In Greece, shall I compare thee to an austerity measure?


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This is a Greek protest. And it may not look like the protests you’re used to seeing. Past protests against austerity in Greece have grabbed headlines with hooded youths hurling Molotov cocktails and stones, angry over the harsh measures the country has taken to please its creditors.

Instead of throwing stones, these protesters read poems. Every day on World Now, we choose a striking image from around the globe. Today we were drawn to this photo of a poetry protest in Athens, where people danced on stilts and shared rhymes for an unconventional demonstration on World Poetry Day.


Poets toted placards with the faces and words of Greek literary heroes, Nobel Prize laureates and the renowned poet Constantine P. Cavafy, the Associated Press reported.

Discontent over austerity measures has simmered in Greece, which has ‘committed itself to years of brutal public spending cuts that will slash wages and pensions and push tens of thousands of people out of work,’ The Times’ Henry Chu wrote last month:

Many Greek citizens and analysts believe the country is being condemned to a slow and excruciating death as the economy keeps shrinking and the mountain of debt becomes correspondingly larger. Greece is being subjected to shock therapy, they say, only without the therapy.

Though agitated protests are still happening daily, “we thought there was a need for something different.... This is a protest where the slogans are the words of our poets and in support of the values of culture,” poet and event organizer Yiorgos Chouliaras told the Associated Press.


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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles