Archive for the ‘greece’ Tag

US suspends munitions delivery to Israel

US suspends munitions delivery to Israel

The Pentagon has suspended the delivery of a shipload of munitions to Israel after international concern that it could be used by Israeli forces in Gaza.

The German-owned cargo vessel, Wehr Elbe, under charter by the US Military Sea­lift Command, is currently in Greek waters with its transponder tracking turned off to prevent its location being identified.

Amnesty International has written to the foreign secretary, David Miliband, asking him to make “urgent approaches to the US, German and Greek governments to prevent this, or any pending or future shipments of weaponry until it can be verified that they will not be transferred to the Israeli Defence Forces or other parties to the conflict in Gaza.

“We urge you to ensure that no EU member state will allow their ports or other facilities to be used to transit these or any other weapons to any of the parties to this conflict.”

The Wehr Elbe, owned by the Hamburg company Oskar Wehr, arrived outside the Greek port of Astakos on 1 January, where it was due to transfer its 1,000 containers to another vessel for delivery to Ashdod in Israel.

But after a two week stand-off, amid local protests in Greece, it moved out into the Mediterranean two days ago and disappeared off tracking websites.

International Electronic Civil Disobedience in Solidarity with Greek Anarchists

International Electronic Civil Disobedience in Solidarity with Greek Anarchists

Hackers Against Oppression have called for Electronic Civil Disobedience in Solidarity with Greek Anarchists on Wednesday Dec 31, the final day of December. December is the month in which Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old Anarchist, was murdered in cold blood by Greek Police. It is also the month that will forever be remembered by all those who struggle. Minutes after his murder, thousands of Greek residents took to the streets as did thousands around the world. Even liberal groups have called for the resignation of the Greek government. The streets were taken back for the people, police buildings were firebombed, and banks were turned into empty charred-out boxes. This entire time, the Greek government has been fighting and oppressing people with guns, tear gas, and the media. It’s time that we take them down.

We will be attacking the websites of the Greek Police and the Prime Minister. They are directly responsible and we will directly respond. They will no longer be able to spread their lies to the media about what is going on in the streets. You can either load the file on the day of the action or download it ahead of time. We suggest downloading it ahead of time in the event that our site get shut down.

20th December: Solidarity with the Greek revolt

This Saturday saw actions taking place around the world in solidarity with the revolt in Greece.

Rallies and other actions took place in Istanbul and London. In Hamburg ten demonstrators were arrested during a protest in solidarity with the movement in Greece. A march was held in Luxembourg.

Meanwhile in the US, Oklahoma, Denver, Iowa and North Carolina all saw banner drops, while Toledo, Ohio, Modesto, California, Portland, Oregon, Rochester, New York, and Boston, Mass. saw marches and rallies.

Rioters of the world unite

Rioters of the world unite

EVERY scholar of 20th-century history can tell you about the Communist International—usually called Comintern, and strictly speaking the third in a series of four global fraternities whose aim was to pursue the class struggle all over the world.

Is it possible to imagine an Anarchist International, a trans-national version of the inchoate but impassioned demonstrations that have ravaged Greece this month? (Perhaps because it is easier to say what Greece’s malcontents are against than what they are for, the word “anarchist” is an accepted catch-all term for the anti-establishment rebels who form the hard core of the Athenian protesters.)

By definition, anarchy is harder to propagate than rigid Leninism. Whatever is spreading from Athens, it is not a clear programme for a better world. The malcontents of Greece include ideological class warriors, nostalgists for the protests against the junta of 1967-74 and people (including drug dealers and bank robbers) with a grudge against the police. Relations between police and the counter-culture have worsened recently; the police are accused (rightly) of bullying migrants, the bohemians of dallying with terrorism. A messy scene, with no obvious message.

But the psychological impulse behind the Greek protests—a sense of rage against all authority, which came to a head after a 15-year-old boy was killed by a police bullet—can now be transmitted almost instantaneously, in ways that would make the Bolsheviks very jealous. These days, images (moving as well as still) spread faster than words; and images, of course, transcend language barriers.

Of particular interest:

The spread of sympathy protests over what began as a local Greek issue has big implications for the more formal anti-globalisation movement. That movement has ignored the idea of spontaneous but networked protest, and instead focused on taking large crowds to set-piece events like summits. Such methods look outdated now. Governments are not the only things that networked “anarchy” threatens.

Sarkozy defends climbdown on education reform

Sarkozy defends climbdown on education reform

STRASBOURG – French President Nicolas Sarkozy defended on Tuesday the decision to backtrack on education reform in the face of student protests that raised fears of Greek-style social unrest.

The decision to put the overhaul of high school curriculum on hold for a year was seen as the government’s first major retreat from reform since Sarkozy took office in May 2007 on a platform of sweeping change.

“I support high school reform and it will happen, but we need to take the time to listen and to consult,” Sarkozy told a news conference in Strasbourg following an address to the European Parliament there.

Protests over education reform turned violent last week, with students clashing with police in Brest, Rennes and Lille, all cities in northern France that have fallen on hard economic times.

“When you see people confront each other with such violence, when you see the pillage, when you see what we have seen in a country like Greece, obviously it makes us think twice,” said Sarkozy.

But he added: “If I had to accelerate or halt reforms every time there was social trouble in one of the 27 countries of the European Union, I would not be doing much”.

Police to investigate Greek embassy incident

Police to investigate Greek embassy incident

The NUJ has welcomed a commitment by the Metropolitan police to investigate an incident on Monday in which journalists were obstructed in their work.

Journalists have complained about their treatment whilst covering a demonstration outside the Greek embassy on Monday.

Press Gazette has now reported that the police are set to investigate the conduct of one officer who was caught on camera obstructing journalists in their work.

According to the Press Gazette website the Metropolitan Police has committed to investigate the conduct of the officer featured in the above video clip.

Responding to news of the investigation, NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff said: “We welcome the police’s rapid response to this incident and hope it indicates a change in attitude by the police in dealing with complaints from the media.

“Police officers must understand that they have a responsibility to the press and cannot obstruct journalists in their lawful work. A signal from the top is needed to show that the this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

“We wait with interest to see the result of the inquiry and offer our full cooperation on the investigation.”

A video of the incident is in the article itself.

The NUJ recently released a short film entitled Press Freedom: Collateral Damage which examined restrictions placed on journalists covering protests in the UK, and also showed the work of the Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT).

Solidarity in London

This weekend saw solidarity actions take place in London for anarchists in trouble at home and abroad.

First was the Whitechapel solidarity. Anarchists, anti-fur protestors and local traders have been facing increasing hassle from the police. In response sympathisers converged on Whitechapel:

The full range of police units seemed to be out around Brick Lane on Sunday – and even at least one man who works for MI6 was claimed to have been spotted watching from a distance and making a phone call – but he may just have been out doing his Christmas shopping.

Members of Whitechapel Anarchist Group were harassed by police while distributing their newsletter last Sunday and had put out a call for support, and around 20 people turned up to stand around on the rather cold street near the bagel shops. This week the police were there again, but mainly stood back and watched from across the road, a police officer taking pictures of all who were there with a very long lens.

Many of those walking along Brick Lane seemed interested in the WAG newsletter and took a copy from the dozen or so people handing them out.

The police group with the photographer moved across the road and stood on the corner of Brick Lane. Apparently one young man, urged on by his friends, went and stood in front of the officer taking pictures, and was hauled off a few yards down Bethnal Green Road. I followed and took pictures keeping out of the way as the police questioned him and several of the anarchists questioned the police over their action while others took pictures of them from a closer range.

After a few minutes the young man was marched across the road and taken away in a waiting police van.

Later in Dalston, anarchists protested in solidarity with the current revolt in Greece:

It was in some way appropriate that a demonstration in support of Greek anarchists provoked by the Athens police killing a 15 year old youth should end up with a stand-off between demonstrators and police.

When I arrived at Dalston Kingsland around 2.30pm there were already around 50 demonstrators there, mainly those connected with Greek students and workers, but also some anarchists with several banners. They were rather outnumbered by police and community support workers and were simply waiting for the march to start, causing no problems, not even obstructing the pavement or the access to the Overground station.

Had the march been allowed to start, they and the other couple of hundred who turned up would probably have caused little trouble, other than a relatively small amount of disruption to traffic as they made their way along to the peace mural. After possibly a few speeches and rather a lot of chanting and shouting, everyone would probably have dispersed without further trouble and we would all have been on our way home before it got dark.

What completely changed the course of events was a decision by the police present to take action against people wearing scarves across their faces. This is of course a part of the anarchist ‘uniform’, and it does frustrate the police in their attempts to keep photographic tabs on all demonstrators (that database again.)

Section 60(4A) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, Act gives the police powers to require the removal of face coverings that an officer is satisfied is worn wholly or mainly to conceal identity, provided that an officer of or above the rank of inspector has given an authorisation for such action within a given area for a period of up to 24 hours.

Assuming that the police were following the law, the decision to take such action was made in advance. But although such powers were available it surely made no sense to use them before any trouble had occurred, when doing so was almost bound to provoke it.

14th December: Anarchist solidarity in London

The Whitechapel Anarchist group has called a demonstration against police harassment of anarchists, activists and local traders in the Whitechapel area:

Handing out the paper on the 7th we were also faced with questioning, threats and physical confrontation from the Police but thankfully, due to the support of local traders, and the fact the cops were making our paper more popular, they decided to keep their distance while taking photographs. The reason behind this harassment was due to handing out a free local paper…

After handing out our free sheet at 1pm, the regular picket of fur shops on the Lane started at 2pm, at which several WAG members were present. This continuous campaign has faced increasing police repression and rose to new heights on Sunday and a member of WAG was a legal observer. The picket was violently rounded up by the Police Officers who took name and address details of people, and made a number of arrests.

Most worringly the legal observer was arrested and has been also charged for possession of illegal substances. These claims are without foundation. At the moment we cannot go into details but it is a disturbing sign of further harassment.

We are doing a London-wide call out for the SUNDAY 14TH DECEMBER for all people to come and support the Whitechapel Anarchist Group, the local market traders and the anti-fur demonstrators against this worrying systematic police bullying. We will be handing out papers on Brick Lane, Bethnal Green Road end, from 12pm. Please come along. Show your support and solidarity against this repressive behaviour. It is important to nip this sort of police oppression in the bud.

Later the same day, a demonstration has been called in solidarity with the protests in Greece.

Everywhere police repression, harassment, evictions, beatings and killings are the everyday terror of state control. The movement against repression and control is gaining momentum. We call to take this movement to the streets.

On the 14th of December we call for a demonstration at 14:30 at Dalston (Dalston Lane) Peace Mural, Hackney, London.
Ways to get there: From Liverpool Street Station bus 149
By train to Dalston Kingsland Station.
From Central London Buses: 38, 73, 30, 67, 243.

Friday: Greece updates

Further actions have taken place in solidarity with the uprising in Greece, including:

Newcastle (banner drop, leafletting)

Edinburgh (demonstration of 200 people)

New York (picket and vandalism of Greek consulate)

Cardiff (vandalism of a police station)

In Greece itself, protests took place in Patras against joint police-fascist violence against demonstrators, while protests, attacks and occupations continue around the country. Reports have surfaced that the police have run out of tear gas.

An detailed analysis of the situation can be found here.

For more information:

Greece: solidarity actions spread

Further actions have taken place in solidarity with the uprising in Greece, including:

Stockholm: picket of Greek embassy.

Spain: demonstrations and actions in eight cities.

New York: graffiti and vandalism targetted at Greek consulate.

Meanwhile, allegations have surfaced that the police officer who shot 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos, the event which provided a trigger for the unrest, was a known neo-Nazi.

School and university students have carried out protests and occupations around the country. Riots continue, while workers return to their jobs following yesterday’s general strike which “standstill.”