Athens has been especially tense for the last ten days. Social and political conflict is escalating. Ten days ago at the general strike, riot police beat an anarchist demonstrator into a coma and hospitalized dozens more. When repressive governments feel that they are losing control, when they fear the spread of an idea, they resort to brutal repression. One only needs to look to Syria right now to see this at its extreme. As the ruling class clings to power in times of crisis, intimidation becomes the weapon of choice to assert dominance.After the unprovoked attack by the police on the tail end of the general strike demonstration, protesters responded to the police onslaught with a barrage of rocks, powerful fireworks, and molotov cocktails. Running street battles flared throughout downtown Athens, migrating towards the friendly streets of Exarchia. Dumpsters again burned in the streets to block the movement of riot police. Dozens of young anarchists carried out hit and run attacks on riot police from the Polytechnic University, a place police are forbidden to enter. Hundreds more occupied Exarchia square and the streets surrounding it. Firefighters arrived when police could clear an area long enough for them to extinguish the burning dumpsters and barricades. The march started at 11 am, and the street fighting didn’t end that night until 8 pm.
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