Many anarchists, particularly those of us in the U.S., often watch in amazement at the actions of our counterparts in Greece.  As the (only slight) exaggeration goes: every time there’s nothing good on TV or a traffic ticket gets issued somewhere, the Greek anarchists fire bomb something.  The country has seen a large up-tick in social and labor struggles of late, adding a level of tension to the major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki that is perhaps un-matched by others in Europe or the industrialized world.  Taboot, there is a long-standing feud that plays out everyday between young radicals and the police.

And so it goes: following the police shooting death of a 16 year old anarchist in Athens on Saturday night Greek cities have been torn apart, compared by many observers to a “war zone” and with no end in sight.  Though there are still more questions than answers, the officers involved have been charged with manslaughter.  The long history of police-anarchist fighting throughout Greece is more than I’m going to get into here, but given the degree with which radicals move around and conduct brazen attacks on police headquarters, government buildings, banks, and nearly any other target, it’ll be interesting to continue to watch what unfolds.  There is rapidly developing a perfect storm of radical youth actions along side social and labor militancy among the working class; if you don’t recall, such was the case in Paris in 1968 when the entire future of Europe was turned leftwards.

From CBS News:

Violence often breaks out during demonstrations in Greece between riot police and anarchists, who often attack what they consider symbols of capitalism, such as banks and up-market shops, as well as diplomatic vehicles and foreign car dealerships. Firebomb attacks are usually carried out late at night and rarely cause injuries. 

When chased by police, the anarchists often take refuge inside university buildings or campuses, where under Greek law police are not allowed to enter. Some believe the anarchist movement has its roots in the resistance to the military dictatorship which ruled Greece from 1967-74.

As for you riot-porn addicts out there, just have a gander at what a Greek radicals have brought within the past 24 hours:



UPDATE: Many commentators and observers are noting that the Greek anarchists have succeeded in tying their cause to that of the larger social struggle, essentially mimicking the revolutionary worker-student coalition that happened in Paris in 1968 in a way that hasn’t been seen since, well, Paris ’68.  The mainstream press in Europe has moved into “justification and explanation” mode, leaving behind surface level mentions of “anarchist street violence” in favor of in-depth coverage of the history of the movement in Greece and the conditions that have lead to the present situation.  Many mainstream media observers are predicting the current situation is likely to topple the government in Greece entirely and power moves are in the works to ensure that the necessary State players maintain at least enough control to carry-out elections if that happens.  At least 130 shops have been attacked and several police stations simply no longer exist.

Solidarity actions across Europe greeted the day today, with arrests in London and Germany (at the former, at least 5 people were arrested outside the Greek embassy as they burned the Greek flag; at the later, militants staged an occupation of the Greek consulate in Berlin and raised a red and black flag in place of the Greek one).