Even Dogs Can Play the Riot Game.

Since there has been a fair bit of bad jokes in the NZ blogosphere as of late, including here at KP, I thought I would continue the Greek-themed posts of the past few weeks with one that humourosly shows the extent to which demos and riots are part of the Athenian way of life. Check it out here.

Hat tip: Tom Charteris.

UPDATE: Some of the dates in the photos apparently are wrong. The dog in question was named Kanellos and lived on the University of Athens campus (which is downtown) as a street dog. His collar was provided by a volunteer organisation that sterilises and vaccinates street dogs. He was a legend in his own time and died in July 2008 (or maybe later–more on this in the comments on the linked post). Either way, his life and times, and the role of his purported heirs (Lukas in particular), illustrates the point about the role of street activism in Athenian civil society. Were  it that NZ activists had these dog’s bollocks.

7 thoughts on “Even Dogs Can Play the Riot Game.

  1. The dog’s demeanour is quintescent old school anarcho-sindicalist: relaxed amid the turmoil, insolent to the point of insouance in the face of the state’s security forces, and feeding off the adrenelin rush of street action that nothing short of guerrilla warfare can bring. Ah, to be a insurrectionist street dog! I would have named him Leon or Rosa. (Kanellos refers to the color of his pelt).

    BTW: The bank being attacked in one of the photos is the same bank where 3 people were killed last week, which makes the decision to keep it open in the face of repeated attacks all the more heinous.

  2. George says:
    I live in Athens, in exarxeia and this dog is very famous and everybody feeds and loves this animal.BUT his name is LOUK,from Loukanikos a word that means sausage,because he used to eat sausages all the time.He lives on the street,he has no master and he, allong with 4-5 other dogs comes to every demonstration here in ahens.You will find him every day in MESOLLOGIOU street,where ALEXANDROS GRIGOROPOULOS,a 15 year old student was shot by the police.

    KANELLOS was another dog that used to act the same,but he died two years ago and now he is buried by comrades inside the Polytechneio university in Athens,where the uprising against dictatorship took place,in 1973.The members of Indymedia athens,used to feed him.Also when Kanellos was caught by the dog catcher 4 years ago,a demo of 400 people took place and we released him from the dog catcher!You can find his grave inside the university.Kanello RIP!

    These dogs live in Exarxeia and they don’t belong to nobody.We call them”the dogs of the movement” and there many of them, such as ROZA,DICK,RIBO,PETROS,LOUCY.Its funny but they are our comrades,we protect and feed them and they protect us as well.

  3. By the way, if you wanna see a really good symbolic Athenian protest, check out cops defending Christmas tree at:

  4. Lovely dog story Pablo. The 80s/90s were the sort of peak (pique) years of street demos in NZ. Nuke free NZ, Homosexual law reform, union strikes, ‘treaty is a fraud’ hikoi etc, a march a week almost. I recall one Queen St march with just 200 when H Block hunger striker Bobby Sands died. A mock coffin led in pouring rain and we were booed and abused the length of the street by our fellow caring kiwis.

    Burn Shipley Burn! complete with flaming effigies, was the 90s call by unemployed, students and various trots and anarchists. The reality was that constant engagement with the cops and courts was a costly distraction from other work for some militant unemployed groups and hampered unity with union groupings in particular. I gotta say though there is nothing like a good get together at the US consulate!

    Like it or not a social democratic government usually cools down activism a bit, but things are definitely starting to simmer again. ‘Smile and wave’ might need that flak jacket yet.

  5. TM: Thanks for the history. It is good to know that there was some activist fire at times, and I believe that you are correct in noting that left-centre governments actually contribute to the “pacification” of activist groups (when not their cooptation).

    However, I should note that “radical” environmentalists and animal rights defenders still practice what they preach, so it is unfair of me to infer that all NZ activists share the passiviity trait (as my friend Val Morse attests). My views on NZ activism stem from the fact that I arrived in NZ in 1997 just as things began to wane on the activist front, and I watched several generations of student ‘activists” (including people now working their way up the political party ranks) succumb to corporate temptation, party orthodoxy or simple complacency. That, and the demands of material necessity. Although the so-called “rent a mobs” still continued their protests, it seemed to me that they were/are the same small group of earnest folk working over tired themes without mass support (although the UNITE campaigns are worth noting). Now, with the anti-mining march and newly opened fronts precipitated by National policies, perhaps a new era of street activism is about to begin. Lets just hope that it does not quite escalate to Greek or Thai levels (which is as much a function of the government response as it is of militant tactics).

    Doggie lover: thanks for the edification and link. Both are simply wonderful. Putting them together makes for a new revolutionary slogan: Canines of the world unite against the bourgeosification of the Xmas spirit!

  6. Nice one Pablo, we had a very intelligent Golden Lab years ago .. quick and full of fun … even though she lived indoors except when we went freedom camping with my son. She was ‘his’ dog and they grew up together.

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