NEWS

Chronicle of the attack

The ?crew? of arsonists comprised 11 members — 10 men and one woman. According to photographs taken at the May 5 protest rally by journalist Ilias Provopoulos, they were walking in the march on the fringes of the block formed by the Antarsya movement, though they are not connected to this group. The fact that the ?crew? was seen to act in an organized fashion suggests that they had located their targets and designed the attack well before the start of the march. Photographs show two members wearing backpacks containing the petrol bombs, two others giving directions and the rest, whose task appeared to be breaking through the windows of the Ianos bookstore and the Marfin Bank branch and hurling the petrol bombs.

The photographs, which the journalist published on his blog the very next day (actimon.blogspot.com) clearly show that all the members of the crew were wearing gloves and had their faces if not entirely than mostly covered.

The entire operation, according to evidence, lasted just 12 minutes with only seconds elapsing between the first attack on Ianos and the second on Marfin. The photographer and other witnesses of the bookstore attack remember the young man who broke the store?s front window and hurled in the petrol bomb, cursing at them in Greek with a foreign accent. They also remember the bombs bursting into flames and people from the store rushing to help put the fire out. At almost exactly the same time, the ?crew? was moving on to the bank, against the tide of the march. Like at the bookstore, they smashed the windows and threw in the Molotov cocktails. As the smoke began to billow through the building, the employees, unable to escape via the front door, began making their way to the upper levels of the building. The photographs reveal that the march just kept on going, uninterrupted by the events that were unfolding. Some of the protesters realized that something was going on, though most did not seem to comprehend that there were people trapped inside. Others, as witnesses have said, hurled abuse at the trapped workers as employees from the bookstore rushed over to help the fire service. The fire at Marfin lasted only 10 or 12 minutes, but it was enough to prove fatal. In contrast to what had been said at the time, the fire service arrived fast, considering that it had to make its way through a wave of protesters, and some hostile ones at that, and the firefighters able to free a lot of people from the burning building.

The photographs taken by Provopoulos were promptly handed over to investigators for analysis and his testimony recorded.