Distributed tactics in the Greek Riots

This is from an extensive interview with a politically literate participant in the recent Greek riots.

The gist of the interview is that the basis of the quick and generalized action was the inter-relationship of pre-existing anarchist organising, a at least 30-year old tradition of 20,000 (semi-) organized sympathisers, and the spontaneous self-organisation of previously apolitical youth. The pre-existing places such as squats, 50 social centers, and university assemblies were critical, as was Indymedia and the role of mobile phones.

Here are 2 of the key quesitons that are dealt with in the interview:

1. How were the actions coordinated within cities? How about between cities?

There are hundreds of small, totally closed affinity groups—groups based in longstanding friendship and 100% trust—and some bigger groups like the people from the three big squats in Athens and three more in Thessaloniki. There are more than 50 social centers in Greece, and anarchist political spaces in all the universities of the country; also, the Antiauthoritarian Movement has sections in all major cities, and there is a network of affinity groups of the Black Bloc active in all Greek cities, based on personal relations and communicating via telephone and mail. For all of them, Indymedia is very important as a strategic point for collecting and sharing useful information—where conflicts are happening, where the police are, where secret police are making arrests, what is happening everywhere minute by minute; it is also useful on a political level, for publishing announcements and calls for demonstrations and actions.

Of course, we can’t forget that in practice the primary form of coordination was from friend to friend through mobile phones; that was also the main approach used by young students for coordinating their initiatives, demonstrations, and direct actions.

2. What kinds of organizing structures appeared?

a.) All sorts of small companies of friends were making spontaneous decisions in the streets, planning actions and carrying them out themselves in a chaotic, uncontrollable manner: thousands of actions taking place at the same time everywhere around the country . . .

b.) Every afternoon there was a General Assembly in squatted schools, squatted public buildings, and squatted universities . . .

c.) Indymedia was used for announcements and strategic coordination of actions . . .

d.) The various communist parties also organized their own confederations of students . . .

e.) . . . And also, one especially influential federation was organized by the friends of Alexis, to organize the students’ demonstrations and actions, the squatting of schools, and to publish general announcements from the students’ struggle.

1 Comment Distributed tactics in the Greek Riots

  1. Pingback: P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Are current networked protests disaggregating the disaggregators?

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