From a Greece on fire,
Yesterday (28/10/11) was a national holiday, the 28th of October marks the anniversary of the Greek entrance to WWII or as it is widely known here the day of “NO” (OXI in Greek) because the dictator of the time (Metaxas) supposedly shouted a big NO to the ultimatum sent by Mussolini and thus the war between Italy and Greece started, which the Greeks won but were subsequently defeated and occupied by the Nazi Germany.
Greek is the only country to celebrate its entrance to WWII and not its end. These celebrations started in the year 1941 among the German occupation
from people feeling it important to commemorate the sacrifice of those who had died in the war, and has been celebrated ever since. Traditionally there
is a parade in every town on this day by students and in Thessaloniki, there is a big military parade in the wide avenue near the seaside.
For the first time ever, crowds took to the streets in all the cities where marches were made, and stopped these parades from happening by
shouting things like ‘traitors, thieves, go home’ (you must have heard the infamous deal they made for Greece whereby they are giving to the Greek debt a “haircut” of 50% which actually means a discount of 25 billion euros out of the announced 100 billion discount which is not true, but also a further new loan for another 130 billion euros!
The haircut EU leaders took so long to decide upon and ”save” us actually means that they will take away around 25 billion euros from the present 365 billion debt and add a further 130 to this of course with the added collateral of our national wealth.
Also, since yesterday, we are formally under foreign rules as the Troika is now here for good and to give you an idea of what this will mean for the citizens of the country, the first ever visit they made was not to the ministry of economics, or the ministry of development but to the ministry of inland security to talk about the change of priorities for the Frontex troops that until yesterday where destined to patrol our borders but who from now on have a new agenda: the people inside the country protesting for their right to freedom, food and health.
All over the country normal people showed their dislike, contempt and resentment for what is going on. School students taking part in the parades
were wearing black armbands and were averting their faces once they were passing next to the formal government officials attending the parades. In Athens, the entire music band of the municipality had black scarves hanging from their instruments as a sign of mourning, and stopped playing music when they were passing in front of the town-rulers -and were subsequently threatened with being fired if they didn’t take the black scarves off.
In Patra, the Greek Official Philharmonic Orchestra stopped to play the National hymn and started a popular revolutionnary song who generated a big emotion in the crowd.
In Thessaloniki the parade was to be witnessed by the President of the Greek Democracy, as stated by the protocol. People occupied the street shouting
and booing and demanded that the President steps down or leaves the place. He did leave after a while when it was clear that the people would not back down and so this is the first time in 71 years that the military parade was cancelled – or actually, it wasn’t cancelled as it did go on once the
”official” leaders went away. Of course, the media played this down in the news which read that ”a small group of politically manipulated people
acting in a fascist and undemocratic way managed to stop the proceedings of the celebration and to soil the celebrations for this important day in our
history”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Until now the people were showing their dislike to what is happening.
Yesterday they made a clear protest against the political system and its institutions that are failing to address the needs and wants of the people
and to protect them from a life of poverty and wretchedness.
The Greek people are demanding that the government steps down and that it takes all members of parliament with it! They do not represent us, they do not care about us, they are not part of the people!
People that has been lied to by the ”Crime Minister” George A. Papandreou, or GAP as we refer to him, just before the elections so that he
would win the elections, who had orchestrated our entrance to the IMF long before he was even elected and who subsequently made a Big Fortune out of speculating with Greek bonds and CDSs; who is the only ‘ruler’ in the entire history of this world to sign away a country’s national sovereignty
at a time of peace; people that is being ruled by fear from the government and its emissaries, the media, that constantly lie and mislead them hiding the
true situation and the alternative possible solutions that exist; people who has been protesting in massive numbers but its “democratic” government and the rest of the political parties supposedly representing it are not listening to its opinion at all, even though there are reports of children
fainting from malnutrition in the schools, and the fact that medical NGOs are already calling the centre of Athens a “crisis zone”; people that is being treated with the utmost violence from the police, who threw almost 3000 chemical bombs in the peaceful protests of June, chemicals that even the foreign journalists commented on being too strong, and who were not even respected inside the made-up medical corners by the riot policemen who unlike in any war-zone in the world dared to violate the sacredness of the injured and attacked throwing tear gas and chemical bombs to people suffering from respiratory problems or covered in blood inside the underground station’s surgery centre, to name but a few of the aspects of the reality in Greece today.
Finally an interesting thing happened today in a small town. In the city of Trikala a young man attacked one of them by hitting him on the back of the head, the police that were present immediately arrested the young man and put him in a police van and then is when the miracle happened ! The people present formed a strong circle around the van demanding that the young man be freed shouting that the traitors and thieves should be the ones going to jail, not him. And the police succumbed to the popular demand and let the man go, everything is possible if we stand united…
The people have risen and are creating solidarity, with hope for a better future, a better society, a better way of life. We are getting together, trying to create communal gardens, on balconies and roof tops to feed the people, people’s surgeries are being established from doctors and nurses with a conscience who work voluntarily, legal aid is provided by a few unmarred lawyers in the big cities; people are starting to unite, to exchange goods and services without the use of money and to get organised.
It is still very early but signs of such solidarity are starting to show.
Parade in Thessaloniki 28/10/2011
Parade in Thessaloniki 28/10/2011 (taking over the street)
Parade in Thessaloniki 28/10/2011
Parade in Thessaloniki 28/10/2011. In front of the stand for the officials.
Parade in Thessaloniki 28/10/2011. The parade is beginning.
Parade in Thessaloniki 28/10/2011. The parade goes on (1 of 2).
Parade in Thessaloniki 28/10/2011. The parade goes on (2 of 2).
Parade in Thessaloniki 28/10/2011. The police vans are leaving.
More video about the disruption of the National Day on October 28