This is going to be my last post on Athens, but I wanted to sum up a few things. Several people have expressed interest in going to see the political situation there for themselves and I’d really encourage anyone who wants to to do so.
Just as in the UK, in Athens there are different levels of police. Police that may be seen in UK include your ordinary copper, those dressed in protective clothing as may be seen at a high level demonstration, and riot police deployed in significant disturbances.
If Excharia is the stronghold of the Greek antagonistic movement, Ayios Panteleimonas a kilometre or so North, is the base of the fascists. Approaching the square it looks just like any other area of Athens with only half ripped down anti-fascist posters indicating that there may be something unusual about this area.
Waking up the morning after Mayday, my foot was absolute agony, so I decided to go and checkout the Greek healthcare system. The first place I was directed to was a lovely well decorated building, the receptionist spoke perfect English and a quiet calm surrounded the place.
The largest far left parliamentary party in Greece is the Communist Party - the KKE. Tensions run high on the left between the KKE and the anarchists. Both groups believe the other is police infiltrated and working contrary to the aims of the left.
Having had no sleep the night before, and a rather sore foot from marching, I retired rather early on Mayday, going back to the same hotel I had stayed in previously and immediately crashing out around 6pm. I woke up just after midnight, starving, and decided to go find somewhere open.
Socialist time in Athens is even more fluid than Scottish socialist time. Despite the call being made for 10.30, by 10.45 only a few hundred had gathered, and it was not until gone 12 that the march started properly assembling. Through that period small groups, each with large banners appeared, noisily coming down the …
Exarchia is the heart of the radical district in Athens. With the occupation on the corner and the polytechnic just down the road, its quite a little hub. For many years it has been the centre of the antagonistic movement of Greece and it was here that Alexis Grigoropoulous was murdered in 2008 sparking disturbances …
Athens is a really lovely city, small and self-contained, there isnt the same level of corporate chains that seem to be omnipresent in the UK. Little independent shops and cafes proliferate – although it is notable that there are a great many boarded up places.