Friday, January 15, 2010
On Jan. 9, at approximately 8 p.m. local time, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated outside the Greek parliament building, a popular tourist attraction, breaking windows but causing no deaths or injuries. Less than 20 minutes before the attack, an anonymous caller informed the Eleftherotypia newspaper that the device would be detonated, giving police time to clear the area.
The IED was placed under a garbage can near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is directly in front of the parliament building and under constant guard and video surveillance. Police have collected fragments of the device (likely made of cooking gas canisters, which are easy to obtain and the most common components used in such attacks in Greece) and are reviewing the surveillance video. So far, police have confirmed that a timer was found at the site and that a group calling itself the "Fire Conspiracy Cells" has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Over the past year, such bombings have been occurring more frequently against increasingly significant targets. In 2008, most of the attacks were against car dealerships, bank branches and diplomatic vehicles and were timed to avoid injuring people. In 2009 we saw the tactics intensify as police officers were targeted and killed and the target set shifted to include more strategically important sites such as the Greek Stock Exchange and National Insurance Company (the latter attacks were still preceded by phoned-in warnings). These varying and evolving tactics demonstrate a full spectrum of violence that the leftist and anarchist groups are capable of carrying out.
Consistent with the escalating campaign, the bombing in front of the parliament building was the most brazen attack in recent years. The area targeted is a very popular tourist attraction largely because of the ceremonial changing of the guard that takes place in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The device was planted just a few yards from a nearby guard post, which underscores the purely ceremonial role of the soldiers guarding the monument.
While the parliament was not convened at the time of the attack, events were going on inside, and Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos was scheduled to speak to reporters outside the building, near the site of the explosion at the approximate time the IED went off. Clearly, planting and detonating an explosive device in such a symbolic public area demonstrates the ability of leftist and anarchist groups to carry out their operations without police detection. And in order to deal with the escalating threat, the Greek government faces some difficult political decisions that could incite even more violence.
The uptick in attacks in 2009 can be attributed to the precarious political and economic situation in Greece. Because of Greek banking exposure to emerging markets in Central Europe and the country's reliance on tourism and shipping, Greece was hit particularly hard by the global economic crisis. Greece is set to have the highest government deficit (12.2 percent of gross domestic product [GDP]) and government debt (124.9 percent of GDP) in the eurozone in 2010. This puts the Greek government's ability to repay and service its debts in question, thereby damaging its credit rating and forcing the newly elected government to plan for austerity measures.
The European Union is pressuring Greece to enact severe budget cuts, and EU officials visited the country Jan. 6-8 to assess whether Athens is serious about lowering its deficit. The government is seriously considering rolling back social programs by raising the retirement age and has requested advice from the International Monetary Fund on how to reform its spending. The problem for Athens is that social angst is already at a high level due to the economic crisis, and a package of new taxes and social welfare cuts will only increase the tension. In notoriously volatile Greece, austerity measures will likely provide more reasons for people to turn to violence in order to express their disapproval of government policies and highlight the government's inability to manage the country.
Anarchists solidarity protest outside Korydallos prison, the main prison in Athens, at the time of the change of the year. This protest happens every New Year's Eve for the past six years. This year more than 400 people took part in the protest that interacted with the prisoners inside through shouting mutual slogans and fireworks. The main slogan was "The passion for freedom is stronger that your prisons".
A society that punishes/the condition of incarceration/the prison of the mind/the prison as punishment/the rage of the damned will sound on the ruins of prisons/those denying obedience and misery of our era even within its hellholes/will dance together on the ruins of every last prison/with the flame of rebellion avenging whatever creates prisons.
To the prisoners struggle already counting one dead and thousands in hunger strike across greece, we stand in solidarity and anger until the destruction of every last prison.
ARSON AND WILDFIRE FOR EVERY PRISON
SOLIDARITY TO ALL PRISONERS IN GREECE
VIDEO FROM THE COMRADES IN THE SUPERMARKET IN SALONIKI 15/6
About 30 anarchists with helmets and hoods went into the supermarketnear the university of Saloniki and destroyed the security system! They took the foodstuff from the shelves and also took the moneyfrom the cash desk and burnt it outside the supermarket!nobody arrested!!
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ANARCHIST REVOLUTIONARIES
AND TO ANARCHIST KOSTANDINA KARAKATSANI
(accused for being members of Conspiracy of cells of fire)
Solidarity to urban guerillas Kostas Gournas, Nikos Maziotis, Pola Roupa
and to anarchists, Christophoros Kortesis, Sarantos Nikitopoulos, Vaggelis Stathopoulos
that are prosecuted for the "Revolutionary Struggle" case
Comrade salutes to urban guerilla Dimitris Koufodinas
and the unrepentant of the "17th November" group.
Solidarity to the inprisoned anarchists Simos Seisidis, Giannis Dimitrakis,
Michal Pawlak (polish comrade that is inprisoned in koridallos prisons for the events on 6/12/09,
Polikarpos Gewrgiadis, Christos Stratigopoulos, Alfredo Bonnano, Ilias Nikolaou and Aris Seirinidis
HONOUR TO URBAN GUERILLA LAMBROS FOUNDAS
Against the state, prison, capital.