Below the surface

This time around, the «hoodies» left not only destruction in their wake: They also left three people dead. After all, in our «television democracy,» the protagonists are not the peaceful protesters, even when their numbers alone should be a major political issue. Eager to cause a sensation, TV stations have made the hoodies the protagonists of the day. They have all the right characteristics: They are mysterious, dark and ruthless, ready to take on anyone and everything. This is an appealing package for the country’s restless youth who feel trapped in a bleak present and face an uncertain future. Clashing with riot police has become the only way for them to be in the limelight, albeit with their faces hidden. The distance between romanticism and nihilism is much less than it appears to be. Many are happy with the theory that the hoodies are little more than a group of provocateurs and agents of the police. What a nice way to circumvent the problem. It is not unlikely that there are certain people that fit this description among the hooded gangs, but it is a mistake to explain the phenomenon as a conspiracy. The fact is that we have seen the growth of a hard core who spark off the incidents of violence within the anti-authoritarian movement, among the garden-variety troublemakers. Uneasy and rebellious youths, drawn to this life and initiated into it via clashes with the authorities, are then turned into practitioners of violence. Recent experience has proven that it is impossible on a practical level for a mass rally to effectively shield itself from these elements and, as we cannot challenge the democratic right to protest, the only way to put an end to this very sad and long-running phenomenon is for the police to bring these groups under control and crush them. The political body, though, has shirked from adopting drastic measures to deal with this issue. This fact alone can only make us assume that they are not too bothered by it or even that they have something to gain from it. Maybe it is because some people believe the bad guys are necessary, because they activate the conservative reflexes of society and, by extension, allow the authorities greater room to maneuver.

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