At the request of the tottering Greek government, a delegation from Scotland Yard arrived in Athens on March 16, to help the Greek state in its efforts to suppress the continuing revolt that ignited when a fascist cop killed a teenager on 6 December last year.
On 18 March news emerged from Greece of the death whilst in custody of Katerina Goulioni. She was a prisoner in transit from the Greek mainland, by boat to a prison in Crete. She was also a renowned fighter for prisoners rights, and for freedom for all. The exact circumstances of her death remain unclear (no surprise there!), but other prisoners have already taken solidarity action. Last November, into December, Greece’s prisons came under sustained assault by an organised prisoners revolt, that saw over 50% of all prisoners on hungerstrike, and over 90% participating in some way, with extensive solidarity from supporters outside the prisons. With the ongoing Greek revolt it is difficult to get precise info on the current numbers of detainees and prisoners since last December, but there is some info in English here, and much more in Greek here.
Along with a collapsing economy, the revolt that began last December has left the conservative Greek government struggling to maintain control. Who better than British cops to help them then, when it comes to covering up deaths in custody and police brutality, police murder even. British police and judiciary are past masters at covering up their own mess, with the De Menzes case being the most recent. Remember the entirely innocent Brazilian, shot in the head 7 times at close range on a London tube by undercover cops? Despite the police being completely contradicted by numerous eyewitnesses, they got away with it once again. And the British state is numero uno when it comes to overt (CCTV etc) and covert surveillance, locking people up (pdf), and control of public order – from kettling up protests, to ASBO’s and city-wide dispersal orders. Already the Greek state has introduced a raft of new laws to clampdown on protests, that reminds many of a return to the days of the military government of the 1970’s.
However they face a serious challenge, as Greek people are presently numero uno when it comes to resisting the excesses of capital and the state. Nearly 4 months on, battles continue daily – from nurses strikes, occupations, pitched battles, migrant struggles, student protests and much more!
Here in Bristol, we have a rare opportunity to hear from eyewitnesses of these struggles, with 2 speakers due to talk at Kebele social centre on 27 March. As resistance to the police states of Europe, and the crisis of capitalism, threatens to spread across Europe, this event offers a gret moment to discuss in detail the events in Greece and lessons for here. Come along!