Greek Protest of February 12, 2012

Note: this was originally published on February 12, 2012. I had since unpublished it, but while going through my old files, felt it was important to keep up, for our record’s sake.

So much is changing in Greece, and it is important to never forget..

Greek Protest of February 12, 2012


Why should the average hard working citizen pay for the crimes of the corrupt elite?

The Greek government has been blackmailing the populace with “we must do this or we go bankrupt”. An example of this is cutting the electricity of anyone who is not paying, or who can’t afford to pay their taxes. For a while, fatigued citizens gave their silent consent. But now, due to continuous extreme taxation, people are starving. Unemployment has passed 20% , 48% for the youth. Suicide rates are up 40%. I hear stories of women who now shamefully turn to “domestic prostitution” so they may feed their families.

In the past, when massive peaceful protests took place, police and provocateurs ensured that these protests were halted. There was excessive police brutality, which I have many times witnessed.
International media  shows rioting in Greece. The fact is that these riots are started by a team of 200 provocateurs (amidst tens of thousands of people). They Initiate violence and justify police retaliation (which is directed against peaceful protesters).

The parliament today will vote on a second bailout agreement with its IMF/EU troika creditors. The vote is scheduled to take place at midnight. Debate is taking place now.

As events unfold I will update this blog.



5:00pm Gathering in Syntagma Square in front of the Parliament. Live streams at the following links:

5:00pm Separate rally at Omonia, called by the Communist Party (KKE) and its trade-union affiliate, the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) (per Athens News)

15:19 Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga is now speaking. She complains that things are being rushed and says that all parties have the right to speak. She is particularly critical that state television has said that the country could face civil war if the bill doesn’t pass. She says a knife has been held to MPs throats. (per Athens News)

5:30pm Tear gas is being thrown at protesters. Protesters are regrouping, holding their ground.

5:51pm (per Greek media, translated to English) “Battlefield at the moment in Syntagma Square . The MAT used live ammunition at the people themselves as dozens of people experiencing respiratory problems.”

6:00pm MPs from the Left are questioning why the vote has to be held at midnight.

6:10pm Crowds have been pushed away from the parliament however remain protesting in surrounding streets (this is not shown on live feed)

6:20pm Second World War-resistance hero Manolis Glezos has made a statement from Syntagma. “Is it possible to impose these measures by using tear gas…These measures do not have the vote of the Greek people“.

6:30pm Protest crowd now estimated at 45,000. Police are keeping Syntagma Square clear via excessive use of tear gas.

6:32pm Local news reporting protesters broke through police barriers and were on the parliament’s grounds.

6:41pm Communist Party trade union PAME says they are determined to take back Syntagma Square, on their way from Omonoia.

6:59pm per Athens News:  Independent MP Evangelos Papachristos says that parliament is being asked to vote on a document that contains gaps marked XX where figures should be. He asks colleagues are they sure they know what they’re voting for. Only a handful of MPs in the chamber (many thanks to Diane Shugart for this info)

7:11pm  Four metro stations are now shut, with trains passing through without stopping: Syntagma, Evangelismos, Panepistimio and Acropolis. (per local media and Athens News)

7:15pm 60,000 now protesting.

7:20pm Local media and radio now reporting that many of the riot police are foreign police.

7:33pm Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga now speaking. Again, asks why ruling parties say a civil war will result if the measures are not passed.

7:34pm Protesters have successfully retaken Syntagma Square. Various reports of riot police speaking English to one another (?)

7:40pm Riot police beating citizens.

7:44pm The metro workers’ union leader says that the metro stations were closed because police did not want the people to get to Syntagma. he says that the metro workers see no reason for the shut downs. (per Athens News)

8:20pm  Tense situation in the city center. Fire trucks have difficulty reaching fires.

8:29pm People chant “We want jobs, we want education, bring back democracy now”

8:31pm Fires being reported on Korai Square, off Panepistimiou St.

8:36pm  Doctors and angry bystanders refuse to let police enter the hospital to arrest injured protesters

9:05pm Skai TV reports that police have run out of tear gas

9:39pm More buildings are on fire on Stadiou St, including Kosta Boda and Attikon cinema. Footage shows a huge blaze behind Stadiou St. The University Library building on Stadiou St. on fire. Reports of peaceful protesters recusing and helping evacuate people.

9:42pm The AFP quote police as saying number of protesters in Athens is now 100,000

9:49pm Per Greek media: Ministry of Finance under attack; riot police inside building.

9:59pm Syriza Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras has said that a collapsing political system and a government with no popular mandate cannot negotiate. (per Athens News)

10:00pm MP Spyros Kouvelis of Pasok have announced his independence from the Pasok parliamentary group. (per Athens News)

10:00pm Leader of Laos Yiorgos Karatzaferis has said that his party will vote No. (per Athens News)

10:03pm Live feed inside the Parliament (in Greek)

10:05pm Pictures of Athens!/search/%2312fgr/slideshow/photos?

10:26PM A call for DOCTORS ARE NEEDED IN AMALIAS HOTEL where protesters have taken refuge.

11:01pm Reports of the Town Hall of Athens being occupied (per

11:52pm  New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras condemns rioting. Says Athens is witnessing scenes it should avoid. Calls for more patriotism. (per Athens News)

11:54pm livestreaming – Greek PM speech in Parliament

11:58pm Prime Minister Papademos speaking now: “the people is the ultimate judge in a democracy” … that from a non elected PM.

12:00am Christos Papoutsis, Minister for Civil Protection reportedly has just resigned. UPDATED at 12:42am Laos and Democratic Alliance ask for the resignation of citizen protection minister Christos Papoutsis. Sources say New Democracy will follow suit.

12:02am Prime Minister Papademos: vandalism, violence, and destruction have no place in a democracy and will not be tolerated.

12:08am Cyprus Bank on fire now at Monastiraki Square

12:09am Prime Minister Papademos: “I have heard criticism but no realistic alternatives, unfortunately only alternative is catastrophic bankruptcy”

12:10am Prime Minister Papademos still speaking, says that Greece had to continue being a member of the hard core of Europe. It’s not the time for detailed analysis, it’s the time for decisions.

12:13am Prime Minister Papademos:  “…your vote will determine whether greece will stay in euro or be sent to disorderly bankruptcy”

12:18am Speech over; Petsalnikos reading list of MPs  for roll call vote

 12:20am 10 minute recess before vote begins.

12:27am Voting has begun. Nai se ola = Yes to all. Oxi (O-hee) se ola = No to all.

12:32am Anonymous take down Greek gov websites

12:37am NET, Greek public TV, not even following voting process. Concentrating on burning city.

12:40am Many MPs don’t vote for the article determining lowest salary at aprox. 440EUR

12:44am Voting continues but it seems this 2nd “bailout” will pass.

12:46am BREAKING: Prime Minster Papademos’s first order of business tomorrow is a cabinet reshuffle (thank you again to Diane Shugart for the info)

12:49am Greek TV showing rioting in Athens and parliament vote on split screen

12:51am Greek Parliament approves new €130billion Bailout. List of Austerity measures passed – 3.3 billion euros ($4.35 billion) in wage, pension and job cuts for this year alone.

12:53am Long list of attacks on party political offices across Greece as popular anger continues with country’s MPs

Personal note: It is remarkable how the MSM thinks it is “normal” that a government votes AGAINST the wishes of the people.

1:16am The final versions of the memorandum agreements made between the government and the EU/IMF troika. (English)

1:19am BREAKING: New Democracy conservative party just kicked out 20 mps from its parliamentary team. All those that voted against even one article.

1:34am BREAKING per Athens News: Antonis Samaras has expelled 21 MPs from his New Democracy parliamentary party! That leaves ND with 62 MPs. George Papandreou has expelled the same number from Pasok. And finishing the Night of the Long Knives, Makis Voridis and Adonis Geaorgiadis have been expelled from the Popular Orthodox Rally.

Personal Note: Tonight is incredible in Greek politics. To have more than 40 MPs ousted in one go has never happened before.

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