Organizers of anti-gov’t protest defend motives

Organizers of anti-gov’t protest defend motives

Only three days ahead of planned anti-government rallies in Athens and Thessaloniki, organized through Facebook and other social media under the hashtag #paraititheite (“resign”), organizers have defended the motives of a campaign that has sparked an awkward reaction from the country’s leftist administration.

Speaking to Sunday’s Kathimerini, Panagiotis Kostoulas, one of the three organizers, said opposition politicians were welcome at Syntagma and the White Tower on Wednesday so far as they respect the main motto of the campaign: “Resign – no colors, no parties, no unions. Only citizens.”

“[This initiative] was a spontaneous decision by people who came together on the internet. Our goal was to record a first en-mass reaction in order to, at some point, rid ourselves of this catastrophic administration,” Kostoulas, who is in his mid-30s, said. “We cannot accept that we have to survive on life support from now on.”

Kostoulas said the aim was to discredit the leftist-led government, and not to question the political system per se.

“We detest the [political] extremes and want this to be a peaceful protest, without banging pots, mock hangings or slogans against the political system,” he said in reference to the Indignants movement five years ago.

Last week, Education Minister Nikos Filis attacked the planned demonstrations, suggesting they were “on the verge of constitutional legality.” His comments caused a stir on social media and reactions among opposition politicians, some of whom, including New Democracy vice president Adonis Georgiadis, have said they will attend the rallies as ordinary citizens.

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