Abalinx Peter Adamis 22 January 2018
According to my network of friends living in Thessaloniki Greece, they advised me of the following information. They indicated that they were of the opinion that those responsible for defacing the memorial are believed to be called αντιεξουσιαστές meaning anti-governance/authoritarian. In addition, anarchists have also been seen vandalising within the city centre and other areas of Thessalonica. Although there is no hard evidence, he believes that what is known is that these groups with hooded masks have been seen motor cycles carrying out some stupid activities designed to intimidate and scare people from attending the rally. A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: NO EVIDENCE OF ALLEGED VANDALISM BY GOLDEN DAWN AT RALLY
Although these same group of individuals that have yet to be identified were mainly hooded and have been known to blame it on Golden Dawn. As for Golden Dawn which is known to be an extreme right wing group, has in the past few years been known to act in tyrannical manner and done themselves more harm politically by their stupid antics. However they have been relatively “quiet” in the recent past for reasons unknown but to those supporting Golden Dawn. It is believed that they are trying to change their image.
As for the Mayor of Thessaloniki, (Yiannis Boutaris) he does not appear to have had the support of the people and he would be wise to reconsider his political career in the wake of the mood of the people and the size of the rally. The Mayor has been controversial in his policies, a far cry from those of the past. He has had a number of successes but it is believed that he has underestimated the will and passion of the people. I can see many changes occurring in Greece prior to the elections in 2019; whether it’s for the best is another matter, but in the end, it will be based on economics rather than any other issue.
My sources advised me that the rally in itself attracted around 900,000 people from all walks of life. Much more numerous that that being reported by some news media who were at pains to reduce the numbers rather than display the Governments poor showing. On the whole it was a brilliant demonstration of the Greek people’s dissatisfaction with the negotiations and were not happy with the government’s response.
Apparently the elderly and the young that attended the rally in Thessalonica sought refuge on the seashore taverns and cafeterias as the Thessaloniki itself was packed to the rafters. Apparently the throng of people was so great that they looked like a sea of sardines from the port right up until the other end of Thessalonica itself.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, I can honestly say that the rally conducted in Melbourne was well meant, but poorly thought out and organised at the last minute. The peak bodies were not informed I am led to believe and that points to the Consulate General in Melbourne, failure to advise peak bodies in advance and it is no wonder social media confused people about the mixed messages they received.
However despite these attempts approximately Australians of Greek heritage attended the Melbourne rally to demonstrate their support to their brethren in Greece. Various statistics were provided without any real proof, and yet there were figures being bandied about ranging from 500 to 5000. Video footage taken from various angles indicated no more than 1500 in total who had participated in the rally. Others posted on social media alleging that the police had in fact indicated 5000 people attending the rally. Who to believe may be a question that cannot be answered but what is important is that the rally did in fact take place.
On social media, various peak bodies were at pains to play down the numbers and even went so far as to state that there organisations had not sanctioned the rally. Whether this was done for legal reasons and/or for reasons unknown is a matter of conjecture. Those responsible for the rally did indeed had marshals and there was Police presence, as well as officials with loudspeakers and street barriers to indicate the journey being taken to the Greek Consulate.
During the course of the day, I had the opportunity to speak with a number of those attending, and was provided with information every thirty minutes to give me an idea of the crowd and the mood of the rally. Many spoke of their disappointment that peak bodies were not involved and asked what their relevance was in today’s enlightened and wired society.
Other information of interest was the arrival of about five to six members of the FYROM (Skopian) community who watched from the sidelines. According to two members who approached the Police in advance and pointed out the arrivals and that there presence would agitate the protesters, the Police response it is alleged was that they said that they were powerless to act because the FYROM (Skopian) community individuals) were not doing anything.
Suffice to say, when the rally saw the FYROM (Skopian) community individuals they chased them and in one instance one of the FYROM (Skopian) community was knocked out by an Australian Greek youth who was then promptly arrested by the Police. Other than this incident, the crowd was well behaved and dispersed after making their speeches at the Greek Consulate.
Neos Kosmos the Australian Greek Newspaper located in Melbourne, covered the journey, but in my opinion did not do justice to the organisers and the people involved. It appeared that they may have misrepresented the facts which did not coincide with the evidence being displayed on social media.
As indicated above misleading chatter on social media led to people making their own minds up and going with their hearts of what was the right thing to do.. The lessons here are that peak bodies should keep their finger on the pulse in order to provide timely advice. After all they are supposed to represent their various communities are they not? Like any good Greek drama it turned out to be more like a Greek social media tragedy.
In defence of the peak bodies, I am of the opinion that they were not approached and for those that state that they were approached have a lot of explaining to do to their members. One unnamed peak body member was kind enough to advise come by email and others via social media which I must add was somewhat electric atmosphere as they were of the opinion that I was targeting the individual. I must add that was not the case as it is not my habit to attack an individual unless they themselves have erred and made a poor judgement call.
As for rallies of the future, I must admit that it is far better to be organised rather than to demonstrate ad hoc or Willy nilly or even on the spur of the moment. There was sufficient social media chatter regarding this issue but it was not supported by the Greek Consulate or the peak organisations. Irrespective of what instructions the Greek Consulate and pea bodies had, the responsibility lay with them to advise the Australian Hellenic community.
There are many lessons to be learnt from this and one hopes that when the time comes for another rally that all interested parties come to the table and plan out the rally and not leave it to the also moment. Better still, there should be emergency contingencies put into place where peak bodies can be called upon to attend. Failure to adhere to the lessons of history will only reduce the peak bodies’ effectiveness and relevance in today’s society. In short they will become a laughing stock in the eyes of global Hellenism.
Disclaimer. I have stated on many occasions that I am not a member, nor do I support Golden Dawn other than to seek the truth. There is far too much propaganda going on in Greece at the moment with all political parties reaching out to the people seeking their votes. I was also provided with an article regarding this matter as shown below. As stated above, Golden Dawn is trying to clean up their act while the current government is attempting to nullify any opposition. It is a very tough time politically in Greece and I for one do not have the back ground knowledge to make any worthwhile assessment other than to provide information for others to decide for themselves.
Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), and Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0481 342 791
GREEK ARTICLE: THESSALONIKI – BURNING THE GREEK FLAG & VANDALISM
New tensions occurred a little while ago in Thessaloniki during the grand pardon for Macedonia. The episode was made a short while ago in Vas. Georgiou, in the centre of Thessaloniki. People who held Greek flags while heading for the rally for Macedonia passed in front of the occupation of “School”.
Then they were attacked by anti-authoritarians who threw bottles, stones and flares to them. On the spot there were men of the MAT, who blocked the point. A short time earlier, according to Focus FM, a group of anti-authoritarians ripped a Greek flag from a group of people who participated in the rally and burned it. About ten guys attacked two girls about 15 years old, who held Greek flags and headed to the rally. According to eyewitnesses who tried to defend the girls, the hooded men were quarrelling with them and even a citizen denounced him from the fight being injured in the face.
At the same time, on the occasion of the concentration in Thessaloniki for the name of Macedonia, there is a counter-concentration from the anti-authoritarian area. People from the anti-authoritarian area began to gather at the site. Closed at this time Egnatia, at the height of Kamara. Police banned people with Greek flags from crossing the point of contradiction to avoid tension. While all of this going on at the same time, anarchists withdrew banners from Banalio on Niki Avenue, which was in favour of Macedonia.
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL IN THESSALONIKI DESECRATED WITH “GOLDEN DAWN” GRAFFITI
Only days after the desecration with “Free Palestine” graffiti, the Thessaloniki Holocaust memorial was vandalized by Greek Nazis with “Golden Dawn” graffiti. Tens of thousands of Greeks protested today in Thessaloniki the use of the name “Macedonia” in a solution to a dispute between Greece and Republic of Macedonia. The rally drew around 90,000 people, according to police estimates. It was attended by politicians, members of Greek diaspora groups and some hard-line clerics. MPs of the extreme-right Golden Dawn also joined the protest. Earlier today, Greek news outlet thestival.gr detected anti-Semitic leaflets at the White Tower square targeting the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris, and calling him “a slave of the Jews”.
PHOTO ALBUM THESSALONIKI AND MELBOURNE