Riots in Greece

The youth of Greece have been rioting since the Saturday death of a 15-year old teenage at the hands of a policeman. Although we may never officially know whether to policeman in question meant to kill the kid or it was an accident, the country has experienced quite a shakeup that it hasn’t felt in years, with students rioting in the streets, burning garbage cans and cars, destroying stores and hotels, and shutting down entire chunks of areas from Athens to Trikala.
This unfortunate episode reminds me of Geoff Rickly’s article on political activism and American youth that I reflected on in an earlier post. In Greece, Rickly’s words have basically come to life, though in an entirely different circumstance. Whereas kids in America tote around cellphones texting whomever about whatever and brazen youth apply mascara to “freak out” the rest of society (or whatever is intended, though most folks tend to scoff it and emo and goth off due to this), these have become tools of resistance for youth in Greece. Makeup is used as a symbol of the anarchist movement and protest; cellphones and texting have becoming the best tools for mobilizing forces even in those seemingly-remote parts of the country.
In many ways, this is also reminiscent of what a friend of mine told me after a low turnout to protest the War in Iraq; young people don’t care anymore because they have nothing to lose. There’s no draft, so why care about a war that’s so far removed? It’s a shame to think that the majority of the country would be that self-motivated about such an important issue, but there is some fundamental point that’s getting played out in Greece: when something threatens you personally, people (youth especially) can and will mobilize. If only people would work towards some positive and life-affirming change rather than simply “protesting” the newest version of Facebook.


2 responses to “Riots in Greece

  1. Great post, Leor! I’ve just visited your blog for the first time in a while and really enjoy it–will link to it immediately on my personal blog.
    Hope all’s well and happy holidays,

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