Posts tagged ‘12fgr’


destruction in #12fgr, #13fgr riots outside Athens shows targeting of symbolic political sites

The other week, I asked what the Greek riots’ targets could tell us about the Greek rioters; and looking at the data as a whole, the answer was tl;dr and quite inconclusive. However, I think that, by looking at events outside Athens, where the places and populations are smaller, it is possible to follow individual groups’ activities and, thus, to draw an outline of the rioters’ identities and intentions. I believe there is clear evidence of intelligent targeting of the symbols of those politically and financially responsible for the crisis.

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What can the targets for destruction tell us about the rioters in Greece?

It’s been six months since ‘unprecedented‘ urban destruction in riots in Greece. I’ve documented specific attacks on property on the 12th and 13th of February, and 24th of March; even looked at non-destructive acts upon cultural property; and questioned the more-or-less-official account of material violence during the spring protests. Now I want to ask: what can the targets for destruction on the 12th of February 2012 tell us about the attackers?

This really is tl;dr. Basically, the primary targets were bankers, politicians and the police; and that suggests that (at least a lot of) the violence was a genuine expression of public anger, committed by anarchists and indignants. It does not bode well for the future.

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assessing the ACCI assessment of destruction in Greece on 12th February

Immediately after the 12th February protests and riots, I collected evidence of as many specific incidents of property damage/destruction as possible. Here, I want to query the standard account of the attacks on property.  I think it has three problems: it under-counts the number of banks attacked; it excludes the political buildings attacked; and it cannot take account of the places not damaged, not targeted violently, or not targeted at all.

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I’ve corrected Rachel Donadio and New York Times but they’ve not corrected article on arson on 12th February, Greece

The New York Times‘ eyewitness reporter Rachel Donadio inaccurately described,

Feb. 12, a wild night when marauding bands of arsonists with Molotov cocktails targeted shops and buildings, most of them historic….

As more than 6,000 policemen stood guard, these roving bands – several dozen criminals, by official estimates – infiltrated a vast, largely peaceful demonstration of more than 80,000 people and pushed the city into mayhem.

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‘unprecedented’ damage and destruction in protests, riots in Greece, 12th February 2012

Media and crisis manager Stratos Safioleas (@stratosathens) judged last night’s destruction ‘unprecedented‘. Here, I have gathered together as many of the events as I could, listed in order of place: so far, Agrinio, Athens, Corfu, Herakleion, Patras, Thessaloniki, Trikala and Volos.

Moreover, I’ve grouped them by target as well: parliamentary/party/bureaucratic property; police property; banks; other commercial property; cultural venues; media organisations; personal private property; and other objects.

The destruction has been blamed on anarchist protesters, and on agents provocateurs; and I will try to probe this, and the destruction of cultural property, in detail in another post. But my analysis suggests that banks were the primary targets for destruction (even ahead of politicians’ offices). Still, there are many as-yet-undocumented incidents; there were at least 170 acts of destruction in Athens alone. I would be very grateful for any further information.

Update (16th February 2012): rioters ‘torched’ the entrance of the Numismatic Museum and smashed the windows of a Greek Resistance memorial. These are ugly acts of cultural violence; it is fortunate that the arsonists’ ignorance is only equalled by their incompetence.

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