Ιn many ways, it was a typical day in Greece under the Mitsotakis government: Any and all protests, marches and gatherings, being met with severe crackdown from heavily-armoured riot police.
What has also become “the norm”, is that the police does not shy away from using excessive force even against Members of Parliament.
MeRA25, being the only parliamentary party to have a constant presence in civil protests, marches and gatherings, was once more on the receiving end of this treatment. In this particular case Maria Apatzidi, our youngest MP, was graced with a black eye and bruised arm for her “audacity” to question riot police about their use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrators.
What was not “business as usual”, was the cause of the protest. Just the day before, Greek police was engaged in a car chase. The driver of the car, suspected of driving a stolen vehicle, would not respond to calls from the DIAS police to stop the car. When they finally cornered him, (ignoring direct orders from HQ to abandon the chase) they fired no less then 36 bullets towards the vehicle, killing one of the passengers on the spot (all of 18 years old) and severely injuring the other two (16 and 20 years old.). This unheard-of practice forced the Ministry of Civil Protection to immediately order the detention of the policemen involved, and begin a rapid investigation in the how’s and why’s.
Other government officials were not impressed. Minister of Agriculture Adonis Georgiadis, known for his extreme far-right ideas and a regular in TV panels 24/7, 365/y, rushed to congratulate the mafia-style spray of bullets as “exemplary work”, thus signaling that there is going to be an “understanding” from the part of the government when the investigation reaches its conclusion.
This event by itself is a worrying sign of a western democracy distancing itself from the separation of powers, a vital component of a democratic state. The fact that policemen have come to repeatedly beat MPs, their superiors, without fear of consequences, is even more worrying, and even more telling.
MeRA25 will never “get used” to this. We will continue to be present whenever peaceful demonstrators demand social justice, government accountability and a functioning democracy.
And will not stop until all these become “a typical day in Greece”.
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