Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The greek state murders Nigerian street vendor Tony Onuoha

On the evening of Saturday, August 18, 2007 undercover police follow 25 year old Tony Onuoha, an immigrant from Nigeria, who is selling pirate CDs in a cafe in the area of Kalamaria, Thessaloniki. According to accounts given by people close to him, Tony recognised the cops as being the same ones that had brutally beaten him a year before and attempts to escape them, resulting in him falling from the 5 meter high first floor balcony of the cafe to meet instant death on the pavement below. According to some accounts he was pushed over the 1,5 meter balcony railings by the pursuing cops. Immediately, a number of people from the Nigerian community gather on the spot to demonstrate and clash with anti-riot squads (MAT) and undercover cops that arrive in the area to stop this spontaneous demonstration. Street barricades are erected and the fight with the cops continues untill 4 in the morning, with anarchists and anti-authoritarians also taking part in the demonstration and the clash with the cops that followed, in solidarity.
On August 20, a 400 strong demo goes around the area of Kalamaria, with very angry members of the black community at the front. Anarchists, anti-authoritarians, leftists and the anti-racist group also take part. When the demo arrives outside the police station, stones are thrown towards the cops and the anti-riot bus and the MAT answer with a bombarment of teargas. Barricades are again erected, people fight off the cops and manage to re-join the main demo, which ends at the place where Tony was killed.
On August 21, another demo takes place in Thessaloniki. Clashes break out again, with anarchists and some members of the black community attacking the state-owned ET-3 broadcasting building and the MAT, which answer again with chemical warfare. Barricades are made on the street in front of the university, inside which people have gathered. For the next few hours the fight continues with molotov coctails and stones being thrown to the MAT from within the university grounds, with the MAT in turn throwing abundant quantities of tear gas and an arson grenade. Three cops are lightly injured and one catches on fire- but manages to escape from becoming pork flambe.
21 people from the demo where arrested. The one was released later in the night while the remaining 20 are only facing the charge of breaching the peace, as there is no evidence against them. Some of them where beaten, although not badly as at the moment of their arrest there were media present, which acted as a deterrent for the pigs.
The greek state, through the ministry of public order, maintains that the two persons that led Tony Onuoha to his death are not cops in a pathetic attempt to hide its trully brutal and deeply racist nature.Although this cover-up story might fool some people it certainly won't fool us.


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