By Akis Gavriilidis
In Greece we have had enormous protests against the war. The day of the attack and the next one we had massive demonstrations in all big cities - and in several smaller ones - of the country. These were the biggest for years - in some towns, they couldn't even remember when
they last had a popular demonstration.
On Saturday 22 March the crowd gathered in front of the American Embassy in Athens was an estimated 200,000. Most importantly, many of these people were school students, 15 years old or even younger, so this is an excellent way for them to establish a relationship to politics and mass action.
The walls of the Embassy, as well as of the British and Italian one and of the respective consulates in Thessaloniki, including the uniforms of the cops protecting them, were practically covered by red paint, eggs, tomatoes and other foodstuff.
New actions are scheduled for the coming days, including "sit-arounds" (do you say that in English?) of American military bases, in Crete and elsewhere.
A thing which was not so massive, but for me equally interesting, was that, for the first time as far as I know, we had protests against the military parade for the Greek national holiday of 25 March (supposedly the anniversary of the 1821 revolt against the Ottoman Empire, which led to the formation of the Greek state).
Some hundreds of Greek Social Forum members, other leftists and anarchists staged an action with anti-war banners, threw flyers and shouted slogans such as "weapons kill the same way, whether they are planetary or national". They also threw plastic dolls filled with red paint before the tanks of the Greek army, which were solemnly passing through the main avenue of Athens, causing great embarassment to the officials and breaking the climate of national unity and pride.
This is a "premiere", because "struggle for national liberation" used to be a "sacred cow" for everybody, including left forces, in Greece, and one year ago such a ridiculing of it would have been considered a sacrilege.