I don’t know if this date for other people from other countries signifies something historical and important for their country, but here in Greece this date for 4 years now brings to our memories terrifying facts.
It was shortly after 9 pm Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. Alexandros Grigoropoulos was with friends at the intersection of Messolonghiou and Tzavella streets at Exarchia. A little earlier, the patrol crew scuffled with these children. The patrol withdrew, but experts guards Epaminondas Korkoneas and Vassilis Saraliotis, returned on foot to the point. Epaminondas Korkoneas, asked the reason of the kids, picked up the gun and shot twice. A bullet found Alexander, so he drops dead. The special guards left and then informed the police on the radio that they were attacked by the children, story that was the official statement of the central patrol for a few hours and furthermore referring to the fact as an ostracism of the bullet.
After a long time of trials and investigations, the court convicted Epaminondas Korkoneas to life sentence for murder with direct intent and imprisonment of 15th months for use of firearms in acts and Vassilis Saraliotis was convicted in 10-year sentence with the guilty of complicity.
The day after 6th of December
Immediately people in different cities of Greece started demonstrating for the horrific events. The biggest took place in Athens were students and people of all ages run in the streets declaring against the murder that had happened. A war was started between the enraged crowd and the patrol, and Athens looked like a field of war with fires and fights. Every year demonstrations start on this date in the memory of young Alexis, by children, students and citizens.
We need to keep in mind this event and never let it go. The weird thing is that there are people that take advantage of this event and they ruin the demonstrations by provoking and ruining and burning stores. We would like to demonstrate without incidences neither from the crowd nor from the police. Because the police should be on the side of the crowd and not against it. We shouldn’t feel threatened by the patrol and not act like opponents. We should be protected by them not frightened.
This act of violence is a small sample of what is happening in this country, and it was awakening for many of us.
But we don’t have to wait for these things to happen to understand the situation in this country and how things work.