Greeks Won't Take It No More
- Greeks are "moving to the next stage of resistance that has emerged from nonstop anti-austerity protests and demonstrations in the streets over the past two years" -
One of Greece's most important national days became a day of mass protest against the Greek government's capitulation to the European Union occupation of the country.
October 28 commemorated the 71st anniversary of the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War of 1940-41. It is called "Oxi Day" ("oxi" means "no" in Greek) and the day commemorates the rejection to Benito Mussolini's ultimatum that Greece allow the stationing of Fascist troops.
This led to the Italian invasion which was beaten back by the Greeks, thus leading to the invasion by Nazi Germany.
In Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, thousands of protesters booed and heckled President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias and his entourage, shouting "Traitors!" and causing the parade to be called off and officials evacuated by police.
According to observers, the riot police did not use batons or tear gas, knowing it would create a totally uncontrollable riot, from a protest. Similar incidents happened in all the major cities and islands.
In the Athens annual student parade, students passed the reviewing stand holding up black handkerchiefs, as a sign of protest, and while all the musicians of the Athens municipal band had black ribbons on their instruments.
In other cities, tomatoes and verbal abuse were hurled at politicians. The Greek government and other politicians tried to spin this as an illegitimate and undemocratic protest, and not a direct response to the fact that the government one day before had declared "yes" to that EU occupation.
Commenting on the demonstrations, the Greek website of the Research Institute of European and American Studies stated that the Greek people "are moving to the next stage of resistance that has emerged from nonstop anti-austerity protests and demonstrations in the streets over the past two years.
"With the Papandreou regime sliding ever so fast down the chute toward purely police tactics aimed at suppressing the unstoppable swell of opposition to its collaborator policies, today's protests delivered a keenly symbolic lesson: they demonstrated (and especially what happened in Thessaloniki) that the regime, beginning at the very top, is beyond the point of political survival and is kept standing only by the ever thinning lines of helmeted anti-riot police, whose officers, let us not forget, are also receiving the same paltry salaries as the vast majority of the rest of Greek workers, all part of the 'accomplishments' of the Papandreou regime, the most reviled and hated of all post-war Greek governments."
The protests were applauded by World War II resistance hero Manolis Glezos, 89, who told ANT-1 TV: "What happened in Thessaloniki restores the true meaning of October 28. Seventy-one years ago our people said 'no' to subjugation and today the people are saying 'no' to our country becoming a protectorate."