“Corpus Christi” censoring attempts and the politics of faith in Greece

Protester’s jumper against “Corpus Christi” reads “Orthodoxy or Death” via lifo.gr

Back in May of 1998, Manhattan Theater Club (MTC) in NY cancelled the scheduled production of the three-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi play, prompted by anonymous telephone threats to burn down the prolific theater and kill its staff and the playwright. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights that was already campaigning against the play for blasphemy, disavowed responsibility for the phone-calls.  Those developments swiftly sparked outrage in the artistic community over the religious group’s intimidation and MTC’s administration for backing off and not standing firm.

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Sex, hypocrisy and elections

Greek authorities  released  the name and pictures (along with other personal info) of 17 HIV- positive sex workers, who allegedly provided their services illegally, accusing them for intentional bodily harm. The incident attracted media attention and the women swiftly became subject of mockery, making headlines as “public health timebomb”. In an attempt to crackdown unlicensed brothels  prior to the elections, hundreds of alleged sex workers across the country are being screened for the virus by the state-run Center for Diseases’ Control & Prevention. The agency has been reportedly receiving numerous telephone inquiries about sex and safety issues from men seeking to be tested as well. In an interview at Net Radio, Health Minister Andreas Loverdos underlined the severity of  “AIDS time bomb” which “has now spread outside immigrant ghettos“, although he did his best to tackle the issue on time.

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Police abuse caught on camera

The video below goes viral across social media at the moment, showing a bunch of police officers – a couple of them in plain clothes – abusing verbally and physically an immigrant while being in custody. The man allegedly set alight a trash bin, putting at risk the cars parked in close proximity. The Facebook user who uploaded the footage 6 hours ago, has reported the incident at the UN Refugee Agency of Greece, claiming it took place in the end of January (2012) without confirming the exact location though.

Cop bashing in peaceful demonstrations sends journos to hospital

“Cop bashing” could be an accurate description of police tactics aiming at halting demonstrations, putting the right to protest at stake, although ordinary citizens are not the only ones being intimidated. Riot policemen have repeatedly assaulted members of the press while covering protests in Greece. A formal investigation has been ordered over the assault of several journalists by riot police officers during the latest peaceful demonstrations triggered by the austerity suicide of the 77 years old pensioner. Marios Lolos, president of the Photojournalists’ Association was taken to hospital tonight suffering severe head injuries that might need surgery, following Rena Maniou, redundant reporter from ANT1, who was sent for medical treatment yesterday.