Time to prove sincerity

on . Posted in English texts


Diamantis Mantzounis, 21 years old, a rookie policeman. As you read these words, he is fighting for his life. All he probably wanted to do was get through his shift and get some rest, go out with his friends, see his girlfriend and check in with his parents to say that he was OK.

Instead, he is in the intensive-care unit because a handful of people believed that by shooting him they would somehow change society, make it more just. They sought revenge for blood already spilt. For those who raised their Kalashnikov rifles against the policeman, he was nothing more than a "pig," a "murderer." Isn't that the latest slogan chanted by the forces of "progress"? Isn't that what so many hundreds around the country have been shouting at the police and, what's worse, without causing a ripple? "Pigs" don't have dreams. No one even cares if they have a life, even if they are just 21 years old. And now we have the usual babble about a grand conspiracy trying to undermine the student "struggle."

Yet everyone knows that behind all this there are some brainless oafs who took the words of some other brainless oafs - such as "violence against the violence of authority" and "resistance against the terrorism of the police" - too seriously. Some believed that violence is the midwife of history and they decided to give her a C-section. But let's not cower behind big words and fancy pronouncements: Ideology has its fair share of responsibility in this vicious attack.

The forces of "progress" have an opportunity to prove that they are sincere when they speak out against violence. For all the marches they had for Alexis, the young school student who lost his life so unjustly in December, maybe they could have another, just one, for the unjustly injured Diamantis. They can show that they are against violence in all forms, whether it comes from a policeman's firearm or a terrorist's rifle. They can isolate the oafs and fight the phenomenon before it breeds. They can yell "Terrorists, pigs, murderers." And this time, they will be right.

KATHIMERINI English Edition, 07/01/2009