As a part of a global movement, a feminist group created a demonstration here in Thessaloniki. It took place on the 22nd of December. The movement started in Chile as a protest towards the government and police for not taking action for victims of sexual assault. The collective that goes by the name Las Tesis performed a powerful song “A rapist in your path” that instantly became a feminist anthem which spread through the world like a wildfire. Therefore, it is no surprise that Greek women are raising their voices and participating in this protest.
The demonstration took place at the Aristotelious square. Furthermore, the flashmob rather fast attracted pedestrian attention. The song was translated from Spanish to Greek. Yet, the same message was persistent, namely to address the rape culture and the system that fails to protect. The judicial system often blames the victim for the location she was in and the kind of outfit she was wearing. The failing system petrifies the victims, thus many of them don’t want to come forward. Therefore, letting their rapist walk free and giving the opportunity to commit the same crime again. This anthem speaks out for those victims who are afraid of telling their story. It does so by blaming not only the perpetrator but also the legal system that neglects this epidemic.
“A rapist in your path” origins
“The rapist is you.
The rapist is you.
It’s the cops,
The Oppressive state is a rapist.”
The lyrics of the song call out the failing system without holding back any reservations. Originally the song was not intended to become a feminist anthem. However, due to its powerful message accompanied by hundreds of women performing it in unison, took it far beyond any expectations. The famous flashmob in Santiago took place on the 25th of November. It is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, thus the anthem immediately became a symbol for it. In a direct expression of language, the lyrics address sexual violence in Latin America. The song highlights this as a political issue by calling out the institutions that are in place to protect the victims, yet, too often this is not the case.
In Latin America this issue is quite prominent, thus these demonstrations shed a light on this crisis. Yet, as we have seen, women from different countries are performing this song, because systematic failure exists all over the world. Even if you haven’t heard about these issues in your country, they still occur. That is the reason why women around the world are rising up and taking back their voice.
The performance in Thessaloniki
The demonstration in Thessaloniki followed the same powerful symbol of tying black tights over their eyes. More than a hundred people showed up to take part in this performance that created a dynamic atmosphere within the whole square. Women and also a few men gathered from different age groups to spread this message. Young and old were joining together as one. The flashmob repeated the song many times while drummers from a local drummer group provided the rhythm. Furthermore, anyone could join the performance as the activists had provided lyrics in 3 languages – Spanish, Greek and English. A performance that was inviting and powerfull made every bypasser to stop for a while.