Libcom, 8 July 2009
The first mass antiracist protest march of the week, organised by anarchists, clash with strong riot police forces and a handful of collaborating nazis leading to long street battles around the coveted Agios Panteleimonas area.
On Tuesday 7/7 the first antiracist protest march of a week filled with marches against the government’s anti-immigration policy and its sponsoring of nazi vigilantes took place in Athens. The protest march was organised by anarchists and attended by 3000 people or around, taking the route from Omonoia square to the coveted square of Agios Panteleimonas where the police and its fascist collaborators have been running a pilot apartheid counterinsurgency programme since the beginning of the year. Fascists with the protection of the police and active contribution of retired army officers have unleashed a pogrom against immigrants in the area, beating and knifing anyone who dares visit the square, while even threatening the local priest for offering free food to the homeless. In a stunt to legalise their racist bigotry, the nazis have formed a ‘local committee’ with the bourgeois media giving their full support.
The protest march proceeded to the square of Agios Panteleimonas chanting antiracist and antifascist slogans like “Cops, TV, Neonazis – all the scum work together” and “The people don’t forget, they hang the fascists”. Upon reaching the square through a street too narrow for the size of the demo, the head of the march was attacked without the slightest provocation by riot police forces who were supposedly protecting the 30 ‘local committee’ members that had gathered in the square. These ‘patriotic citizens’ lost no time to deploy their usual tactic and launch an attack through police lines, with flares and even molotov cocktails. Unfortunately for the agents of the parastate, one of the molotov cocktails landed on the bald head of their attacking friends, leading the nazi to seek protection from the police which obliged.
After defending the protest march with use of stones and sticks, the protest march reversed, broke through police lines and proceeded to the Athens School of Economics where the battles continued late into the night with flaming barricades erected along Patision street.
At the same time another antiracist protest march against the government’s anti-immigration policy and support of the nazis took place in Salonica. The march which was attended by more than 1000 people ended with small damages against distinguished banks of the city. Earlier the same day a group called Antifascist Attack Cells took responsibility for an arson mechanism attack against the home of a leader of the neonazi party Golden Dawn who is serving as a policeman in Salonica.