On the Bottom and Digging

In Greece, March to Athens on 23 April 2012 at 23:17
March to Athens

Day 168-XCIV, Λιβαδειά.

Livadia, April 23

Dear people,

The appropriate word in Spanish is gilipollas.

‘Idiots’, ‘dickheads’, ‘assholes’. The word can also be used affectionately. But not in this case.

Some people among us are truly gilipollas. Not all the time though, only when they drink. Then they ruin everything for all of us, and for the locals too.

Yesterday evening it went down again. We had a fabulous party in the square together with a group of youngsters who had given us a warm welcome here in Livadia. They had brought wine and tsipouro, they had installed a stereo for music, and they put up a canvas against the sun.

At two in the morning most people had already gone to sleep and those who didn’t were having a good time. It lasted until two of our comrades reached the three conditions necessary for going wild.

One is a given quantity of alcohol, two is the predisposition to go mad under the influence of one, and three is a reason to serve as a spark. When one and two are present, three will follow. Anything will do.

This time, it was paranoia. Fear for police infiltration. Two of the French among us saw someone of the locals taking notes, and they accused him of being with the secret police.

It was complete bull shit. But it ended the party.

First thing, I wondered, why on earth would police want to infiltrate our march? We are much too insignificant for them, and we have proven that we are perfectly capable of ruining things ourselves. We don’t need infiltrators to lend us a hand.

Second thing, everything that was written down could be found in our flyer. The same basic info we want everybody to know suddenly turned into a reason to become suspicious and aggressive.

Third thing. Police had already come by when we put up our camp. They were most kind. They soon left us alone. And even if one of them were present at night, we could have just partied on, ignoring him.

No. We gave a most horrible image to a group of people who had been genuinely glad that we were there. When two of us started their little act, the locals shut down the music, they put away their stuff, and after a brief exchange of accusations, they left.

Then the agressors turned against the rest of us, mainly against the Spanish. They shouted racist insults for quite a while. Then one of them broke up his tent at five a.m. and left the march.


It has been one time too many. It makes me wonder what the hell I am still doing here. All I really want is to run off with my little princess from Agrinio and live happily ever after.

Then I encounter Max. He is close to tears. He has interrupted his studies in Brussels to put all his efforts into this march. Twenty-four hours a day, for almost six months.

Then I encounter José Miguel. He shrugs his shoulders. With the same patience as always he has tried to calm the spirits yesterday night. And today he starts all over, making copies of our flyers, talking to the locals, trying to organise a popular assembly.

I can’t leave these people. They are the true heroes of this march, and not only them. Most of us are.

We will arrive in Athens, damned. Even if we have to cross the Tartarus to get there.

View of Livadia


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