Savas Michael, December 10, 2008 of the Greek EEK (Workers Revolutionary Party)
While the clashes between the riot police and the people, particularly the youth, five days after the killing of the 15 years old Alexis Grigoropoulos continue without interruption, a General Strike called by GSEE( General Confederation of Labor) and ADEDY( National Federation of Public Employs) for December the 10th took successfully place. The Strike was particularly successful in the Public, Education, Health, and Transport sectors.
The Prime Minister Karamanlis made a public call and sent an official letter to the leadership of the Confederation to cancel not only the march, which traditionally follows the central rally the day of the General Strike, but the rally in Syntagma Square as well and the strike itself “because of the tense situation”. The trade union bureaucracy had already cancelled the march and transferred the rally from the traditional place in front of the headquarters of GSEE to Syntagma Square, in front of the Parliament “in support of parliamentary democracy”… But the GSEE leadership dominated by PASOK did not dare to cancel the Strike or the rally, as Karamanlis demanded, fearing that the mass workers movement will mobilize independently and against the bureaucrats.
Under the combined pressures of the New Democracy government, of PASOK, and above all, of the Stalinist KKE which accused the reformist Synaspismos and its allies in SYRIZA to cover up for the “hooligans destroying social peace and private property”, SYRIZA cancelled its march and transferred its rally near Syntagma Square.
The Stalinists of KKE( who recently rehabilitated officially not only Stalin but also the verdict of the Moscow Trials and the purges of the ’30s in the Soviet Union) have become the main slanderers of the youth revolt calling the young rebels “Talibans”, “gangsters”, “drug dealers”, ” prostitution dealers”(!!), “police agents” etc. Today in all mass media, the Right and particularly the fascists of the far right party LAOS praised, quoted approvingly, and repeated ad nauseam all the despicable slanders of the Gen. Sec. of KKE, A. Papariga against the revolt.
For the General Strike, they organized their own separate rally in Omonia Square and then they moved two blocks in the other direction and dispersed! They were less than 4.000.
So the only march in Athens in the day of the General Strike was that organized by the far left organizations of MERA( Front of Radical Front, which includes EEK) and of ENANTIA( United Anti-capitalist Left), joined by two Maoist groups and the Anti-Authoritarian Movement (anarchist). Some class struggle sections of the trade union movement, particularly in the Public sector, Health, Education, technical engineers etc., including the Federation of the high schools teachers refused to go neither with the PASOK-led GSEE or the Stalinists and joined us putting themselves in the first ranks of our march. It was the most impressive march of the Greek far left for decades: about 25.000 people! EEK had its strongest contingent for all its recent history. The Italian TV( which took also an interview by Savas Michael of EEK) as well as other foreign TV channels have showed our march- but not the Greek State TV, which nevertheless showed the tiny rally of GSEE in Syntagma and the Stalinist gathering in Omonia…
There were only small clashes with the riot police during the march, which, of course, geometrically escalated after the end of the march, and still continue this hour (around midnight, Greek time) around the Polytechnic University under occupation. The police use there tonight also goons of the paramilitary fascist group “Golden Dawn” – as they already did yesterday in Patras injuring with a knife a young girl- and threaten to attack also our Independent Action Center in the occupied Law Faculty in the Athens University.
In the Law Faculty under occupation, after the march, two General Assemblies took place: a Workers Assembly joined by hundreds of class struggle trade-unionists and a Student Assembly joined by representatives from nearly all the student unions of the Athens University. The traditions of the 1973 Polytechnic uprising against the CIA junta are revived: at that time too there were a Workers’ and a Students’ Assembly coordinating their actions as we do today. The Independent Action Center is precisely this Coordination.
A Statement was drafted and voted with a series of demands (for the abolition of anti-trade union, anti-pension, police state legislations, for wages increases, against privatizations, for nationalizations under workers control etc.), a call for an indefinite General Strike to overthrow the government, and a solemn decision for civil disobedience, demonstrations, strikes etc. against the State of Emergency prepared by the New Democracy government. The Statement, of course called also for the immediate release of all arrested, whose number until now is higher than 150 people, most of them young boys and girls around 15 years, the first target of this horrendous capitalist government of kid killers.
Another provocation became public today: the Medical -Legal Department of the Police wants to issue a verdict declaring the killing of Alexis …an accident. At the same time the two police murderers in their deposition in the Interrogator, made public by their lawyer (a notorious lawyer of the mob), accused their young victim to be “a nasty hooligan with a disturbed behavior”, “kicked out from his school” (the school rejected officially the slander). This character assassination- the Second Murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos- undoubtedly will provoke a new wave of explosions, keeping in mind that in the forefront of the struggle is 14-15 years schoolchildren.
Tomorrow there will be another student and schoolchildren demonstration. The same, the day after tomorrow. The mobilization will not stop until victory.
On December 18, the government budget is voted in parliament and another General Strike is planned for that day.
Note: Ditto previous comment on translation. Forgive the use of the bourgeois news channel Al Jazeera, I don’t usually do that but I thought that this particular program at least got at some issues. Certainly better than anything I have seen on the BBC or US news .