Monday, 8 December 2008

Y R they riotg?

(This post has been linked in worldfocus)

Here's an email I was sent recently...

A relative living abroad: "Y R they riotg?"

I answered:
in athens, the inner city suburb of EXARCHIA is known as a youth trouble spot. it's patrolled by police regularly, but the police are so badly trained and/or receive bad orders, that the police station has been razed a few times.

some dudes had attacked a police car on saturday night. the police shooed them away, but they came back again. before they were set on again, the police fired a grenade and a few shots in the air. one killed a 15 (or maybe 16 or possibly 17 but also could be 14 - the greek news reporters can NEVER make up their mind about age) year old boy.

as you can imagine, this inspired those dudes and their supprters (anarchists, extreme supporters of political parties, hooligans, vandalists, and other terror-inspiring groups in society) to further the trouble, with the police unable to do anything, since their reputation has been tarnished already, and unfortunately the rioting spread right around the country. some schools have been closed in protest and sympathy to the boy's family (what right the students have to take the law into their own hands beats me), some universities have been under siege (hey, anything to stage a sit-in, thereby destroying everything tangible on the premises, and because of the asylum law operating on university premises, no one can stop anyone from doing anything, and they NEVER get caught), and shops and banks have been razed, looted and generally destroyed.

this has come at a bad time - before christmas, economic crisis, etc - and unfortunately, the police, already having earned a bad reputation, is now facing collapse, as is the government - i'm gald i dont live in athens, but the rest of the country isnt any better at the moment...

Sounds like they need to build some more movie theatres in Athens to give the youths something better to do in their spare time.

My response:
dont forget that it is only a minority (more like a handful) of thugs that go out purposely in groups on a saturday night and raid, raze, terrorise etc on the street (and especially the street in question, where there have been many outbreaks of violence over many years), but i would have to agree that it isnt always the fault of the police. maybe this time, the police were at fault, they acted stupidly, but generally speaking, as a mother myself, and you know how you were raised by your greek parents, i think some people should ask their kids more questions: they need to know what their children are doing on a saturday night, where they're going, and who they're going with. the kid that was killed was 15 - surely his parents had every right in the world to ask him the above questions. after all, they supply him with his pocket money to go out...

the tv hasnt said anything about the issue i've raised here - it's politically incorrect to mention this when teh child's family in suffering their worst nightmare. but it reminds me of when madeleine mccann disappeared: it took a while before people started asking what the parents were doing, leaving three under-4s in a hotel unit on their own while they went out and had a good time themselves.

why is it that when you send your kids on a school trip, you are obliged to sign a paper saying that you are responsible for them during the trip, even though the children will not be accompanied by you (only the by the state-employed teachers)? how, then, can you allow the state to be responsible for your child on a saturday night, out and about on the town? i dont know where the child lived, but that is not the point - how much did his parents know about his whereabouts that night?

ps there are plenty of cinemas, but at 7 euro a screening, it's more economical to buy the dvd when it comes out...


  1. Please be precise about what you write.The boy was murdered according to the ballistic report the bullet came through his chest from a straight shot.The policeman aimed at the height of his chest.
    "dont forget that it is only a minority" you obviously havent seen the massive protests even at chania both by young students who left their schools to come and all the people at chania who joined.

    "Sounds like they need to build some more movie theatres in Athens to give the youths something better to do in their spare time." I really hope you are being sarcastic because if you mean it,it means you dont understand.anything.

  2. "they need to know what their children are doing on a saturday night, where they're going, and who they're going with."
    you cant control your kids life everywhere and forever.Thats the problem with greek mothers.They are so protective that cause trouble to the normal development of the kids.

  3. "dont forget that it is only a minority"
    most people stayed at home. i was out on the streets last night for other reasons and saw what was happening at the agora - thankfully, i had the logical mind to get myself back home as soon as possible before the 200 or so young folk (did their parents send them there knowingly?) marched onto the police headquarters, threw eggs and tomatos (molotovs aren't easy to come by when you're young and inexperienced) and got tear-gassed - they will have a story to tell each other this morning, but not at school, because it's closed until further notice (that's called chaos)

    "you cant control your kids life everywhere and forever"
    i'm raising kids the way i want, not the way my mother raised hers. if my kids decide to leave school and protest on the streets, as a parent, i have a state obligation to get that kid back into school, and keep it safe.

    as for the movie theater quip (which wasn't mine in the first place), read the ps at the bottom of the post to see if i was being sarcastic

    i fully respect your opinion on why people are rioting, and the fact that you say i dont understand anything; you are right - i cannot think along the lines of the "DESTORY everything in sight, and show no respect for anyone or anything" mentality that seems to have overtaken the homeland i came back to

  4. Please be correct about what YOU write."The boy was murdered according to the ballistic report the bullet came through his chest from a straight shot.The policeman aimed at the height of his chest."

    The bullet came through his chest - from the ιατροδικαστικη εξεταση - coroner's report.

    The ballistic report is due today Tuesday 9th December. Your comment was posted 8th December.

  5. I had hoped that Crete would be far enough out of the trouble to be unaffected. Boredom works wonders when a bit of mayhem beckons.
    Thinking of you, take care.

  6. the prime minister is calling alexis death a murder - what does one expect a prime minister holding his last cards to do at this desperate moment in his life??? there is obviously no such thing as a fair trial in greece

  7. Here's what the BBC is reporting right at this minute:

    "Court sources have told news agencies that tests show that the bullet which killed the teenager was a ricochet... The ballistics report has not yet been published, but defence lawyer Alexis Kougias told the Reuters news agency that an investigation showed it was a ricochet. "In the end, this was an accident," he said."

  8. Mothers are protective everywhere, mostly for the good of their children. Peace!

  9. This is very disturbing.The unruly youth have no rationale thinking; protesting violently only makes the situation worst.

  10. I'm so sorry you have to go through all this. It's always just a few that cause all the problems. :(