Thursday 7 July 2011

The Indignants in Athens

People here are still trying to come to terms with what happened last week, e.g. the excessive deployment of 12,000 riot police during the two days when the vote on the government's midterm fiscal programme was taking place; the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of teargas and other chemicals against largely peaceful protesters; the firing of teargas into the main hallway of Syntagma Square metro station, where hundreds of peaceful demonstrators, wearing masks or holding clothing over their mouths and noses, had gathered to escape the suffocating atmosphere above. Questions are still being asked about the role of provocateurs following pictures shown on television of rioters with their faces covered, one of whom was carrying a crowbar, apparently in conversation with riot police before being allowed to pass a police line and approach Parliament.

Many are convinced that all of the above was intended to clear the square of the peaceful demonstrators, the Indignants, that have camped there and held protests this past month.

The numbers have reduced dramatically. There are still a lot of banners and placards around, and lots of people are still camping there.

More people join them in the evenings.

There was a large convoy of motorbikes last night

lots of people walk around, sit on pavements, listen to the bands that are there to entertain and to empower

but there is no question that people are afraid and most are staying away.

Unfortunately, 'the end of fear' did not last long...

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