Intervention – ‘Crammed Contested Strip: Democracy in the New Republic’ by Andy Merrifield

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Andy MerrifieldAndy Merrifield, Fellow, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

I was in Athens not long ago, at a conference called “Crisis-Scapes”, organized by a talented anarchist collective who a few years back had put together the poetically inspired and politically charged collection Revolt and Crisis in Greece (Vradis and Dalakoglou 2011). Staged at Athens’s Polytechneio, the epicenter of anti-junta revolt in 1973, in the heart of grungy far-left neighborhood Exarcheia, “Crisis-Scapes” set the dramatic tone for debate about a polis in meltdown: Eurozone meltdown; debt crisis meltdown; austerity-driven meltdown. Meanwhile, political fallout from this meltdown was ripping the polis apart. At the May 2014 Euro elections, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn bagged almost 10% of the vote, third behind the radical left party Syriza, who topped the poll with 26.6%. If there’s any “consensus” in Athens these days, it’s a resounding thumbs-down to Troika banker-bureaucrats, and to…

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