June-July 2021: News Roundup Part II
(Anti-vaccine mandate protests in Athens, Greece, July 25)
Continued from Part I…
•July 12—Greece’s newest revolutionary urban guerrilla network, the Direct Action Cells (DAC), put out their seventh communication, this one claiming another batch of incendiary attacks across Athens. The familiar improvised incendiary devices (IID) fashioned from butane gas canisters were used in three separate attacks that targeted the home of an active Hellenic Police Brigadier General, two vans belonging to a popular courier service and a vehicle belonging to a telecommunications company. The claim came from a crew using the operational name the “Mauricio Morales Cells”—an homage to a Chilean anarchist who died in 2009 while transporting a bomb to a police academy in the middle of the night.
The claim acknowledges a call to action put forth in June of this year by DAC’s most prominent cell in Thessaloniki, the Organization of Anarchist Action (OAA). OAA has been prolific since their formation, and published the names of 21 Hellenic Police officers after declaring the beginning of an operation dubbed “Order against Order” in their call for a month of guerrilla activity.
•July 14—Greek anarchists claimed the July 1st incendiary attack on a Ford Motor Company dealership in the Athens borough of Gyzi, which destroyed two inventory vehicles. According to the claim, the dealership was targeted because the perpetrators regard Ford as “an American colossus with branches at the international level that has played a dominant role in the global capitalist firmament.” Specifically, they mention Ford’s relationship with police in the US, as well as in Greece, mentioning a €48,000 high-performance patrol vehicle that Ford Motor Hellas donated to the Hellenic Police station in Laconia earlier this year.
In what is becoming a trend among Greek guerrillas, the communique also mentions the 2020 protests and riots in the US:
A year before the lines of this text, George Floyd was abused to death and murdered by US cops. Violent conflicts erupt in much of the United States with the main expression being the oppression of the African-American community and beyond. Demonstrations break out internationally from country to country. In Greece, various actions take place. For our part, a year later we keep alive the flame and the memory of the dead and the oppressed of our class. Wanting to restore his energies then with today.
Returning to Ford Motor Company, the claim connects the legacy of Henry Ford’s innovations of the assembly line and mass production to a contentious labor bill that was just passed in Greece, which is openly hostile towards workers’ rights and organized labor. In a postscript, the claim pays honor the memory of Greek environmental activist Vassilis Maggos, who died last summer one month after being beaten and detained by police. He had been protesting a rubbish burning scheme in Volos prior to his detention, and his friends and family believe that the pulmonary edema which took his life was brought on by the blunt force trauma he suffered to the core of his body at the hands of crowd control units policing the demonstration. Anarchists responsible for the attack signed off:
FIRE TO THE CONTROL SOCIETY
ANARCHY OR NOTHING
-Thousand Suns of Night
(From the July 25th protests against vaccine mandates in Greece)
•July 14-25—Thousands of far-right demonstrators rallied against vaccines and mask mandates in Athens on consecutive Wednesdays. The first rally on July 14th was estimated to have drawn over 5,000 people, who angrily shouted "take your vaccines and get out of here!" and called for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to resign.
The subsequent week’s protest was more violent. Thousands of people once again packed into Syntagma Square outside of Parliament, and eventually clashed with the Hellenic Police’s standing riot unit, the MAT. Police deployed crowd control munitions, water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters. At least five arrests were made. Clashes broke out again in the afternoon and on the night of July 24-25, with anti-vax protesters hurling Molotov cocktails, fireworks and flairs at police, and police again deploying tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds. Twenty-five people were arrested during those clashes.
•July 17—The DAC’s most prominent Thessaloniki crew, the Organization of Anarchist Action (OAA), published the names and addresses of 21 active members of the Hellenic Police force. In their communique, OAA states that the list was in retaliation for “parastatal journalists working for the interests of the police publish[ing] a list targeting 21 male and female suspects for involvement in attacks on police targets.” This is a reference to an internal police document, which was leaked, that contained the makes, licenses and registered owners of 21 two-wheeled vehicles thought to have been in the vicinity of police homes/vehicles at the time of being attacked, and thus involved.
The communique accuses the officers on the list of “torture and abuse, rape and concealment of incidents of sexual violence, spreading fear and terrorism, arrests, imprisonment and any other illegal activity,” and goes on to call them “pimps”—likely a direct reference to the arrest last month of a 39-year-old police officer, accused of sexually abusing a 19-year-old girl and forcing her to work at Athens-area brothels to which he was criminally connected. Their statement concludes:
Retaliation for any police arbitrariness is a matter for all of us. Now each of them individually can feel what it is like to be afraid to go home alone. Count the steps with your breath. Now each of them individually can be faced with their share of responsibility.
• July 19—Anarchists in the Netherlands calling themselves “Revolutionary Resistance” took responsibility for the July 15th firebombing of a police motor pool in the Dutch town of Gemert. On the morning of the attack, they placed an IID at the rear of a patrol car that sat between two other official vehicles and ignited it, destroying the patrol car and seriously damaging the adjacent vehicles. The burning cars were discovered an hour later and extinguished at approximately 4:00AM. In their claim, Revolutionary Resistance mentions 200 migrants on hunger strike in Belgium as their motivation for the attack, acting in solidarity with the “undocumented proletariat” facing deportation.
The group claimed the detonation of a small improvised explosive device (IED) outside of an immigration police station in Amsterdam earlier this year on June 2nd. They described the device as a “timer bomb.” Revolutionary Resistance stated that the Amsterdam attack was a “solidarity action to return violence back to the state,” adding that it was “an answer to the police violence against working class during the Covid-19 pandemic.” According to that claim, it was RR’s third direct action.
(Photo of the IID/IED detonated at the ΑΓΕΤ power plant in Volos)
•July 20—A cell of the DAC calling itself the “Vassilis Maggos Cell” claimed the July 18th attack on the ΑΓΕΤ power plant in Volos. The cell responsible for the attack managed to place an IID fashioned from liter john fuel containers with a large firework in the center to a structure at the base of the powerplant and distance themselves before it detonated. The attack was in retribution for the 2020 death of 27-year-old environmental activist Vassilis Maggos at the hands of Greek police, who was protesting an ΑΓΕΤ rubbish-burning policy when he was severely beaten and later detained by the Greek MAT.
The AGET factory is a wound to the city of Volos... These are the moral perpetrators of last year's events that led to the death of our partner, and this will not be forgotten until we see the ashes and ruins of the factory. […]
In this context we offer several liters of gasoline and many flames to those who daily spread cancer to this entire city. Tears for Vasilis will become their nightmares. And let's never win we will always fight!
-Direct Action Cells “Vassilis Maggos”
The extent of damage caused to the power plant is not clear.
(Home of Yannis Pretenteris)
•July 27—The DAC claimed the IID that was detonated outside the home of Greek journalist and TV persona, Yannis Pretenteris, in the Athens borough of Neo Psychiko around 4:00AM on June 30th. The device did extensive damage to a heavy gate leading to a courtyard in front of the Pretenteris home.
The DAC accuse Pretenteris of disseminating government propaganda, giving a platform to affiliates of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in the 1990s, encouraging xenophobia, and colluding with the country’s powerful elites. According to the DAC, “Pretenteris has proved at every possible opportunity that he is the most loyal mastiff of the corrupt economic and political elite that rules this place with arrogance and impunity all these years.” The claim goes on to accuse Pretenteris of further cooperation with Golden Dawn ahead of their 2012 electoral victories in parliament.
(Business belonging to the wife of Minister Chardalias)
A separate group calling themselves the Proletarian Cell claimed a series of attacks that occurred earlier this year. The claim appeared on the same day as DAC’s claim and first appeared on the same anti-authoritarian website. In it, the Proletarian Cell takes responsibility for a spate of May IID attacks targeting storefronts of businesses belonging to the wife of Deputy Minister for Civil Protection, Christos Chardalias. The communique also claims another attack targeting the home of the VP of Greece’s state-owned electrical utility, HEDNO. The utility’s offices in Thessaloniki were targeted with a similar IID in June of this year, which was claimed by a prominent cell of the DAC, Organization of Anarchist Action.