A police bullet killed 15-year-old Alexandros Gregoropoulos in Athens in early December. His death sparked a huge outpouring of anger from Greek youth that continued into January. However it was not the root cause of the uprising. That was revealed on December 10, when a one-day General Strike against government economic policy paralysed the country. The events in Greece were decades in the making. Faced with rising unemployment and crushing poverty, the students and workers of Greece have had enough of capitalist globalisation.
Rioting is not enough. Street battles, occupations of government buildings and the burning of shops and police stations may let off steam, but more is needed to alter the course of history. One day strikes, while important symbols, are also insufficient to turn around the bleak situation faced by Greek youth. A united front of Greek students and unions would be a powerful opponent to the pro-imperialist policies of all major political parties. Temporary collectives of like-minded individuals may be fine for putting together a one-off rally. But leadership has to be ongoing, if lasting change is to be achieved. That means the creation of a revolutionary party aimed at getting rid of neoliberal capitalism — and not only in Greece.