Alexis Grigoropoulos was murdered by a police officer in 2008.
Monday, September 22nd. Students in Kesariani, Greece were peacefully preparing to occuppy their local schools, in order to protest the impoverishment of their learning environment, the fascist attitude of some of their teachers and the increased financial demands for the required reading material at a time when they clearly can’t afford it. Shortly after the police arrived, an officer fired his gun against the students in order to break up the gathering, without considering the possibility of fatally injuring the teenagers.
Fortunately, there were no victims. The Greek police are notorious for for high rates of violence against civilians and openly display a militarised attitude. These traits, combined with a very lenient treatment of abusive/torturer cops by the authorities and the courts have led to an excessive abuse of power that terrorizes people, threatens public safety and targets vulnerable segments of the population, such as children and immigrants.
The general public needs to understand that the children’s safety is no joke as the frequence of lives lost to police brutality constitutes a huge problem in the country. Harrassment, bullying and provocations targeting young people are also issues that need to be addressed. Society must actively fight back and demand reforms and more effective ways of dealing with the threats posed by the police, in order to enhace public safety and to safeguard the lives of children.
The recklessness of the officer, evident in his inability to assess the outcomes of firing his weapon at the direction of the young students, his readiness to respond with the most serious form of violence and his inability to control his impulses are signs that he constitutes a danger to society. It would only make sense if said officer along with his collegues who engaged in verbal abuse and threats using firearms, are placed in custody at least until the case is thoroughly investigated. It can be clearly seen that there is a police culture based on excessive control, repression and authoritarianism, which promotes a strong wave of backlash against democratic values and individual liberties. The state remains accountable for this and other more serious incidents that deprived our youth of their right to live. If the state provides a certain kind of people with a uniform, a gun and the authority to use force then the state itself is a criminogenic institution. The state’s reluctance to introduce reforms, such as harsher punishments and thorough investigations of complaints against officers from independent bodies, will result in the proliferation of this type of violence evoking an increase on the number of victims.
In 2008, Alexis Grigoropoulos, a young boy aged 15, was fatally injured by an officer, with eyewitness testimonies revealing that the officer, Epaminondas Korkoneas, intentionally aimed his gun at the boy. Alexis was pronounced dead after his transfer to a nearby hospital and his death sparked a massive public unrest and rioting which remained in history as the ‘December Riot’. Korkoneas was sentenced to life, while his accomplice, another officer present at the crime scene who made no effort to stop him, has already been released from prison despite his 10 year sentence.
According to an article published yesterday, the mother of a young boy in Greece filed a lawsuit against a female officer who intentionally hurt her 10 year old child. The woman who resides in the cantine where she currently works, was paid a visit by the police who bullied and harrassed her before the eyes of her child. The young boy, panicked and started shouting at the police. One of the officers violently grabbed him by the arm and as the mother asked her to leave her child alone, she replied by saying that she would put him in handcuffs if they boy did not stop. The following picture released in the press today, shows a cut across the boy’s arm and several bruises. The officer claims that she was attacked by the child. The mother confessed that she is very upset as her son is suffering from a serious health condition.
The following is an excerpt from the announcement written by the students in Kesariani who have suffered the uncontrolled aggression of the police:
In the early morning of 22nd of September, we came to close down our schools. At that time the police forces arrived (three police cars) from the Police Department of Kesariani in order to repress our dissent. They had not been threatened nor verbally provoked by us, when one of them started shooting towards our classmates, who, at the time, were trying to find a way out. The rest of the officers entered the front entrance of our school and pointed their guns right at our heads, while insulting and threatening us. In this tense climate, we were handcuffed and transferred to the local police department. We were unaware of any charges against us, but the police took note of our personal details and we were detained until later in the morning.
THEY DO NOT FRIGHTEN US, THEY ENRAGE US
One of the schools, with a banner that reads ‘Occuppied’ in Kesariani, Greece