Tag Archives: Indignant Athens

The revolution will be internalized

“The revolution will not be televised,” rapped African-American poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron in 1971. “The revolution was televised,” boasted North African youths in 2011 after the Arab Spring revolts were driven on by coverage from Al Jazeera and other international networks. Of course, social networks played their part too. “The revolution was tweeted,” some might claim.

Although the media may be different, not much has actually changed in the 40 years since Scott-Heron, who died on Friday, left an indelible mark on popular music and popular conscience. In fact, the themes that Scott-Heron touched on in his song are just as relevant today: callous capitalism feeding the discontent of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. Four decades on, it remains one of the most dominant threats to our democracies and societies.

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The paradox of the ‘Indignant’

Photo by Stratos Safioleas

Thousands of protesters packed Syntagma Square in Athens for a third consecutive day on Friday. Those giving up another evening to vent their anger at Greece’s plight continued to display great enthusiasm and persistence. There was something dramatic about their protest, which took place as ominous clouds rolled across the Attica sky and boneshaking thunder boomed throughout the capital. It felt like someone had splashed out on the special effects in preparation for the ultimate battle: the people vs. the political system. The unstoppable force meets the immovable object.

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