Greek embassy picket - Remembering Alexandros Grigoropoulos

A crowd of anarchists and activists picketed the Greek Embassy in Dublin on a cold winters evening whilst a young man who was killed by the state Special forces is buried in Greece.Greek Embassy Picket
9th December Dublin
WE DON’T FOGET WE DON’T BACK DOWN

A good crowd gathered at the top of Grafton street at about 5.15pm on the cold dark Tuesday evening in December. We moved off towards St. Stephens green, about 25 of us heading towards Lesson street and the Greek Embassy. We went against the flow of people escaping work and rushing towards the illuminated beacon of the shopping centre.

By the time we reached the embassy, we were greeted by the sight of three Gardaí who were standing on the top steps to protect the Greek States property. The Greek embassy are a particularly paranoid bunch and they always appear to seek the protection of the Guards when they hear wind of any picket or protest. They had also prepared for the demonstration by taking in their flag. Perhaps the cunning ambassador thought this trick could help them blend into the city landscape as just another gradiose Georgian house.

We unfurled the banners and started to let the local residents, (are there any on Pembroke lane that haven’t fled the country for winter) and passers by know why we were there.

He had the right to agitate,
MURDER in the Greek State.
Our Passion for Freedom is stronger than your prisons.
In Anger, In Grief in SOLIDARITY.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have leaflets, but I think that people very quickly became aware that this building was indeed the Greek Embassy.

Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15 year old student became the latest death in a long list of various State killings. He was killed in Athens, in the quarter known as Exarchia, which is known to be an anarchist and militant activist quarter. When the ‘special forces’ killed this young boy it has sparked off riots which quickly spread throughout the country. A General strike was called for the following day after our picket, and 10,000 marched on the Greek parliament. The usual portrayal by the state and the media is that this young man was in with a bad crowd, as if that in some way legitimizes the killing.

The repercussions of Alexandros’s death display that the Greek people are all too aware which side they are on when it comes to a battle between the state and young activists. Exarchia is an area of Athens which has organised itself against further developments on their green spaces. They have dealt with issues around drug pushers themselves. The area has battled the state when it’s needed too. That is why old ladies chuck potted plants on the Special forces when they enter there. The special forces are trained by the old guard, the military who were in power. They are not respected by the people, and neither is the government which mirrors our own with it’s corruption and inepititude. Don’t take my word for it, the guardian reported that people feel the system there “system that thrives on corruption, party political affiliations and patronage “ Does that sound familar? That is why Greece is in the grip of it’s greatest social upheaval in decades. As the banner on the picket stated, remember the dead, and with out picket were were doing that for young Grigoropoulos, was buried that day in Falrio that day. But we must fight like hell for the living, and that means taking on those liars and thieves who thrive in the current system.

After a certain amount of chanting, we took a break and a Greek comrade addressed the crowd which had swelled to about thirty or more cold souls on that footpath. He told us the background, the details of that area of Athens, the words about the campaigns and battles that they’d fought with the authorities, and the way the authorities dealt with people. Teh special forces are not liked by the Greek populace and after this killing it is easy to see why. State brutality is a fact of life or I should say death in all states, and we have our own cases here, like that of Terence Wheelock or the young Brian Rossieter whose inquest is ongoing. People need to remember the dead, and we need to challenge those who did it and make them accountable. Justice appears like a forlorn hope when dealing with state killings. Our Greek comrade went on to say that this is not an ‘isolated incident’ and that refugees were killed at the beginning of the year.

After a certain amount of chanting, we took a break and a Greek comrade addressed the crowd which had swelled to about thirty or more cold souls on that footpath. He told us the background, the details of that area of Athens, the words about the campaigns and battles that they’d fought with the authorities, and the way the authorities dealt with people. The special forces are not liked by the Greek populace and after this killing it is easy to see why. State brutality is a fact of life or I should say death in all states, and we have our own cases here, like that of Terence Wheelock or the young Brian Rossieter whose inquest is ongoing. People need to remember the dead, and we need to challenge those who did it and make them accountable. Justice appears like a forlorn hope when dealing with state killings. Our Greek comrade went on to say that this is not an ‘islolated incident’ and that refugees were killed at the beginning of the year.

After that we chanted a bit more, in Anger, in Gief and in Solidarity. As we broke up and went our separate ways, we didn’t expect justice, but we’d remember our dead. The Greek people are fighting right now to ensure that his death was not in vain, and that change comes from it. In this way the people of Greece are an example to us all. Don’t mourn, organise and fight for change.

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