Greek anarchist organisations

A number of anarchist and far-left groups are active in Greece and have proven resurgent during the long financial crisis in the country, with frequent violent confrontations between groups and the police or far-right movements. Though less organised than Greece’s extreme nationalist groups, anarchist groups more commonly employ improvised explosive devices (IEDs), causing more damage and injuries.

The most active radical anarchist organisations of the past 15 years are the Epanastatiki Organosi dekaefta Noemvri (Revolutionary Organisation 17 November, 17N), Epanastatikos Agonas (Revolutionary Struggle, E.A.) and Synomosía Pyrínon Tis Fotiás (Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, SPF).

Operational zone

Anarchists operate across Greece, though because of the political and economic significance of the capital Athens, much of the activity occurs there. The downtown neighbourhood of Exarchia became a hotspot for anarchist resistance against the military dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, and many protests take place here. In 2008, a 15-year-old boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, was shot dead in Exarchia by the police, sparking violent riots. Since then, residents say that police rarely come to the neighbourhood.

At least one group, Omada Epsilon (Team Epsilon, O.E.), is active in the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece; others, including the Three Bridges group, operate out of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city.

Anarchists target right-wing politicians, judges and prominent businesspeople as well as party offices, banks and embassies.

Target set

Anarchists target right-wing politicians, judges, prominent businesspeople and high-ranking security officers, as well as political party offices, banks and embassy buildings. In the past two years, anarchists have also violently demonstrated in support of refugees against nationalist rallies.

Between the 1970s and the early 2000s, anarchists killed a CIA director, a high-ranking police official, several foreign diplomats and attachés and a Greek politician. More recently, radical anarchist groups have perpetrated a number of assaults against the far-right Golden Dawn party, including the fatal shooting of two members of Golden Dawn and the wounding of another outside their Neo Irakleio office in Athens in 2013.

Most weapons are made with everyday commercial materials.

Modus operandi

Anarchist groups generally carry out targeted attacks on embassies, businesses and the cars of well-known politicians. They use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and incendiary devices in attacks. In the 1970s and 1980s, they targeted prominent international officials in order to attain as much publicity as possible for their cause.

Most weapons are made with everyday commercial materials. However, in February 2015 a prison warden was murdered in Stilida by Organosi Politofylakis Laiki Dikeosyni (Militia Group Popular Justice, OPLD) using military grade weapons, which suggests an ongoing relationship with organised crime syndicates, at least in weapon trading.

Aside from violent activities, anarchists have recently opened free health clinics and held fundraising events in Athens for social projects and refugee support. In Athens, particularly in Exarchia, anarchists grow fruit and vegetables and hand it out to local residents.

This is an extract from a longer report. Read the full article

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