The riots in Athens Greece have been all over the news the past few days. Despite Being the birthplace of democracy,cities around Greece, Athens in particular, have fallen to chaos.

Greece has had many riots since, however yesterdays were the first time that anyone had been killed in one since 1991. And unfortunately when it rains it pours. Four lives were taken, one not even begun.

Some say they shouldn’t have been there trying to open the bank. But they were just doing their job. A day closed for a bank isn’t great for business and nor is spending the day in the street. It isn’t good for the current workers of the city, nor the future workers. All public and Greeks schools were closed. Only Foreign schools remained open the past few days.

Others say that it was fair that they be killed. Some people refuse to call it murder, but they just wont accept the facts. These people were killed because of the actions of many. One individual who threw the Molotov cocktail, and the large horde of protesters who blockaded a street so as not to let the fire engines reach the burning bank, wasting precious moments in saving the victims lives. Most likely they dies of suffocation due to the smoke. If the engines had been there earlier, they could have very easily been saved.

Alas the most infuriating thing is the lack of responsibility and initiative on everyone’s part. Mostly the bank the the victims were trying to open. They say the government should have protected them. Provided them with security. so on and so on. We’ve heard it all before. But why couldn’t the business have closed down, refused to open for the security of its employees in a preemptive strike? Especially a bank, especially in that area, the most notorious for violent riots. The Answer: Greed, but does it have to be? It seems as though since the beginning of time  people have not managed to survive past childhood without being tainted by corruption and greed.

On top of that, are such riots even legal? If we take a glance at what happens every time Greece erupts into a fit of  violent protests, no charges are made. I’m not radical, but I would like to see justice brought to the family of the victims. The point is that murder is against the law. Violent protests are against the law (people have a right to peaceful demonstration, but not riots such as we’ve seen of late). Especially when they put people at danger, let alone take lives. But at least charges could be pressed for the damage done by the rioters, no? why shouldn’t those who participate contribute to paying for the merchandise and property damaged or lost in fires? The Answer: Because no one is willing to call anyone out and have them pay the price. Also, how are you to identify one person among the hundreds of protesters.

Greece’s neighbor  with equally vivacious protesters came up with a witty solution. The riot police would use pressurized water cannons to subdue and control protesters which is highly effective. But when everyone is wearing gas masks and scarves and hoods? Turkey had the answer here too. The water in the cannons are tainted with a highly distinctive dye which is fairly permanent and has an unique molecular structure. The next day, or even week after, those who participated in the riots are exposed for all to see with dyed hands, faces and necks or any other skin that was exposed, as well as their clothes. It doesn’t come out even at the dry cleaners and if they try to throw the clothing out or give it away, its easy to tell that they are the guilty party. The idea stems from a way the ancient Greeks developed at the birth of democracy. All men were expected to attend the forums, the democratic houses of speech and discussion, and it was a great sin not to join. That person would be viewed as disrespectful or unpatriotic. So after the doors had been locked, guards would walk around the agora with a rope held between them at knee length which had been dipped into red dye. Any citizen stranded outside the forums would be spoiled by the dye which served as a form of public shaming. It was highly effective, so why does Greece refuse to implement such techniques now? That I do not have an answer to.

Anyways, more news from Greece today. My cousin who goes to a British School there sent me an email which I just read. She said the trees had suddenly started to pollinate again, with bundles of the white fluffy stuff drifting down from the sky like tears of the trees moving just as slowly as they grow. Everyone who is affected by allergies also cried their own tears again. “All in all” she says, “the attitude was very somber today at school. Almost everyone felt the pressure the crisis had put on them. Everyone felt sorrow for those souls lost and denounced those disgraced figures who took them before their time. Especially that baby. To think a life hardly even begun was affected by the riots, is a true shame. Hopefully he would have made his impression on the people who did this to him.”

I guess that really is all we can hope for. For them to rest, and for the nations problems to be ameliorated as soon as possible.

So let me ask my question of the day before I sign out. One person taking the life of one other is a horrible thing. One person taking the lives of many is even worse. So does that mean that these three live that we taken by many hands, a cynically twisted community effort, is dispersed among them to mean next to nothing in a court of law? I really don’t think it should. But leave your comments or email me at miraella_rose@yahoo.com to let me know your views on whats been happening lately or anything else. I’m all eyes.

One more thing, just to show how crazy things have gotten in Greece; soccer (or football if you prefer) games have been canceled throughout the country. At least one was canceled last night in Thessaloniki, the nations second largest city who also had a lot of riots of its own (cities throughout Greece struggled against the rioters, dont think it was just athens) and at least one other is canceled tonight. Volley ball games have been canceled as well. This is just to put the riots in scale for you. To think about how passionate the country is about soccer and how famous they are for their riots at soccer games (they provide the majority of the Greek riot police’s employment) have been canceled due to political riots. Ah, I guess for some Greeks there isn’t much difference between the two. Even I know how much politics is involved int he corrupt Greek soccer leagues. Entire books have been read about just the past ten years of it!

Paying a moment of silence (to the relief of my brother) for those who have suffered,

Mirella

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