Tag Archives: Riots

Athens Burning – More Than 100,000 Protesting Against Drastic Austerity Cuts

There are horrible riots in Athens right now with several buildings being set on fire. News reports say that already 80 people were injured in the riots! My dear co-author Antigoni just tweeted these awful pictures:

Photo: Antigoni
Photo: Antigoni

Also check out this video and this article:

Clashes erupted across the city center after more than 100,000 protesters marched to parliament to rally against drastic austerity cuts that will force firing in the civil service and slash the minimum wage.

Thick clouds of smoke and tear gas filled the air around parliament, as hundreds of rioters staged running battles with riot police and at least five buildings were in flames late Sunday.

The clashes broke out around 6 p.m. local time as tens of thousands of people, responding to calls from unions to protest the measures, streamed into Syntagma Square facing Parliament.

Peaceful protesters fled to adjacent streets as a group of around 100 anarchists threw bottles, rocks, pieces of marble and firebombs at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Police say an officer was injured by a flare shot at him from a gun. He was taken to hospital.

Read more…

Giving up your child to save her: a tale from Tunisia

Photo (c) Alexis Duclos/UNHCR

CHOUCHA CAMP, Tunisia, March 16 (UNHCR) – With smooth features and a calm way about him, Abdullah Omar, 25, comes across as someone accustomed to hard choices. But the decision to send his one-year-old daughter back to war-ravaged Somalia, because he could not afford to support her, was one of the hardest he and his wife Khadija have ever faced.

That was five months ago. “There is not a night that goes by when I don’t lie awake thinking about my baby and worrying about her,” Khadija told me here at the windswept Choucha transit camp just inside Tunisia.

For the young Somali couple it was the most challenging in a series of ordeals that they have endured in the four years since they fled Somalia – from a 10-day truck journey with people smugglers across the Sahara to serving time in detention and being hounded by racist thugs in Tripoli. Continue reading Giving up your child to save her: a tale from Tunisia

Is Anarchist Violence on the Rise in Europe?


No one was hurt when a powerful bomb tied to a stolen moped blew up Thursday morning outside a court building near central Athens. But beyond the material damage to nearby buildings and cars, the familiar images of fire, thick smoke and smashed shop windows were a reminder to Greeks of just how badly 2010 had gone. “Seeing those images makes you think, Jesus, this is just going to compound all the problems we already have,” says Ted Couloumbis, a professor emeritus of international relations at the University of Athens and vice president of a prominent Greek think-tank, ELIAMEP. “Tourists will stay away. Investors will be scared off. It’s the last thing we need right now.”

That’s no understatement. Weighed down by debt of some $400 billion, Greece narrowly avoided default earlier in the year by asking for nearly $150 billion in international loans. In exchange for the loans, which were granted by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in May, the Greek government applied drastic spending cuts, tax hikes and labor reforms to shrink the deficit. Those moves not only deepened the country’s recession, but it added fuel to growing grassroots anger and frustration.

Much of Europe is in a similarly tight and tense financial situation. Across the continent, anxiousness about slumping economies has sparked waves of public protest, some of them violent, a few even deadly. And, says the European Union police agency Europol, it appears to have fed a growing number of attacks by militant groups who identify themselves as anarchists or far-left rebels. Between 2008 — which saw the height of the global financial crisis — and 2009, Europol recorded a 43% increase in attacks by militant groups in the E.U., most of them in Italy, Spain and Greece. “There is anger because there is so much disillusionment, and there is always a small group of people who will take guns and explosives and elevate violence,” says Mary Bossis, a security expert at the University of Piraeus. “They want to hit what they perceive to be a weak state.”

In Greece, authorities are working to stop the trend. Police spokesman Thanassis Kokkalakis says a crackdown in 2010 has helped bring the number of domestic terrorist attacks involving bombs or shootings in the country from 23 in 2009 to 12 in 2010. He added that while no group has yet claimed responsibility for Thursday’s blast outside the Athens court building, counter-terrorism police are investigating the incident. “We are going to continue cracking down on the anti-establishment sources that feed this kind of terrorist activity,” he says. “These are just a few criminals. Greek society is against them.”

Continue at Time.com

Background: A Brief History of Anarchism: The European Tradition