Back To The Square
So, it's been one year since I've been on Athens' central Syntagma square, demonstrating with ten thousands of others. Demonstrating "against the thieves and embezzlers in parliament and government" and "for real democracy, transparency, and a referendum", as I reported the following day. In the following months, I was there almost every day. In very short time, "direct democracy" had turned from something totally unknown, to something that people demanded to change the political system to. It wasn't long though, that the government let the police snap down on their people with brutality, ultimately "cleaning" the square and ending the right to demonstrate freely.
This pre-history in mind, when there appeared a call to go to the square again, I very much wanted to go. There might have been a small part of nostalgia, a slightly bigger hope that things would pick up again. Even more important, I wanted to be there, show presence and be counted. If there were to be very few people only, it would not have been due to me having failed to show up. And indeed, there were few people. Don't let my pictures fool you, there were large parts of the square empty. On the other hand, the picture of the assembly looks more empty than it was.
But then, this year things will have to pick up again in their own pace. The call to go to the square hasn't been spread very well. People are busy with other political means. There are elections coming again next month for example. What's more important for me: This year people will have to find new ways to express their will. The corrupt, criminal politicians have on one side learned how to respond (with police brutality), on the other hand they have been dealt a big blow. They didn't step down when "the street" demanded it, but then they had to step down in the first round of elections early this month.
One reason I was reluctant to go to the square was obviously all the police brutality: I've had my exposure to tear gas and I didn't look forward to any more of it. It seems though that our "technical government" has less desire to follow up right in the footsteps of the last government. There was no police in view, I dind't even see any traffic police.
The coming sunday there is another call to go to the square. It might be that more people will get it, I don't know. The press obviously does not whisper a single word of all this. They have their masters to obey and their business to attend to. The bigger question will be if there is an online wave of raising attention.