Courageous (cleaning) Ladies resist police brutality

Cleaning ladies and supporters yesterday outside the courtroom in Evelpidon Athens, January 25, 2017. (Photo copyright: Katja Lihtenvalner)

Frightening scene revealed yesterday in a Greek courtroom of Evelpidon, Athens. Some 30 policemen in civil clothes entered: all together eight of them faced different charges in three separate trials. What was the role of others, we can only magine.

The atmosphere in the courtroom was from the start very intensive. Many well known political faces were seen there: at least three ex-ministers from first Syriza government, ex-president of the parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou and many other political groups and movements came for support.

Cleaning ladies and riot police behind during one of the protest outside of Ministry of Finance, Athens. June, 2014. (Photo copyright: Katja Lihtenvalner)

One of the policemen, member of the riot police was facing serious charges for attack on two cleaning ladies (from a team of Cleaning ladies 595, who for over a year fought against being sacked outside the Ministry of Finance in Athens). Fragile yet courageous women have faced police violence many times before. Yesterday’s trial was not the only one involving police units and (cleaning) ladies.

Trial was yesterday postponed but the impression that was left from the group of policemen, was horrifying. They waited until the end for the two victims, cleaning ladies in their 40s, along with over 40 supporters to leave the courtroom. The group, consisting mostly of women, had to pass this “police gang” who were looking at them straight in the eyes and laughing. The scene was abnormal, provokative and extremelly offensive towards female victims and also those in solidarity.

Members of riot police outside of Ministry of Finance, Athens. June, 2014. (Photo copyright: Katja Lihtenvalner)

Still outside, those policemen waited for the group to gather and then started to clap when group shouted towards them: “They say that a cleaning lady of 43 kilos beat the shit out of the whole police squat!”

This absurd scene of provocative men without uniforms is inexplicable to any rational mind.

The trial against a policeman who hit the two cleaning ladies will finally start on the 17th of June. Until then, policemen (accused of causing serious body damage) keep their jobs and continue to work in their units. On a daily basis, uncostrained and regretless.

Group of policemen in plain clothes walking in front while cleaning ladies with supporters follow. Athens, January 25, 2017. (Photo copyright: Katja Lihtenvalner)

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Katja Lihtenvalner

Katja Lihtenvalner

Journalist. Greece, Western Balkans #PoliticalExtremism #HateSpeech #FakeNews Head of Research at RusaalkaFilms Monitored #GDtrial I train #MuayThai