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16 November 2005

Sitting and Thinking on the Evening before the Chaos

Tomorrow is Nov 17th, did you see the news?

The night before November 17th in Athens, I'm sitting in my easy chair and think. You don't know what November 17th means to Greece? 17 Νοέμβριου is the anniversary of student uprisings in the Polytechnikum that ultimately led to the end of the military dictature in the 1970's. It's also the name of a terrorist organization named after the event, which was active for around 30 years. Like every year we are expecting demonstrations, violence, and a bit more chaos than usual.

The demonstrations are by various political groups (generally left) with a variety of agendas. At the radical end of that spectrum, these demonstrations usually lead to fights with the police, to demolished cars and shops, to a lot of jailings. This year with all the action in France, all involved sides expect even more violence. It's hard to guess if the police force is really higher than in previous years, or on the other hand, if the radical left is even more bound to aggression. I'm just a bystander after all and if you don't mind I'll stand by rather far away, thank you.

A side effect of all this is obviously that some parts of Athens will be blocked for traffic and pedestrions. (Since which pedestrian wants to end up between the fronts by mistake?) The area around the polytechnic school and Vassilissis Sofias Avenue near the american Embassy are sure choke points. Why the american embassy? The americans were full supporters of the military dictature, and nobody likes them anyway.

Now that I am sitting here, what I would need is some good information. See, my bus to work passes down Vassilissis Sofias. I will take a detour tomorrow, but knowing what to expect would be nice. The medium of choice for up to date information would be TV. But there is a small problem with this. The TV news here are a debacle. They rarely contain any real news.

To explain: I do not consider a 5 minutes feature about politician A said "x is y" and politician B replied "x is not y" to be news. Especially not when it is maxed out with a discussion panel (in nice boxes on a split screen) of a priest, two journalists, two party spokespeople, and the guy who is always in those panels, because it's so funny when he starts to attack everybody else.

Wading through 40 minutes of that is just not an option today. So I'll just let it all com on tomorrow. In the meantime I will sit and think in my easy chair.


Posted by betabug at 23:52 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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