There’s nothing pleasant about finding your office in ruins as a result of a bomb blast. Reading that the terrorists who planted the bomb in front of the building that houses Skai TV station and Kathimerini newspaper wanted to send some sort of message about the way we journalists do our job also prompts some negative thoughts.
But there’s only one message that can come from terrorists: violence. Their message is of a threat against anyone who may hold, or express in public, an idea that goes against their ruling idea. The message is that an explosion can occur at any time, if they deem it necessary.
The early Monday bombing was the culmination of a threat that has been looming over the freedom of expression for some time. Before the strike, some people were unfortunately busy sowing division, identifying targets for terrorists.
The fact that the government and the terrorists appear to converge in the sense that they both target the media, says a lot about the threats facing our democracy today. The boycott of the leftist-led government against Skai TV (the insistence on this anti-democratic stance was decided by the prime minister himself), and the police failure to crack down on the phenomenon, says a lot about the members of this – pro-government as it turns out – organization.
So I cleared the shattered glass off my desk to write this piece a few hours after the explosion. I wanted to test whether the psychology of the moment can influence one’s more established views.
Does the bomb intimidate us into becoming more cautious, as it were, as journalists? The initial response of my co-workers was, “No, it does not.” However, violence leaves no one unaffected. From the moment that some very few anonymous people try to intimidate you, you sense the limits of your personal freedom.
Unfortunately, during the years that SYRIZA has been in government, the terrorist bombers became something like all other people. Their only mistake, as it were, is that they plant bombs, but they do so after first issuing a warning. Under SYRIZA, terrorists are styled as misguided and prodigal sons. Under SYRIZA, even the Supreme Court prosecutor went as far as to suggest that her only disagreement with terrorists was “about how we can change this world.”