chapter  11
The Greek December, 2008
Pages 8

The protests of the Greek December 2008 were distinguished by their breadth, scope of claims and depth of anger. They have a central place in this volume’s treatment of violent protest because they represent a singular event in the new millennium: on the one hand, a violent rejection of political alignments and economic policies residing at the heart of the European Union, and, on the other, an echo of the dimmed hopes of the young generation as a result of those policies. With the benefit of hindsight, however, it is not an exaggeration to argue that the Greek December was, at the time that it occurred, a harbinger of things to come in the global protest scene. Since December 2008, violent protest has broken out in such dissimilar – and ‘unlikely’ – countries as Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, France and Britain in Europe; Thailand, India and Bangladesh in Asia; Mozambique, Tunisia and Libya in North Africa; and Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain in the Middle East – and the list is obviously not complete.