Title: 513 anarchists arrested in Greece
Date: 1996
Source: Retrieved on 5th December 2021 from struggle.ws
Notes: Published in Workers Solidarity No. 47 — Spring 1996.

On November 18th this year after an overnight battle with police and fascist gangs on one side and Greek anarchists on the other riot police stormed Athens Polytechnic and arrested 513 of the 2000 mostly anarchist occupiers.

The occupation of the polytechnic is an annual demonstration to commemorate the massacre of students carried out there in 1973 by the brutal military junta which then ruled the country. The media attempted to portray the occupation as the work of a handful of teenage hooligans and went as far as using ‘live’ footage which was actually from riots last year. In actual fact of those arrested only 40 were under 18.

One eyewitness reported how

one man was caught by the police in the evening. He was brutally beaten up by 25 police officers. He was taken behind a police car and kicked on the head by high-rank police officers, he was already unconscious. He was then delivered to the hospital. Reporters’ videos’ of that scene were taken away by the police. Other reporters helped wipe the blood of the street.

In the course of the attack and defence of the building some 2.5 million dollars of damage was done to the building. Not surprisingly the anarchists were charged not only for this damage but also with ‘invading the Polytechnic’, and ‘destroying a national symbol’ by burning Greek flags. Over 100 have now been sentenced to jail terms of between 4 and 40 months. This is the latest of an apparent wave of repression directed at Greek anarchists which has included bizarre accusations like blaming them for the forest fire that swept a suburb of Athens this year.