Manolis Glezos

On March 9, police in Athens tear-gassed the 88-year-old Manolis Glezos. “On May 30 1941, in Nazi-occupied Athens, he and Apostolos Santas climbed up the Acropolis and tore down the Swastika – an action for which he was arrested and tortured the following year.” (Andy)

“Not that the beauty and symmetry of the Parthenon have not been abused and perverted and mutilated. Five centuries after the birth of Christianity the Parthenon was closed and desolated. It was then “converted” into a Christian church, before being transformed a thousand years later into a mosque—complete with minaret at the southwest corner—after the Turkish conquest of the Byzantine Empire. Turkish forces also used it for centuries as a garrison and an arsenal, with the tragic result that in 1687, when Christian Venice attacked the Ottoman Turks, a powder magazine was detonated and huge damage inflicted on the structure. Most horrible of all, perhaps, the Acropolis was made to fly a Nazi flag during the German occupation of Athens. I once had the privilege of shaking the hand of Manolis Glezos, the man who climbed up and tore the swastika down, thus giving the signal for a Greek revolt against Hitler.” – Christopher Hitchens

#210 | “How would it feel if a foreign policeman was beating you up in Athens? (the Greek uprising is truly going European!)

(article written by an Occupied London author for our friends at Last Hours, on the eve of tomorrow’s general strike. Continuous updates and photos, on both websites, tomorrow!)

It is early in the morning of Tuesday, March 9th. Bemused audiences tuned in to an Athens news station to listen to an evidently uncomfortable police spokesperson. How could he not be? He must explain a rather embarrassing incident: days earlier, on March 5th, the police had tear-gassed Manolis Glezos in the face for trying to prevent a youth’s brutal arrest [photo]. Glezos is 88 years old today; it was almost 70 years ago, on May 30 1941, in Nazi-occupied Athens that he and Apostolos Santas climbed up the Acropolis and tore down the Swastika – an action for which he was arrested and tortured the following year.

Trying to justify the police’s action and to show that things must stay under control at any cost, the spokesperson made quite a revealing statement: “if the local police fail at their task”, he claimed, “the EU and the Greek government are ready to dispatch a 7,000-strong European police force to repress what might seem like an upcoming revolt”. “Imagine it!”, he added, “how would it feel if a foreign policeman was beating you up in the streets of Athens?” A funny question, that one. You would imagine police baton blows feel similar regardless of the passports of those holding them. Whether or not his statement was a slip-of-tongue, it definitely seems to hold some validity: a supra-national police force, the “European Gendarmerie Force” (EGF) does exists already and is prepared to take operations in countries where local governments invite it [http://www.statewatch.org/news/2007/oct/eu-gendarmerie-treaty-sept-2007.pdf]. The Greek government have so far declined to answer questions on the issue in parliament. I don’t think Manolis Glezos was expecting to see German public forces on the streets of Athens again in his lifetime. But then again, if they tear-gas the way the Greek cops do, there won’t be that much for anyone to see…

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Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 3:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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