Το αναρχικό κίνημα στην Ελλάδα
από Σάκης 27/03/2002 12:41 πμ.
Άρθρο που έστειλε κάποιος έλληνας αναρχικός για το ελληνικό αναρχικό κίνημα, δημοσιεύτηκε στην αμερικάνικη αναρχική ιστοσελίδα www.infoshop.org. Έχει μια ιστορική αναδρομή και αρκετό χώσιμο...
Το άρθρο είναι στο http://www.infoshop.org/inews/stories.php?story=02/03/26/6395646
Greek Anarchist Movement
posted by oportouna on Tuesday March 26 2002 @ 04:39AM PST
(Last week the greek anarchist movement was a mentioned a lot of times along the spanish one. I really didn't know that it is the "paradise" for insurrectionists in Spain, so I give here my personal account of the movement in order to clear up the things. Any corrections from Greek comrades welcome. Sorry for my poor english).
The greek anarchist movement really started during the junta (1967-1974). In the end of the 19th century and the start of 20th there have been anarchist and anarchosyndicalist affinity groups in Patra and Athens and other main cities, who manage to exist until 1918, were they were the minority in first trade union confederation (GSEE) conference fighting for the autonomy of workers movement from any political party. The workers in tabacco and other industries were anarchists but the "light" of Russian Revolution nearly ended every anarchist action in Greece, and the communist left was for about 50 years the only left current in Greece.
The first greek anarchists after war (1973) were among the main actors in student movement against junta. The greek movement really started here and it carried both the ads and pros of this. Greek anarchists in the light of May of '68 and the italian movement opposed anarchosyndicalism in favour of direct class war. Their influences were the classics (Bakunin, Kropotkin) but also Situationiste Internationale, Panekouk and autonomist marxism.
The greek anachist and autonomist movement got really strong in late '70s, when people from ultra-left parties (who were strong in mid-'70s) got sick of the party lines and find themselves in the side of automists and anarchists. The student movement of 1978-1979 was influenced very much from anarchism and autonomia and on these years fightings in the streets made by citizens, workers, students etc. was a common situation. In order to save the situation for themselves, the greek (stalinist) communist party (KKE) started the "great war against leftism" using gangs (KNAT- Communist Youth Against Riots is a rough translation) to hit anarchist and automist demonstrators. This situation hasn't changed 'til now, and there exists a strong hate between anarchists and stalinist communists.
The first wave of greek anarchists got dissapointed, and the great majority of them left the movement slowly, when the first socialist goverment was established in 1980 and with the alliance from the communist party almost ended the social war of the '70s. But a new wave of young anarchists even more angry than the first one were to be found in the mid-80's. When no real opposition to social peace existed in any movement, the anarchists made the life of statists really difficult in the years 1985-1986 when almost daily demos and clashes shook the establisment. Mixalis Kaltezas and Xristos Tsoutsouvis were the two dead anarchists of this period and their killings made Athens and Thessaloniki to be burned. The killing of a cop in Thessaloniki and the occupation of Chemisty University in Athens made the opression against anarchists almost unbearable, but a real anarchist resistance existed, managed to make even 10.000 strong demonstrations in Athens. The attack of a 4.000 anarchist demonstration on a hotel hosting a neo-fasist conference (among them was the far-right "star" Lepen) was also a peak in anarchist movement of '80s.
This generation was faded slowly, and a new wave of anarchists came in the heat of '91 high school student uprising. The '91 student movement was the most radical movement even to be shown in Greece, carrying about 1500 wild strike school occupations and demonstrations of hundred thousands. The killing of an ultra-left teacher (Nikos Temponeras) from fascist gangs made up by the ruling right-wing party, made an almost general insurregency in all main Greek towns, with a 25.000 (in a population of 100.000) strong demonstration in Patra were Temponeras was killed burning the police station and the town hall. The same day in Athens 4 people were killed by the police, in a middle of an almost uncontrolable situation. The civil unrest stopped only when the minister of education resigned. The role of anarchists both in student organizing and radicalizing the movement was a catalyst.
The anarchist movement of '90s had faced the complete disaster in the anarchist occupation of Polytechnic University in 1995. About 3.000 people occupied Polytechnic but for the first time until junta the police got in and arrested finally 501 anarchists (all occupiers that were left in Polytechnic). The role of the media was a catalyst, ordering the police to arrest and hit "these hoolligans, the known-unknown thugs"(the common name of anarchists for media in mid-90s). But instead of strengthing the anarchist movement, as oppression did before, it really made it apart. The insurrectionist papers told about "a great occupation that is similar to this one against military junta of 1973" but the common people of Greece really disliked anarchist movement from this situation, and this was a result both of the "independent" private media propaganda (who did'n exist in '80s so they couldn't play their role) and the serious anarchist mistakes (the almost complete destruction of Polytechnic, even if part of that was made during the clashes with police).
Another generation was lost and for about 5 years anarchist activity was on its lowest ever peak, even failing influencing their main power, the high school movement, who ended defeated in 1998, guided by Communist Party. For 5 years even the presence of an anarchist block in the 17th November demonstration against american backing of junta in Athens, the greatest yearly demonstration in Greece couldn't be achieved.
For a first time in 5 years a 800+ participants strong anarchist block made its presence visible in front of all people of Greece attacking the riot police protecting the american embassy in 17th November 2001 demonstration in Athens. A common demonstration organized by all anarchists in Athens in January 2002 was the first after many years of depression, internal fights and lack of self-confidence for the anarchist movement. The signs are positive but they are because of the wake of the international movement, not by the anarchist activity in Greece which is very poor right now.
Anarchists in Greece are generally insurrectionists and anarchosyndicalists really don't exist or if they exist they are hidden in leftist opposition in labour unions. Main presence of anarchist activity were to be found in main cities like Athens, Thessaloniki and Patra but it is very weakened comparing to late-'70s, mid-80's and early-90's. It can be explained by the general historical low-height of the whole left but in these years of international anarchist uprising it is unexcucable. The hope of all anarchists right now is Thessaloniki 2003 (European Union conference) were it can be a situation that will overcome even Genova, but the final profits for anarchists would be zero I suppose...
The structural problems for greek anarchist movement are many (and that's why I believe that even it has many high peaks it's the exact opposite of the "paradise" that insurrectionists in Spain believe it is).
- The lack of any social support. No anarchist opposition exists in labour unions, almost none in universities, only in schools there is a support but from people that are not concious anarchists and generally leave the "area" when they got in their adult age. Even the success of anarchists in schools was due to the lack of syndicalism in schools.
- The political nature of the movement, in the bad meaning. This means that anarchists don't intervent in any social movement (saying that syndicalism is reformism), they only wait them to grow, to radicalize them through revolutionary violence (which made stalinist left being believed when they misinformate accusing them for being provocateurs, police agents etc.). This made the common people believe that anarchists are hooligans, even the left-leaning people believe that anarchists are complete fuck-ups and utopians and even in the proof of state-communism complete failure, they prefer to organize in the remaininings of left rather joining the anarchist movement. The anarchist demos and events attract only anarchists, not common people, which is a very bad situation.
- The age and synthesis problem. Active anarchists are generally 17-25 and generally the older leave the movement, and even if they the keep their anarchist beliefs they say that anarchy is good in books, not something worthful fighting for. The synthesis of anarchists in Greece is a complete paranoia, on the one side the intellectualized students that can talk you for everything from Kropotkin to Debor and Kastoriadis, but they are elitists to the bone, have no practical intevention in their universities, they do only propaganda - on the other side the "wild youth" fascinated by direct action of anarchists but knowing nothing about theory. Very little active workers exist (all of them louben-proletarians that don't intervent in their workplaces). The anarcho-punks were one time majority, and their attitude destroyed the movement (divided in toxicated or non-toxicated and other crazy things) but they play almost no role anymore (they managed to destroy the May 1st Reclaim The Streets in Thessaloniki this year though, throwing stones to small stores and provocating police to confront a very succesful until that moment demo).
- The general demi-god status of the revolutionary violence and the opposition to the every day class struggle as "reformism".
- The lack of a variery in tactics and theory. Anarchosyndicalism is upsent in Greece, and when somebody tries to do something, they attack him saying "you are reformist", "anarchosynicalism is a dead corpse". The same situation about the ecological, alternative anarchism which meets a hostility from insurrectionists anarchists.
- The internal fights beetween groups. Clashes with violence between groups, anarchists referring to other anarchists as "cops of the movement" and the rest...
- The lack of a federation of anarchists in Greece. Maybe the accusations of insurrectionists to federations as "beaurocraties" are true, but the fact remains that anarchists can't have a general greek reaction to things, which weakens their position very much. Everything it's build on spontaneus action and this has it's ads and pros. A try was made in early '90s with the "Anarchist Union" but very soon it was destroyed.
- The lack of any anarchist paper that can be bought in whole greece. The problem is resolved only this month with the brand new "Diadromi Eleutherias" and was a great step beyond in my opinion.
- The stuck with the word "solidarity" and the internationalism of the movement, hiding in a way the lack of a wide anarchist activity here in Greece. The word "solidarity" has been something like the magic picture of the greek movement. You know the joke "How many anarchists it takes to fix a light bulb? 2 to do it, 98 showing solidarity". Something like that.
- The ..., the ..., the ... .......
I have to admit that there very good publications though (and very bad also) with the insurrectionist Anarchist Counter-Information Bulletin (http://www.geocities.com/anar_gr/en/deltio.htm) being brilliant, one of the best anarchist newspapers in the world I suppose.
As being part of the problem I don't count my shelf out of the situation. Anarchism is Greece has been a brilliant and fucked-up situation, and if we manage to overcome the problems that keep us low, we could make miracles.