“This was an altruistic sacrifice, and not at all a desperate, selfish suicide”
I decided to go to the vigil because I understand what Dimitris Christoulas did to be a political act, an altruistic sacrifice, and not at all a desperate, selfish suicide. For me, and many others, he is a hero. The suicide note he left behind shows that he wanted to motivate us to continue our struggle against the government’s undemocratic policies. We were not there to mourn him, but to honour him.People posted notes on a tree near where he died with slogans such as “Who is next?”, “People should take up weapons”, “Freedom or death!”, and many more angry and desperate words. Thousands also gathered in front of parliament shouting things like, “This wasn’t a suicide, this was a political murder!” Slogans like these are now popping up all over social media networks, too.His story resonates with all of us here in Greece. Except for the very rich, we are all suffering from austerity [measures], young and old. Nearly everyone I know who was gainfully employed before the crisis is now unemployed. After just six months, they no longer get unemployment benefits and are left with nothing. Most people turn to their relatives, meaning that even those who are employed are suffering from a huge reduction in income because they have to support others.If their relatives cannot help, then the unemployed become homeless. Myself, before the crisis, I was in the middle class. But if this crisis drags on for even one more year, I will become homeless, too. I may have to leave Greece and try to look for work elsewhere.