A letter about those days in the city squares

A letter written to a Greek blogger captures the strong feelings generated by the long awaited victory of SYRIZA. There are many such expressions across the web. This has been translated from the Greek so non-Greek speakers can get a sense of the pride and passion.

Original Greek version here

Dear Pitsirikos the Kid,

Over the last three and a half years, through the most difficult moments, my mind would always drift to those days in the city Squares with the meetings of the ‘indignant’, that intoxicating summer of 2011 – that and its ‘less than glorious’ end. I drew courage from these days, but also bitterness. Especially when discussing about the power of the people and citing the Constitution. Only to get a derogatory response along the lines of “and where are your city squares now?”

In vain, I tried to explain how things sometimes happen spontaneously and other times they take a long while to get rolling.

I spent my time trying to explain how many things were born from the gatherings at these Squares. The flaring-up of solidarity, general meetings in neighborhoods, winning the fight over fear, and gaining our self-esteem and dignity.

For me, these things are sacred. Only thing was, I saw myself as being only one of the very few who felt this way.

Then came that crazy election Sunday of January 25th 2015. And everything turned upside-down. And the days that followed seem to vindicate those raving mad lunatics who were shouting: “we can send them all to hell, and breathe, and love this country, and not be ashamed to live in it”.

Perhaps in 2011 the Squares did not have the millions of SYRIZA voters in numbers, but they were the seed, which stayed alive, a little silent for three and half years, but now shouts, in fact yells all the way to Spain, Italy, France, everywhere.

That which we gained from our friends, the Spaniards and their movement of the ‘indignados’, we are returning to them fortified 3.5 years later.

And above all, the Squares had in turn been nurtured through decades of struggle, from EAM (National Liberation Front of WWII) and the islands of political exile to the struggles against dictatorship.

“The Squares are here!”, we sang.

In the Squares, thousands of people heard Glezos, Varoufakis, Tsakalotos, Katrougalos, Lapavitsas, Lapatsiora, Mario speak. They were questioned, they were advised. These are now the Ministers, MPs, MEPs.

I believe that those who found themselves in the summer of 2011 in the Squares will keep those moments close to their heart for the rest of their lives (a small token of esteem).

At last, the Squares breathe loudly!

PS That evening of June 16 in 2011, after tons of tear gas fell all afternoon and evening, and after cleaning our City Square with reverence like it was our home, we sat next to the fountain for an impromptu concert. Papaconstantinou with Tsanaklidou sang Loizos. “Nothing is wasted.” Since then, when I hear this song, I am moved.

I dedicate this with love and sincerity to all those who, for years asked “And where are your Squares now?”

The Squares are here!



 Dear Stavros, there is a whole Greece that was buried under the old Greece of gruesome political parties, the oligarchs, the rotten media and all those remnants of the junta. This Greece raises its head and is trying to live and speak. Great days are coming with many battles to be won. And now, we know each other well from the Squares. We are no longer indignant, we are determined. Keep well. Pitsirikos the kid

(Translated by Alex Aroney)

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