A breaking live news broadcast on Greek television station ERT TV was cut short by a group of anarchists under the name Rubicon, who stormed the stage and demanded to be given some air time.
Few details have emerged as to what exactly the endgame of breaking into the studio to interrupt the live broadcast was, but it appears that the group of anarchists wished to read some kind of a protest text to the Greek public. What exactly that speech called for remains unknown, as negotiations with the protesters never yielded any fruit for the intruders. Anchorman Panos Haritos said that he offered to read the manifesto, but that Rubicon had refused, likely on the grounds of their message would be subverted, reported ABC News.
Before the anarchists managed to get their thoughts on the live TV news broadcast, police arrived on scene and arrested at least 24 of them. At least one cameraman was injured in the scuffle, although no other causes for medical attention were reported.
While the technique of jumping in on a live TV news broadcast was new, anarchists in Greece have staged several other protests recently in order to gain attention for their cause. Rubicon made headlines in 2015 for storming both the party headquarters of the ruling Syriza party as well as the national parliament, reported Sputnik News.
Aside from the latest live news, anarchism has a nearly 200-year history in Greece. The country is actually considered to be one of the most active hotbeds of the political philosophy. Widely viewed by the public as groups of violent teenagers breaking public property, the primary tenants of anarchy are based on assuring that state institutions are functioning in a way that works best for the people they are created to serve. Renowned linguist and political scientist Noam Chomsky has been a staunch defender of anarchy, including in a 2013 interview with Alternet.
“Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy. It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say, imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are justified. It assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a position of power and authority lies on them. Their authority is not self-justifying.”
That doesn’t, however, expunge the fact that live TV news coverage in Greece does often show anarchists carrying out acts of violence. Dangerous conflicts between police and protesters take place at many of the country’s protests, even for causes not directly linked with anarchism. VICE News has done several pieces documenting the atmosphere at such public demonstrations.
A recent in-depth Al Jazeera piece on the modernization of anarchy in Greece, however, noted that the group is making a conscious effort to shift this off-putting live TV news coverage to something that speaks to everyday citizens beaten down by austerity and endemic corruption. One anonymous source told the publication that this was the new frontier.
“For the social revolution to happen, you need a big part of society that agrees with you and sees you providing solutions. In the past we offered only our ideology. That didn’t change things for people in everyday life. But now we’re changing that.”
In the fight for the Greek public’s attention, anarchists seem to be moving from the street to more traditional means of communication like live TV broadcasts, breaking the norms of what it means to fight oppressive systems in the process.
[Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images]