2008 December 07 Sunday
Heard About Riots In Greek Cities?

Did you know that the Greeks are big on public violence?

Thousands of protesters have attacked banks and shops in Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki, angered by the police's killing of a teenager.

Demonstrators threw firebombs, rocks and other objects at the buildings and at police, who responded with tear gas.

Earlier, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos appealed for restraint.

If I didn't regularly visit large numbers of news sites I would have missed the story. We've got Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bombay (aka Mumbai) to worry about. Rioting over police killings can only happen in America is there's some racial angle where evil whites kill saintly blacks. How can the Greeks get so upset about Greek police killing a Greek kid? Does the absence of inter-racial resentment mean that people in the same race have to channel their natural resentments at each other?

Why would the violence spread all the way to Crete? Do youths in Crete look for a reason to riot?

The unrest, the worst in the country in several years, later spread to Thessaloniki and the southern island of Crete.

The BBC says violence during demonstrations is common in Greece. Anyone know why this is so and how long this has been so?

Violence often breaks out during demonstrations in Greece, but people are rarely injured. Last week, a small group of people clashed with police at a protest against the government's education policy.

Imagine physically clashing over education policy. "All we are saying is give teach a chance".

Update: Okay, this makes more sense. This is class conflict.

Despite appeals for calm from the conservative government, leftist demonstrators and anarchists held running battles with security forces on Sunday.


In recent years, anger among Greek youths has been fanned by the growing gap between rich and poor. Violence at student rallies and fire bomb attacks by anarchist groups are common.

Anarchists are leftists who are mad at government because they are not in charge. Anarchism is especially appealing to youths because they have so little power and such low status. People have instinctive desire for power and status. Hence the violence.

Update II: The kid that was killed was throwing stones at a police car.

Nearly 5,000 people rallied outside the National Museum near where the teenage victim, Andreas Grigoropoulos, died late Saturday.

Grigoropoulos was killed by shots fired from a police gun during clashes between police and youths in Athens' Exarchia district. He was among a group of youths who threw stones at a police car.

Stones can kill a person.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 December 07 10:16 AM  Culture Compared

Irish Savant said at December 7, 2008 11:54 AM:

Dont know if your post is facetious Randall, but it's all about Africans rioting because a Nigerian cultural enricher was killed fleeing police. Simple!

Randall Parker said at December 7, 2008 12:02 PM:

Irish Savant,

I read several articles that made no reference to their race. Are you sure? He sounds Greek to me "They passed close to where 15-year-old Andreas Grigoropoulos was shot dead on Saturday.".

Joseph Dart said at December 7, 2008 6:18 PM:

Huh, I would have guessed immigrant Muslims. Greece isn't rolling over for them like countries farther west; the government won't even let them build a mosque near Athens. Greece has 32,000 Pakistanis (Wikipedia used to have an article about this, but apparently they decided to chuck it down the memory hole); they were investigating a bunch of them a while ago for connections to the British public transport bombings back in 2005:

They've also got some Iraqi refugees.

averros said at December 8, 2008 2:33 AM:

> Anarchists are leftists who are mad at government because they are not in charge.
> Anarchism is especially appealing to youths because they have so little power and
> such low status. People have instinctive desire for power and status.

There are two very different kind of anarchism - the leftist anarchism (properly known as "nihilism") and anarcho-capitalism (it is usually considered "rightist" movement - though the whole notion of left vs right is inherently statist). You're making a mistake of conflating them.

The second kind is a principled opposition to use of violent means of obtaining wealth. Needless to say, it adherents are against street riots and inflicting damage to other people's private property. The ancap is growing in popularity among youngsters who finally started to develop resistance to the leftist brainwashing - of both democratic and republican kinds.

Croixtoir said at December 8, 2008 9:48 AM:

These people are playing a big boys game with big boys rules, and cry foul when they get a belt of the stick they wield themselves. You can't expect the police to roll over and do nothing. Shooting the kid was a step too far but sometimes the hammer has to fall. What were the boys parents doing? Why did they allow their boy to be among those attacking the police? Big questions, difficult answers.

Dragon Horse said at December 8, 2008 5:55 PM:

Average Greek IQ is :


Imagine that...impossible. LOL


Dave said at December 9, 2008 12:08 PM:

EuRef blog explains more of whats going on.
Unsupprisingly he is blaming the EU, apparently "there is growing anger at the tough fiscal policies of a government determined to reach the prescriptive benchmarks set out by Brussels".

James Bowery said at December 10, 2008 7:22 AM:

Whether the kid killed was Greek or immigrant, and whether the rioters are Greek or immigrant, one thing is for sure:

Sorting out cause from effect of any social phenomenon becomes confounded by immigration. That is reason enough to oppose it.

Jun said at December 10, 2008 3:23 PM:

It was disgruntled asylum seekers that began rioting in the first place this past Saturday (it's very difficult to get asylum in Greece, apparently, so there are lots o' disgruntled foreigners esp. in Athens). They may have been Nigerians, but I have no idea -- I haven't seen any reports detailing who the rioting asylum seekers were. Keep in mind, though, that there are also a lot of Iraqis, Afghanis and Pakistanis in Athens:

"Asylum seekers riot in Athens"

Then, Saturday night, 15-(or 16-) year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot in the Exarchia district in Athens. That is the district of Athens that is full of immigrants/asylum seekers:

"More protests planned in Greece in wake of riots"

I suppose -- but I'm not entirely sure -- that by Saturday night some Greek "anarchists" (or whatever you want to call them) had joined in the rioting with the asylum seekers. Sounds like Alexandros maybe was one of those:


The original trigger had to do with asylum seekers, but now it seems mostly to be a Greek thing. Class warfare, like you say. Lots o' disaffected Greeks rioting and protesting the shooting of this young man.

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