Relatives, friends, members of left political parties and civic movements, common people who didn’t know him… Some two thousand mourners, they all gathered at the First Cemetery in Athens on Saturday afternoon to say farewell to Dimitris Christoulas. The retired pharmacist who committed suicide just a few meters away from the Greek parliament.
In a highly symbolic act, Christoulas shot himself on the head behind a tree at Syntagma Square, opposite the Greek parliament. He left a note, invoking the economic crisis and the austerity measures and urged the youth to take the arms.
Dimitris Christoulas, 77, was not just a retiree, one of the many anonymous low pensioners who struggle to survive and escape starvation due to the harsh austerity measures imposed by Greece’s lenders. Chirstoulas was member of the civic movement “I Don’t Pay” and had apparently joined the Indignant Greeks movement during the protests of summer 2011.
His suicide shocked the public opinion in Greece because the majority of people understood his message. A political motivated suicide to raise awareness and shake the Greeks who seem to accept the rash impoverishment of their lives in a deeply corrupt system. The self-sacrifice of a man who felt he had to do something against the current economic, political and social situation.
In a heartbreaking letter sent to the press, his daughter Emmy Christoulas, 37, spoke of her father as a ‘sensible visioner’ and asked the press to refer to him with his name and not as a ‘retired pharmacist’.
“‘Only uprisings try tyrants. The people don’t go to court, they unleash lightning’, said Emmy Christoulas in front of her father’s coffin, reitating that his suicide was a political act.
With clenched fists and slogans like “Rolling blood asks for revenge” and “It wasn’t a suicide, it was a state murder” the mourners attended Christoulas funeral ceremony and then headed towards the Syntagma Square and the parliament.
Dimitris Christoulas will be cremated in Bulrgaria.
A retired teacher, 78, shot himself in Kavala on Friday. A retired man, 75, hang himself from a tree in Volos today. A 37-year old man attempted suicide with a rifle in Chios on Thrusday. The list of suicides is growing with alarming speed in Greece of austerity, recession and hopelessness…