To block or to blog?

Walking down Stournari Street after my job my look was glued to broken mirrors, damaged shops and burnt cars. It still smelled toxic. However, I could never have imagined the entire devastation of the city centre tonight. Athens has been a city at a loss; without government, without protection even regarding classic university buildings such as Palama building, from where I have kept good memories till tonight crime. The expression of violence after the unfair death of 15year old teenager has led to another conclusion: that Greek society has been weak and that younger generations have undergone several crisis regarding economic problems, future stabilization and professional recognition. It seems that my empty look is parallel to the look of the heroine at Cristian Mungiu movie ‘‘4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile’’ after her committing abortion and her looking at the menu while being at a loss. I felt as the city had undergone some kind of abortion after the fires’ explosion and the whole damages. In a nutshell, my feeling is that I do not count as a citizen with the right to breathe, walk, and feel but as a number for the politicians of this government. This conclusion gives me the creeps. There is no need to decide the one or the other, everything seems in vain. All declarations that said really nothing about the taking of responsibility, all lost words have worsened the situation. It has been the first time that Athens lives such a bad hot temper. All devastations make me wonder and they make me think as if there were some kind of war. The destruction of MacDonald’s store at Patision street and its next wooden cover reminded me of a documentary about Iran where people were constructing strong wooden ‘‘cells’’ so as to be protected from bullets. It is a crime to watch some people destroy what others strived for; but it is also a crime to deny both the truth and the political responsibility emanating the general upset and social trouble.

My friend Jim wrote me that this reminded him of ‘‘Berlin in about 1964 when a student demonstration against the visit of the Shah of Persia and his wife led to street conflict. The shooting dead of a student was called Benno Ohnesorg. His funeral was attended by thousands; most of whom were delighted to have a martyr of what they thought was a fascist state. Later, of course, Baader-Meinhof, the Red Army Faction, burned out stores, blew up cars, and shot people. The difference between then and now, of course, was that West Germany, along with a good deal of Western Europe, was affluent and booming. Poverty is not always the cause of street violence’’.

Regarding the Greek situation I feel embarrassed living in Athens. A form of fear society tends to be cultivated; we do not want to be exposed at more police control and face social inequalities. What astonishes me is the will of some parliament members to exploit reality and facts by defending the hero thesis…I just recall Brecht: ‘‘Happy the land that breeds a hero. No. Unhappy the land that needs a hero’’.

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