While the international press looks the other way, unprecedented pro-democracy protests in Greece will be going into their 7th day tomorrow.
We keep repeating it, but it’s honestly unbelievable how little attention the international media are paying to something as huge as what’s happening in Spain and Greece right now.
Just yesterday, on the 5th day of a Spanish-style uprising, a record 100,000 Greeks marched on Parliament to protest against EU-IMF austerity measures and demand real democracy now.
Today, Syntagma square was packed again, for the 6th day in a row (watch live stream here), in what amounts to a truly unprecedented outburst of civic discontent for a country that has long hovered between the anti-authoritarian violence of a small ideologically-driven minority and the overwhelming passivity of the indifferent majority.
But after Spanish protesters camped out at Madrid’s Puerta del Sol poked fun at their Greek counterparts, telling people in the square to be quiet lest they wake up the Greeks, the people of Greece burst into action in a way so spectacular that it would even make the heroic Spaniards blush. While the international media looks the other way, Europe’s largest popular uprising since 1989 is unfolding in Athens right now.
As the English-language newspaper Ekathimerini reports:
Greece’s version of the ‘Indignant’ movement, protesting austerity measures and demanding that politicians are more in tune with citizens’ needs, has led to thousands of people protesting in front or Parliament in Athens, as well as in other cities, every day since Wednesday. Some have started camping out overnight as well.
Indignant Greeks also took to the streets of Thessaloníki, Patras and dozens of other cities throughout the country. Emulating the peaceful Spanish model, the movement has made ample use of social media resources and is now starting to experiment with direct democracy and horizontal structures of organization.
The videos above and below are from the first day of protests on May 25th, and the demonstrations have only grown larger since. Most incredibly, the movement is entirely non-violent and not as dogmatically and outspokenly ideological as the hardcore protesters we normally see in the international press (which only goes to show how selective the media is in choosing the images it provides us with).
By Jérôme E. Roos On May 30, 2011