3/22/2006Greece: More Athenian Traffic Cameras Torched
Traffic cameras turned to surveillance use are being destroyed in Athens, Greece.
Upset by their use for surveillance purposes, Athenian citizens have destroyed a significant number of Greek traffic cameras. Last Friday at 11am, for example, dramatic photos captured a camera control box ablaze in Votanikos at Cavala Avenue and Sp. Pachi Street. A second camera was destroyed at Constantinoupoleos and Iera Odos.
Some 293 closed-circuit cameras were installed during the 2004 Olympic Games with officials promising their use was limited by law to "traffic management issues." Since then, however, the cameras have been used to document the presence of individuals at political protests.
In a document providing "ten reasons against the operation of CCTV," protesters explained that the very positioning of the cameras is contrary to their stated purpose: "This is confirmed by the particularly great height at which they were installed... Accordingly, their essential aim is the absolute control and the recording of individual and group movements and the 'secret' imposition of fines."
A number of cameras have been torched and destroyed, but have been quickly replaced. Others are pulled down and smashed on busy streets in broad daylight. Last November, for example, a camera installed across the street from the police station in Zografou, Athens was destroyed without police noticing.