their agenda.

all the while their business houses of cards financially leveraged, under water of their own making, they try to drown the people from the safety of their own liveried lifeboats.

perhaps the emergency will morph to an emergence. it's the best we can hope for at this point.

egypt is making it clear it's a lot easier to start a revolution than sustain it to the point it really replaces what went before, plus ca change... kicking dictators out is only the first step, creating a new system from scratch, now that's hard, and made harder by the armed forces and secret police who continue their depredations as if little or nothing had changed, other than a statue or two gets downed, and a dictator shuffles or is carried off stage.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:51:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are desperate and they are dangerous. Democracy has failed. Europe has failed democracy.
well...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 04:55:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The largest banks in each major country have to be taken down, or they all have to collapse together, to bring about a resolution to this disaster. And a majority of the people in each country have to understand that the whole disaster was generated by the banks and will not end until they and their employees have their hands removed from the levers of power.

What we have is tyranny by banks and government by and for bankers.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally someone makes the point!

Parasitic skimmers.

It isn't the legislators, but the fact that they are paid to do the wrong thing.

Cut off the banks. The body will die.

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 02:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  FIFY:

 

  "Democracy "the ruling elite" have failed Europe and have failed democracy's tenets."



"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 08:17:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Agents povocateurs, in flagrante delicto around 1:20, especially 1:40...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 02:13:59 PM EST
I've watched that film, and it seems pretty damning.

The police were probably given instructions to apply higher levels of violence and to use agent provocateurs to justify it.

Well, it started in Greece, like to many other things in Europe.

by Pope Epopt on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:34:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is word about the guy with the piece of iron in his hand, claiming that he is a member of some ultra-right organization, saved by the police from anarchists. However even if that is the case the attitudes are far too cosy and tight and I don't know what he is doing with that thing in his hand. The fact that in a day with scores of people hurt badly, the police would single out nazis and only nazis to save is by itself, not good... Probably provocateurs are being outsourced to save money nowadays

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 07:43:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_5813_30/06/2011_396503

Apparently, they were attacked by leftists.

And the police whitewash goes on.

I wouldn't believe this cock-n-bull story in a million years. It's clear the police are not there to escort them out of danger.

by Upstate NY on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:45:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dias squads, Hells Angels with badges and puny bikes, rampage through Mitropoleos street, near Monastiraki, where people are eating and drinking coffee among them scores of tourists, ~1km away from Syntagma. The scorn directed at them and the hatred from everyone around, including shopowners (they tear-gas one shop around 1:30) is audible. You here the word "hounda" (junta) a lot... The blasts at the end are stun grenades around the entrance of Monastiraki Metro station...



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 05:26:20 PM EST
Not good. Not good at all. That raised my temperature by a lot.
by Upstate NY on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 06:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did someone start shouting "Fascists" towards the end of the clip?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 06:21:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. And a lot of other things as well.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 07:44:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is an awkward cut in the video around 0'50"... one second the street is packed and the next the police are running down an empty street followed by motorcycles.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:42:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Has anyone in Greece laid their hands on politicians tax returns? if as is claimed one of the reasons that the problems are occurring, is that Greece has chronic underpayment of Tax, then surely if your politicians are of the more wealthy sector of society, then they are likely to be exposed as the cause

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 08:55:29 PM EST
It's the black market that's the problem. Not those earning a paycheck.
by Upstate NY on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 09:06:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should have added that a proper check of ministers' finances would look at their bank accounts and worldly goods to see if they are in possession of cash/goods that far exceed finances.
by Upstate NY on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 11:32:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Theoretically they are supposed to report all income sources and wealth every year and describe its sources. In practice they just report income and wealth, without ever really explaining the sources. Most crooks however have arrangements with off-shore companies and the like, I would imagine...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 09:28:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece and austerity: Brussels v the people (Guardian Editorial 29.06.11)

A funny kind of democracy was on display in Greece on Wednesday. Under orders from Brussels and Washington, MPs in Athens passed a slew of stringent measures to raise €28bn (£25bn) in a hurry - even while hundreds of thousands of protesting Greeks faced massive amounts of teargas and riot police. After the package was voted through by a wafer-thin majority, politicians were escorted out of the parliament by police. For anyone who has ever worried about the democratic deficit in Europe, here it was, laid bare on the rolling-news channels. And those protesters were not a vocal minority; polls suggest that up to 80% of Greeks reject these austerity measures.


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 at 09:37:06 PM EST
to sell off the country to banksters and crooks (if they find buyers that is, else they'll give it away)

Well, anyone with half a brain will realise that any sale has a fair chance of being declared null and void (exacted under duress) by a future government and that it will generate very little revenue in the interim.

Obviously the Troika doesn't have half a brain between the three of them since they haven't realised this.

Does the Greek government really believe this bullshit, or are they just going through the motions for both the Troika and the Greek people?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:45:48 AM EST
Could it be possible that the Greek government is going to default but just wants as much bailout as it can get before pulling the trigger?
by tjbuff (timhess@adelphia.net) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:01:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is the amount of damage the social fabric is sustaining in Greece is already intolerable.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:29:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, the Greek government is going to default. The only question is when and on whom.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:31:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Arguably, the government has already defaulted on its citizens.

So the question is, who else is it going to default on?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 06:10:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Obviously the Troika doesn't have half a brain between the three of them since they haven't realised this.

getting an invisible hand job can have that effect...

they are pawns. they are gamblers. they are eventual toast, even if they do 'win' this round.

the people want the justice stolen from their/our world.

it's quite the contrast with s/c america huh? where social democracies unite to protect each other from pred-cap instead of lining up for ritual disembowelment_...

i guess italian pols are watching all this very carefully.

...and shuffling off capital to quieter climes.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Greece votes not to default this summer
Greek parliament votes 155 to 138 for austerity package, and is expected to approve implementation bill today;financial markets still expect Greece to default eventually, amid doubts that the government will implement the programme;the additional annual burden for an average Greek family will be in the order of one month's salary;violent protests erupted in the centre of Athens after the vote; Michael Martens argues that Greece is going to remain a limited democracy for some time to come;central banks extend dollar swap lines as an insurance policy in case of a Greek default;Jürgen Stark tells Die Zeit that any Brady-plan element in a rollover package would contravene the Art.125 TFEU;Germany may include longer-dating Greek debt instruments in the rollover package;Merkel and Ackermann clash over the pretence of a "voluntary" rollover;the Italian cabinet is due to pass a €47bn four-year austerity plan, with most of the savings earmarked for the time after the next elections;Nicolas Sarkozy appoints budget minister Francois Baroin as France's new finance minister;a French legal commission will decide on July 8 whether the Christine Lagarde will be prosecuted;Le Monde calls on Lagarde to emancipate herself from Sarkozy;Patrick Welter criticises the direction the IMF had taken under DSK;the European Commission, meanwhile, proposes a 1% sales tax and a financial transaction levy to boost its own resources.
(My emphasis)

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:57:38 AM EST
Limited democracy in Greece

After yesterday's endorsement of the second rescue package in the Greek parliament Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's Michael Martens takes a look at democracy in Greece and concludes that "for the foreseeable future Greece will only be a limited democracy". According to the author the Greek government has been stripped of its sovereignty and the elected representatives can no longer take meaningful decisions. Instead they execute what the EU and the IMF tells them to do. Martens dismisses worries of economists that the rescue programs could create moral hazard and constitute an invitation to countries to be fiscally irresponsible. "No prime minister will want to pay the prize that prime minister Papandreou currently has to pay", he writes.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 02:59:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian: EU should control member states' budgets, says bank boss (June 2, 2011)
"In this union of tomorrow, or of the day after tomorrow, would it be too bold, in the economic field, with a single market and a single central bank, to envisage a ministry of finance of the union?" he said as he accepted the Charlemagne prize for contributions to European unity.

...

"Looking at the euro area today, we see clearly that countries that abide by the rules of the single currency can thrive and prosper," Trichet said. "But we also see the opposite. Strengthening the rules to prevent unsound policies is therefore an urgent priority."

...

"But if a country is still not delivering, I think all would agree that the second stage has to be different," he said, suggesting that eurozone authorities be given "a much deeper and authoritative say in the formation of the country's economic policies if these go harmfully astray".

He added: "It would be not only possible, but in some cases compulsory, in the second stage for the European authorities - namely the council on the basis of a proposal by the commission, in liaison with the ECB - to take themselves decisions applicable in the economy concerned."



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 03:01:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman blog: The Economic Consequences of Mr. Trichet June 10, 2011
Same as he ever was. He might ask himself, "My God! What have I done?" But he won't.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 03:02:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no constitutional basis for permitting the ECB to usurp fiscal policy.

Mr. Trichet is skirting on the edge of talking treason.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 03:08:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He did so in his acceptance speech of the Charlemagne prize <sinks head>

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 05:25:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clean this mess up or we'll all end up in jail

Get along Kid Charlemagne (Steely Dan)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:02:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh, its generally considered to be about Owsley, of high grade acid fame.  Very fitting tune for them.  "Is there gas in the car"

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 01:22:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Looking at the euro area today, we see clearly that countries that abide by the rules of the single currency can thrive and prosper," Trichet said. "But we also see the opposite. Strengthening the rules to prevent unsound policies is therefore an urgent priority."

If only.

Can I have the Euro Area he's looking at?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 05:43:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he's right on strengthening the rules, but I doubt he has the same things in mind we would have. For instance "Though shalt not run a chronic intra-EU surplus without some sort of redistributive mechanism." is unlikely to be chiselled into his stone tablet.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:15:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:27:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They can chisel it right next to "but the currency is sound."

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 05:34:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
funny, bbc world has stopped running the $-E currency x-rates along the ribbon at the bottom since this morning....

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
clearly this was about fiscal irresponsibility, and we need to enforce much stricter rules.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:20:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Looking at the euro area today, we see clearly that countries that abide by the rules of the single currency can thrive and prosper," Trichet said.

Didn't Ireland abide the rules? It was the celebrated model where EU took baltics to see and learn. What has changed?

..eurozone authorities be given "a much deeper and authoritative say in the formation of the country's economic policies if these go harmfully astray".

Ireland/baltic model to every country. These charlatans would create disaster everywhere they put hands to.

by kjr63 on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 03:10:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Abide by the unwritten rules.
by rootless2 on Sun Jul 10th, 2011 at 02:13:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cute symmetry... the exiting and the entering both under criminal investigation simultaneously!

wheee

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:05:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  other non-violent tactics:

   "liberate" a fire truck (water pumper); drive it to protest site.  Sprinkle tear-gassed areas liberally with water, clearing and cleaning the air.  Note: some water may also happen to reach public "security forces".  This is normal collateral advantage.

   Add some: cooking oil, olive oil or other non-toxic oils to the street surfaces.  It impedes others' being able to stand and hold positions easily; they might also lose their grips on various things such as weaponry, shields, truncheons, etc.  What a shame that would be.

  (colorful) Confetti is colorful (uh, right?  ;^)  ), presents a festive air and creates a mental dissonance with the "security forces' " physical violence.  

 the common warehouse (and truck delivery) type hand-cranked pallet-lifts can (with the help of a handy crowd of assistants) also move cars into barricade formations and thus help isolate unhelpful "security forces".  

   Protesters wearing hospital, surgeon, etc., garb makes for another physically dissonant presentation when "security forces" find themselves faced with using physical violence against people dressed in such apparel.

   conjure and add your own ideas; circulate, there's a world of possibilities.

 NOTE:  Use/adapt all suggestions to circumstances and with prudent fore-thought for responses and reactions by crowds and police forces.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:10:22 AM EST
Appropriating fire trucks is only responsible behaviour when you are reasonably confident that the fire department has spare equipment. You don't want people's houses burning down while you're using the fire truck to cool down overeager cops. That would give you a lot of bad press.

And dressing up like medical personnel is a war crime for a reason.

Other than that, I like those ideas.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 05:44:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Enlist the aid of a retired firefighter whose pension has just been cut. He would likely know just what equipment to "press into service" and how to use it to best effect.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 06:15:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  Agreed.  Enlist the fire-fighter's aid if possible.  But that's counting on what has to be considered as exceptional courage on the fire-fighter's part. So, in case he isn't up to that challenge, I'd say, "Please don't worry, we're going to release you unharmed as soon as the truck is on site "putting out the fire".  That's a lot more than the official authorities are offering, by the way.

 Sure, fire-fighters are typically courageous to do what they do--but theirs is not moral courage--which is what would be required to oppose official rules to aid peaceful protesters defend themselves against a brutal police.

  Generally, all a fire-figher needs is physical courage.  His moral courage might be a disaster and he could still do very admirable work fighting fires.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 07:56:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a famous case in protest circles in Belgium, where local government issued a pay cut to staff. When Unions reached the square in the centre of one city government had called out riot police, who arrived with shields batons and water canon. Unfortunately amongst the strikers were the Fire brigade, who retreated to the local fire station, and fought back, having  more high power hoses they swept the police from the square, then filled the square with foam.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 08:46:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
   I'm pleased that you approved--albeit with some reservations.

   on your first point, I wonder: are the Greek authorities worried about the strain (I actually first typed "stain"!) on the ability of the police to effectively fight real crime while hundreds or thousands of its force are dedicated to the violent assault of peaceful protesters?   Yes, I agree that it would be a shame if a person lost life or property because a hijacked fire truck was being used to douse the CS tear gas used 'wrongly, needlessly and brutally) against protesters.  But do we blame the protesters for that or the police?  If I'm violently assaulted and I defend myself using the only means at my disposal, and, in the process, a third-party is inadvertently injured, am I rightly blameable for this or is it rather the responsibility of the person(s) who assaulted me?

   Why don't the police and the government abusing their authority have to suffer from very, very bad press?

on your second point,

   "And dressing up like medical personnel is a war crime for a reason."

    There's a reason--or there used to be one--why wars are formally declared by governments: the laws of war then apply to the parties concerned.  In this case, the only war going on is the one being waged by the Greek government against its "own" people, the Greeks.  I don't recall that they declared that war either.  Instead, they simply started beating and shooting at people.

   Now, it may also be a criminal offense in common law to wear hospital garb --surgeon's apparel though I tend to think that what the law really says is that no one may falsely impersonate a medical doctor.  I don't see why that necessarily precludes wearing surgeon's scrubs to a street protest.  If asked, the protesters could say, "I'm not actually a surgeon, I just dress like one for street protests."  As George Costanza would say, "Is that wrong?"  And, as I would say, "Is it wrong-er than most of what the police and official government show no scrupple to abstain from doing?

   I recognize that telling lies is wrong, and so is stealing.  So, when the next Nazi-like regime tells you it's your responsibility under the law to report all those who fall into the category of being "X", do you dutifully report them or do you lie and do your utmost to protect them and at the same time your utmost to frustrate and defeat the objectives of the Nazi-like authorities?

   Everything the French (and other) resistance movements did against the Nazis in WWII was a crime, often punishable by death.  People deliberately broke those laws and they were both right and courageous to do so.

   Sometimes dressing up like a surgeon pales in terms of its terpitude when viewed in the context of the circumstances which may prompt one to do that.

   Brutal, law-breaking authorities hardly deserve the strict to-the-letter obedience of the public they are criminally and violently brutalizing.  When this undeclared war is over, I certainly hope some people face criminal charges for their actions.  ALmost all of them are in positions of authority.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 07:46:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on your first point, I wonder: are the Greek authorities worried about the strain (I actually first typed "stain"!) on the ability of the police to effectively fight real crime while hundreds or thousands of its force are dedicated to the violent assault of peaceful protesters?

They oughta be. But that's not the protesters' problem.

But do we blame the protesters for that or the police?

"We" blame the government for betraying its country, and the police for using excessive force.

But I fail to see the great moral advantage of giving the enemy cheap propaganda points.

Why don't the police and the government abusing their authority have to suffer from very, very bad press?

'Cuz the world ain't fair.

In this case, the only war going on is the one being waged by the Greek government against its "own" people, the Greeks.  I don't recall that they declared that war either.  Instead, they simply started beating and shooting at people.

But that is not the point. The reason you do not wear medic uniforms unless you are present in the role of medic is that you do not want the police to beat up your medics. Or if they do, you want to be sure that the video demonstrates conclusively that they were beating up your medics. Legality (or not) has nothing to do with it. It's a tactical consideration, not a moral nor a legal one.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 11:58:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
on your first point, I wonder: are the Greek authorities worried about the strain (I actually first typed "stain"!) on the ability of the police to effectively fight real crime while hundreds or thousands of its force are dedicated to the violent assault of peaceful protesters?

They oughta be. But that's not the protesters' problem.

Another problem is that police then know that they are relied on in that way in that situation, then they get to think that they have licence in other situations.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 07:39:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the state Greece is in, thinking forward to the ramifications of what's happened will leave them in paralysis in the present. Greece has reacted to the dictatorship by, ONE, making laws forbidding police from entering certain areas of the city (i.e. universities), and TWO, banning the criminal prosecution of ministers and political figures. This has led to lassitude in dealing with violent anarchist groups and also government corruption.

In retrospect, it seems like the former law was always guarding against days like the last few, while the get-out-of-jail-free card is curiously now employed AGAINST democracy. These are wild extremes for a democratic society.

This is one of the biggest reasons why European and Greek leaders need to stop and think about how they've polluted the body politic much worse than it has ever been since the days of the junta.

The only saving grace so far is that the Greek people are more united.

by Upstate NY on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 10:43:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I appreciate those critiques.  And, at the same time, I find your sound reasoning frustrating to have to accept.  

   The protesters have to weigh every act and gesture for all the ramifications, meanwhile, the authorities feel, rightly so, free to resort to any and every tactic, no matter how low, in seeking to impose their view on a mass public which opposes them.

 (protesters): We can't hijack a fire truck and use it to clean and clear the CS powder out of the air during protests, 'cause if we do, meanwhile, we put some innocent homeowner's life or property at risk---not to mention that the authorities wouldn't hesitate to commit arson in just such an instance just to discredit such a manoeuver by the protesters since they don't give a damn for either  lives or property other than their own.  

  To which you'd probably retort, "This is reality.  Rather than moan about it, accept it and deal with it and, above all, get on with it."

  (I pity people who have to try and argue against you.)

---------------------------

MORE THOUGHTS  DEFEATING CS (tear gases) USE:

    As long as the authorities can effectively use tear gas on peaceful protesters, they retain a decisive advantage.  

   To counter it, protesters are obliged to find and exploit its weak points.

 as we all know,

    The "gas" is applied by firing a projectile containing an irritant powder, dispersed by a compressed propellant gas.  To defeat it, the projectile must be quickly and effectively "smothered" somehow before it can disperse its contents into the open air.  To do this, one needs at a minimum

 1)  some protective gloves to ward off burns in handling the canister,

  2)  a place to isolate and contain the canister's gas and powder, preventing the spread--and which won't burn or melt in the process.

  So, for example, a protester needs gloves, a tin can (to hold the burning projectile) and a supply of medium size plastic garbage bags; the CS projectile goes into the tin can first and then immediately into the unfilled (uninflated) plastic bag, where the propellant is allowed to inflate the bag until its exhausted.  All of that has to be passed off to others ready to remove it from the area;  the can keeps the projectile from melting through the garbage bag--so it might need some minor (paper) insulation, too.  The point is to "catch and isolate" all or as many as possible of the CS canisters in the first seconds after they're fired.  They shouldn't be thrown back at police since that doesn't prevent the spread of the stuff.    This still leaves those damnable "spray gun" versions--seen in use in the photo in Talos's post above,

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2011/6/29/101124/561#116

 of Mazwoer, but that's another matter.

  Other possibilities are using sand (dry or moist)to douse/bury canisters where they lie in the street---this is less effective since the gas can seep through the sand unless lots of it is available (a problem of weight) and the police can kick the canisters out the sand liberating them again to disperse the CS powder.

   So, to isolate the CS, protesters must come prepared to somehow both catch and isolate the projectiles and them get them safely away from the area before the cops can stop them doing that.

  I think a combination of adequate cans and plastic bags and a pair of gloves can help toward that.  The availability is ready and costs are minimal.

   Any other devices which can vacuum up or otherwise contain the gas and powder could be helpful if not confiscated by the police.  In any case, the techniques must be easy, low tech and low cost and adaptable to changing circumstances.  

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Sun Jul 3rd, 2011 at 08:24:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no problem with moaning about tactical reality. I have a problem with disregarding it in your planning. 'Cuz then you lose, and I am a firm believer in winning.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2011 at 08:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Theres a famous statement from a  revolutionary on being told by an arresting officer that they'd been beaten "Yes but you have to win every time, whereas we only have to win once"

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2011 at 08:43:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  I'm not sure what "winning" is intended to mean in this context.  

  What, if anything, lasting and remaining was "won" from the welter of struggles through the 1960s to the early 1970s?  Nothing that I can point to.

  Instead, human nature remains mortal and ever subject to having to relearn the "lessons" of the past.  Fortunately, on the upside, it also implies that our errors aren't permanently fixed either--unless, of course, they amount to our own species-ending errors.

  So, either I don't understand what "we only have to win once" means or, if I understand it, it's a dangerously mistaken idea.  Whatever we "win" has to be preserved carefully and transmitted, or it will surely be lost.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Mon Jul 4th, 2011 at 12:18:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Olive oil on the streets at the protest densities we have witnessed is more likely to produce injuries among those protesting than among cops.

Protesters are so numerous that pulling cars into barricades is no problem and does not require a lift.

A great idea circulating in the Greek blogosphere is to use ink, paint, something like that and throw it at the police gas-masks. The policemen will then have to either take off the mask and suffocate along with their targets or be blinded.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 06:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that came out after the egyptian revolution succeeded mentioned the use of spray paint for this very purpose.
by wu ming on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 08:03:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paint ball guns allow the same effect from a distance.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 12:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but carrying a gun in a riot makes you a legitimate target for deadly force from the police.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 02:53:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then use paintballs in slingshots, such as those I saw in photos ceebs posted.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 08:58:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Comment Is Free: In Greece, the painful start of the first advanced-democracy revolution by Matina Stevis
I was born and raised in Athens. As a journalist on the ground yesterday, one of the country's darkest days in its post-junta history, I had to answer those questions. But I won't here: I write this as an Athenian, not a journalist.

...

I spoke to a young municipal policewoman in her late 20s on Stadiou Street, a big road leading to Syntagma. She warned me to not go to the square. She broke down in tears and asked: "What have we done to each other?"

...

I am certain that Syntagma is the locus of the first advanced-democracy revolution we have ever seen. It is amorphous, apolitical, ill-guided at times and unguided mostly. It is painful and destructive, as all revolutions have been, and it's only just beginning.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 12:27:57 PM EST
She is right. The current system will go down ugly, but,  truly, we, (all but the banksters and their allies), have only two alternatives:

* Continue to watch the current bankster led pillage of our societies -- right down to their deaths,

or

* Take down this evil system and insist on better government. This will require dealing with the baksters and their servants. They should be happy if they receive more mercy than they have shown.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 06:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 07:57:29 PM EST
A moving and hopeful piece, against the mood of the times, by a leading historian of modern Greece (and the Balkans)

NYT, Mark Mazower, "Democracy's Cradle, Rocking the World":

And now today, after the euphoria of the '90s has faded and a new modesty sets in among the Europeans, it falls again to Greece to challenge the mandarins of the European Union and to ask what lies ahead for the continent. The European Union was supposed to shore up a fragmented Europe, to consolidate its democratic potential and to transform the continent into a force capable of competing on the global stage. It is perhaps fitting that one of Europe's oldest and most democratic nation-states should be on the new front line, throwing all these achievements into question. For we are all small powers now, and once again Greece is in the forefront of the fight for the future.


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 08:00:17 PM EST
An amazing historian. His Salonika book was astonishing.
by Upstate NY on Thu Jun 30th, 2011 at 09:36:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

many cheered again a few months later when a young left-wing resistance fighter named Manolis Glezos climbed the Acropolis one night with a friend and pulled down a swastika flag that the Germans had recently unfurled. (Almost 70 years later, Mr. Glezos would be tear-gassed by the Greek police while protesting the austerity program.)


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaďs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 08:00:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tear-gassed at very close range

and manhandled:

He was 88 years old (that was last year)...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 05:30:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The guy is a lion!
by Upstate NY on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 08:59:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 08:26:15 AM EST
Uh-huh...

...and why isn't this on all the international news? Or that Nazi with an iron bar 'saved' by police?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 09:29:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A compendium of police rock-throwing on the 29th. In picture 3, the police officer is throwing rocks from above against protesters all of whom were non-violent, and trying to find shelter....

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 10:01:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a bit pathetic isn't it?

It's weird seeing pictures like this from somewhere I know pretty well.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 10:13:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Giorgos Avgeropoulos is a seasoned foreign correspondent whose 'Exandas' series of world documentaries (covering everything from Oaxaca protests to Greenland ice melts) are one of the few positively great things one can still see on Greek TV. He has had a few rather violent experiences with police forces and repression around the world. Yet he claims that yesterday's violence was uniquely brutal and deadly. (The translation leaves much to be desired but the testimony and the questions are worth the extra effort)

Flirting with death:

I have covered conflicts of protestors and police in various places around the world outside Greece, such as in Argentina, Italy, Bolivia, and Mexico. Especially in Mexico the police, as many know, are considered savage, untrained and corrupt. However, what I lived through and recorded along with my co-workers yesterday Wednesday 29/6 at Syntagma, surpasses all limits in savagery. The Greek police rightly, and by a wide margin, gets the prize for barbarity. A barbarity which has no relation to repression but which was a constant flirt with death.

It is a miracle that we did not mourn any dead. And Mr. Papoutsis [the Minister of "Citizen Protection"] should light a candle to the God he believes in, since it is only due to his good luck that he is not apologising today for any dead.



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 08:32:51 AM EST
They might not be apologizing if there had been any dead...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2011 at 07:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be an angry "See what you made me do!"

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 12:03:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it would be followed by a grim "and there's more where that came from." they're barely even putting up a pretense of a civil state anymore.
by wu ming on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 03:44:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The definition of foreign tyranny enforced by quizling elites and their agents.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 07:02:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does anything happen anywhere in the world without Netanyahu being involved? From Ha'aretz
Many of Netanyahu and Papandreou's talks in the past few months have revolved around the severe financial crisis Greece is currently suffering. Netanyahu recently decided to come to the aid of his newfound friend in a meeting of foreign ministers and European leaders, imploring them to provide Greece with financial aid.

"Netanyahu has become Greece's lobbyist to the European Union," an Israeli diplomat said.

In recent weeks, as efforts to stop the impending pro-Palestinian flotilla to Gaza came to a head, Netanyahu reaped the benefits of his investment in Israel-Greece ties and his gamble on the European country paid off.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 03:56:35 PM EST
Yes, and in an unprecedented move yesterday, the Greek government blocked the departure of the Ship to Gaza convoy on some technical grounds. This is a part of what losing sovereignty means.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 04:45:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece is relying on the diplomatic skills of Netanyahu?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 07:24:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, according to the Israeli minister.
by Upstate NY on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 09:04:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
w3ell he has to be using them somewhere.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2011 at 08:41:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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