Posted by: Yorgos | December 24, 2008

Text 33 – Greece on Fire…so?

Just like many other people, I have decided to write about what happened in (and to) Greece the past few weeks. Maybe it’s not what this blog is about and perhaps I don’t have any really useful insights to offer, but the Internet allows me a voice and I will use it.

Some facts first in chronological order: Policeman shoots and kills a 15-year old bystander, thinking that he was threatened. Protests and demonstrations are organized all around the country. Angry people fill the streets. Angry people, anarchists and looters start breaking shop windows and looting the products from inside said shops. Another kid is shot by an unknown person. A police bus is shot at by two AK-47s.

Perhaps not all of these events are related but they do indicate that Greece is in a really bad shape. Some half joking half serious are talking about a civil war. Nothing like that is going to happen. I am not afraid of an impending civil war.

Actually, I am not afraid of anything, as far as this matter is concerned. I am sad, I am angry, but not afraid; because it all comes down to this: the only victim in this whole situation is a kid, who died. The shop owners will be partially reimbursed, the angry people will calm down and everyone will get on with their lives a little worse than they were before. But the kid is still dead. He was not a hero, as many of the anarchists try to say he was. Being a hero means being reckless for some cause and there was no recklessness, no cause involved here. Just bad judgment, bad training and bad education. And these three aspects continued to be apparent throughout all the riots and the looting.

There are many people to blame over what has happened in Greece the past few weeks. And these people are the same both for the murder and the riots. And these are all of us; for all the reasons you and I can think of. Anarchists are not the problem; the fact that our society gives birth to people who become anarchists is the problem. Bad cops are not the problem; the fact that we hire and use and think we need (untrained) bad cops is the problem. Two sides of the same coin: our world is imperfect: some people think it needs tearing down and become anarchists; others think that we just need more order and give power to the police and the army. There is a middle ground, which is where most people are, but being on the middle ground means that you are not a person of action; I am not the person to analyze this further, I could easily be wrong about this, but it seems obvious that a change is needed. But the change doesn’t come from the middle ground, where I stand. It comes from the extremes, with which I strongly disagree. And right now the extremes can’t bring change (luckily), because not many people are at the extremes.

I wish it could all come down to the simplest of forms: Stupid policeman uses a gun, he kills a person, he gets life sentence. No reprecussions to society, nothing to be “done” about it, nothing to worry really, but be sad and, at some point, get over it. But this is not the case.

The problem is that I can’t figure out what the case is. I can’t offer a solution, no one can yet. We could bring everyone to the middle ground, I guess, but that seems like a “Brave New World” to me.

I am confused and sad and angry. And, for better or for worse, I will get over it. Only the victim’s family won’t…

But what is there to do to prevent something like this from ever happening again? Any suggestions welcome…

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