Tuesday 24 March 2015


This is not a good photograph, because we were waiting for the bus, laden with shopping, so I could not get near enough, but it's a photograph of a small contingent of mainly gay protesters who are getting ready to walk towards Omonoia Square to join the anti-racist demonstration that took place in Athens on Saturday.

Three hours before that we had seen a group of a few people staging an anti-racist protest outside the Parliament building.

'Active, non-violent resistance is the only way' reads this poster.

Further down in Syntagma we also saw the stalls for the rally being set up in preparation for the arrival of the demonstration from Omonoia Square.

So, why am I posting this photograph? Because when we saw the assembled people what hit us immediately was that there was just one policeman, unarmed, who was trying to keep people from spilling onto the road. Was this really happening in Athens?

Compared this to the situation two years ago:

Nine school children, average age 14, who had sat down in the middle of Vasilisis Sofias Avenue, protesting. Two police buses closing the road, eleven police with riot shields guarding the city against this dangerous enemy. More police on the pavements behind the two police buses in case reinforcements were needed. (You can see this story here )

or this (taken from here )

or this (taken from here - with Loukanikos, the protester dog in pride of place)

During that visit to the centre in Athens, I wrote how:

'On our way to the bus stop I stopped to take this photograph of the police outside the National Gardens. One policeman came up to me and threatened me telling me not to take any photographs. He had a riot shield, a gun, a truncheon, handcuffs, a tear gas cannister - and this is only what I could see. So I decided not to argue....'

The atmosphere in the city is completely different now. Regardless of what happens with the talks with the Troika and the European Union, there is a lightness in the air, a sigh of relief, the hope of a new beginning.... I hope so.


  1. Seems really positive. I love the protesting 'hot dog'!

    1. I worry about the wider political issues, Olga, but yes, the atmosphere is totally different - very positive. As for Loukanikos he's a legend: always sided with the demonstrators and barked at the riot police.