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The current upheaval in Greece continues its unstable and fluctuating nature and while all eyes are on the next step, this report looks to convey in a discreet, convenient and beautiful way what concerns the restless population of Greece.
Is this possible? Maybe not simply because the truth, most of the times, is not discreet, convenient and beautiful. So, what’s going on outside of the Greek parliament in Athens, and in many other Greek cities these days? The answer is simple yet meaningful. This is going on: one of the biggest protests of the last decades of modern Hellenic history.
Let’s take it from the beginning. It obviously been a long time since the economy, as well as the political and social life of Greece, has been taken advantage off and ruined by the interests of Greek and foreign governments, multinational corporations and of course the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the relevant support mechanisms.
This situation asphyxiated the people, figuratively. They saw themselves as qualified yet were incapable of getting a job. Some lost their jobs and others worked more hours for less salary, their pensions to be reduced tremendously while the daily cost of living was to grow rapidly. In addition the country these people live and the public wealth, has been literally sold out. On the other hand, as usually happens in such cases, corrupted politicians and the upper-class earn more and more.
Citizens from every corner of Greece felt the need to rise up and protest for their rights. They decided via social media to make a huge gathering, in which political parties and violence would be absolutely unwelcome. And so it happened, with a massive participation of people of all ages, occupation, and social class.
They decide to call their selves in Greek “οι ΑΓΑΝΑΚΤΙΣΜΕΝΟΙ”, in which is loosely translated to “the people who feel indignation” in English. With this name, they wanted to express their feelings about the situation they are experiencing. It started as you might expect at the center of Athens, the capital of Greece as well as Thessaloniki, the second largest city, on May 25, 2011.
This spontaneous, peaceful and independent movement of the people, made such a hopeful impression that from May 25 until today, the center of Athens is closed because the protest is repeating over and over, each day. Many people, most of them young, actually live there in tents so that the area can be constantly crowded.
From the afternoon until late into the night there music plays and a microphone is available for the public to voice their opinions. Also vendors of every kind, especially food, settled there to make the life of those who took up residence easier. The protest did not stop in Athens but it spread in many other cities of Greece.
The people who participate in the protest are friendly, helpful and willing to inform passersby about the country’s situation. I know because I was there with them. Their greatest motto is “Real and Immediate Democracy NOW.” There are, however, many more slogans like “Thieves” regarding of course the politicians, “We do not owe, we do not sell, and we do not pay.” Insulting slogans could not be missed targeting the prime minister of Greece George Papandreou, the banks and the IMF.
The goal is to bring about a fair and equal society, in which the people can expressed loud and free, and most of all, their needs and demands can become reality. The people of Greece grew tired of being cheated and ignored, and finally they started to resist in an undefeatable way: massively and peacefully.
The truth is that these Greek citizens may feel indignation, but, above all, they are aware of the situation the country got into. Finally, people can see the government’s game behind their backs and therefore rise up. Day by day, more citizens realize that this artificial economic crisis was carefully planned to satisfy specific interests – not theirs. Greeks refuse to be victims anymore.
This is an inside information i can give about this Greek protests: this protest has shook the Greek government, leaving the country’s leaders frightened for the first time. That is the reason the government had to find a way to prevent the people from gathering and protesting. The problem is that since the protestors are not using any kind of violence, the police forces are incapable to stop them.
So, the government created a reason to let the police use violence and break the protests: using a small amount of people, most likely undercover policemen to penetrate into the other peaceful protestors and cause trouble by throwing rocks or molotov cocktails against the police, or setting things on fire.
The Greek government has used this tactic in similar cases in the past. The protestors try to push this small group of people wearing hoods or helmets to hide their faces away, but since the protestors are unarmed and the others are not, the protestors can’t handle it in most of the cases.
The media, which is more or less controlled by people with the same interests as the government, shows pictures of violence and destruction from the protests to the viewers in order to scare them and prevent them from protesting. Imagine sitting on your sofa, watching images of police officers hitting innocent people on TV.
They are surrounded by huge clouds of fumigants, chemicals and fire. Would you feel compelled to go there? Media play this key-role and I am personally angered by the image being transformed and relayed in both national and foreign media.
I decided to write this article to express my opinion (and I hope the opinion of many others of my fellow countrymen), my intention is to help others to understand what is happening, not only in our country but worldwide. Do not always believe what you hear on the news – stay vigilant on checking up on information. The truth is not always that simple.