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Greece: Is it time for the #GreekRevolution?

The peaceful mass popular protests in cities across Spain, calling for democracy and protesting bipartisanship on the eve of elections, caught Greeks by surprise after a year of fruitless protests in Greece against IMF/ECB imposed austerity measures. Many Greek netizens reacted in solidarity to the sight and sounds of the “Spanish Revolution” and considered their own predicament.

Greece + Spain = Solidarity

Spanish protesters, reportedly influenced by the Greek student revolts of 2007-2008, tweeted solidarity to Greece, being the first European Union country to taste the sting of IMF/ECB austerity since last year:

@GonChristopher: GREECE from Spain we say to you WAKE UP!!! go out to the street and claim freedom!!!! THE TIME IS NOW!!! #greekrevolution #spanishrevolution

And solidarity was tweeted back:

@neopolitis: Solidarity from Greece. #yeswecamp #acampadesol#spanishrevolution

"SOLIDARITY WITH GREECE" #greekrevolution, Valladolid (Spain). Twitpic photo by Christopher Gonzalez.

"SOLIDARITY WITH GREECE" #greekrevolution, Valladolid (Spain). Twitpic photo by Christopher Gonzalez.

Greek exchange student and Global Voices Greek translator Nathalie Fytrou attended the May 20 Puerta Del Sol rally, tweeting reports to this author via SMS, and posting a photoset on Flickr when she returned home:

@asteris: At Madrid's Puerta Del Sol subway station, they substituted ‘Sol’ with ‘Solucion’ on the sign (@NathalieFytrou via SMS) #acampadasol

@asteris: #acampadasol @NathalieFytrou: “#15m movt comparable to #griots movt; talking abt reaching out to society, workplaces, schools, universities”

@NathalieFytrou: Just came back from Puerta del Sol.. What an amazing night! More organized things tonight.#spanishrevolution

Giannis Nikolopoulos (@Xeirwn) posted non-stop inside updates from Spain,

@Xeirwn: η συντονιστική ομάδα της ΝτεμοκράσιαΡεάλ στην Μαδρίτη τονίζει:πρότυπό μας και η Ελλάδα του Δεκέμβρη 2008 #rbnews #spanishrevolution

@Xeirwn: the DemocraciaRealYa! organizing committee stresses: Greece in December 2008 is our role model#rbnews #spanishrevolution
20,000 Greeks protest over new austerity measures in central Athens. Image by Mary Stamm-Clarke, copyright Demotix (11/05/11).

20,000 Greeks protest over new austerity measures in central Athens. Image by Mary Stamm-Clarke, copyright Demotix (11/05/11).

While others Twitter users were also conveying messages and images from Spain to Greece:

@miawkoue: another msg from spain: we have the solution! put the bankers in prison #spanishrevolution

And Brussels resident Krotkie tweeted and blogged revolutionary updates from across Europe [el], as revolution fever gripped Greek Twitter users:

@krotkie: http://tinyurl.com/68q8b92 και οι Γερμανοί στο παιχνίδι #germanrevolution #rbnews

@krotkiehttp://tinyurl.com/68q8b92 Germans enter the game too #germanrevolution

@krotkie: οι Ιταλοί καλουν αυριο στη Piazza Duomο στις 7.30 #rbnews

@krotkie: Italians calling for a gathering at Piazza Duomo tomorrow at 7.30

@athensbynite: Μπέστε εδώ #irishrevolution , μόνο εμείς λείπουμε #greekrevolution

@athensbynite: Check this out #irishrevolution, we're the only ones missing #greekrevolution

@Cyberela: I want to catch that Spanish revolutionary virus too! #SpanishRevolution #Greece

@Cyberela: Where the f*ck is the #GreekRevolution. Are we PIIGS or what! #Greece #SpanishRevolution

From camp map: Greece greets Spain. #SpanishRevolution #solidarity. Twitpic screenshot by @Cyberela.

From camp map: Greece greets Spain. #SpanishRevolution #solidarity. Twitpic screenshot by @Cyberela.

A “Greek revolution” in the making?

The #greekrevolution hashtag was quickly adopted:

@Baracunda: Οι Ισπανοι κανουν το αυτονοητο…μαζευονται στις πλατειες…δε κανουν πορειες…τοσο δυσκολο ειναι να το κανουμε και ‘μεις; #greekrevolution

@Baracunda: The Spanish are doing the obvious… gathering in public squares, not going on marches. Why is it so hard for us to do the same? #greekrevolution

Only to be flooded by sceptics and cynics:

@fotek75: Αν γίνει κάτι παρόμοιο με την Ισπανία στην Ελλάδα βλέπω να καταργούνται οι πλατείες με νομο

@fotek75: If something similar to [the #SpanishRevolution] happens in Greece, they'll probably ban public squares by law

@Ali_ki: Όταν αρχίσουν οι απολύσεις στο δημόσιο, τότε μάλλον θα αρχίσει και η #greekrevolution

@Ali_ki: Probably the only way #greekrevolution will start will be with public sector layoffs

@2metrapalikari: ΛΟΙΠΟΝ, είναι απλό. Όσοι θέλετε #greekrevolution σκάστε μύτη Κυριακή στο Σύνταγμα. Όσοι δε θέλετε #greekrevolution, σκάστε να κοιμηθούμε.

@2metrapalikari: Ok, it's simple: those of you that want a #greekrevolution, show up at Syntagma on Sunday noon. Those of you that don't want a #greekrevolution, shut up and let us sleep.

But revolution advocates were adamant:

@miawkoue: the domino already started with or without u #greece It's ur call. #greekrevolution

@amaradino: Είμαστε επίτιμοι καλεσμένοι στο πάρτυ των λαών για δημοκρατία και αξιοπρέπεια και αργούμε.ας αφήσουμε για λίγο την πλάκα #greekrevolution

@amaradino: We are honorary guests at the peoples’ party for democracy and dignity, and we're late to the party. Let's stop fooling around for a while #greekrevolution

An impromptu call went out for a gathering in Athens next Sunday, after heated discussions:

@tasos_hardcore: Κυριακή 12 το μεσημέρι,στο Σύνταγμα.Ας έρθει όποιος θέλει να διαμαρτυρηθεί για την αδικία της Κυβέρνησης.Πόσοι μπορούμε να μαζευτούμε άραγε;

@tasos_hardcore: Sunday 12 at noon, Syntagma square. Let everyone who wants to protest against government injustice be there. How many can we gather?

A Facebook group to promote protests inspired by the Spanish movement, titled “Democracia Real Ya, Grecia” [el], was set up (numbering 4,884 users at the time this post was being written), and a meme made popular during the Arab Spring protests made an appearance:

@yns_x: Instaling democracy 2.0 in Greece ██░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ 5%

First solidarity camp

solidarity camp was called by the group in front of the Spanish Embassy in Athens on Saturday, however attendance was reportedly low:

@Gangelakis: At 19:00 starts a camp at Spanish embassy at Athens (Greece). #spanishrevolution #europeanrevolution #nonosvamos #acampadasol

Solidarity protest in front of the Spanish embassy in Athens. Photo by Gabriel Piperas on Facebook.

Solidarity protest in front of the Spanish embassy in Athens. Photo by Gabriel Piperas on Facebook.

Solidarity protest in Athens: last rites for democracy administered by a corrupt priest. Twitpic photo by Cyberela.

Solidarity protest in Athens: last rites for democracy administered by a corrupt priest. Twitpic photo by Cyberela.

Lamenting the apathy of Greeks about the chronic ills that plague the birthplace of democracy, Cyberela blogged [el] in admiration of the Spanish revolution, pointing to the revolution camp map:

Καθώς η Ελλάδα αδρανεί και κρύβεται πίσω από τις ωχαδερφικές δικαιολογίες δεκαετιών που δίνουν ασυλία στην καθολική κατάντια, η ιδέα για μία πραγματική δημοκρατία, μίας συμμετοχικής δημοκρατίας που δεν υποδουλώνεται και δεν διαστρεβλώνεται αρχίζει και παίρνει μορφή στις πλατείες μας.

As Greece lingers in inertia and hides behind the indifferent excuses of decades gone by that shelter total misery, the idea of a true democracy, a participatory democracy that cannot be enslaved or twisted begins to take shape in our squares.

At the time of writing this post, there were 10 Greek pins on the camp map, but only the two events in Athens had been announced.

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