Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Enough is never enough

As you may all have seen and heard, the news from Greece this week sets us apart, yet again, from all other civilized countries.

On Saturday evening, a 15 year old boy was shot to death on the streets of Athens. What was to follow was, to say the least, a wave of crime and violence all over Greece. The fury of the public has reached a peak, and no-one has even an ounce of humanity in them to accept that what we have witnessed over the last few days is not only screams of rage for an unacceptable crime, but also the consequences of living in a country where corruption reigns.

Whilst watching scenes of cities burning all over Greece, I could not decided whether I wanted to be there, in the streets, fighting against injustice, or whether I would prefer to merely write about this so called "just, democratic system", or whether I wanted to scream for there to be a god who would give Alexander his life back. I realised then, in all my fury that nothing is right. I have lived through a lot of pain. My parents have lived through wars, through military governments, through hardship... but now, at this very moment...nothing is right. When our world collapses, it's different. It's different because there is always the bigger picture. The whole world around us is the bigger picture. Lives continue, people go on. But what happens when the bigger picture collapses. Where do you go from there?

At one moment, hearing the news that the the Dean of the University of Athens had handed in his resignation, a terrible thought went through my mind. It was a thought that I wish I had never had, but one that has possessed my mind during the night. What if this was all a set-up. Maybe I have watched too many movies, but what if the rioting and the burning and the looting were all part of a different plan. A plan to take our attention away from the reality. The reality that a young life had been put to an end even before it had begun.

I have never seen a city collapse so quickly. I have never seen Greece pillaged and torn apart, and those were the scenes we witnessed last night. So terrifying and destructive that nothing could take our attention away from them...nothing...

The leaders of our country are no longer leaders, as for almost seven hours the countries heart was being torn apart and nothing was being done. Today our leaders are declaring a war against those who rioted, those who destroyed, those who burnt down people's businesses. Today, those people have decided to, basically, do nothing. Nothing to take back any ounce of the corruption that is seeping its way through Greece's veins. Nothing to make any sense of the death of a 15 year old boy.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime"... or in our case ..."Give a man a gun and you make him feel safe. Teach a man to shoot and you make him think he's God."

In memory of Alexandros Grigoropoulos.