[spectre] Becoming cockroaches @Syntagma square

pavlos hatzopoulos phatzopoulos at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 11:45:17 CEST 2011

from  http://bit.ly/ldvIK6

Since yesterday, June 28, we live like cockroaches in Syntagma square.
We are sprayed continuously with chemicals by the Greek police
regardless of what we do or what we say, but we persist. We leave
Syntagma square for a while to catch our breath and keep on coming
back. We rest a bit and return to the square. Even before the
chemicals began exploding yesterday morning, we were just sitting on
the pavement and the riot police stormed and arrested a person seating
nearby. When we protested against the arrest, the riot police
responded by arresting another passerby who was just exiting a coffee
shop with a coffee in his hand. To be just standing close to Syntagma
square seems dangerous and certainly suspicious. The arrests are being
enacted to disperse the crowds, but we keep on moving closer to the
square instead of leaving.

As we are becoming cockroaches we begin, without really realizing it,
to adopt tactics of stasis, of perseverance and of endurance, that
were previously unknown to us. Chemicals keep on flying, sound bombs
keep on exploding all around us making terrible noise and the crowds
respond by not leaving, by remaining at Syntagma square. Becoming
cockroaches and growing more and more resistant to the chemicals, our
bodies begin to mutate. In gas masks, painting maalox on our faces,
wearing sun glasses, we persist. The figures in gas masks recognize
each other even when they meet further away from Syntagma square.

Even now that the austerity law was approved in the Greek parliament,
the crowds are not leaving, they are reinforced. “Let’s have an
assembly now,” said someone in the midst of a cloud of chemicals. Like
we did when we “staged the music concert yesterday”, he explains.
Yesterday, we were cleaning and washing the square with water for
hours to disperse the smell of the chemicals and then from a defunct
PA system the Tiger Lillies played live on Syntagma square. Chemicals
and sound bombs started to explode again all around Syntagma, but
everybody remained on the square and kept on dancing.

The classic urban tactics of confrontation -like throwing marbles,
stones, and molotov cocktails against the police- seem and are
secondary in face of our tactics. Cockroaches do not attack, they do
not make much noise, nor do not destroy something. But, we cockroaches
are far more persistent and productive than other animals that are
slowly disappearing.

-Police gas the infirmary @Syntagma metro station http://vimeo.com/25777463

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