Greece. The colonels are back, but this time they are wearing suits and are not part of the military, but members of the governing Nea Demokratia (New Democarcy, ND) party. The repressive laws and the way Greek cops crackdown on disidents reminds of the military regime in the 1960’s and 70’s. A few videos from the crackdown on protests in solidarity with Dimitris Koufontinas in Athens on March 5 and 6, 2021.
Greece: They say democracy was born here but all we see is fascism – Police attacks peaceful protest (March 5, 2021)
Athens, Greece: The images you see depict the death knell to what was once known as the fundamental human right to protest in Greece. A peaceful pre-gathering for a protest in solidarity with political prisoner Dimitris Koufontinas (on hunger strike since 8 January 2021) is suddenly surrounded by scores of greek riot cops, pushing people away.
Moments later -after the video ends- the riot police, along with police bikers and a water canon unleashed a brutal attack with flash-bang grenades, asphyxiating gas, beating up people with batons and pressured water.
The vast majority of the protests all over Greece during the last 6 weeks have been attacked, without even an excuse, as soon as people started to gather. Even a mention of Koufontinas name on Facebook and you get a ban or your FB page is taken down. This has even happened to politicians, lawyers, scholars and academics.
Greece: What do you call a regime where scenes like these take place? (Water cannon attack) (March 6, 2021)
You see protesters moving down a street holding a banner, followed by riot police and an armored police vehicle equipped with a water cannon. The protesters are peaceful, carrying just a banner, posing no threat to anyone or anything, obviously getting ready to disperse. Suddenly, there is an attack with the water cannon followed by an asphyxiating gas grenade. So what do you call a regime where scenes like this take place?
The banner is being held by lawyers, the protest is about a political prisoner who is on hunger strike for 58 days. His demand? Not to be treated as a political prisoner, after 19 years in prison. After 58 days without food and several without water, his death is imminent.
Harrowing images of a police junta imposed in Greece (Athens, Petralona) (March 6, 2021)
It’s a little bit after 9 on a Saturday, the night has fallen in a deserted city, where a curfew has already been imposed since 7 pm. You hear the sound of roaring motorcycles, like an army invading Petralona, a quiet neighbourhood of Athens. You are sure that something really serious has happened in order for all these armed cops on motorbikes to suddenly appear. But what you are really witnessing is a campaign a fear and terror by the greek government. All these armed cops are there to take down a banner that expresses solidarity to political prisoner, Dimitris Koufontinas, on a hunger strike for 58 days. All these armed cops have been sent there to spread fear amongst locals that are to express their solidarity.
But it’s not just that banner and the freedom of expression that is constantly being wounded lately in Greece. The vast majority of the protests all over Greece during the last 6 weeks have been attacked, without even an excuse, as soon as people started to gather. Even a mention of Koufontinas name on Facebook and you get a ban or your FB page is taken down. This has even happened to politicians, lawyers, scholars and academics. Widespread censorship, brutal police attacks and government propaganda through the mass media -acting like the government’s puppets- form a harrowing view of the current state of affairs in Greece.
The prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, angered by the fact that for 4 consecutive days thousands of people defied the reign of fear, censorship and terror imposed by the greek government on any protest or voice in solidarity to the simple demands of Dimitris Koufodinas, decided like any delusional head of a totalitarian regime would do, that protests in solidarity to Koufodinas should be attacked and dispersed, but that wasn’t enough. Any kind of a different opinion should be quelled, like the one expressed in the banner at Petralona of Athens.
Official fascism in Greece: Silencing every voice of dissent until only the government can be heard (March 6, 2021)
Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society. Fascism is the forcible arrest of someone, simply for opening up a banner in public, expressing the view that a political prisoner on hunger strike for 58 days should not die in the hands of the government, especially when the hunger striker’s only demand is not to be treated as a political prisoner. Fascism is the image of a woman carrying a banner being dragged by a dozen cops at a farmer’s market at Chalandri, Athens on Saturday 6 March 2021.