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Μ.Γ.Δ.: The figure of the cop in the anarchic lyrics of Greek Punk

Marneros, Christos (2021) Μ.Γ.Δ.: The figure of the cop in the anarchic lyrics of Greek Punk. In: Donaghey, Jim and Kaltefleiter, Caroline and Boisseau, Will, eds. Smash the System!: Punk Anarchism as a Culture of Resistance. Active Distribution, Bristol, UK. (In press) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:90354)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)


The end of the 70s was the beginning of what seemed to be a process of liberalisation of Greek society. The regime of the colonels (junta) that ruled the country for seven years fell in 1974 and the right-wing New Democracy government that succeeded them (with a lot of remnants of the regime being part of it, either by holding governmental positions or by being part of the state apparatus in one or another way) was about to suffer a heavy defeat by the social democratic party, PASOK, in 1981. While a vast majority of the Greek society was euphoric, expecting this victory to signify the beginning of an era of progress, prosperity and the death of conservatism, a handful of teenagers (predominantly in the area of Exarcheia in the Greek capital of Athens) sensed that there was something rotten behind this progressive façade.

It is under these conditions that the Greek punk scene came into life at the beginning of the 80s. It was a rebellious response to the pseudo-consensualism amongst the political parties of the left and the right, to the “sell-out” of the once-radical rock musicians that became by then the favourite kids of the press and friends of the politicians (if not politicians themselves). More importantly, however, punk was a response to the oppressing, dogmatic, rules and morality of the state and the church and the state’s monopoly of violence, as this was, predominantly, manifested by police brutality.

In this chapter, therefore, my aim is to focus on the figure of the “cop”, as this is presented by the lyrics of Greek punk songs. Always depicted in a negative, oppressive, manner (and justifiably so) the figure of the cop is, nevertheless, multifaceted. It is the oppressing figure that by its physical and psychological violence “fucks up our self-esteem” and at the same time the buffoon that “chases stray dogs”. The cops are, ironically speaking, “innocents” for the justice system but in reality, “the executioners” of young students, such as Michalis Kaltezas, Alexis Grigoropoulos and the queer activist Zak Kostopoulos/Zackie Oh!. Finally, the cop is what lurks inside each one of us, the very pillar of “a sinister side of ourselves” and which we “must kill before it’s too late”.

This chapter, thus, will argue that the figure of the cop in Greek punk is not only compatible with a widespread stance of anarchist groups and theoreticians against the police, the monopoly of violence of the state and law more generally. Rather, and most importantly, the directness, sharpness, irony and humour found in it the lyrics of Greek punk can cultivate an ethos of an anarchic politics which dares to talk seriously about the abolition of the police, not only as an institution but also as an oppressive figure – that of the cop – that always lurks inside us.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Christos Marneros
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2021 11:11 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 15:19 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Marneros, Christos:
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