Greek riots, or a revolt against neo-liberalism?

(GREEK RIOTS) Most of the mainstream news coverage of the rioting in Athens has focused upon the police shooting of the 15-year old boy. This shooting, which, it is alleged by eyewitness protestors, was a directly-aimed shot from police who were not under immediate attack, is more of a catalyst than a cause. No mention is given to the claims that Greece’s youth and working class are rising against  neo-liberal economic reforms and an increasing wealth disparity between a wealthy elite and a poorer majority. This part of Greece has anarchist influence and a general strike was already scheduled for Wednesday (December 10th) this itself already preceded by a 48 hour strike by nurses, against government policy targeting work, education and pensions. During the nurses strike, medical students allegedly held the deputy health minister hostage for an hour, as they voiced complaints about employment reforms.

None of this has been mentioned in, for example, the BBC’s reporting and ‘analysis’ of the incidents, not even as an attempt to discover if these are indeed the true motivating factors. Instead reporters have fallen back on the tried and tested: ‘rebel elements’ and oppositions parties ‘capitalising’ on events; much like unrest in South America used to be attributed to the infamous, yet faceless “Marxist Rebels”. Most of the shock, after the death of the 15 year-himself, has been focused on the damage to businesses, and now business owners are clamouring for for their own ‘bailouts’ in the form of compensation.

Governments and news services seem to want to paint this as merely the reckless abuse of a tragic accident by lawless mobs, instead of actually reporting on industrial and general unrest as a result of the economic misery wrought on people by neo-liberal fanatics. If this is not the case, then perhaps they should make this clear in their reports rather than hiding behind a pretence of impartiality.

(Sources: BBC, Reuters, Libcom)


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