Old anarchist chilling at a table and watching a protest is dismissive of violent anarchists

While I was covering the demonstrations that went along with a general strike the other Wednesday I talked to an interesting man. He walked by the protests in my general direction while I was trying to get a good shot of protesters in both the background and the foreground (when the marching people curled up a street on a hill) and he just looked swag. That’s the only way to put it.

His name is Savaidis Makis. He seemed bemused by the protest, but not dismissive. I walked up to him when he sat down at a table outside an internet cafe. Next to him sat an older man who (apparently) has a son in the Greek air force.

A cool image from among some marchers.

Makis had reflective sunglasses on which he (sadly) took off before I took photos. He looked like a character, and I got to talk to him simply by being an annoying American journalist.

During the impromptu interview (made complicated by protesters chanting loudly in the background as well as his limited English vocabulary) we talked a bit about the culture and history of protest in Greece.

That makes our conversation sound sophisticated. And it featured some sophisticated thinking, but like any communications through language barriers, most of it was more simplistic. Just cause simpler is easier to understand.

“Greek protest is different from US,” Makis said. “We walk in the streets. In the US they walk in the (points at a sidewalk and grunts) these.”

Makis was very much an onlooker to the demonstrations right then, but seemed approving. Or at least bemused.

I dunno. He was an interesting face, who had interesting things to say, even if most of it didn’t translate into good quotes.

He’s a subscriber to the Five Star Movement in Italy, and apparently has studied five years of philosophy sometime in the past. I found his Facebook and his blog, but everything’s in Greek. Fortunately, browsers come with translation tools now, so it’s not impossible to get a gist.

He was vocal about being a self-professed anarchist, but of an older school of thought. He is not an advocate of violence like some of those who were out that day. Instead he subscribes to the philosophy of someone whose name sounds like “Glicko” (like how Glee Co. would be pronounced).

“Peaceful, only with word,” he said. “Words are the biggest bump that exists.”