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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Greece- Black Flags and Turkish Maoism in Rebel Exarchia

The following is the first in a three part series from Winter Has Its End:

by Eric Ribellarsi
Before coming to Greece, I’d heard about Exarchia. It is fabled as a strong-hold of anarchists, so much that the police are often afraid to enter it. It has been a strategic center for launching militant political movements throughout the city. It was also a very important place during the 2008 uprisings that shook the country, for it was hear that 15 year old Aleksandros was murdered, sparking the uprisings. This I knew, but what I saw went even beyond all of that.
Walking through Exarchia for the first time, I immediately saw that the graffiti here was the most densely concentrated I have seen in my life (sorry Detroit). And the art is radical as fuck. The walls were lined with red stars, circle-a's, images of rebels with gas masks, portraits of the murdered young radical, Aleksandros. Political posters were on every wall, on top of other politics posters. One popular image seems to be Felix the cat (a symbol of anarchist syndicalism) emblazoned on a red star.
Throughout this district, burnt out dumpsters were present from each night’s militant street fighting. They were used as barricades when the police try to attack.
Mainstream newspaper booths seemed to sell more anarchist and communist newspapers than they do bourgeois newspapers. And they even sell books on the Black Panther Party in the U.S.!

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