Teenage Riots in Athens (Part 1/3)

Uploaded by vice on Aug 1, 2012


Yeah, we all know Greece is messed up, but how
did it get this bad?
In 2009, national debt threateners turned Greece into
a failed state.
Decades of endemic economic corruption had finally caught
up with the place.
Their position was now so volatile, it threatened the
entire future of the Euro.
Europe scrabbled together billion-dollar bailouts, but
they came with orders of austerity, demands of huge
cutbacks in public spending and services, which have left
the Greek people hopeless and jobless.
In October, another series of austerity measures were
announced for the country.
A two-day general strike was called.
So we flew to Athens, bought a bunch of gas masks, and
wandered into a fight at the center of a European tragedy.
A lot of Greek people told us, Athens is going to burn.

We met Adam, a young protester who asked us not to identify
him due to his history of violent clashes with police.

This is Syntagma Square, where Greek Parliament stands.
In June 2011, as Greece face bankruptcy, violent battles
took place here between police and protesters, as the prime
minister, George Papandreou forced an austerity bill
through Parliament.
Between the Square and the Parliament, the desperadoes
would be standing.
They're the normal people, protesting for the first time.
The more militant members of the march kind of dismissed
them as moobs.
The students will be marching from the university library,
presumably with a hilarious banner or two.
The Communists will be starting from here.
There are loads of indistinguishable Communist
subgroups called things like PAME, but no one really
understands the difference between them.
This is Exarcheia, which the media
describes as a rebel lair.
It's from this sector of squats and occupied buildings
that the anarchists will start their day.
The union workers will begin from here,
marching through Exarcheia.
Anarchists hate them, so there'll probability be a
fight en route.
Everybody's heading for Syntagma Square, where the
police will be waiting, defending Parliament with
sticks and gas.

This is Michael, a young student who recently spent two
months occupying Syntagma Square.
On the other side of Syntagma Square, a van had been
trundling along the streets with megaphones blaring the
revolutionary slogans of PAME, the workers' militant front.
They were happy to give us a ride.
Greece's economic shit storm has landed in the middle of a
country with a long history of getting rid of regimes they
really don't like.
They did it to Mussolini in 1940.
Then there was a coup d'etat in 1967 and a
student uprising in 1973.
You can see why the Greek authorities might be nervous
of their people.
Maybe that's why they employ one of the most hated police
forces in all of Europe, one with a reputation for
brutality and widely rumored connections to the local
fascist organizations.
Depending on who you ask, Greece's tradition of violent
anarchist activism is either the cause of police brutality
or a natural revolutionary reaction to authoritarian
In the river district of his Exarcheia sits a huge occupied
university building.
Most journalists aren't allowed in.
But two young anarchists agreed to take us there.
They thought our gas masks were pretty funny, though.