Student protesters pelted 20 police stations with rocks and bottles, overturned cars and blocked streets in central Athens again today. Police responded with tear gas as sporadic violence persisted amid Greece's worst rioting in decades. At least 70 people have been injured and about 100 arrested since Saturday, when the rioting broke out within hours of the police shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos. Hundreds of stores have been damaged or destroyed as gangs of masked youths and self-styled anarchists smashed windows with metal bars, looted stores and set up flaming street barricades in cities throughout Greece. Protests have spread beyond Greece's borders, with demonstrations in several European countries, including Italy, Spain and Denmark. Greek diplomatic missions have been vandalized in Istanbul and New York.
Greeks love protest and for the most part the population is sympathetic to criticism of the Conservative government. While much of the reporting is of young anarchists at the center of the trouble there's also significant support from working people over the country's financial straights. For the record, real anarchy is not about nihilism or the absence of rules, but rather an anti-authoritarianism based on mutual aid. A bit of a hippie pipe bomb dream to be sure but falling oil prices making molotov cocktails affordable again, the Greek kids are having their say. Unfortunately, this action will have little coherent message in the end as issues blur into spats of hair pulling and smoldering shops.
Democracy was born in Greece and it could very well die there. διατηρήστε την καλή πάλη