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A summary of anti-austerity demonstrations of 02/12/2012

From Occupied London:

There are various estimations about the number of the people concentrated on the streets and squares of the country. Athens had anything over 500,000 people on the streets, it is not easy to estimate it, but before the attack of the police every street leading to Syntagma and the square were packed, with thousands more coming from the neighbourhoods on foot or by buses and trains. Half an hour before the demo one could see the metro stations and the bus stops full of people waiting to get on a vehicle that would bring them to the centre. Every city saw rallies and mass marches, with Heraclion of Crete, a city that holds a record in the recent wave of suicides, having a 30,000-strong march. Demonstrations alla round the country turned violent, with people destroying banks or occupying governmental buildings, e.g. in Volos the branch of Eurobank, the Inland Revenue Offices and the town hall were torched or in Corfu people attacked to the offices of their region’s MPs, trashing them, the town hall of Rhodes was occupied during the demo and still is occupied, to mention but a few of such actions.

Police did several preemptive arrests in the morning hours before the start of the demonstration. Several activists were attacked by police officers in plain clothes and were detained as soon as they came out of their houses, while it was obvious since very early that police wanted to keep people away from the parliament. In there the new austerity package (an over 600-page document that was given to the MPs 24 hours in advance with the advice to vote for it before Monday morning when the stock markets will open) was being “discussed”. Early afternoon when the occupiers of Law School tried to march from the School to Syntagma the police attacked to them breaking the block, while they attempted to raid the School several times during the night, using also rubber bullets. Well before the arrival of most demonstrators who were still on their way, the police attacked en masse the crowd in Syntagma Square using physical violence, chemical gases and shock grenades. After the attack a big part of the demonstration was concentrated on Amalias st, Fillelinon st, Ermou st, Mitropoleos st and Karagiorgi Servias st. People battled with police for over 5 hours in their effort to return to Syntagma. Other people erected big barricades across Korai sq. on both Stadiou st and Panepistimiou st. and fought trying to reach Syntagma or defend themselves from police attacks. On Panepistimiou st. police concentrated much of its forces on the barricade in front of Athens University and people clashed head to head defending their barricade. DELTA motorcycle police raided several times the crowd, esp. in Mitropoleos street, MAT riot police did the same several times but also things went the other way around. Besides the barricades and the substantial groupings of people, demonstrators broke in various smaller groups that clashed with small groups of police or walked around searching for a barricade or to join a larger group.

After midnight the majority of the parliamentarians (199) voted for the new austerity memorandum that -among other measures- includes the drop of salaries by 22% and drops the minimum salary at about 400 Euro per month, while unemployment rate has been doubled (over 20% in Nov 2011) within 16 months.

74 demonstrators were arrested and over 50 people injured by the police were hospitalised, the number of detainees remains unknown.

Several banks, governmental buildings and two police departments (Acropolis and Exarchia depts.) were attacked by demonstrators during the night, while Athens city hall was occupied, but police concentrated forces invaded the building and arrested the occupiers. Over 40 buildings were burnt in Athens, while occupations of public buildings still are holding all around Greece. The Law School occupation issued a statement in early morning of 13/02/2012: “It was decided by the assembly of the Law School occupation that the occupation continues. We call everyone on the streets to continue the struggle. Nothing ended, everything now starts, the Law School is a centre of the struggle and as such it will remain”.



clashes during the general strike in oakland
11/03/2011, 9:39 PM
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How could this be anything other than the elaboration of civil war?



broken
03/28/2011, 4:55 PM
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escalating anti-government riots in Egypt
01/29/2011, 4:04 PM
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The lack of attention to the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt is embarrassing,  though it has been difficult to find much footage and reporting which isn’t an enormously reductive representation of the situation. Because of the language barrier it’s difficult for us to know, but wherever government buildings and tanks are burning we can assume that more is happening than a mere protest.

Thus far people have set fire to government buildings, a police station, the ruling party HQ and converge on state TV offices. Intense rioting has continued for the last couple days.

An analysis posted to libcom: Insurrection In North Africa: The Story So Far



Athens: Report from the General Strike demonstration
12/15/2010, 6:32 PM
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From Occupied London:

“More than 100,000 people marched in central Athens today against the freshly-voted labour relations law and the austerity measures imposed by the government and the EU/IMF/ECB troika. One of the most mass demonstrations the city has seen in recent times was met by brute police violence; the police, nevertheless, proven unable to quell peoples’ anger. A former conservative minister, Kostis Hatzidakis, made the unfortunate decision to be present at Stadiou Street at the time of the demonstration and felt the anger of the demonstrators, quickly leaving the scene injured. Street-fighting erupted across the city, which saw chaotic scenes for hours. Barricades were erected across Patision Avenue, which leads to the Polytechnic School; waves of demonstrators arriving at Syntagma square, outside Parliament, fiercely fought with the police. An – eventually unsuccessful – attempt by demonstrators to occupy the building of GSEE (the country’s mainstream trade union) saw people fighting off the notorious Delta motorcycle police and two of their bikes were set ablaze.”

Earlier in the day:

At 16:00 (GMT+2) protesters in Athens were clashing with riot police in front of the Polytechnic, while barricades have been erected all along Patision st. and the sourounding Exarcheia. Thousand of people refuse to leave the streets and the squares of the city -after the more than 100,000 strong march, they  are regroupinhg all around the centre and clash with the police for most of the day. The atmosphere smells of tear gas while rubbish bins are in flames everywhere downtown.

Earlier the ministry of finance was attacked by the strikers while big clashes took place in front of the parliament in Syntagma square where the police lines were scattered under a rain of molotov cocktails at  about 13:30 (GMT+2). Police threw gas bombs on the main body of the demo, but the march continued with loud chanting, police attacked the demontsrators in front of the Athens University and Sina st.

A few thousands of strikers attempted to occupy the HQ of the national trade unions (GSEE). GSEE executives are controlled by the governing PASOK party and in practice support  the governmental measures while they have refused to represent the workers in any effective way. Strong police forces protected GSEE offices by the strikers, after clashes, the strikers returned towards Omonoia from 3rd Septmeber st.

Earlier the former minister Hastzidakis was seen near the parliament and was beatten up by strikers…

Back to the streets… and more news will follow”

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2010/12/15/450-report-from-general-strike-demonstration-athens-16-12-2010/



pictures from anti-austerity measure riots in London

More here

And here

According to the New York Times:

“LONDON — Britain’s coalition government survived the most serious challenge yet to its austerity plans on Thursday when Parliament narrowly approved a sharp increase in college fees. But violent student protests in central London, including an attack on a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, to the theater, provided a stark measure of growing public resistance.

The 62-year-old heir to the British throne and his 63-year-old wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, were said by palace officials to have been unharmed in the attack, which occurred when a group of about 50 protesters, some in full-face balaclavas and shouting “Tory scum!” and “It’s your government!” broke through a cordon of police officers on motorcycles while approaching London’s theater district in slow-speed traffic.

A photograph of the couple, in formal evening dress, showed them registering shock as protesters beat on the side of their armored, chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce with sticks and bottles, smashing a side window, denting a rear panel and splashing the car with white paint. A Jaguar tailing the car and carrying a palace security detail was so battered that the police ended up using its doors as shields.

Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack on the royal couple’s car “shocking and regrettable.”

Other violence across the city center continued into the night, with demonstrators trying to smash their way into the Treasury building at the heart of the Whitehall government district with makeshift rams made from steel crowd barriers, shouting “We want our money back!” The protesters set small fires and clashed with riot police officers and mounted units that formed cordons outside government buildings. BBC reporters at the scene wore helmets as the rioters threw shattered blocks of steel-reinforced concrete.

Scotland Yard said at mid-evening that at least 12 police officers were injured, six of them seriously, including one who was taken unconscious to the hospital after falling or being pulled off his horse. At that point, one large fire was still burning in front of the Palace of Westminster, seat of the House of Commons. At the height of the unrest, rioters threw snooker balls, lighted flares and fireworks at the police, and tried to topple statues in Westminster Square, across from the Commons. At least 43 were arrested.”



fires, strikes and rioting in France
10/18/2010, 11:46 PM
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