Archive for the ‘Greece’ Category

More than 150,000 Gather in Athens Against Austerity

5 June 2011

from FromTheGreekStreets:

A crowd whose size is difficult to even estimate gathered in central Athens to protest against the crisis and the Memorandum tonight. The call to a pan-european call of action saw more than 100,000 (some estimates give much higher numbers) flooding Syntagma square and many central nearby avenues. In contrast to previous gatherings, police presence was much higher, with fencing erected around the parliament building and double, or triple rows of riot police around it.
333 300x200 #611 | Athens sees its biggest gathering in years, more than 150,000 at Syntagma square as the build up for the General Strike of June 15th begins
6666 300x201 #611 | Athens sees its biggest gathering in years, more than 150,000 at Syntagma square as the build up for the General Strike of June 15th begins

The city is now building up for the General Strike of June 15th, which is also the next date of action announced at Syntagma square. Both mobilisations are aimed against the new agreement between the government and the troika (IMF/EU/ECB) which is planned to be voted at parliament on the morning of the 15th. The general assembly of Syntagma square has already called for a blocking of the parliament from the night of the 14th. In addition to the fencing installed around the parliament (see below), a police water canon has also appeared nearby.

444 300x210 #611 | Athens sees its biggest gathering in years, more than 150,000 at Syntagma square as the build up for the General Strike of June 15th begins

Similar demonstrations took place in Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion, Larisa, Volos and many other Greek cities. In the Cretan city of Chania, fascists bearing arms appeared in the gathering, in a failed attempt to provoke the gathered crowd.

Syndicalists Occupy Power Station HQ

29 June 2010

GREECE – The headquarters of DEI (PPC, the Public Power Corporation) have been occupied by syndicalists working for the corporation. The building is now covered in banners and the workers are organising discussions on the crisis inside. The building will keep occupied until [Tuesday], the day of the general strike, when a demonstration toward the finance ministry is planned. (via From the Greek Streets)

General Strike in Greece on June 29

21 June 2010

ATHENS, Greece – The two main trade unions in Greece (GSEE and ADEDY) have announced a general strike for June 29th. The strike will come six days late, as it is so far confirmed that the government will bring the new law for public insurance and labour issues to parliament on June 23d (!) The new law more than doubles the number of employee firings a company is allowed per month, while cutting to less than half the minimum legal compensation, which will now be paid in installments. (via From The Greek Streets)

General Strike Shuts Down Greece (again)

20 May 2010

GREECE – A general strike was called for today, May 20th.

from After the Greek Riots:

“first footage from Parliament before the bulk of the demonstrators arrived. The amount of people there at the moment is unbelievable”. (see above link for video)

  • In Exarcheia, police have blocked off two social spaces (the Nosotros Social Centre and the office of the Anarchist Archive) in order to stop people from joining the demonstration (!) At the time of writing (13.50 GMT+2) the siege continued.
  • Police are detaining people across the city, very difficult to even record all detentions here. A group of students of the Polytechnic school were arrested while exiting their institution; on Tritis Septemvriou street, riot police have been reported to have violently beaten pensioners who were preparing to join the demonstration.

Another update on Greece

15 March 2010
“THERE’S ONLY ONE THING LEFT TO SETTLE: OUR ACCOUNTS WITH CAPITAL AND ITS STATE’’A REPORT ON RECENT STRUGGLES IN GREECE

In periods of crisis, such as the current period of overaccumulation crisis, capitalists use the politics of “public debt” in order to devise new ways to intensify exploitation. In contrast with capitalist upturns when the private debt is increased, downturns are characterized by the increase of the “public debt”. Private investment in state bonds ensures profits which are extracted from the direct and indirect taxation of the workers, aiming towards interest repayments, and leading, ultimately, to the reinforcement of the banking sector capital. Therefore, the “public debt”, contrary to what is usually said, provides help to private capital and, in this respect, should be counted in its profits.

Moreover, in the last 20 years, the “public debt” tripled in 20 out of 27 countries of EU because of massive expenditures for bailing out the financial sector. This is money that was not given through loans to (non-banking) private capital for productive investments. Furthermore, public borrowing was done and continues to be done on terms that exceed by far the average profit rate, making investments in state bonds far more profitable than investments for the creation of production units, and, all the more so, since this kind of investment is exempted from the risks of class struggle in the sites of production.

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Democracy No Escape

14 March 2010

from reoccupied:

*This is a communique that was circulated in Athens and Thessaloniki during the 3/11 demos

Democracy

There’s no escape.

The big pricks are out.

They’ll fuck everything in sight.

Watch your back.

Harold Pinter (He already said it on February 2003)

In the historical point we are now in, the contradiction of capital is increasingly becoming clear worldwide. Proletarians around the world are in turmoil while their own reproduction becomes more and more difficult. As it is already difficult for the proletarians to continue their lives, it is capital itself as a relation of exploitation which is in a reproduction crisis. The current struggles of the proletarians are the expression of the current form of this relation of exploitation.

During the last year in China where the economy still grows very quickly, all kinds of contradictions are rising. Clashes of workers with the police is common for a number of reasons: because of demands for increasing the very low wages (on which steep economic growth is based), because of preventing land enclosures in villages, because of attributing compensation to dismissed workers, against the inadequacy of the health system resulting in high mortality rate of children. In USA where a historical low record of workers’ demanding struggles has appeared, thousands of homeless and unemployed people occupy vacant houses which have been seized by banks and students occupy universities in California and New York writing on their banners: We have decided not to die, demanding this way what was until recently taken for granted, that is, just their ability to continue being students. The reproduction of their own life (of course from a much worse position imposed by the hierarchy of capitalist states) proletarians in South Africa and Algeria demand as well as they clash with police because they still do not have water or electricity and are forced to live in slums; in India as well, because the price of bread suddenly rises and they starve to death. Last year in Spain workers in shipyards which are shut down burn police cars; in South Korea dismissed workers as well occupy factories and clash with police for two and a half months; in Bangladesh, dismissed workers again, clash with police and burn factories. In France and Belgium, dismissed workers kidnap their bosses, placing explosives in the factories and threatening to blow them up if not compensated for their dismissal. In India and China they kill their boss during the conflicts because of thousands of upcoming dismissals. In this historical phase proletarian struggles are objectively struggles for the assertion of the reproduction of life itself.
At the same time, the restructuring of labour relations is accelerated and precariousness is the predominant situation for everyone now. Precariousness is manifested in the worst conditions: 43 suicides of employees in France Telecom within two years but also 1,000,000 unemployed in USA desperately waiting to see whether Obama will once again extend the unemployment benefit which expires in April or they will be left with nothing. Unemployment numbers in most countries surge hitting records higher than in any other historical period.

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Second General Strike rocks Greece

11 March 2010

As our frequent readers probably know, Greece was racked by riots in December, 2008, after a 15-year-old boy was murdered by the police. These riots followed on a series of occupations, which tore through the education sector in 2006-7, spreading from universities to high schools. At the end of 2008, a major question was: would the insurrection spread from the students, youth, and the immigrants — that is, those systematically excluded or marginalized in the production process — to the unionized workforce of regular and semi-regular employees? For an analysis at the time, see The Glass Floor by Theorie Communiste, as well as other writings by TPTG and Blaumachen (available from libcom.org).

For a while, it seemed that the rioters would receive nothing more than repression for their troubles. A socialist government took power in the aftermath of the riots, wasting no time in cracking down on the  milieu. At the extreme, government forces continually violated the sanctity of the Exarchia district in Athens (Exarchia had been declared a police-free zone after students played a key role in bringing down a US-backed dictatorship in the mid-1970s). Greece was racked by bombing campaigns, both from the extreme left of the “Nuclei of Fire” and from the extreme right of Greek fascists, who attacked social centers and other movement strongholds.

Now the situation seems to be changing. Over the past year, as a result of the ongoing world economic crisis, Greece has been plunged into chaos. Like many other small, European republics (Spain, Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, etc), its government is heavily in debt after the bursting of continent-wide bubbles. Greece is seeking relief from the EU (led by Germany). The struggle is on to determine who will be left holding the empty bag. The outcome of this struggle, in Greece as elsewhere, will have huge implications for the dying financial order of our dying world-capitalist economy.

Germany is putting major conditions on the disbursement of aid to Greece: the crisis will have to be borne by the class “formerly known as working”. The socialist government of Greece is therefore pushing through a major austerity program — to ensure stability and, of course, to atone for the “guilt” of widespread “overspending”.


As the crisis comes to a head, the regular and semi-regular workers — who had been missing from 2008 riots — are coming out in force. This is happening despite, rather than because of, the leaders of the Greek public- and private-sector unions. On March 4th, public and private workers came out for a first mass (or general) strike. But the differences between this moment and the moment of December 2008 are considerable. When will workers move beyond demands on a dying system? And what role will be played by the non-regular forces of students, youth and immigrants, who made up the main contingent of the rioters? The second general strike in a month took place today, March 11th, with hundreds of thousands of participants. See the description below, from libcom.org.

All to frequently, we have been written off as an attempt to “copy” the situation in Greece. Without making any easy analogies, what do we have to learn, here in California, from the unfolding sequence in Greece? We, too, are being asked to hold the empty bag, as corporate CEOs and their government cronies laugh all the way to the (newly “restored”) bank. But we are far behind Greece in our mobilizations. At the very least, we should be humbled by the number of people participating in their direct action movements. We should also note the time-frame: from occupations in 2006 to riots in 2008 to strikes in 2010. Only the most optimistic think that this sequence will leap towards “revolution” or “insurrection” soon, but it remains a distinct possibility. What do you think?

More articles (and a better historical overview) available from libcom.org section on Greece.

Battle Ground Athens: second general strike leads to pitched battles

Submitted by taxikipali on Mar 11 2010 15:34

More than 150,000 people took to the streets of Athens against the austerity measures in a mass protest marches that have led to extended battles in the greek capital.

On Thursday March 11 all Greece came to a 24h standstill as a result of the second general strike to be called within less than a month (not the third as reported by foreign media, as the first strike in February only concerned the public sector). As a result of the strike called by GSEE (private sector union umbrella) and ADEDY (public sector union umbrella) as well as PAME (the Communist Party union umbrella) no buses, trams, metros, trolley buses or suburban trains exited their stations, while due to air-traffic control workers’ strike no flights are being realised within or in and out of the country.

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Occupy Vancouver

8 March 2010

A new video from the stimulator, discussing March 4, Vancouver tent cities during the Olympics, black blocs and more.