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Syntagma: The square movement in Greece


Mind the Cam in cooperation with DEPO is organizing an informative event on the occasion of one year after the Syntagma square movement. The event consists of some introductions followed by an open discussion in an attempt, one year after, to outsketch the movement and its impact to more recent events in Greece and to explore the obscure, in first glimpse, relativity to the current sociopolitical situation in Turkey. The discussion will be preceded by a short length projection of multimedia material that was produced by the movement’s multimedia team, and some relative material edited by Mind the Cam.


One year has passed since the Greek people’s uprising in Syntagma square last summer. The call from the Spanish indignados in Puerta del Sol (15M) for “real democracy now” arrived in time to spur the outbreak of the Greek people, already under harsh austerity measures for over one year. In May 25th a movement was born in Athens which was named after the Syntagma (constitution) square, where the Greek indignados set up their popular assembly, right in front of the Greek parliament. The Syntagma square assembly by becoming an example of direct democracy and participative decision-making raised the critical issue to the political scene: How can the people retake the control of decision making in today’s “democracies”?

The Syntagma movement was massive for over two months, holding popular assemblies every night where thousands of people participated, organizing numerous events on the square, calling people to demonstrate almost every Sunday and coordinating all these actions with the heartbeat of the global squares. The horizontal nature of this movement, its anti-hierarchical structure and its peaceful demonstrations made it a difficult and strange foe for the Greek government. The only way to deal with it was the way they knew and trusted: by brute violence.

By suppressing this movement the government suppressed at the same time a whole society fighting against austerity, for decent living, for a decent future. Hundreds of thousands of people participated in this grassroots movement and/or demonstrated during those months, not only on the streets of Athens, but all over the country as well. The state violence was delegitimized and thousands of people became the yeast for what was about to follow.

The following year is a year of great struggle and profound changes in the political status quo of the country, which led to the fall of the two-party system in Greece.

These days the Greek people believe in their strength. They believe that everything is possible.

Many analysts and reporters all around the world have expressed the opinion that Greece is the guinea pig for a situation that is rapidly engulfing other countries all over Europe, such as Portugal and Italy. Could this also be the case for Turkey in a few years from now?

Mind the Cam collective is a group of people that stems from the MultiMedia Team (MMT) of Syntagma square. During the events on the square MMT filmed various aspects of the movement, actions and activities that wouldn't be shown in corporate media, and tried to build an informative channel, framed by activists of the square, that would provide grassroots photo- and video-journalism. After the Syntagma square some members of the MMT continued to feed MMT's website with audiovisual material from many movement activities all around Athens, with the hope that it will be a ring in the chain to what we call information “from the people for the people” or “grass root journalism”.

The people that will open the discussion are: Lina Filopoulou, participant in the Syntagma square movement (gender group); Vassilis Chryssos, participant in the Syntagma square movement (MMT), Mind the Cam; Foti Benlisoy, the author of 21. Yüzyılın İlk Devrimci Dalgası. The discussion will be held in English and Turkish.

Saturday June 9th 2012, at 15:30, Depo center, Istanbul
DEPO / Tütün Deposu Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No.12
Tophane 34425 İstanbul

08/06/2012




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