This journal has often noted the injuries and assaults on photojournalists such as those covering Seattle’s 2012 violent May Day street demonstration or Tony Overman of the Daily Olympian as an example of the ‘fatwas’ against photojournalists put out by various (A)narchist blogs/publications, enjoying the fruits of 1st Amendment guarantees while they make every effort to deny them to selected others. This is not simply idiosyncratic perfidy in the Pacific NW, but an ill conceived overarching global effort on the part of these violent street radicals to quash the right of the public to see/hear what is in their midst by the media/reporter of their choice, to undermine the very tools necessary for an open democratic process. The separation between these wanton vandals, the Taliban, and the civil rights crushing brute power of the state is a distinction without a meaningful difference.
The following report from Greece illustrates this point:
(A)narchists calling themselves ‘Lovers of Lawlessness’ (the core of the Circles of Offenders) and Fighting Minority have assumed responsibility for the cases of arson in front of houses of journalists. Thu, 01/17/2013 – 02:04 They released a statement on the website of the so-called anarchist space.
The statement, entitled “Breaking News: Arson in houses of journalists”, notes among other things: “The media are the official representatives of the system. Under the new conditions, their role will be changed – from keepers of the balance between society and the political system, into main leaders of the repressive state plans, by means of social manipulation. In Western democracies, a supposedly objective judge has always been needed to oversee democratic freedoms, destroying, in parallel, real struggles for freedom.” Recent police actions in buildings in central Athens are also mentioned and it is noted that these cases of arson at houses of journalists represent a clear position against slanderers. The reasons why certain journalists were attacked are also explained.
A new circle of political skirmishes between government representatives and SYRIZA began, following the firebombs attack on Thursday night at the entrance of the block where famous journalists live. These are employees of the Athens News Agency, newspapers and television. The attacks began at 3:40 a.m. from Kolonaki and continued in Agia Paraskevi, Pendeli, Maroussi and Alimos. Targets included journalists George Ikonomeas, Antonis Skilakos, Evangelia Baltadzi, Antonis Liaros, Petros Karsiotis and Christos Konstas. George Ikonomeas does not live in the house that was attacked. His children live there. An explosion was first registered in Ikonomeas’s house in Kolonaki, then, at 4:10, at the house of Antonis Liaros in Agia Paraskevi, and, at 4:15, at the house of Antonis Skilakos and his wife Evangelia Baltadzi in Pendeli. At the same time, there was an explosion in Maroussi, at Christos Konstas’s house, and, at 4:45, at Petros Karsiotis’s house in Alimos.
This morning, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said from Cyprus, where he is on a visit together with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, that he condemns the attacks and blamed SYRIZA and “their spoilt hooded kids” for them. The full statement of Kedikoglou reads: “Yesterday – an invasion of radio stations. Today, explosions at houses of journalists. An open terror against the media is being conducted. What does SYRIZA want in order to finally give up their spoilt children with hoods?”
A statement by SYRIZA followed, condemning the attacks, and noting: “Once again, such dangerous actions provide an alibi for a government that has adopted a strategy of division, violence and terror against the Greek society, so that it can continue to restrict democracy.” The statement also reads that SYRIZA absolutely condemns today’s attacks against homes of journalists. “Today’s statement of the government spokesman is an absolute example. It proclaimed the recent days’ division and intolerance in a laughable but dangerous way … The fight to protect public and political rights of the world of the working will continue on the basis of mass united peaceful struggles, whether today’s government of the memorandum wants it or not.”
George Ikonomeas also said that the responsibility is SYRIZA’s. As one of the victims, he declared his resentment to party MP George Statakis, who was his guest on the show on Mega TV.
New Democracy said: “We strongly condemn the attacks against homes of journalists. This coordinated attempt of terror against members of the press will be in vain. It is the duty of all of us to support the foundations of democracy.”
Fofi Genimata, PASOK’s press officer, also condemned the attacks against journalists. “This chain of blind violence, lawlessness and political instability, with attacks on offices of political parties, public buildings and universities, politicians, and, now, journalists, is an organised plan for terror and must be stopped immediately,” reads the party statement. “Social and political peace must be kept by all means, without cheap excuses. All political and social forces are obliged to defend our country’s democratic nature.”
The Democratic Left noted that violence has become endemic. After the attacks against radio stations, buildings, party offices, now there are firebombs against homes of journalists. The party condemned the attacks, which, according to them, are directed against society and democracy, and offend freedom of thought. It is noted that all political parties should take a clear position against violence.
General Secretary of the Communist Party Aleka Papariga said the party condemns the attacks, and the main question is what kind of combat society needs today and where these events will lead to.
President of the Organisation of Chief Editors of Daily Newspapers in Athens, Dimitris Trimis, said: “It seems that the strategy of tension, implemented by government circles, is progressing. Curious circles inside and outside the state and the mafia target the freedom of thought and information, and disorient and frighten society by means of a process of elimination of democracy, for the benefit of the most extreme forces of oligarchy.” Trimis added that democracy must respond with more force in order to defend the freedom of the press and oppose poverty and inequality, brought by the memorandum with mass creative struggles.