Anarchy in Athens

An ethnography of militancy, emotions and violence

Nicholas Apoifis
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The Athenian anarchist and anti-authoritarian movement has been reinvigorated in recent years. Its public protests and battles against the Greek state, police and other capitalist institutions are prolific and highly visible, replete with rioting, barricades and Molotov cocktails. This book is concerned not so much with anarchist theory, as with examining the forces that give the Athenian anarchist and anti-authoritarian movement its specific shape. The author draws on Alberto Melucci's (1995a) work on collective identity, while offering a first-hand, ethnographic account of Athenian anarchists and anti-authoritarians in action, based on his time there in 2011 and 2013, living, squatting and protesting within this milieu. In the course of the chapters of the book, the author argues that varying shades of anarchic tendencies, and ensuing ideological and practical disagreements, are overcome for the most part in (often violent) street-protests. Athenian anarchists and antiauthoritarians are a pertinent area of research because of both their politics and their geographical location. There is the whole 'rise of anarchism throughout the activist world' phenomenon, visible from Seattle to Genoa, Quebec City to São Paulo. Anarchist and anti-authoritarian social movements are prominent actors in resistance to the current phase of capitalism in multiple, global locations. Throughout Europe, North and Latin America, Asia and the Antipodes, radical resistance to neo-liberalism often has an anarchist and/ or anti-authoritarian cast.

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