Elder Suicide in Syntagma Square Sparks Greek Outrage

via the guardian.co.uk:

“A picture of the man who has come to embody the inequities of Greece’s financial crisis has begun to emerge, with friends and neighbours shedding light on the life of the elderly pensioner who killed himself in Athens on Wednesday.

Named as Dimitris Christoulas by the Greek media, the retired pharmacist was described as decent, law-abiding, meticulous and dignified.”


via businessweek:

“In the suicide note published by local media, Christoulas said he could not survive on his pension and expected Greeks to take up arms and “hang traitors” in the square.

“It was clearly a political act,” said Petros Constantinou, organizer for the left-wing Antarsya group, which participated in the protests. “The fact that a person reached the point of giving his life to change the situation shows … where the policies of austerity and poverty have brought people.””


stopcartel-tvgr livestream from Syntagma Square:


editorial excerpt from the Guardian

“”Jesus Christ” was reportedly the first thing John F Kennedy said when told of the fate of Thich Quang Duc, the monk who burned himself to death in June 1963 at a Saigon street corner to protest against the persecution of his fellow Buddhists by the Ngo Dinh Diem government. The monk’s sacrifice, one American commented at the time, reduced not only his own body but also “the Diem experiment” to ashes. Five months later Diem’s government fell and he himself was killed, in part because of a series of self-immolations that dramatised how completely he had lost the trust of the South Vietnamese people.

Such deaths are distinct from suicide attacks, in which one’s life is given up as a means to the end of killing others. There is sacrifice in jihad, and indeed in warfare generally, but it is not in the same category as suicides such as those of Jan Palach in Czechoslovakia in 1969, of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia  in 2010, and perhaps of Tibetan monks in China today. These aim at changing minds, not at breaking other people’s bodies. In them, sometimes the element of political protest is to the fore, sometimes personal desperation is more prominent. Either way, these extreme sacrifices should have served, but usually have not, as warnings to those in authority that they are in danger of crossing over a certain line, beyond which they will not even be able to secure acquiescence, let alone support.”

the rest of  it:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/06/good-friday-when-line-is-crossed




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