The conservative-led Greek government sparked public outrage in June when it suddenly shuttered the ERT station—the country’s only publicly funded station—and fired its 2,656 workers, as part of its anti-austerity agenda. The closure prompted mass protests including a series of labor strikes backed by Greece’s biggest unions.

The government’s plan to restructure ERT has been denounced as “violent” by the Democratic Left party, which quit the ruling coalition in protest of the closure.

Maria Margaronis, writing for The Nation, says the violent raid of protesting journalists exposes Greece’s slide into authoritarianism as austerity and poverty grip the country. She writes, “The image is the message: platoons of armoured representatives of the state evicting a few dozen journalists and locking the doors with handcuffs.”

Before he was cut off, Tsimbidas called for a “magnificent demonstration, not just for ERT, not for our jobs, but for democracy itself, against…this virulent repression, this rewind through decades, for all the things we should have stood up for but couldn’t…”


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