The riots have injured more than 70 people and have created so much upheaval that many are starting to view it as a social revolution, a chance to express their discontent with the current government. Honestly though, this is the worst possible way for the Greek population to push for change.
It is true that the government of Kostas Karamanlis is ridden with scandal and corruption. He and his administration were heavily criticized for their slow response to the wild fires that devastated hundreds of thousands of acres of land and killed dozens back in 2007. Greek citizens also still maintain that the police force is corrupt and that the government is to blame for Grigoropoulos’ death. Many hope that these riots will lead to elections and a new government for the Greeks that will restore order.
A lot of the story is missing though, including the conditions under which Grigoropoulos was shot. He was killed in the district of central Athens, which is known as a haven for anarchists. Some reports say that the two police officers responsible had engaged in a verbal skirmish with a group of youth in Exarcheia, one of whom was Grigoropoulos, on the night of December 6. The rest is still a mystery. No one really knows whether or not the police were acting in self defense when they killed Grigoropoulos, and quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. These riots have gone way too far.
The riots that have lasted over two weeks have crippled Greece. All of the government’s energy is now spent trying to calm the country. The police force is on the streets at all hours of the day. Shops throughout the country are afraid to stay open and nations around the world are warning tourists to stay out of Greece as the violence continues.
On the first night of rioting alone 13 police officers were injured and almost 40 cars were torched. On Saturday, one hundred anarchists firebombed a police station near Exarcheia.
The movement is also spreading beyond Greek borders. It has become a global youth movement. On Facebook, students can become “fans of Grigoropoulos and the group now has over 34,000 members from all around the world.
The saddest part is that people are using Grigoropoulos’ death as a platform for their own agendas. They are using his death to express their discontent with the government and the economic crisis at hand. It is an outlet for many to express their disgruntlement with what they believe to be an oppressive capitalist system.
Greeks like so many others in the world have been hit hard by the current economic crisis and the youth are finding themselves without jobs.
The worst possible domestic crisis for any country is to have a class of unemployed youth who have nothing better to do than to riot. For these youth, now all they are seeing is Communism.
Many of the group members have Facebook pictures of a hammer and sickle or a picture that says “CCCP, a reference to the Soviet Union.
Honestly, if you want to express your discontent, ripping apart Greece is probably the worst way to do it. Does one death warrant this much violence? If you’re upset with the economic crisis and the fact that you have no job, is it the least bit logical to close down shops and paralyze the Greek economy with rioting?
Those who are throwing their support at these rioters are supporting chaos. This is not a social movement; this is anarchy, which is probably what those youth in Exarcheia wanted.
What happened to Alexandros Grigoropoulos is awful and a tragedy, but these riots need to end. Dragging these riots out is only crippling Greece even more as the country continues to be break at the seams.]]>