Nine activists were detained in downtown Athens for raising banners on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The women stood at the stairs of Syntagma Square opposite the Parliament, wearing masks and keeping social distancing.
they opened a banner reading: “They don’t silence us. The Quarantine doe snot protect us from the pandemic of violence against women.”
Police forces consisting of some 20 officers surrounded them and checked their papers because this action was forbidden “due to the lockdown measures” as they reportedly told them. Small gatherings are not banned during the lockdown restrictions, protests and rallies were banned only around the days of November 17.
Την Παγκόσμια Ημέρα για την εξάλειψη της βίας κατά των γυναικών η αστυνομία έκανε 9 προσαγωγές γυναικών. pic.twitter.com/3HKev4ZFxj
— lolos marios (@lolosmarios) November 25, 2020
Several police officers gathered around the activists and ultimately detained the women bringing them to police station with a van.
Προσαγωγές γυναικών στο Σύνταγμα .. Παγκόσμια Ημέρα κατά της βίας σε βάρος των γυναικών pic.twitter.com/wogklv8zAo
— nikos christofakis (@ChristofakisN) November 25, 2020
“Today we experience this paradox that police surrounds us and hinders us to state the obvious. 11 women were murdered in 2020, violence against women is sweeping. We are here to shout out loud that the mask does not protect us from the violence pandemic against women,” one of the activists told media.
“We honestly wonder what have we done and for what reason are we surrounded by police,” she added.
Hours later and the women are still at police station on Wednesday night. According to posts on social media, detention is to be turned to arrest.
For what? Arrest for “unnecessary movement”? That would be the first arrest for this kind of movement violation which is normally fined with 300 euros.
While the activists were at police station, the state did its duty to honor the day and the Greek Parliament was lit up in orange, the symbol color of the The slogan “No to violence” was projected on a part of the facade.
Earlier, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Greece’s first woman president, stressed the need for “a change in family and societal paradigms” through education and counseling.
The day was honored with messages by the Foreign Ministry, other state and government bodie, by the Ministry of Citizen Protection. yes, the same Ministry that deployed 20 policemen to arrest 9 women for raising awareness amid the pandemic.
οδηγώ στην Κηφισίας
βλέπω φωτεινή πινακίδα για Παγκόσμια Ημέρα κατά της κακοποίησης των γυναικών,
την υπογράφουν η Περιφέρεια Αττικής και το Υπουργείο ΠροΠο
και ύστερα πάει το Υπουργείο ΠροΠο και συλλαμβάνει 9 φεμινίστριες στο Σύνταγμα…#25Νοεμβριου #γυναικοκτονια
— Christos Xanthakis (@ChristosXanthak) November 25, 2020
Members of feminist organizations and lawyers reportedly gathered outside the police station in solidarity with the detained women.
So far, police has given no reason for the detentions. It must be still searching for one…
PS I wouldn’t know that “silence” is also one of the lockdown restrictions.
How hypocritical! Our government is paying lip service to stopping the violence. The reality is different but we as a people believe the grand gestures and dismiss the underlying causes….