Greek thread: out of the labyrinth

Submitted by Samotnaf on May 30, 2011

Declaration of an assembly of 3000 on Saturday 28th May:

For a long time now, decisions are taken for us, without us.

We are workers, unemployed, pensioners, youth who came to Syntagma to struggle for our lives and our futures.

We are here because we know that the solution to our problems can only come from us.

We invite all Athenians, the workers, the unemployed and the youth to Syntagma, and the entire society to fill up the squares and to take life into its hands.

There, in the squares, we shall co-shape all our demands.

We call all workers who will be striking in the coming period to end up and to remain at Syntagma.

We will not leave the squares before those who lead us here leave first: Governments, the Troika, Banks, Memorandums and everyone who exploits us.

We tell them that the debt is not ours.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY NOW!

EQUALITY – JUSTICE – DIGNITY!

The only defeated struggle is the one that was never given!

I heard from a contact that last night in Syntagma Square there were about 50,000 people, everyone occupying it, while excluding all the political parties. There were 2-3000 people in a big assembly, definitely some anarchists, but overall people who are outside any scene. This was the 5th night. The decisions of the assembly (including its statements and its exclusion of fascists) have been really exciting. The big decision last night was not only to continue the occupation and assembly of this square, which is in front of the Greek Parliament, but also, starting today, to occupy many of the smaller squares in the neighborhoods, and begin assemblies there to begin self-organizing locally. Another thing posed by the central assembly is a self-organized, indefinite wildcat general strike, as opposed to the symbolic strikes organized by the big unions, but it's not clear if this is yet anywhere close to realistic.

Harrison

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the spreading of the Spanish assemblies to Greece is possibly the greatest thing to happen this year.

very exciting stuff.

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reuters:

Greeks vent anger at entire political class
Sun May 29, 2011 5:13pm
By Angeliki Koutantou
ATHENS (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Greeks vented their anger at the nation's political classes in Athens on Sunday, staging the biggest in a week of protests as the government seeks backing for yet more austerity.
The huge crowd packed Syntagma Square in front of the Greek parliament, booing, whistling and chanting "Thieves! Thieves" as they pointed at the assembly building.
"We've had enough. Politicians are making fools of us. If things stay as they are, our future will be very bleak," said a 22-year-old student who gave his name as Nikos.
Unlike the violent protests last year when radicals clashed with police, the peaceful crowds on Sunday were made up of ordinary Greeks, some of whom brought along their children.
Greeks are angry no politicians have been punished for the corruption they blame for the crisis, as well as the dire state of the economy and waves of austerity demanded under the terms of a 110 billion euro ($157.5 billion) bailout from the European Union and IMF last year.
Greeks have been protesting on Syntagma Square for five days, fired up by similar demonstrations across Spain. They were joined on Sunday night by a small group of Spaniards who had come to show their solidarity, raising banners in Spanish.
Spain has not had to seek an international bailout, unlike Greece, Ireland and Portugal, but it also faces major budget problems, lack of confidence in its debt, and demand for reform.
Police put Sunday's crowd at 30,000 although the protesters, who have few formal leaders and are prompted by Facebook, say official figures usually underestimate the size of demonstrations by a wide margin.
Before the Syntagma Square rallies began, some Spanish protesters had accused Greeks of being too passive.
But on Sunday Ifigenia Argyrou, a 57-year-old insurance consultant, said all that had changed.
"People were indignant but they needed a motivation to express that. The Spanish people gave us that motivation," she told Reuters. "We are not sleeping, we are awake. The IMF should get out. There are other solutions without them."
Officials from the International Monetary Fund, EU and European Central Bank are in Athens checking Greece's fiscal progress to approve a 12 billion euro aid tranche -- the fifth under the current bailout -- and possibly new funding the country needs to avoid debt default.
In return, the EU wants Athens to impose yet more austerity and reform, including privatisations.
Prime Minister George Papandreou's PASOK has a comfortable majority in parliament but one weekend opinion poll showed it had lost its lead for the first time since it won elections in 2009.

P.S. One of the leading people who has provoked all this is now under house arrest in his $30,000 per month flat in New York accused not of raping whole countries, but of oral rape of one specific proletarian. It's as if Adolf Hitler were arrested just for bombing Coventry cathedral.
(please don't accuse me of using standard Godwin's law: stylistic comparisons of fascistic behaviour with fascism does not mean that I think all forms of capitalism boil down to being the same as Auschwitz).

T La Palli

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is there a decent account of events in Greece since late 2008? Are there any regular posters on Libcom based in Greece? It'd be good to get somebody from Greece to do a short speaking tour around Britain. Do peopel have any good contacts?

dinosavros

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/
has updates and some translations, supporting the occupation but critically.

http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/
is another good site and so far seems much more negative about the occupation (for example translating this text http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2011/05/26/how-many-friends-does-the-compulsive-pacifism-have-on-facebook/ )

Judging from their reports on athens indymedia a lot of politicised anti-authoritarians are disapointed with the occupation, for being pacifist and too vague politically verging on naive reformism (something which is also applied to the spanish movement) but also for the patriotic elements (greek flags, singing the national anthem, etc), this seems very different to the spanish case, also a lot of older people are present in Greece while in spain it seems more of a youth movement. This rejection does not apply to everyone though and some anarchists are posting reports from the assemblies (my impression is that many people present at the occupation dont participate in the assembly).

(Edit: have just re-read my post and I realize I am only talking about the occupation of syntagma square in athens, but it is happening in other parts of greece too which I havent mentioned at all).

(T La Palli occupied london is a good site for looking at the history of events since 2008 (they are based in the UK and might be interested in speaking), Also libcom has had some very good coverage too.
I am a native Greek speaker but haven't lived in Greece for some years now.)

Steven.

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This article is a good summary up to the end of 2010
http://libcom.org/library/burdened-debt-tptg

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

T La Palli and anybody else who has missed out on some of this:
check out the track of taxikipali and this list of stuff from the TPTG;

plus these:

http://libcom.org/forums/news/greece-reflections-some-contradictions-movement-there-10012010

http://libcom.org/library/if-you-want-peace-prepare-class-war-tptg

http://libcom.org/forums/news/greek-journalist-killed-suspected-terrorist-group-attack-19072010

http://libcom.org/news/tptg-%E2%80%9Cthere%E2%80%99s-only-one-thing-left-settle-our-accounts-capital-its-state%E2%80%99%E2%80%99-16032010

http://libcom.org/forums/news/3-deaths-athens-05052010

http://libcom.org/news/greece-new-measures-have-been-voted-second-day-demonstrations-07052010

http://libcom.org/forums/news/another-dead-activist-greece-18032009

http://libcom.org/news/anarchist-killed-greek-police-11032010

subprole

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

an insurrectionary anarchist view on the situation in greece: http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20100625000544521

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

50,000 people in Syntagma tonight

According to corporate media and blogs, about 50,000 people participated in the rally in Syntagma Square. Thousands of people still there at the moment. Earlier the rally surrounded the parliament and a lot of demonstrators blockaded the gates. According to corporate media, police hesitated to attack to the people who blockaded the entries out of fear for riots from such a large crowd of people. So several MPs who had been trapped in the parliament had to leave the building from the back door through the national garden, while others had to leave the parliament after midnight, when the gates were not blockaded any more. People who noticed the ‘escaping’ MPs start chanting ‘thieves!’ ‘thieves!’.

from "From the Greek Streets" posted early this morning.

Possibly there are more than 50,000, because the square only holds 50,000 comfortably and on Sunday a friend reports that there must have been an extra 20,000 - 25,000 in the streets around, with 50,000 in the square itself.

This friend reports that on Sunday, the assembly was probably around 3,500. Apparently the camp was started by people into Castoriadis/Cardan, with an ideology of pacifism, direct democracy, liberalism to libertarian communism...explicitly "apolitical", with no banners or flags, though a few (very few) Greek flags were seen, mainly because people were buying them off immigrants trying to make a bit of money fly pitching.

Obviously it's a big mix, with lots of people going as families, showing their opposition (though not doing very much or participating in the assembly) in a strolling around holiday atmosphere. A lot of music, chanting, and slogans against politicians.

One of the bad aspects of the assembly has been a vote for a Committee to Audit the Debt, a meticulous accounting of how much the debt is due to corruption and fraud and how much it's due to pension funds and 'social benefits', a legalistic mentality that leads to reliance on left liberal financial specialists and completely misses the point.There's also been some
leftist manipulation (trots, ex stalinists etc) of who would be allowed to talk, though this has succeeded only in some instances . The ideology of "apolitics" merans that there's been a lot of self-censorship, with people putting their political identity aside, hiding their group ID to present themselves as the common wo/man. There's a lot of "citizenist" ideology - "we're all human beings", though sometimes this is a reaction against defining oneself according to political ideology and/or one's Union identity. In the couple of weeks or so in December 2008 what was particularly refreshing was the fact that people were connecting with people outside of their specific political or Union family/clan/clique, and this "citizenist" ideology is an attempt to somehow artificially recreate this; so it's more complex than simply liberalism taking hold of people's brains.

The good side has been the new fresh feeling that everybody can talk and a lot of people are talking about the miserable contradictions of their daily lives, the financial hell, their own personal debts, the feeling that they have suddenly lost control of their lives (how much they had control previously is another question). Each person is given a time limit of 3 or 4 minutes. There's been a vote for smaller assemblies - around specific topics. This includes voting for proposed actions such as how not to pay for electricity and transport etc. and how to not pay personal debts.

The talk of a general wildcat strike seems to be a bit of leftist voluntarism, hoping to push for these ideas in the one day official strikes coming up, largely against further privatisation, amongst post office workers, Telecom workers and dockers.

Like in Spain, there have been some anarchists who've been very dismissive of this camp, the occupation of the square and of the assemblies, some saying it's a safety valve, a recuperation of the genuine struggle (which usually boils down to only what they're doing). But they don't see what's happening as a process, that if people are starting to break with their passivity it's an opportunity to break out of the anarcho/anti-authoritarian clique ghetto without compromising one's point of view (though sometimes it doesn't make sense to constantly hammer home the same angry "message" in the same old way: communication is a constant struggle and experiment of trial and error, no single repeated form or content connects). Some of them have over-emphasised the presence of Greek flags as proof of the uselessness of this occupation, without understanding how - for the most part, at least - unimportant the rare instances of flag waving (often by kids whose parents just bought one off an immigrant) are.

Nevertheless, anti-authoritarians are right to be angry about some aspects of the occupation/assembly, illustrated by the following:
On Sunday a 15 yr old immigrant stole a bag from a woman in the square and was caught. The woman didn't want him handed over to the cops by the "self-defence" committee. But the most prominent member of the "co-ordination committee" took a personal initiative to hand the kid over, without the woman knowing, and without anybody else (apart from the leftists in the self-defence committee and in the co-ordination committee) knowing. The leftists ( a coalition of various social democratic minded ex-maoists and others) had kept quiet about this, hid it from the assembly, and a middle-of-the-night demo to get the kid released was somehow sabotaged by this clique (who, because of the "apolitical" ideology, have kept quiet about their politics). This has pissed off a helluva lot more people than just the anarcho-insurrectionists who dismiss the whole thing as recuperation and it remains to be seen how these contradictions within the assembly/occupation get played out.

Hopefully the facts here are all correct, and that they correct some of the facts in my OP. I should emphasise that all this information was gathered over the phone from a friend whose general social critique I thoroughly respect, and that any possible errors are largely mine in not having completely understood the situation.

Salvoechea

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Another comment in spanish:
http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/?q=node/17796

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Critical (excessively and rather dogmatically so, imo: compare, for example, with this far more nuanced look at the assemblies in Spain) take on the occupation here in French:

Combien d’amis le pacifisme compulsif a sur facebook?
Le 25 mai depuis l’après-midi près de 40000 genre de néo-grecs ont rempli
la place Syntagma validant ainsi de la pire des manières lemémorandum de
la troïka, les mesures d’austérité et le privilège de l’exclusivité quand
à l’usage de la violence de la part de l’état.
Hier, des nécrophiles petits bourgeois, on pris place là ou il y a tout
juste deux semaines l’état attaquait férocement la manifestation de la
grève du 11 mai établissant le record de centaines de têtes ensanglantées,
et envoyant le manifestant Yannis Kafkas à l’hôpital dans le coma;
quelques jours plus tard, un peu plus loin de Syntagma eut lieu une sans
précédente ascension de violence raciste et de cannibalisme social –dans
d’autres quartiers déclassés du centre d’Athènes se répétèrent les
attaques de flics et de fascistes contre des maisons, magasins d’immigrés
ainsi que contre des squats anarchistes, les dévots des fascistes usèrent
comme prétexte l’assassinat de Manolis Kantaris, dans le même temps des
groupes de néo-nazis lançaient des pogroms blessant au total des centaines
d’immigrés, et poignardèrent sauvagement le Bangladesh Alim Abdul Manan.
Le rassemblement pacifique avait lieu alors que quasiment dans le même
temps des compagnons se rassemblaient sur la place Victoria pour résister
activement contre la terreur d’état, les ségrégations raciales et la merde
d’ossature étatique.
En accord avec les normes du pathétique et réformiste mouvement espagnol
‘Democracia Real YA’ et ‘geração à rasca’ des pacifistes portugais, un
nouveau rassemblement apolitique a été appelé par facebook, en face du
Greek Kynovoulio cette fois [Kynovoulio, Doghouse lieu de Koinovoulio, le
Parlement - un jeu de mots intraduisible ]. La présence symbolique de
flics en face du monument du soldat inconnu ne doit pas nous tromper. Ce
n’était pas seulement la police anti-émeute qui défendait les symboles du
pouvoir mais surtout le grand nombre des « citoyens indignés » qui ont
pleinement déclaré allégeance aux patrons et à l’état.
Le pacifisme compulsif d’un pseudo mouvement de résistance était, est et
sera une version supplémentaire de la violence d’état. Où qu’ils soient
les partisans du régime parlementaire proposent d’étendre le pacifisme
pour manipuler les foules et canaliser la rage des peuples sur les voies
du réformisme dans le système existant sans le renverser. Après tout c’est
justement des manifestants pacifistes et démocratiques que demande l’état
et le capital.
Ces premiers rassemblements que se soient sur la place Syntagma à Athènes
ou sur les autres points centraux des autres villes de Grèce sont des
informelles votes de confiance à un système pourri dans son fondement.
Nous voyons au niveau européen que de tels mouvements fonctionnent comme
des soupapes contre la guerre sociale et de classe. Ce que la matraque
d’un flic et le couteau d’un facho ne peuvent pas atteindre, l’est par la
propagande de « facebookeurs » apolitiques et réformistes.
Le mouvement antagoniste et les dissidents radicaux doivent la nature
réactionnaire et contre-révolutionnaire de ces contrefaçons des révoltes
du monde arabe. Une des caractéristiques fondamentales du capitalisme et
son pouvoir à transformer et absorber les voix de ceux qui le défient. En
désignant par des mots tels que rage, révolte, révolution, le système et
ses supporters espérant ainsi rabaisser le mouvement de libération social
et le détourner sur des voies incolores pour eux-mêmes.
Les avertissements donnés par les madrilènes aux campeurs de Syntagma tel
que « pas d’attaques émeutières » ont été entendus par énormément de gens.
La presse du régime reproduit, invente et orne les arguments pacifistes,
les vendant comme le seul espoir de perspective.
Tant que nous n’agissons pas pour prendre les moyens de production, abolir
la propriété, qu’une rébellion multiraciale qui mette en place des
structures mutuelles et auto-gérés, qu’au lieu de ça nous abandonnons nos
drapeaux et nos armes à Syntagma [également constitution] ou n’importe où
en chantant l’hymne nationale ; tant que nous restons dans une ambiance
joyeuse avec des guitares et des chansons sirupeuses plutô que de prendre
une pierre, nous restons les esclaves des patrons.

Machine translation:

How many friends does compulsive pacifism have on facebook?
May 25 since the afternoon close to 40000 Greek kinds of neo filled the place Syntagma validating thus of the
worse one manners lemémorandum of the troika, the measures of austerity and the privilege of the exclusivity
rights when to the usage of the violence from the state.
Yesterday, nécrophiles bourgeois small, one take places there or there is all just two weeks the state attacked
ferociously the demonstration of the strike of May 11 establishing the record of hundreds of bloodied heads, and
sending the showing Yannis Kafkas to the hospital in the coma; some days later, a little further of Syntagma took
place an unprecedented ascension of racist violence and of social cannibalism –in Of other downgraded
neighborhoods of the center of Athens repeated themselves the attacks of cops and of Fascist ones against houses,
stores of immigrants as well as against squats anarchists, the devout ones of the Fascist ones wore as pretext the
assassination of Manolis Kantaris, at the same time Nazi groups of neo launched injuring pogroms altogether of the
hundreds of immigrants, and stabbed savagely the Bangladesh Alim Abdul Manan.
Peaceful gathering took place while practically at the same time companions mustered themselves on the place Victoria to withstand actively
against the state terror, the racial segregations and the fuck of ossature étatique. In keeping with the norms of the pathetic one and
reformist Spanish movement 'Democracia Real YA' and 'geração to rasca' Portuguese pacifists, a new apolitical gathering was called by
facebook, opposite the Greek Kynovoulio this time [Kynovoulio, Doghouse place of Koinovoulio, the Parliament - a game of words
intraduisible]. The symbolic presence of cops opposite the monument of the unknown soldier must not cheat us. It was not only the anti-riot
police that defended the symbols of the strength but especially the big number of the "indignant citizens" that fully declared allegiance to
the employers and to the state.
Compulsive pacifism of a pseudo movement of resistance was, is and will be an additional version of the
violence of state. Where that they are the favoring system parliamentary one propose to spread the pacifism to
handle the crowds and to channel the rage of the peoples on the ways of the réformisme in the existing system
without reversing it. After all it is exactly of the showing pacifists and democratic that asks the state and
the capital.
These first gatherings that are themselves on the place Syntagma to Athens or on the other central points of the other cities of Greece are informal votes of confidence to a rotten system in his foundation. We see
at the European level that of such movements work as valves against the social war and of class. Which the baton of a cop and the knife of a facho cannot attain, the east by the publicity of "facebookeurs"
apolitical and reformist.
The opposing movement and the radical dissidents have the reactionary nature and against revolutionary of these
forgeries of the revolts of the Arabic world. One of the basic characteristics of capitalism and his strength
to transform and to absorb the voices of those that the challenge. While designating by words such as fumes,
offends, revolution, the system and its supporters hoping thus to belittle the movement of social liberation
and to divert it on colorless ways for themselves.
Warnings given by the madrilènes to the campers of Syntagma such as "no attacks émeutières" were heard by enormously of people. The press of the system reproduces, invents and decorates the pacifist arguments, the selling
as the only hope of perspective.
As long as we do not act to take the means of production, to abolish the property, that a multiracial
rebellion that sets up of the structures mutual insurance companies and car managed, that instead of that
abandon us our flags and our weapons to Syntagma [equally constitution] or anywhere while singing the national
hymn; as long as we remain in a joyous mood with guitars and songs sirupeuses plutô that to take a rock, we
Let's remain the slaves of the employers.

Plus an appeal for solidarity, also in French:

Grèce: Appel urgent à la solidarité internationale
Compagnons,
Le but de ce message est de vous informer brièvement de ce qui se passe
ces derniers jours en Grèce et de lancer un appel international de
solidarité à tous les anarchistes à travers le monde.
La Grèce est sur un tournant critique, et de nombreux changements
critiques ont lieu tant dans la société que dans l’économie et la
politique. La désintégration et la dissolution du modèle dominant -jusque
récemment- de pouvoir et d’exploitation est plus qu’évidente et définie ce
qui est communément appelé « crise ». Ce que nous vivons maintenant est la
faillite totale d’un système incapable d’assurer plus longtemps un
consensus social. Ainsi s’engage une attaque frontale, inconditionnelle et
sans prétexte.
Initialement, au début de cette condition qui a été appelée «crise»,
l’attaque s’est produite en termes matériels. Avec la dévaluation du
travail, la réduction horizontale des salaires, la «flexibilité» du
travail, l’institutionnalisation de la précarité, l’augmentation du prix
des produits de consommation et de la facturation des services publics,
l’augmentation des impôts et la réduction des aides sociales. Dans le même
temps, la vente de la richesse publique à des particuliers, la présence
policière généralisée dans les rues, les ventes aux enchères, la hausse du
chômage ont commencé …
A cela s’ajoute le déclenchement d’une attaque de propagande sans précédent.
Les médias de masse contrôlés par l’état et le capital se déchainent à un
rythme effarant catastrophique, publiant des scénarios de désastres et
faisant des grandes révélations comme « Si la troïka n’approuve pas le
prochain versement du prêt, nous allons tomber en morceaux… » Avec tout
cela, le mécanisme de communication du pouvoir gère à brouiller en
permanence les pistes et maintenir une situation de terreur, assurant
finalement la paralysie de la société.
Cependant, la résistance n’a jamais cessé pour une partie de la société
grecque et le prolétariat. Les déclarations sporadiques de grèves
générales sont entourées d’une façon ou de l’autre par des personnes qui
résistent activement et expriment leur volonté de se battre contre ces
conditions imposées par l’état et le capital.
Une nouvelle fois à Athènes lors de la grève générale du 11 mai, des
dizaines de milliers de manifestants ont défilé et exprimé leur opposition
aux nouvelles mesures antisociales du gouvernement grec qui s’abattent sur
les travailleurs et la majorité de la population. Pendant cette
manifestation après qu’une grosse partie du cortège a passé le parlement
et approchait de la fin, les flics attaquèrent vicieusement les blocs les
plus radicaux –anarchistes et antiautoritaires, assemblées de quartier,
bases syndicales, gauche extra-parlementaire – sans qu’il n’y a eu de
provocation. Ils les frappaient avec une sauvagerie sans précédent et
tiraient des centaines de lacrymos, jusqu’à ce que les blocs soient
dispersés. Plus de cent personnes ont été hospitalisées, et certaines
opérées.
Le camarade Yannis a été le manifestant dont l’état de santé est
actuellement le plus critique. Ayant subit une attaque meurtrière par les
flics qui lui a causé de graves blessures à la tête, il dut être transféré
à l’hôpital dans un état ante mortem –selon le rapport médical délivré
plus tard. Après le constat de l’ampleur de l’hémorragie interne par les
médecins, il dût subir aussitôt une intervention chirurgicale; il est
depuis intubé en Clinique de soins intensifs. Sa situation reste critique
mais stable, sans pour autant être tiré d’affaire.
Il est évident que ces attaques meurtrières contre les grévistes, ce
mercredi 11 mai, avaient pour seul objectif, d’intimider le peuple et tous
ceux qui résistent aux attaques du pouvoir étatique et capitaliste.
C’était un acte exemplaire pour l’assujettissement de la population,
semblant leur délivrer le message: restez à la maison, tranquilles et
disciplinés.
Dans le cadre de la même procédure la souveraineté «emploie» de plus en
plus l’extrême-droite qui est une «ramification» de l’état. La flambée
récente de violences racistes dans tout le pays, a atteint son apogée la
semaine dernière. Instrumentalisant le meurtre de sang-froid d’un résident
d’Athènes pour une histoire de vol, faisant les immigrés un cible, un
pogrom sans précédent contre les immigrés a été déclenché. Des groupes de
fascistes issus d’organisations ou autonomes, des racistes, et des
personnes d’extrême droite, ont saisit l’opportunité pour se réunir tous
les soirs et attaquer des immigrés, en blessant plusieurs, et la mort d’un
immigré économique semble leur incomber. Dans le même temps, les
néo-nazis, assistés de la police, attaquent les squats du centre-ville et
nous mettent dans une situation ou nous devons se défendre contre la
barbarie policière et la brutalité des fascistes mettant nos vies en
danger.
La gravité de la situation est évidente. Au moment où la société se fait
attaquer sans précédent en termes matériels, les parties politiques de la
société les plus radicales – le milieu anarchiste étant le plus principal-
sont ciblés par les fascistes et la police- et cette fois ci littéralement
si on prend compte de la rage meurtrière des attaques.
C’est pour cela que nous lançons de toute urgence un appel international
de solidarité!
La solidarité a toujours été une des valeurs caractéristiques de
l’anarchie. Nous avons toujours compté sur la solidarité pour soutenir nos
luttes, combattre l’isolement et la retraite dans la vie privée,
encouragés par le pouvoir étatique, ainsi que l’individualisme et le
démantèlement de la notion de collectif que le capitalisme promeut.
Maintenant que la société grecque et le prolétariat souffrent d’une
détérioration sans pareil de ses conditions de vie, maintenant que les
anarchistes sont sous une telle oppression qui prend actuellement des
dimensions de tentative de meurtres, maintenant que le milieu politique
anarchiste est sous la menace de la violence de l’état et des fachos, nous
avons besoin de voir nos compagnons, tout autour du monde, appeler à des
actions de solidarité pour notre lutte; d’organiser des événements, des
manifestations, des marches, de protester, par des textes, en parole et en
acte, par tout ce que les compagnons jugent le plus approprié. Toutes les
expressions de solidarité révolutionnaire, que les anarchistes connaissent
et veulent démontrer, vitaliseront nos esprits et renforceront nos luttes.
Salutations fraternelles,
Groupe de communistes libertaires d’Athènes
Eutopia (journal)
Voir aussi les liens suivants:
http://fr.contrainfo.espiv.net Plus d’informations sur les récents
événements en Grèce
http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/ D’autres infos (en anglais)
http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1288989 vidéo:
la police attaque la manifestation du 11 mai
http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1290982 vidéo:
coopération Fascistes/immigrés d’attaques d’immigrés
http://www.demotix.com/photo/688561/demonstration-stabbed-greek-turns-riots-and-racist-acts
photos: nazis attaquent des immigrés
http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1288923 photos:
la police attaque la manifestation du 11 mai
http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1289018 photos:
la police attaque la manifestation du 11 mai
http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1289114 photos:
la police attaque la manifestation du 11 mai

Machine translation:

Greece: Urgent call to international solidarity
Comrades,
The goal of this message is to inform you briefly of what happens the latter days in Greece and to launch an international call of solidarity to all the anarchists through the
world. Greece is on a turn criticizes, and many critical changes take place so in the corporation that in the economy and the political one. Disintegration and the dissolution of
the dominating model -even recently- of strength and of exploitation is more evident and more defined which commonly is called "crisis". Which we live now is the total bankruptcy
of an incapable system to assure a long time a social consensus. Thus is involved itself a frontal, unconditional attack and without pretext.

Initially, at first of this condition that was called "crisis", the attack produced itself in material terms.
With the devaluation of the work, the horizontal reduction of the salaries, the "flexibility" work, the
institutionalization of the pigeon fancying, the increase of the price of the consumer products and invoice of
the public services, the increase of the taxes and the reduction of the social assistance. At the same time,
the sale of public wealth to special, the police presence generalized in the streets, the sales to the bids,
the increase of the unemployment began …

Thereto adds the triggering of an attack of unprecedented publicity. The controlled media of mass by the state and the capital itself déchainent to a disastrous scaring rhythm, publishing scenarios of disasters and doing the
big revelations as "If the troika does not approve the next payment of the ready one, we will fall in pieces…" With all that, the mechanism of communication of the strength manages to jumble in permanence the tracks and to
maintain a terror position, assuring finally the paralysis Corporation.

Nevertheless, the resistance never stopped for a part of the Greek corporation and the prolétariat. The
sporadic declarations of general strikes are surrounded by a manner or other by people that withstand actively
and express their will to beat itself against these conditions taxed by the state and the capital.

A new time to Athens at the time of the general strike of May 11, tens of thousands of show marched and
expressed their opposition to the new antisocial measures of the Greek government that cut down themselves on
the workers and the majority of the population. During this demonstration after a big party of the procession
passed the parliament and approached the end, the cops attacked cunngingly the pads more radical –anarchists
and antiauthoritarian, assembled neighborhood, union bases, left parliamentary first rate – without that it did
not have provocation. They hit them with an unprecedented savagery and pulled hundreds of lacrymos, until the
pads are dispersed. More than hundred people were hospitalized, and certain operated on.

The friend Yannis was the showing of which the health state is currently the most critical one. Having
undergoes an attack deadly by the cops that caused him of engrave injuries to the head, it dut to be
transferred to the hospital in a state ante mortem –according to the medical delivered report later. After the
report of the extent of the internal bleeding by the doctors, it dût to undergo immediately a surgical
intervention; it is since intubé in Clinic of intensive cares. His position remains critical but stable,
without for as much to be pulled matter.

It is evident that these deadly attacks against the strikers, this Wednesday May 11, had for single objective, to intimidate the people and all those that withstand the attacks of the strength étatique and
capitalist. This was an exemplary act for the subjection of the population, pretence to deliver them the message: remain at the house, quiet and disciplined.

In the framework of the same procedure the sovereignty "employs" more and more the extreme right that is a "ramification"
state. The recent flare-up of racist violence in the whole country, attained his apogee last week. Instrumentalisant the
murder of self-control of a resident of Athens for a flight history, doing the immigrants a target, an unprecedented
pogrom against the immigrants was released. Groups of Fascist ones coming from organizations or autonomous, racists, and
people of extreme right, have seizes the timeliness to combine itself all the evenings and attack immigrants, while
injuring several, and the economical death of an immigrant seems to fall them. At the same time, the Nazi neos, attended
police, attack the squats of the center city and we put in a position or we must defend themselves against police
barbarity and the brutality of the Fascist putting our lives in danger. The seriousness of the position is evident. The
moment the corporation does itself to attack unprecedented in material terms, the political parties of the corporation
more radical – the environment anarchist being the most principal one- are targeted by the Fascist and the police- and
this time literally if one takes counts deadly rage of the attacks.

It is for that that we sand eels of any urgency an international call of solidarity!

Solidarity always was one of the characteristic values of anarchy. We always counted on the solidarity to
support our fights, to fight the isolation and the retirement in private life, encouraged by the strength
étatique, as well as individualism and the dismantling of the notion of collective one that capitalism
promotes.

Now that the Greek corporation and the prolétariat suffer from an unequalled deterioration of its conditions of life,
now that the anarchists are under such a oppression that takes currently dimensions of attempt of murders, now that
the political environment anarchist is under the threat of the violence of the state and fachos, we need to see our
companions, all around the world, call for actions of solidarity For our fight; to organize events, demonstrations,
markets, to protest, by texts, in word and in act, by all that the companions judge the most fitting one. All the
expressions of revolutionary solidarity, that the known anarchists and want to show, vitaliseront our spirits and
will reinforce our fights.

Brotherly greetings,

Group of Communist libertarians of Athens Eutopia (newspaper)

See also, the following links:

http://fr.contrainfo.espiv.net Plus d’informations sur les récents
événements en Grèce

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/ D’autres infos (en anglais)

http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1288989 vidéo:
la police attaque la manifestation du 11 mai

http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1290982 vidéo:
coopération Fascistes/immigrés d’attaques d’immigrés

http://www.demotix.com/photo/688561/demonstration-stabbed-greek-turns-riots-and-racist-acts
photos: nazis attaquent des immigrés

http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1288923 photos:
la police attaque la manifestation du 11 mai

http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1289018 photos:
la police attaque la manifestation du 11 mai

http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1289114 photos:
la police attaque la manifestation du 11 mai

Apologies for the uncorrected machine translation, but i don't have the time to go through it all for the moment.

dinosavros

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf, I already posted a link for that first article properly translated into english http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2011/05/26/how-many-friends-does-the-compulsive-pacifism-have-on-facebook/

Here is the second one in a better translation from the group's blog
http://eleftheriakoi-en.blogspot.com/2011/05/greece-urgent-call-for-international.html

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry about that - hadn't looked at that link (in fact, got it confused with a later link).

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Latest from occupied London, to cheer you up this Friday morning:

The greek government spokesman, Giorgos Petalotis, was scheduled to speak at a party event at Alexoupoleos street in Argyroupoli, Athens tonight. He was attacked with yoghurt and eggs by approximately fifty people who had gathered at the building’s entrance. Riot police arrived swiftly, detaining some of the protestors

rooieravotr

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sunday saw the biggest rally in this round of protests. ROAR reports, and so does From The Greek Streets. There will be another general strike on Jun 15th, and I read in the second linked articel that there is a call to block parliament from the day before that. With at least 100.000, and possibly up to half million, people on the streets, and new action being planned, the Greek events deserve maybe a bit more attention by communists/ anarchists than they are actually getting.

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the Greek events deserve maybe a bit more attention by communists/ anarchists than they are actually getting.

I agree - but I think a lot of revolutionaries of whatever label (or none) feel kind of overwhelmed by new events and the need to further nuance their take on things, preferring to either wait till things have "settled", or to just safely look at the most "objective" aspects (eg economic developments) or merely to keep silent for fear of being quickly out of date; but it's only by making new mistakes - including tentative analyses - that this movement will advance and face the immensity of its tasks and desires....
and obviously it's certainly not just confined to Greece, but becoming - in all its different elements of history, culture and political-economy - a world movement that could be as big as '68 or 1917, or bigger, at least a year from now if not sooner...

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Last night (June 11th) the popular assembly of Syntagma square announced a call to blockade the Greek parliament ahead of the voting of the so-called Mid-term agreement between the Greek government and the troika (IMF/ECB/EU). The new agreement includes wild tax increases, the further slashing of wages and pensions and the lay-off of approximately more 100,000 civil servants in the next few years.

- from On the Greek Streets (occupied London).

- About a little more than a year ago Greek citizens attacked verbally Greek politicians who were dining in a restaurant on the tourist island of Paros.
- On December 15, 2010, during a small demonstration at Syntagma Square a few demonstrators attacked verbally, and with a few punches, Kostis Hadzidakis a conservative (rightist) member of parliament. Hadzidakis is a rather mild-mannered and polite person....
- At a rally initiated by the great composer Mikis Theodorakis and organized by the University of Athens about a week ago, there were about six thousand people in front of the U. of Athens, while nearby, at Syntagma Square, there were people in the tens of thousands. Mikis Theodorakis gave a speech and the rally ended. Then about 500 of the people from the rally walked to Syntagma by the Parliament and started spitting and using the (fatal) "moutza" insult of the open palms, against the members of the Greek Parliament as they were leaving in their cars.
- For the last 5 or 6 days there have been such incidents daily. On June 7, there were three such incidents. The attacks were verbal, "moutzes", and throwing of eggs, yogurt, coffee cups, etc. In a couple of cases someone threw a stone....
The results of the insult activities:
- All the Greek politicians (repeat: "all") have the shit scared out of them. They know that they and their families from now on cannot visit a restaurant, or a coffee-shop, or other public places.
- Papandreou, the Prime Minister, on June 7, was obliged to consult with his cabinet for 8 consecutive hours. Yesterday, he did the same with the entire team of his parliamentarians, around 160 people, for 13 consecutive hours.
- For the first time in Greek politics the parliamentarians of a governing party are talking back to their leader... the Prime Minister. It seems that this might be a case of the rats leaving a sinking ship.

- from here.

bastarx

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mute's blog about Greece: http://www.metamute.org/en/news_and_analysis/updates_from_the_greek_squares_people_s_assemblies_neighbourhoods_and_workplaces

Harrison

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BBC General Strike Image Gallery

seems like the state repression and escalation of protest is radicalising the assemblies and demonstrators...

the occupied london updates are invaluable

also this:
Occupied London

20.41 (GMT+2) An estimated 20-30,000 people are at Syntagma at the moment and more are arriving by the minute. Tonight’s assembly is starting very soon, and it will most likely concern itself with the impeding announcements by Greek PM Papandreou, possibly about a “national unity” government.

Will be interesting to see what resolutions are passed...

aloeveraone

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From metamute

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

22:30

The Syntagma assembly is over. They voted on a statement to continue fighting. There was no agreement over adding statements about a 'long-lasting general strike' (unclear why), and they didn't favour a condemnation of violent 'hooded provocateurs'.

Some quotes from speakers: "A big thank you to the Metro workers who kept its doors open and provided medical support to those who were hurt by teargas" "We will not tolerate another government of technocrats" "The only solution is in our hands, we are the only solution and we must be ready to provide it" "Those rogues (Dias riot police team) are hooligans and we should vote to condemn them"...

What to make of all these stories about provocateurs? I guess there are a few of them but that's not to say that there wasn't a "real" fight between demonstrators and police as well, it's not to say that there is no black bloc. Are they being provoked and used to legitimise mass teargassing? Maybe that's what those who hired the infiltrators think they are doing. That they cultivate the delusions of those who still believe that if they are peaceful the state won't dare repress them. Today it seems however that this delusion was damaged... Few in the assembly blamed anyone for the teargas and violent repression but the riot cops themselves, and it seems that there was a 'no blame' attitude since 'hooded provocateurs' are virtually indistinguishable from other demonstrators fighting against police lines. When a man asked "who were those people throwing stuff" some in the audience responded "it was us!"...

Samotnaf

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More from 'Occupied London':

At times, it felt like worlds in collusion: the naivety of pacificism, the fetischisation of anti-police violence. And around this collusion, a myriad others… In Syntagma today we fought off the Neo-nazis of the Golden Dawn, who had the nerve to show up at a General Strike. We saw the demonstrators’ clashing with police in the square’s South-eastern corner (for an unjustifiably long time) being followed by an astonishing, but only momentary, sweeping clean of the thousands on its square. People were trampled over tents, gassed like ants, fainting all over. By the time that the Delta motorcycle police tried to come into play, people had learnt the rules of the game — and they pushed them off. Twelve hours of nearly uninterrupted beating, tear-gassing, running, fighting. For these twelve hours, Syntagma compressed and showed naked the haphazard patterns into which people’s actions are cornered by this social order. A social order that is crumbling, an authority at loss, unable to manage its populace any longer. A regime that has fallen a while ago, only resting on the fallacy of some imagined national unity to try engineer change, to lengthen its days.

rooieravotr

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Article on Greek protests by members of the Occupied Londen collective... on Aljazeera. And yes, they provide a link to Occupied Londen as well:-)

Harrison

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

48-hour strike called to coincide with the parliamentary vote over the next bail-out.

Occupied London

The largest mainstream trade union in Greece, GSEE, has just announced a 48-hour strike to coincide with the parliamentary debate and vote on the Greek government’s new bail-out agreement with the IMF, the EU and the ECB. The dates of the strike and the parliamentary vote are likely to fall between late June and early July.

Ed

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I wonder if there'll be overlap with June 30th.. fingers crossed!

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fears that a debt-choked Athens could plunge global financial markets into turmoil are mounting as Germany and France edge closer to a new multibillion rescue package for the nation. Eurozone finance ministers are expected to give the green light to an emergency loan for the country when they convene for urgent talks in Luxembourg.
But as George Papandreou, Greece's beleaguered prime minister, also prepares to hold emergency discussions with European commission president José Manuel Barroso, the assurances have done little to dampen concerns that Athens is heading towards default. The chances are "so high that you almost have to say there is no way out", said Alan Greenspan, the former US Federal Reserve chairman. His prediction followed reports that 18 months after the eruption of Europe's worst crisis in decades, the European commission has begun to have a "profound sense of foreboding" about Greece and the future of the eurozone.

- from here.

Ed

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sam, that's a really interesting quote (though I suspect it's really what a lot of us are thinking anyway..).. it definitely feels like Greece is on its way to defaulting.. but to be honest I don't have the economic knowledge to even begin predicting what that will mean.. any thoughts from more knowledgable people? I mean, maybe the Euro will collapse but even with this, beyond seeing stuff like Lira or whatever come back, I don't really know what the actual affects will be for workers.. also, if Greece defaults, will that just affect Greece or will other countries go-under as well (I guess French and German banks won't fancy pinning more money on Portugal).. anyway, loads of questions!

Last thing, I've read a lot of stuff about all the street confrontations in Greece, and strikes etc but I've not read very much about the 'I Won't Pay' movement.. they seem pretty interesting but all I've found has been some shitey articles on different mainstream news sites (like this one, which goes on about 'bleary-eyed communists' and the reckless free-loading spirit of the Greeks!)..

They seem pretty cool though, stopping people from paying for public transport, motorway tolls and even medical bills.. anyone got any more information about them?

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I too don't have the economic knowledge to even begin predicting what that will mean, but I'd guess it would mean an even greater crisis for the proletariat of Europe - even greater competition between the different capitalist economies, greater pay cuts, etc.

This is totally off the top of my head - me thinking out loud, and it's intellectually intuitive speculation that I won't defend if someone comes up with a dismissive take that clarifies it all, but....

I was wondering if part of the attack on Greece (apart from the fact that this is a counter-attack by the ruling society against the uprising in 2008 and its consequences, plus a way of undermining the margin of freedom that workers in Greece still have as a result of almost all extended families having some independence from the world market by having access to/ownership of land where they can grow their own stuff) is a war of the US against the eurozone. There are some conspiracy theories doing the rounds that the arrest of Strauss-Kahn was because he was pushing for an IMF attack on the US similar to the attack on Greece. Of course, like virtually all conspiracy theories, this has little evidence to back it up and besides, there's nothing nowadays that isn't the object of a conspiracy theory ("why did my cat get hit by a car?") and of course, such a hypothetical decision to impose even greater austerity measures on the US than Walker & co are devising, would be a collective decision, but it certainly helps the very weak US economy vis a vis Europe, though not of course, against China (which, itself, is advancing on its control of the Greek economy). Sure, the fact that - as a possible threat by the US to other leading IMF members (the IMF is not totally under the control of the US - it has a considerable degree of independence from any particular national ruling class) if they try to do a Greece on the US - the consequence is temporarily helpful to the US doesn't prove a conspiracy. But fuck the conspiracy angle: the reality is that the strategy of each national ruling class and the rulers collectively even if opposed to each other is to make cash and potential (hierarchical) order from chaos, and all these economic manipulations are as important for their future as the very real possibility of a nuclear war (probably confined to the middle east) as a way of repressing, derailing and diverting the slow and sometimes not so slow build- up towards a global contestation of class power....

Well, that's quite a big bit of speculation - but what do people think?

baboon

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No great insights but...
There's a theory that through credit default swaps the US economy, already extremely fragile, could be the first victim of a default. The consequences for the European economies are somewhat unknowable but must be devastating (known unknown) particularly for the Irish, Portugese and so on. But all the national economies inside and outside the euro would take a hit. The consequences of an unmanaged default would throw the banking system back into a severe Lehmann-style crisis as banks, unsure of each other, would refuse to believe or lend on others' balance-sheets (unknown unknowns).
A middle to longer-term consequence would be the strengthening of "each for themselves" as each national capital tried to gain some advantage against their rivals through competitive devaluations and so on, strengthening an already existing trend of protectionism (which led to World War II out of the expression of the crisis of the 1930s).

The working class and the poor would obviously suffer the worst because they will inevitably ending up paying for it through higher direct and indirect taxation. But roll on the crisis and all strength and solidarity to the working class in Greece for refusing to pay for the crisis of capitalism.

Salvoechea

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

My point is that greek anarchists need a kind of programme. It is important to know what to do collectivelly, as a political, social, economic movement. Greece is an state with some structural problems that anarchist should start to think how an anarchist society is possible in Greece. It is important to have a proper strategy for the months to come, in case of worst-scenario. What is the anarchist movement doing to empower people? to build a popular alternative to State and capitalism? Are anarchists participating in the mass assemblies of Syntagma?

I mean, the communist party for sure has its own strategical plan. I imagine they don't want power right now because it's a big shit (they should quit Greece from UE and things like that) and it is probably not very popular.

belacboe79

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

very exciting stuff.

Anatta

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi all, first time poster. Thanks to everyone who has posted on this thread, a really great resource for newbies like myself.

I would be interested to know about any solidarity movements in the UK for Greece. Seems to me this is an important time to be forging international bonds?

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From "From the Greek Streets/Occupied London":

Large-scale police operation in Syntagma
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
At 2:30 (GMT+2) in the morning riot police units along DIAS motorcycle cops conducted a large scale operation in Syntagma Sq out of the blue. Cops concentrated vast forces, they surrounded the rally and using violence, shock grenades and tear gas pushed the people towards the center of the square. People were unprepared for such a sudden escalation, but some barricades out of rubbish bins were erected on Stadiou st. and Filellinon st. live music sounded from the speakers and some people were dancing in the square while others confronted the cops. After one hour the cops retreated, leaving at least one person injured.

Anatta: unless I hear otherwise, I'd say that any information about solidarity movements you'd get from "From the Greek Streets/Occupied London"; but it seems obvious that the best form of solidarity, like charity, begins at home, fighting for what you want against what you don't; although information and analysis of Greece is also a form of solidarity, it's what is applicable to our own situation that provokes the best forms of "solidarity", applying it to our own struggles.

I was wondering if anybody felt that if/when Greece defaults, that that will actually help to temporarily satisfy the more conservative elements in the assemblies/occupations, give a breathing space to the Greek state. Any speculations?

Rabbit

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A blog post from June 18, 2011. Democracy vs Mythology: The Battle in Syntagma Square

http://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/democracy-vs-mythology-the-battle-in-syntagma-square/

There is no chance of Greece ever being able to repay its debt – default is inevitable. It is simply servicing interest and will continue to do so in perpetuity.

What makes this really exciting for me is recognizing that, from here in North America, I can't take part at all...I can read the blogs, share them, and post comments, but the real discussion is taking place in realtime open-air assemblies by the Greeks, for the Greeks. We're all watching from the sidelines while the Greeks work on this mess, and when they figure it out, we hope they'll tell us about it. But any news we get will be after the fact.

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This makes an interesting comparison of the USA with Greece:

the United States is in a similar mess. The same anachronistic, taxation-as-subjugation mentality exists among many and may lead to default on its debts in August.

It's not that interesting of course, because it's from a very confused "critical" capitalist perspective that doesn't want to understand anything about class war, but the fact that it mentions that the US may default "in August" is so specific that it implies they might have some inside information (though maybe I'm reading too much into it...?).

Rabbit

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A look at the organization and processes of the "movement of the squares":

There may be no better proof of the rupture that is brought about by the “movement of the squares” other than its open, participatory, directly democratic way of organising and functioning. Within a single week it has given birth to a political culture of a different type, one that literally overcomes all known models of organising and struggle to date.

The "constant circulation of revocable positions" as a central principle reminds me of Decision making and organisational form.

redsdisease

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

but the fact that it mentions that the US may default "in August" is so specific that it implies they might have some inside information (though maybe I'm reading too much into it...?).

It's not really inside information. There is a legal limit to how much money the US treasury department can borrow to pay for stuff (called the "debt ceiling"). Once past the debt ceiling the treasury won't have enough money to pay all of it's bills, which means that it would have to default on some loan payments. Officially they hit that limit last month, however, due to some financial wrangling (temporarily suspending investment into retirement funds) they managed to stave off default until August 2nd. This gives congress a little over a month to raise the ceiling, but their's been serious political deadlock: Democrats wanting to just raise the debt limit while Republicans refuse to do this without really serious spending cuts.

Personally, I'd be shocked if they didn't manage raise the ceiling, as the economic consequences of a default would be enormous, not to mention the political consequences for everybody involved. The entire thing has been a total farce.

ocelot

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

JC was asking about external exposure to Greece and the other PIGS. I found this graphic from the NYTimes from a while back, a handy way of getting a picture on relative sizes.

PIIGS Debt

(NB, you may need to play around with the CTRL+ & CTLR- a bit to get best readability of text, which is why I didn't insert as graphic - too small to read here). NB the numbers have changed a bit in the interim (and are in $ rather than €)

The general consensus is that the actual level of Greece's external debt (€340bn) is not in itself systemically threatening, but the concern is the effect of the collapse of the Greek banks might set off a chain reaction of CDS held against private loans into those banks (as opposed to sovereign CDS which is currently marginal, only €5bn cleared, and - unusually for CDS - not expected to be that much more in the OTC market, given that the hedge funds and other players have moved away from sovereign CDS, as they expect the EU to move the goalposts to cheat on what counts as a credit event for these instruments - there's current a small war going on between the raters - S&P, Moodys, Fitches - and the ECB over this). The big worry (for them) would be if the knock-on effects took Spain down and made Italy the next domino. The "nuclear option" would be the possibility of another generalised "fear of the dark" seize up in the interbank lending market, if the threat of losses occuring without players knowing who's holding the parcel, but so far the LIBOR-OIS spread - which is a measure of stress in the interbank lending market - seems fairly flat).

But, as Gillian Tett (the assistant editor of the FT), of all people, said the other night on Newsnight, this is not an economic crisis, but a political one - will Europe go for further integration or disintegration? And, as we might add, whose integration is it anyway? But that's a whole other essay...

baboon

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the same Newsnight programme that Ocelot refers to above there was another financial druid who stated, quite correctly, that this wasn't a "second" Lehman's but just a continuation of the same fundamental economic crisis which is unresolved and continuing to deepen. Contrarily to the 2008 near-meltdown there seems to be even less "coordination and cooperation" between the all the national capitals as economic tensions rise between those countries within the eurozone, tensions between those inside and outside and immediate tensions between the US and the ECB (personified in the new IMF leadership). Another factor that's somewhat different than 2008 is the active role of the working class, whatever the weaknesses of the movement, in refusing to take any more austerity and pay for the crisis of capitalism - it's what it is driven to do. The vast national campaigns - anti-Greek in Germany, anti-German in Greece, anti-EU from the outside, and so on, all have a material base as far as the respective ruling classes are concerned but are also aimed at mobilising the workers behind "their" national interests and thus against any incipient expressions of an international class.

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Link to updates on the 48 hour General Strike starting now.

And from here:

Air traffic controllers meanwhile announced a halt to all flights at peak hours.
An official with the air traffic controllers' union, Anguelos Sotiropoulos, told AFP that flights would be grounded between 8am Greece time (0500 GMT) and noon, and again between 6pm and 10pm, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Already on Monday, Greek airlines Olympic Air and Aegean cancelled dozens of mainly internal flights, and rescheduled a series of international departures....
As tourists begin flocking to the Greek islands for the start of the peak holiday season, the strike "will probably affect certain shipping companies," a spokesman for the port police also told AFP.
In the capital, trams and buses will not run but in an 11th-hour U-turn, metro drivers joined other employees on the subway system who decided not to strike "so as to allow Athenians to join the planned protests in the capital."...
Public administration offices and banks will close their doors, hospitals will have reduced staffing and Greek media will down tools for five hours on each of the two days.
More debilitating power cuts for hours at a time are also expected after days of tactical stoppages in an effort to stop the government selling its stake in Greece's main electricity provider.

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Police in Athens have fired tear gas after clashing with protesters throwing sticks and bottles as a two-day strike against austerity measures got under way.
Leaders of Greece's ruling socialist party will later urge MPs to help pass the tough proposals demanded by the EU and the International Monetry Fund (IMF).
Some 5,000 police have been deployed around Athens as demonstrators gathered outside parliament, chanting anti-austerity slogans.
Doctors, casino staff, theatre actors and air traffic controllers were just some of the workers who have joined the 48-hour walkout.

- here.

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

and more:

Violence Flares At Protests In Greece
"The overwhelming smell is one of tear gas," the BBC's Jon Sopel reports from Athens, where a 48-hour general strike has begun as workers and protesters express their anger over new austerity measures that parliament will vote on Wednesday and Thursday.
As The Guardian reports, "more than 5,000 police [had] been deployed to guard central Athens where anti-austerity demonstrations earlier this month ended in scenes of violence as protesters clashed with riot officers."
And as expected, the Guardian now adds that:
"Television pictures show small fires in Athens and rounds of teargas being fired in response by the authorities. Missiles are being thrown at the police and some people are trying to break windows. Some of those involved in the clashes have crash helmets on, some have bandanas over their faces.
"The BBC's Jon Sopel estimates that hundreds are involved in the clashes, while hundreds of thousands are taking part in the demonstrations."
According to The Associated Press, "riot police fired tear gas at youths hurling rocks near the Greek finance ministry."
As the wire service adds, "the latest austerity measures must pass in two parliamentary votes Wednesday and Thursday if Greece is to receive bailout funds from the EU and the IMF that will keep it from becoming the first eurozone nation to default on its debts. The clashes with police came at the start of a two-day general strike called by unions furious that the government's new $40 billion austerity program will slap taxes on minimum wage earners and other struggling Greeks. The measures come on top of other spending cuts and tax hikes that have sent the Greek unemployment rate soaring to over 16 percent."

There's a live feed of the scene from Athens streaming here.

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Today's Daily Mail.

And there's this excellent comment in The Guardian of all places:

Increasingly, Greeks fear there is no one to turn to, no leader or moral authority that they can trust. In the absence of hope, solidarity has grown.

Big Brother

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm hearing at the moment the police has follow the protesters into the metro tunnel and are firing tear gas into it and firing rubber bullets too.. there will be a lot injured people down there....

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Greek police fired teargas and battled masked demonstrators who attacked the finance ministry on Wednesday after lawmakers passed the first of two austerity bills demanded by international lenders to stave off default.
As thousands of protesters rallied outside parliament, deputies voted by 155 to 138 to pass a framework bill on a bitterly contested package of tax hikes, spending targets and privatizations agreed as part of an EU/IMF bailout.....
However, the bitter opposition to the plan among broad sections of the Greek population was underlined by the violence which erupted on Syntagma Square just outside parliament as the votes were being counted.
Lawmakers from across the political spectrum denounced the riots and appealed for calm in the square, where hooded youths and police fought battles into the night.
"The metro station has become a gas chamber, innocent protesters were trapped, fires are breaking out in buildings, the ambulances can't get to the injured," said conservative New Democracy party spokesman Yannis Mihelakis....
"Cops, pigs, murderers," chanted the crowd at a line of helmeted riot police as flash bombs and teargas projectiles thrown by police to drive back the crowd filled the square outside parliament with stinging white smoke.
One group of protesters attacked the nearby finance ministry on Syntagma Square, setting fire to a post office on the ground floor of the building.
Another group tried to set ablaze an office block housing a branch of one of Greece's biggest banks, while across the square, the luxury King George Hotel was evacuated.
Doctors working with the demonstrators said they had treated at least 25 people for minor injuries and hundreds with respiratory problems at the adjacent Syntagma metro station. At least 40 police officers were hurt, the police union said.
Police said 11 people were arrested and 19 people rushed to hospital. Health officials said a total of 99 people were treated in Athens hospitals.

- here.

During the vote, stun grenades echoed across a square outside Parliament. Acrid clouds of tear gas and orange and green smoke-bomb mist hung in the air.
Several banks and storefronts were smashed, while a Socialist dissenter who backed the government at the last minute, Alexandros Athanassiadis, was briefly assaulted by protesters after leaving Parliament on foot.
Violence continued throughout the afternoon, and smoke billowed from a post office beneath the finance ministry before a fire was put out. Rioters set up burning barricades along Syntagma Square, where demonstrators have staged a sit-in for the past month. Nearby streets were littered with chunks of smashed marble and ripped-up paving stones that had been thrown at police.

- here.

Various live streamings.

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Giving the cops the finger:

some rioters put down their stones to help police in body armour hunt for the severed finger of a colleague. A bare-chested, tattooed protester eventually found the finger and signalled to officers, who wrapped it in tissue and rushed it from the scene.

(here).
Depressing humanist crap.

Fortunately there have been loads of other stuff going on:

Last night in Chania, Crete a demonstration of approximately 800 – 1,000 people was decided by the city’s open assembly; it passed by the offices of a local PASOK MP, trashing them, doing the same with the office of a junta-appointed prosecutor and subsequent Conservative MP (Markogianakis).

-Occupied London.

mons

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for keeping updating this thread, very interesting!

On a comment on the Occupied London someone said

Latest NEWS: 58 years old died in the hospital because of breathproblems, (killed by the police cause of teargas or CS) 17 bad injured ppl, 500 injured ppl by lungproblems in metro.

please say it’s not true:(

I haven't seen any reports of people dying, yet, is it confirmed? God it makes me so sick, I fucking hate police. How can lefty-liberals in UK and wherever else see what police are doing in Greece and still maintain support for the police? Equally, there were loads of police at stuff today who were saying how they support the strikes and are against the cuts, etc. - wtf?!

giannis

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Their is no report of a death in Athens. On the other hand in many cases people could have died yesterday from gas-suffocation.

Greek riot police uses deadly strong gas (the term tear-gas is nowhere near the truth) which are mainly made in Israel. In 29/6 they used the largest amount of teargas in the history of this state and I am not exaggerating. The use can only be compared with ... the day before, 28/6 as we had a 48hours general strike with rallys and clashes. They even threw this gas in the subway and in a building.

There where also many incidents where people could have died from been crushed by the crowd during retreats in stairs, dead ends and small streets.

Police in Greece has the sick habit of throwing flashbangs straight in protesters' heads. Those grenades are very strong and the shrapnels they release can at least cause you an eye. People have also lost big percentage of their hearing. They also threw a flashbang in a building but luckily it did not explode. In the pictures in link following you can see (from an older incident) the result of such a grenade in the legs. The guy in the last pic was wearing a typical shoe which was destroyed and had his toes broken (is this the correct syntax?). http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1226184

Greek police has a rather new riot police team, named ΔΕΛΤΑ = DELTA (name inspired by the USA DELTA force?) that use motorcycles. It is similar to the Iranian police. They are also very brutal and when charging they try to run over protesters. Here is an older video. It is not very typical of their tactic, as their charges are more massive, but I chose this because it has a good answer by the defenders. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk_tubEAk4U&feature=related

Riot police is of course very brutal. Most of the time they use their batons holding they from the opposite end (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_B2p_sAwKE44/SYcO2pVxzgI/AAAAAAAAILk/bwp10VDSGrM/s1600-h/17950_normal.jpg) to cause more damaged even thought this practice is forbidden by law (irony). They beat up even handcuffed people and kick a lot. They even use their small fire extinguishers to to hit people, practice that can easily crash a skull. Here a video from 11/3/2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otn4Qr3VuBU). A protester was seriously beaten in the head, had to spent 19 day in the hospital, many off them in a comma and the doctors said that he is lucky to be alive. They also throw many big stones to the protesters causing many injuries (http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1313763 pics from 29/6/2011). Furthermore, don't think that they attack only militant youths, they have no problem beating up peaceful elderly people. Last but not least, they must be hating music!!! (http://cryptome.org/info/greece-protest4/pict42.jpg pic from 29/6/2011).

Samotnaf

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How can lefty-liberals in UK and wherever else see what police are doing in Greece and still maintain support for the police? Equally, there were loads of police at stuff today who were saying how they support the strikes and are against the cuts, etc. - wtf?!

The cops in the UK follow a very long tradition of ruling class 2-faced hypocrisy - the diplomacy that stole whole countries and at one time had the biggest Empire in the world, the white men that talked with forked tongue. UK cops have always presented themselves, and been presented by the dominant ideology, as "the best police in the world", apparently unarmed and always ready to help little old ladies across the road. They've always had the best PR in the world. Generally speaking on demos, for instance, they'll have the nice polite police saying in charming dulcet tones, "Will you please move back now", whilst the riot pigs are ready behind these front lines, ready to do their worst if you don't move back. The sickening lefty-liberals seem to be living in a 45 years out-of-date Dixon of Dock Greenland fantasy, where the cop is a patronising avuncular figure giving you directions and telling you the time. I suspect that the loads of cops saying how they support the strikes and are against the cuts, etc. are part of this 2-facedness: if you apparently support the cause (at least until their own position is secured) it's better than a riot shield, disarming any anger before it's even begun to be expressed. How many times have you heard a politician say, "I'm on your side, I agree with you" in order to deflect any flak?

By the way, I hope everybody reading this thread has also read this excellent report, here on libcom.

Ed

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Giannis

Here is an older video. It is not very typical of their tactic, as their charges are more massive, but I chose this because it has a good answer by the defenders. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk_tubEAk4U&feature=related

Hey Giannis, thanks for all that info, interesting (and mental) stuff.. also, in case you didn't already know, that video above did make it to the UK, on the BBC website here.. as you can see, they leave out the bit where he's charging into a crowd on a motorbike and that he's part of a special psycho police unit (I obviously didn't know either until you'd posted up that video).

Sometimes the media is so blatantly disingenuous that I'm actually shocked at my own naivety..

Harrison

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i think that even tops the Metro's story of 'anarchists attacking anti-cuts protesters', which turned out to be anarchists attacking known neo-nazis...
Iirc correctly there is a post on the occupied london blog that shows the special helmet insignia one of the bike police units use, which is directly associated with greek fascism...

EDIT:
Occupied London

A man is fighting police of the DIAS motorcycle force. This specific unit, spotted by readers of Athens IMC, carries an imprint of an ancient Greek helmet on the back of their helmets – this is a predominantly fascist emblem.


(from http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2010/12/16/452-more-photos-from-the-general-strike-athens-16-12-2010/ )

giannis

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

giannis

Police in Greece has the sick habit of throwing flashbangs straight in protesters' heads. Those grenades are very strong and the shrapnels they release can at least cause you an eye. People have also lost big percentage of their hearing. They also through a flashbang in a building but luckily it did not explode. In the pictures in link following you can see (from an older incident) the result of such a grenade in the legs. The guy in the last pic was wearing a typical shoe which was destroyed and had his toes broken (is this the correct syntax?). http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1226184

I corrected the link above, the previous one was irrelevant.

A new video from 29/6 came out today showing riot policemen throwing stones. In the video you can see the head of that team (the pig without shield) commanding the others to throw more of them (http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1314851 first video).

@Ed, thanks for the info.

@Harrison Myers. Police in Greece is full of fascists. Moreover, for decades now the Greek state and the police collaborate with the fascists secretly and many times they organize attacks together against anarchists or immigrants. Here 's a video, the men among the riot police are members of a neo-nazi group: http://youtu.be/y_pOI0iJ8B4 . The result of that collaboration was few antifascists stubbed.

subprole

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

on the chemical warfare in athens: http://signalfire.org/?p=12036

giannis

11 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

according to the union of the journalists, in 29/6 a reporter suffered complete loss of his hearing from both ears when a flashbang grenade exploded close to him. in addition, he was beaten up by the cops. his hearing has not been restored up to this day.

Mark.

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]aE3R1BQrYCw[/youtube]

baboon

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is not an anti-Semite conspiracy theory but I read somewhere that the tear-gas provided by Israel is a particularly noxious variety of this poison.

Mark.

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

At approximately 4.15 a.m. on Saturday, 30.7, heavy riot police forces entered Syntagma square, destroying and removing the tents that where set up there. At least eight people were arrested. This follows the order by attorney general Eleni Raikou for the tents at Syntagma and the “promise” of mayor Kaminis that the tents at Syntagma would be removed within days, as they tarnish Athens’ image during the tourist period.

A gathering has been called for tonight at 6pm and today’s general assembly will take place at 9pm, as normal.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/07/30/syntagma-square-tent-occupation-evicted-by-police-in-the-early-hours-of-saturday/

aloeveraone

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From mute:

Today at 4am in the morning the square was evacuated by riot police together with municipal security. The public prosecutor came and stated that the occupation of the square was an offence and asked the occupiers to leave peacefully. Riot police and security then wrecked anything that was not voluntarily removed. They were particularly eager to take down banners, damage tents and the medical centre and they arrested nine(?) people. Here are some videos.

There was a warning by the mayor in the previous days that this would happen and there were allegations that drugs were being distributed in the square.

The Friday assembly discussed this issue but it was largely consumed by infighting between certain speakers, including the moderator, who wanted to make sure whoever distributes (hard) drugs is evicted. There was also a proposal to remove the tents prior to any riot police attack. The tent residents reacted very intensely to that, so the proposal was withdrawn and a tent residents group established which had a meeting late at night to discuss planning the way in which the tents were laid out in the square. They also agreed to stay put. These discussions however were missing the point as a suprise attack was imminent and there were not enough people there to defend the square by now.

At 6pm a realtively small number of people gathered at the square to protest while riot police were encircling the square to prevent them from going out into the street.

The assembly that started at 9pm was the biggest since those of the few days after 28-29 June. This gave a positive feeling and there are now discussions, not of setting up tents again, but of being mobile, continuing to hold daily assemblies and organising actions through August. There were also debates about things that were not discussed in a while, such as (good old) violence and the role of people who belong to political parties within the assemblies.

Samotnaf

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More on the cabbies' strike:

Cab strike hits Greece during holiday season
ATHENS: Greece is going through an exceptionally tough summer: Severely squeezed by its debt crisis, it is now in the grip of a high-profile taxi strike at the height of the busy tourism season.
The country – and by extension, all visitors – has been deprived of taxi services since mid-July from a walkout by cab owners who oppose a government deregulation drive demanded by Greece’s international creditors.
In addition to refusing to carry passengers, the strikers dealt further damage by blocking highways and disrupting access to airports and harbours around the country in the first round of their action.
They later toned down the picketing but are threatening to return to the offensive if the government refuses to satisfy their demands.
“I can’t control these people,” union leader Thymios Lyberopoulos told Alter channel this week, adding that he got “goosebumps” when thinking about what irate cab owners might do to resist the reform which they say will put them out of business.
The strikers changed tactics last week, letting drivers through highway toll booths and opening ticket offices at the Acropolis and Olympia to let tourists in for free, but this costs the cash-strapped state valuable income.
The sector is generally despised in Greece for constantly demanding higher fares while failing to offer improved services. It has taken authorities years to get cabbies to give receipts and stop smoking in their cars.
And the protesters made no friends in Piraeus Thursday after they tried to block tourist coaches exiting the harbor, dropped oil on the road to fend off police, and threw stones at a private television station.
The strike began after a new transport minister appointed in June ditched an earlier draft reform agreed by his predecessor with unions that would have capped the number of taxi licences based on population in each region.
Talks at the ministry Friday failed to break the deadlock.
“The minister heard our demands but gave no reply. The strike will unfold as planned until we get a pledge [from the government],” Lyberopoulos said Friday.
Taxi owners argue that full liberalisation will cause a cabbie glut and sink the value of their operating licenses, which used to change hands for six-figure sums.
About 8,000 taxi owners protested in Athens Tuesday according to police estimates. One of the banners they raised in front of parliament was a direct threat of last-ditch resistance to Prime Minister George Papandreou.
“Mr Prime Minister, we got [our taxis] with blood, you will only take them back with blood,” it said.

More than 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in revenue has been lost at the main port of Piraeus which was blockaded in the first week of the strike, forcing cruise ships to cancel tours and seek alternative ports, Greek media reported.
A Greek trader lobby group said that although tourist arrivals were up this year, the taxi strike had already significantly affected takings.
“There is a 10-15 percent increase in arrivals but there is also a 10-percent fall in tourism spending,” said Vassilis Korkidis, head of the Greek confederation of commerce.
“I just came back from Rhodes where many tourists are stuck in their hotels,” he told AFP.
The government has sought to play for time, offering further talks with the taxi owners’ union in return for a summer truce.
Papandreou this week appealed to the strikers to “be conscious of the negative effects of their mobilization during a critical period for tourism, the country’s economic life and citizens.”
And the government avoided another labor front opening in the nick of time.
Air traffic controllers this week threatened to strike in August over four months of unpaid overtime, threatening disruption at regional airports.
Senior officials rushed to settle the issue and the mobilisation was called off, for the time being.
Greece’s travel sector, which makes up around a fifth of the economy, needs extra revenue from foreigners this year.
Because a recession fuelled by crash austerity measures has bitten into Greeks’ spare income, domestic tourism is down 20 percent this summer according to Greek tourism and hotel operators.....
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/International/2011/Aug-01/Cab-strike-hits-Greece-during-holiday-season.ashx#ixzz1TjuBukHb

redsdisease

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

The strikers changed tactics last week, letting drivers through highway toll booths and opening ticket offices at the Acropolis and Olympia to let tourists in for free, but this costs the cash-strapped state valuable income.

I don't think I understand this bit. Are the toll booth and ticket office workers part of this strike as well? Are they acting in solidarity? Did the cabbies force them to run for free? Awesome either way though.

Samotnaf

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I didn't write it, I copied it and I read it as that that they'd forced the toll gates and ticket offices to run for free (in Greece the toll gates are very often forced, mainly by irate commuters, to run for free, as the tolls have been increased considerably and more gates have been constructed in areas where people have no chance of getting to work and back home other than through a toll gate; even mayors have participated in these anti-toll gate actions).

redsdisease

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

I didn't write it, I copied it and I read it as that that they'd forced the toll gates and ticket offices to run for free (in Greece the toll gates are very often forced, mainly by irate commuters, to run for free, as the tolls have been increased considerably and more gates have been constructed in areas where people have no chance of getting to work and back home other than through a toll gate; even mayors have participated in these anti-toll gate actions).

Sorry, I was leaving it open for anybody, I didn't expect that you had the answer. That was helpful, though, and makes a lot of sense.

subprole

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.grreporter.info/en/water_jets_and_colored_bullets_protesting_greeks_starting_september/4933

Cameras on patrol cars and motorcycles will start going around major cities in Greece after the adoption of the new law to control the protests. Besides these the police will replace the old well known to the Greeks tear gas with jets of water to disperse the protests, and the Ministry of civil protection is even considering the introduction of special weapons with colored paintball type bullets to fight the aggressive anarchists.

From 2008 onwards Athens and Thessaloniki became the major news for the world news agencies with the constant protests and violent clashes between police and various community groups. Whether they are the result of provocation or just a common manifestation of mass anger, the protests became more frequent in Greece and besides the destruction of the remnants of the positive image of the Mediterranean country, they proved particularly costly, both for the public and private sector.

"We abolish the ruling remaining from the junta, which defines the legal framework of the individual right to organize mass meetings in public. We have prepared a mature draft that will be introduced for public discussion. Threre will be invited representatives from the scientific community and all public organizations" said the Minister of Justice Miltiadis Papaioannou. He insisted that the current regulatory framework must be modernized in order to ensure the democratic right of citizens for a peaceful protest without being threatened by the provocative actions of a few small groups of people.

After the recent mass protests on 28th and 29th of June this year, threre were distructions around the city center, which cost the state 600 thousand euro and losses for unrealized sales in the commercial industry, hotels and restaurants are incalculable. Civil Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis condemned not only the behavior of anarchist organizations during the last major Greek protest, but also of the policemen.

In the June riots, when the law on the introduction of the medium-term rehabilitation program was adopted after the final reading, the spirits arouse more than usual. Some policemen were caught throwing stones in response to the protesting crowd without following the instructions of their commanders. The chemicals used for dispersing the crowds exceeded almost 10 times the norm from other protests. A lot of the tear gas and the other suffocating bombs turned out that have expired, and the police never revealed the exact composition of the chemicals used to quell riots. Group of citizens filed a complaint against police violence after the events, but the problem still remains.

The new bill provides that starting with September the police for riot control in Greece will use water jets instead of tear gas to disperse violent protesters. Most often along the rallies and protests there always are representatives of anarchist movements and others from the organized hooliganism (members of fan clubs of various football teams), who are the main opponents of police in urban warfare in the Greek capital. After the introduction of the paintball guns used during protests, they will be easy to distinguish among the crowd if the police have a good sight.

subprole

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/08/24/greek-parliament-votes-in-education-reform-bill-abolishing-academic-asylum-free-course-readers/

In a very last minute tweak of the education bill, Diamantopoulou announced the complete abolishing of the historical Academic Asylum (which prevented police from entering academic grounds in the name of the freedom of expression) and the election of university vice-chancellors primarily from their academic community.

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The above text finishes with this:

Hours earlier, 1500-2000 students demonstrating in central Athens (in 35C!) where clashing with the police, while demonstrations also took place against the education reform bill in Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Patras.

Hot autumn here we come..... globally, locally, personally....

klas batalo

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the Ministry of civil protection is even considering the introduction of special weapons with colored paintball type bullets to fight the aggressive anarchists.

time for the rainbow bloc

subprole

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/08/30/at-least-45-university-departments-occupied-by-their-students-in-greece-gearing-up-for-another-winter-of-discontent/

At least 45 university departments occupied by their students in Greece, gearing up for another winter of discontent

Only days after the new education bill was voted into law, bringing sweeping changes to Greece’s higher education system (immense funding cuts, abolition of the academic asylum etc), students on the ground have been organising their response. So far, more than 45 university departments have been occupied by their students, following General Assemblies in each of them; many more are due to follow in the next few days.

In Athens, all 9 departments of the Polytechnic (NTUA) are now occupied; the entire Panteion (Social Sciences) University is also occupied, along with some departments of the University of Athens. There are also occupations in Patras, Thessaloniki and Chania (Crete), with the list growing by the hour.

A student demonstration has been called in Athens for Thursday, September 1st.

piter

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

At least 45 university departments occupied by their students in Greece, gearing up for another winter of discontent

that is a good new!

thank you to keep us informed about what goes on in Greece Subprole.

subprole

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

more news:

At least 87 departments under student occupation across Greece, with the number increasing by the hour

At least 87 departments across the country are now under student occupation – General Assemblies are happening all of this and next week and it is very likely that the number will increase dramatically. There seems to be a completely unprecedented agreement between students across almost the entire political spectrum for mobilisations against the voted law: this is rapidly becoming a stand-off between the Student community and the Parliament.

Here is a google map with departments under occupation – please note that it’s not quite up-to-date, as the number of departments increases rapidly, literally by the hour.

Student demonstrations have been called for September 1st, in Athens and September 2nd, in Thessaloniki.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/08/31/at-least-87-departments-under-student-occupation-across-greece-with-the-number-increasing-by-the-hour/

subprole

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

news from salonica:

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/09/10/thessaloniki-demonstrations-contrainfo-updates-until-1740-gmt2/

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/09/10/thessaloniki-demonstrations-on-the-day-of-the-international-exhibition-constant-updates-ticker/

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Last I heard (Thursday) there were 300 University occupations - the vast majority of the Universities.

Term for the high schools begins tomorow - who knows what'll happen?

Samotnaf

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Today, is the first school day for high schools, people from the occupation of the Athens School of Economics and Business went to local secondary schools to publicise the demands of the occupation and meet with school students.

- From the Greek Streets, yesterday.

Theft

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Public sector workers have called for strikes on the 6th of October against austerity measures.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Occupied London:

Is this the Greek Poll Tax? Anger mounting in Greece as government attempts taxation through electricity bills

For the past months, weeks, days, two questions have been in more and more peoples’ mouths, both with some increasing urgency: When will the Greek economy officially go bust, and what happens then? And, when will the excruciating austerity measures break the bone of social consensus – when will people have enough?

It seems like the government officials are doing their best to get answers to these questions sooner rather than later; almost unable themselves, it seems, to bear the agony of a free-falling economy and a society at the brink of the unknown. A few days ago, during the Thessaloniki International Fair, a new tax was introduced, very much reminiscent of Thatcher’s Poll Tax in the UK: every single house owner in the country is to face an “emergency tax” ranging between 3-20 euros per square meter (depending on their property value, location etc). Even people on unemployment benefits are not to be spared of the tax, only offered a hefty discount instead. Practically, this means that an average household of, say, three bedrooms (approx. 100 sq m.) would have to pay an additional tax of 1,000 euros (!) annually.

Reactions have been fierce; GENOP, the trade union of workers at the National Electricity Board announced this morning that it will actively attempt to block and sabotage collection of the tax, while it will challenge the law in court – since there is no clause in the contract between the Electricity Board and consumers regarding tax collection.

On Sunday, members of the “I won’t pay” movement are gathering in Syntagma.

The tax is the latest in a string of fiercely provocative government measures and laws. In the past weeks/ months alone, a sweeping neo-liberal reform bill, a staggering increase in VAT (from 13% to 23% for many products), the effective sacking of thousands of civil servants now give way to a tax that is to include the unemployed but will see religious-use buildings owned by the Church to be exempt. The Orthodox church is the largest property owner in Greece.

It should be noted that home-ownership is extremely widespread in Greece (and other Mediterranean countries) when compared to other northern EU countries – approximately 80% are owner occupiers, meaning this latest tax is aimed at the middle and lower classes too.

Mainstream media reports:

Pity the Greeks (BBC)

More austerity to avert default (Athens News)

The troika's fifteen commandments (Athens News)

[youtube]ZIdAJNiGYXc[/youtube]

proletarian.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

[youtube]ZIdAJNiGYXc[/youtube]

I think he says it all when he says in the interest of the nation and the bloc. On a separate note, is it possible there will be the formation of new blocs or is this Utopian?

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the Greek Streets (above) talks about a new tax on property. In Greece between 70% (according to a friend) and 80% (according to the above article) of the people own their own property and/or land. Unlike in the UK, the Greek proletariat is still attached to the land - the vast majority, through their extended family or directly, have land on which they can grow food independently of the market system. Which gives them a greater margin of freedom than the working class in the UK , which have been dispossessed of land since the enclosures. I'd guess that this attack is a modern version of the enclosures. But you can't really compare it with poll tax, as it's dependent on the size of property, whereas poll tax was a tax imposed equally on 4 people living in one bedroom and one person living in a mansion (if they lived in the same borough) - ie each individual would have to pay the same amount.

The Greek State is bringing in an increase in income tax - apparently a "solidarity with the unemployed" tax, though no-one believes this, probably not even those who thought of dressing it up this way. It's an increase of 1% for those with under 20,000 euros p.a., and 2% for everybody over 20,000 euros p.a. (I think this tax increase is specifically for public sector workers, though I'm not sure).

There's going to be a 24-hour school teachers' strike this week, partly because the State is going to HALVE funding for state schools (not wages and salaries, but half funding for everything else - equipment, maintenance, utilities etc.). The State is also going to privatise the financial administration of Universities, and introduce fees for the last year of University courses.

There are so many attacks that people, whilst finding it unbelievable that there seems to be no way of negotiating with the State any more, feel that the State is saying through its policies "Come on - make my day - we're declaring civil war, so let's see some action", maybe hoping for predictable terrorist responses that they can predictably deal with. The "can't pay" movement, though, seems to be one of the more popular responses to these attacks.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]_6NhzVf0mIM[/youtube]

Paul Mason: Greece at a decision point

The story so far: Greece is in negotiations to get the latest 8bn euros of bailout money agreed in May 2010. It has enough money to last until about 10 October 2011, then civil servants and pensioners do not get paid.

On Friday/Saturday, European finance ministers meet and tell Greece they cannot have any money until they come up with a better austerity plan and better assurances that they will do it.

This just seven days after the Greeks slapped a ludicrously ambitious 2bn euros a year emergency poll tax on every householder, collected via the electricity bills, and the electricity workers said they would refuse to collect it...

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Paul Mason again

In Greece, what is happening is that the IMF and eurozone are, effectively, overriding the traumatic austerity package passed on 24 June 2011, and revising the bailout deal they did on 21 July 2011. Greece has missed this year's deficit reduction target - it is 2.7bn euros short, mainly due to falling tax revenues and a shrinking economy.

The IMF has, from the comments of its delegation, clearly looked at the numbers and decided this is not a near miss. One City economist, poring over the figures, sent me this reading (which is considerably bleaker than anything the IMF or Greek government have said publicly):

"Nominal GDP has fallen, with the last two quarters (Q4 and Q1) showing an average decline of 5.1% y/y. The real GDP data showed a faster rate of decline - down 7.3% y/y. Either way, if it is assumed (optimistically) that the decline in nominal GDP is no more than 5.0% y/y for 2011, this would be enough to push the deficit to GDP ratio up to around 13.1% of GDP."

Gradual cutbacks in the state, combined with a perennial shrinkage of the economy are clearly not working, hence the IMF is advocating an economic shock. IMF delegate Bob Traa told journalists on Monday:

"If you can do it (staff cuts) up front, you get over it much more quickly. Whether society can support that is a different issue. Our experience is that... if you do things gradually that may induce the public getting very tired. Adjustment fatigue is something that happens in every country." (Associated Press)

So what is being planned - it is reported - is to put 85,000 public sector workers, including some teachers, on enforced leave pretty promptly, cutting their pay by 60%. The number of public entities to be closed is to be doubled, to 65, and all kinds of pension cuts are to be enacted immediately, rather than in 2012.

subprole

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

and again another bunch of news:

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/09/21/stories-from-the-daily-life-in-greece/

http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2011/09/20/athens-solidarity-gathering-regarding-the-arson-attack-on-kouvelou-squat/

http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2011/09/20/corfu-island-cops-raided-elaia-squat/

http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2011/09/21/greece-mentally-ill-people-are-sent-back-to%E2%80%A6-loony-bins-workers-gear-up-for-anti-government-protests/

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some additional facts about the new austerity measures:

You are only entitled to unemployment benefits (for 12 months maximum) if you were on full time employment for an equivalent of 18 months or more (used to be 12).

Even unemployed people who are NOT on benefits are not excluded from the property tax - they will just be asked to pay 0.5 euros per square meter. So, if you have inherited your parents' house, and you are unemployed, but get no benefits, you will still be asked to pay.

Minimum wage in Greece used to be around 700 euros per month; it has now gone to around 590 euros (for full time employment).

Businesses are now allowed to pay young inexperienced employees 20% less than the minimum salary for 2 years (just like the CPE in France in 2006).

Permanent employees who will be fired from the public sector will not receive compensation. They will keep them on hold for 12 months and will be paying them the equivalent of unemployment benefits (i.e. 460 euros). During this time though they will not be counted in the unemployment statistics. After 12 months they will be fired with no entitlement to any compensation.

The state is being asked by the IMF to reduce its expenses and fire public sector workers. But the state's expenses have actually increased in 2011 because of the added expenses of unemployment and housing benefits.

subprole

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Greek government announces yet another round of cuts, as unions call for General Strikes on October 5 and October 19

On the afternoon of September 21st, the government in Greece announced another round of cuts aimed at pleasing the ‘troika’ (the EU/IMF/ECB representatives) and securing the sixth installment of the loan it has granted. The cuts, this time round only announced via a written statement, include:

- Decrease of the tax threshold on annual income down to 5,000 euros (from 8,000 euros previously)
- Decrease in pensions by 20%, for all pensions exceeding 1,200 euro
- For pensioners below 55 years old, 40% decrease in the part of their pension over 1,000 euro, until they reach the age of 55
- Increase of the time span of the emergency taxation through electricity bills at least until year 2014. This emergency taxation will no longer be payable in installments, the government now requesting the entire amount upfront.

Hours before the official announcement, the two mainstream trade unions in the country (GSEE and ADEDY) had announced joint General Strikes for October 5 and October 19, in response to the austerity cuts.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/09/21/greek-government-announces-yet-another-round-of-cuts-as-unions-announce-general-strikes/

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thousands of Greeks have poured on to the streets of Athens, furious at the prospect of further austerity in a country already reeling from previous bouts of belt-tightening.

As bus, tram, train and taxi drivers walked off the job, joining subway employees and state school teachers in a 24-hour work stoppage, unions vowed to step up their struggle against the cuts with a series of general strikes.

"We will wage war against the government and the troika for as long as it takes," said Yiannis Panagopoulos, who heads the confederation of Greek workers, the nation's congress of trades unions.

"These are policies that are literally bringing down whatever was left standing. They are unacceptable and totally catastrophic."

To make the point protesters spray-painted "they won't pass" across the entrance to the economy ministry.....
By December Greece's unemployment is on course to hit 1 million – nearly a quarter of the working population.

- from The Guardian.
Air traffic controllers and council workers also went on strike.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also from that Guardian article:

with recession biting hard and Greeks already hit by tax increases, price rises, wage cuts and pension reductions in a 20-month austerity drive that has seen the average household's income drop by an estimated 50%

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Action against house auctions

The committees ‘I do not Pay’ stopped house auctions at the courthouse on Sep 21 in Athens. They invaded the courthouse where houses confiscated by banks were to be auctioned, with a banner writing ‘No house to end up at the hands of a banker’ and chanting slogans entered the room where auctions were to take place, they made bank lawyers and other scumbags who went to buy the confiscated houses to leave the room and the judge who chaired the auction to cancel them.

A video from the action

subprole

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

good to see that some of the proletarians in greece understand that the police scum is not part of the working class:

Greek parliament votes in latest austerity bill (property tax); demonstrators confront demonstrating police; Syntagma evacuated in operation that sees at least three seriously injured

22.20 GMT+2 After hours of confrontations, strong police forces evacuated thousands of demonstrators from Syntagma square in Athens. For yet another time in the past few months, people have effectively been blocked from gathering together, in a condition familiar from the days of the 1967-74 Junta.

Earlier on, demonstrators had confronted …demonstrating police: members of the police special units (ειδικές δυνάμεις) had the nerve to try join the thousands demonstrating against the austerity. The original members of the DELTA and DIAS teams came from these special units.

So far, there are confirmed reports of at least three demonstrators injured – at least one severely injured in the head and one with his hand broken.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary majority of 155 was voting for the new property tax. In a country with home-ownership levels at approximately 80%, home-owners are asked to pay an average of 800-1,000 euros. The “I Won’t Pay” movement has already made mass call outs against the payment of the new tax, and thousands are expected to respond to it.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/09/27/greek-parliament-votes-in-latest-austerity/

+ http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2011/09/26/greece-the-teaching-system-is-the-teaching-of-system/

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

School occupations

While university students are fighting in departmental General Assemblies to continue with their occupations against the new education Law (faced with the prospect of cancellation of their annual examinations if they do so), high school students are now forcefully entering the emerging wave of action against austerity in Greece. More than 400 high schools are currently under occupation (some reports are taking the number up to 500; it is difficult to verify, as it’s changing by the hour) out of a national total of approximately 1,000...

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not very interesting Reuters video on the Athens transport strike.

I was wondering if the world's ruling class is treating Greece as a laboratory for future confrontations in other countries. To see how far people can be pushed before they fight back in both predictable and unpredictable ways, to see if people seriously will be pushed into civil war, and how that is managed, so that in other countries what might be unpredictable in Greece, then becomes predictable and maybe more manageable for the ruling class globally. After all, Greece has had significant nation-wide class conflict on and off for almost 40 years and if they can force a full-blown class war there and examine its repercussions, then that would help them in other coutnries. Sure, I know the rulers don't seriously control everything, but they think they can.
Any ideas on this?

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

Any ideas on this?

I get the impression that the powers that be don't really consider protests and class conflict, in Greece or elsewhere, as a serious threat any more.

-----

Government ministries occupied by employees

Today the reps of Troika are coming again to Greece in order to meet with the minister of economics. The employees in various government’s ministries and government’s offices have occupied the buildings or they are blockading the premises. Occupied are the ministries of Economics, of Administrative Reforms & Electronic Governance, the Home office, Ministry of Development, Competitiveness & Sea affairs, Ministry of Justice, that of Social Insurance, of Health and Ministry of Environment. The workers in other ministries are having assemblies at the moment to decide about occupying their own work places…

-----

How Athens' geography feeds unrest

This article is from a couple of months ago but for anyone unfamiliar with Athens it gives some background on how the layout of the city lends itself to protest.

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I get the impression that the powers that be don't really consider protests and class conflict, in Greece or elsewhere, as a serious threat any more

Not so sure about that.
I know they've been lulled to sleep by the success of their virtually unstoppable counter-revolution over the last 20 years or more as much as anybody who claims to oppose this society - look at the pre-Millbank posts - here and up until news of the occupation and destruction and the same goes for the scepticism in response to the facebook call-out in Egypt in January - eg Khawaga here. But if many revolutionaries of whatever stripe have begun to wake up since Millbank, Tunisia and Egypt (some before) so have the ruling class - and the prospect of a double/treble/quadruple dip recession and its effect on the class struggle is one of their considerations. Certainly after the experience of 1917,when the rulers generally thought a revolution was unavoidable, and after 1968, when they were forced to concede a lot particularly in France, after being taken by surprise, and yet managed to regain control, or the way that 15 years of revolution in South Africa was repressed by leftism-turned-neo-liberal, they probably think they can ride out any storm.
But I get the feeling that they're not as complacent as you think they are, and that they are constantly trying to prepare again and again for a world of permanently worsening storm and crisis.
Those who seriously believe a revolution is not only desirable and essential but also possible should be doing the same.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

I get the feeling that they're not as complacent as you think they are, and that they are constantly trying to prepare again and again for a world of permanently worsening storm and crisis.

Well maybe. It's possible I'm paying too much attention to the liberal commentariat and they certainly don't seem too concerned about threats to the system, other than from the economic crisis itself.

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Greek public-sector workers lock out international financial inspectors

About the TV studio occupation mentioned by Mark the other day: apparently this was carried out by members of a Leftist student union (the EEAAT, I think). Some people who'd been involved in the occupation of a TV studio during the news back in December 2008 offered to give them advice and help with operating all the equipment - cameras, mics, etc., which they knew about and had used back in the uprising in 2008. These Leftists refused the advice, because of fear of the consequences, so none of what they wanted to say (their 'message') was given over the air, which had been done in 2008.

There are about half the Universities occupied that were occupied about a week ago - down from about 300 to about 150, but all the main ones are still in occupation.

As previously mentioned, the senior high school (15 to 18 yr olds) occupations are growing all the time - now over 600 out of a national total of about 2000. These occupations are spreading to junior (11 to 14 yr olds) high schools as well, with a few occupied. The Headmasters/mistresses are calling for parents' meetings where s/he will try to get parents to persuade their kids not to go on strike. This could well backfire, as it gives the parents, who face financial misery along with most of the rest of the population, to get together and meet each other, when normally they wouldn't have such an opportunity.

In Athens, various local (but not national) branches of unions (don't ask me which unions) have vowed to collect tax bills (taxes supposedly to pay for unemployment benefit,presented as ''solidarity" taxes, though nobody believes they are) en masse, go to the local tax offices, and dump them or burn them: some have already done so.

Syntagma Square still has assemblies, though these are constantly attacked by the cops, even whilst people are speaking and debating. Consequently the numbers are way down from June - 2 or 3 thousand nowadays. The cops don't attack, for the moment, the local square occupations - there must be at least 10 in the working class areas of Athens. Nationally, it's hard to get precise information, but there are square occupations in Thessaloniki, Thebes and Crete and other places. The "won't pay" issue is probably the main topic of discussion in these assemblies and in conversations generally - often around the issue of illegality, many people being afraid to break the law, but equally others saying it's the only thing to do.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]qKpxPo-lInk[/youtube]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debtocracy

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some mainstream press reports

Plan to sack state workers to be unveiled (Reuters)

Government, troika at odds over labour reserve (Reuters)

Greece is slipping into the abyss (Telegraph)

The Telegraph

It may not sound like the end of the world to lose 250 euros a month from your pay, but it is when the salary is only 1,000 euros. Salaries are going in one direction, while prices are going in the other. VAT has had a 10 point hike and the cost of milk rises by the week. We are no longer talking about lifestyles being altered: people are struggling to put food on the table. And that’s before they get hit by emergency property taxes. If you don’t pay them your electricity will be cut off, as the state is using the electricity company to collect the tax.

Looming over the day-to-day difficulties is the threat of losing your job, especially a state one, that used to mean a job for life: 30,000 jobs are to be axed immediately. The days of the gold-plated state jobs are numbered.

I spoke to a friend who runs a psychiatric hospital. He acknowledged that depression is rife. “We are all depressed now,” he said. “It’s just a question of degree. Some people make the problem worse with drugs or alcohol.”

Suicide figures are difficult to pin down, partly because the Orthodox Church says that it is a sin and refuses to bury anyone who has taken their own life. But if the Hellenic Statistical Authority can be believed, the first five months of 2011 saw a 40 per cent rise, while help lines report a massive increase in calls.

Good humour and generosity were once a Greek trademark. But that’s all gone. People are depressed, scared and exhausted by the relentless pressure of heavier cuts and taxes.

Every Greek granny remembers the hardships and suffering of the war and its aftermath. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died from starvation. The civil war that followed and the brutal military dictatorship that lasted until 1974 are recent events. Greeks were led to believe that those nightmarish times were over, that the future would be better.

But we are only at the start of this crisis. What will happen next year when unemployment doubles and people lose their homes? The Communist calls for revolution don’t look nearly as far-fetched as they did six months ago. While civil war doesn’t look likely, a return to the military days must be a possibility. If the Greek people reject their entire political system and the state falls apart, what will be left? The great danger is that the people are being pushed so far that the unthinkable becomes possible.

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark: the article you linked to - part of the mainstream media - obviously wants to encourage despair and resignation. Today in Greece, tomorrow everywhere. The misery is obvious - the fight against it often censored and distorted. Don't think you should encourage this type of media by giving it attention.

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Police may be called in to break up sit-ins
Students protesting cutbacks in the education sector clashed with riot police during a protest rally in Syntagma Square on Monday.
Deputy Education Minister Evi Christofilopoulou suggested that police might be mobilized to break up hundreds of sit-ins at schools on Monday a few hours after hundreds of pupils protesting cutbacks clashed with riot officers in central Athens.
“Universities and schools are public places and as such police can enter them of their own accord,” Christofilopoulou told Kathimerini.
The number of sit-ins at secondary schools rose above 650 yesterday while the number of university faculties currently occupied has dwindled to just over 100.
Christofilopoulou added that a controversial scheme, finalized by the government on Monday, to put 30,000 civil servants on labor standby status, which would see them receiving a heavily docked wage for 12 months before early retirement or dismissal, would also apply to schoolteachers.
Unionists accused the ministry of “artificially inflating teacher numbers.

- http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_03/10/2011_409230

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Civil servants staged sit-ins at several ministries in Athens, protesting against the government's labour reserve measure and the new uniform pay scale for the public sector, on Tuesday morning.
 
The sit-ins, at the ministries of finance, development, rural development and culture and tourism, will continue on Wednesday, when the country's two largest umbrella federations representing the public and private sector - ADEDY and the General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE) - have called a 24-hour nationwide strike in the civil service and public utilities and state agencies (the so-called DEKO bodies). 
 
Another sit-in was staged at the education ministry, where the protesting employees were joined by a group of approximately 70 university students who are demanding that the new law on higher education reform be rescinded. 
 
The students have also erected a large banner at the ministry entrance. 

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/48504

A general meeting by Athens bus workers, held during a work stoppage between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, ended without any agreement on future strike action against the labour reserve measure planned by the government. A second meeting of the union's board will take place on Tuesday in order to make a final decision. 
 
Monday's meeting was marked by tension and a number of proposals were made, without leading to any agreement. Sources said the likeliest outcome would be a 24-hour strike by bus workers on Wednesday, to coincide with a nationwide strike declared by the civil servants' union federation Adedy and the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE). 
 
They are likely to be joined on that day by workers on the Athens metro, who may however run trains for some hours during the day in order to allow people to travel to the centre of Athens and participate in protest rallies organised by the umbrella trade union organisations.

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/9/48485

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]G67fM54Wy9A[/youtube]

From 25 September

Clashes in Syntagma, occupation of studio at state TV channel

20:23 GMT+2 Circa 3,000 people remain on Syntagma square, they also managed to occupy Amalias avenue in front of the parliament. There are calls for more people and for anti-fascists to join the rally. Circa 5,000 people responded to the call of the indignants and went at Syntagma Square on Sunday evening. Riot police and undercover cops responded with a full scale military operation pushing people out of Amalias Av. in front of the parliament, using tear gas and plenty of physical violence pushed people away for a while. The cops used a new kind of tear gas that produces black smoke that people have not seen before. At least 7 people have been injured on Othonos st. but they managed to defend themselves against the police attack.

subprole

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2011/10/03/troika-wants-greeces-minimum-wage-scrapped/

subprole

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

dp

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Panic on markets reflects a growing mood that Greece will inevitably default, triggering another Great Depression
Welcome to the new normal. Billions of pounds were wiped off the value of shares in London on Tuesday 4 October. Dexia, a bank jointly owned by the French and the Belgians, teetered on the brink of collapse. One of the main barometers of Wall Street sentiment slid into bear-market territory. An emergency press conference called by Greece's finance minister was delayed because the building was being picketed by civil servants... the FTSE closed below 5000 for the first time since July 2010.... Next up is Greece, and there the endgame is now inevitably going to be default....The panic-stricken reaction of the markets over the past few days reflects a growing mood in the financial markets that the default will not be managed and orderly but messy, with knock-on effects not just for the rest of the eurozone but for the entire world economy.
Banks will go bust, credit will dry up, trade will wither, jobs will be shed. Greece, Lehman Brothers 2.0, will be the prelude to the second Great Depression, something policy-makers were congratulating themselves on avoiding only a few months ago.
The fear in finance ministries, central banks and the world's bourses is that perhaps the bullet was not dodged after all. That is still a minority view. Despite the hamfisted way in which Europe's policy elite has mishandled the Greek crisis – a mixture of dither and daftness – there is still a residual belief that something will be done to prevent a domino effect from a Greek default. "I can't believe", said Nick Parsons, head of strategy at National Australia Bank in London, "that the German finance minister doesn't have a file in a top drawer somewhere marked 'plan B' which will be activated in the event of a Greek default."
Such a plan would involve allowing Greece to renege on 50% of its debts, already unaffordable and growing bigger by the day. Banks across Europe would suffer losses as a result, but governments would find ways of injecting more capital into any struggling financial institution, even if that meant full-scale nationalisation. ....
the concern about the alternative, much darker scenario in which the financial market pressure on Greece becomes intolerable and triggers a default for which the politicians are not prepared. Market interest rates for the other struggling eurozone countries go through the roof. Banks in the US refuse to extend lines of credit to Europe, where the banks go down like ninepins. Greece decides that the only long-term solution to its problems is to leave the euro, thus triggering a rapid unravelling of monetary union. As in the 1930s, deep economic distress has profound political consequences, fostering the growth of extreme nationalist parties.
This is the doomsday option, and over the coming weeks and months finance ministers and central bank governors will do all in their power to prevent it from coming to pass. They will turn on the electronic printing presses, they will allow budget deficits to rise as growth slows, they will cut interest rates where it is possible to do so. Action may be taken by the Bank of England and the ECB on Thursday, although the betting in the City is that nothing will happen until November.
Should the worst case (or anything approaching it) come to pass, recriminations will fly thick and fast. Trichet will be blamed for banging up interest rates in the eurozone when Greece, Portugal and Ireland were in recession. Angela Merkel will get it in the neck for Germany's hardline approach to bail-outs. José Manuel Barroso will be accused of bowing to IMF demands for punitive terms for financial assistance, thereby putting the whole euro project in jeopardy.
There is something in these accusations. It is now the best part of two years since the Greek debt crisis began, two years in which the problem was denied, ignored and downplayed. Everything that Europe has done since George Papandreou admitted that the previous government in Athens had been cooking the fiscal books has been characterised by four words: too little, too late......
So what happens now? Some things are not in doubt. It will be a tough winter. Greece will default at some point. Policy will respond to economic weakness. But answers to the bigger questions remain unclear.
Will the euro survive? Will there be a second banking meltdown? Is the world facing a decade or two of sluggish growth to match the Great Depression of 1873-1896, as some historians believe. Nobody really knows. Which is why the new normal is not really normal at all.

- here.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Occupation last night of two local TV channels in Iraklio, Crete, during the news, with statements read out calling for support for today's general strike.

[youtube]_zeI_pGbRfU[/youtube]

also here

subprole

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/varoufakis031011.html
+ http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/euro-crisis/

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Clashes in Athens as workers strike
At least 16,000 [Samotnaf note: about 40,000, according to a friend] anti-austerity protesters have converged in central Athens, chanting slogans, banging drums and blowing whistles in a display of opposition to the Greek government's latest austerity measures.
The vast majority of demonstrators were peaceful, but a few dozen protesters clashed with riot police, Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull reported from the Greek capital on Wednesday.
Youth broke up marble paving slabs and hurled the chunks of rock at police in full riot gear while others who were masked threw stones, sticks, petrol bombs and other projectiles at the police lines. The police responded by firing tear gas grenades, chasing the protesters and dragging some of them away.
The march was organised by union members and workers from the public sector, which staged a 24-hour general strike over government plans that would see 30,000 civil servants put in a 'labour reserve' programme, which effectively means they will lose their jobs within months.
Schools, government offices, museums and archaeological sites were all closed on Wednesday, while hospitals were operating with reduced staff numbers.
"One in five people are employed in the Greek public sector, so these strikes comes at an enormous cost, which Greece can't afford in the current climate," our correspondent said.
"Ongoing strikes are becoming the norm, and if the Greek public believe the bailouts will work, then they wouldn't come out on the streets and strike. The Greek public are against more austerity and taxes."
The labour reserve plan, accompanied by layoffs at scores of state entities, is designed to ease the state payroll struggles to balance its bulging deficit.
But many Greeks believe they are being made to suffer as a consequence of financial mismanagement for which they bear no responsibility.
"Deep inside I believe we've already gone bankrupt, but we must keep fighting," 52-year-old Niki Xydous, who has two unemployed sons and a husband who risks losing his state job, told Reuters.
"I want the government to step down, but what's the point of having elections now? Nothing will change."
Enough cash
Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek finance minister, said on Tuesday that the government had enough cash to pay pensions, salaries and bondholders until mid-November.
Greece had previously said it needed more money by mid-October to avoid a default.
The additional austerity cuts are mandated by Greece's international creditors, the EU, IMF and European Central Bank, under an economic recovery programme launched last year in return for a $149bn loan.
The crisis has sent stock markets tumbling, with European banks under extreme pressure over their possible exposure to a Greek default on government debt.
The Athens stock exchange plunged to an 18-year low on Tuesday after EU officials postponed a Greek debt bailout.
The EU delayed the release of loan funds, demanding Athens make more sacrifices and warning banks may have to shoulder more losses as part of the resolution of the debt crisis.

- here.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]Iu1qpXV4OxQ[/youtube]

KriegPhilosophy

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How are the armed struggle groups doing?

bastarx

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The beating of the guy with the long hair in the middle of the video Mark posted above was horrible. Were the cops just doing it for the benefit of all the cameramen standing around recording it?

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Peter - I think this is just routine and the fact the MAT carried on regardless despite obviously being filmed is an indication that they don't believe there will be any comeback.

The video was posted up on youtube yesterday so I'm assuming the footage is from this week, but there's no description and as far as I can see nothing in the comments to confirm this. From the Greek Streets has some more photos and videos here.

wojtek

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A tweet on Paul Mason's account: #greece most popular politicians of far right and far left, each with 38%

What are the groups in the anarchist scene over there? How large are they?

wojtek

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

dp

Samotnaf

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Can't answer your question, wojtek - but why do you want to know? Since the early '70s anarchism, with situationist ideas thrown in, has been one of the dominant ideologies in the Greek opposition, and with the movement in December 2008, that's got even bigger - there are now loads and loads of anarchist goups throughout the country, of different tendencies and with varying numbers. Which doesn't necessarily mean they have anything more to say or do than any other groups that want an anti-State revolution.

About the cops going into the Athens metro (see Mark's video): they even beat up tube workers, 15 year old girls, photo journalists and reporters. This happened on Wednesday.

About the schools' occupations: headmasters have been told to grass on leading school students who are occupying their schools; last week there were a couple of schools where the cops went in and arrested the occupiers, who were a minority of school students. Virtually all teachers refuse to inform the cops of who's occupying their school.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wojtek

What are the groups in the anarchist scene over there? How large are they?

I've no first hand information but I don't think any of the groups are that big, in the hundreds at most. There's some background, dating from before the current crisis, in this abc thread and a podcast of an interview with a member of the anarcho-syndicalist group ESE here ('in Greece there is a separation between riot anarchism and social anarchism').

wojtek

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Samotnaf and Mark, I was just wondering as you do.

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tuesday 11/10 starts with marches of the employees in Athens central hospitals. Workers in Sortiria and General State hospitals are marching towards the parliament from Vas. Sofias Av. while the workers of Red Cross Hospital are marching there through Stadiou st. The two first hospitals are occupied by the employees.

The workers in the municipalities have occupied several municipal buildings all around the country and the landfills of Athens are blockaded so rubbish are not collected, workers in the municipalities are about to start their march at 12:00 GMT+2. The same time primary and high school teachers are having a rally in Klathmonos Sq.

Premises of several government’s ministries are occupied e.g. ministries of education, the home office and buildings that house services of the ministry of finance, while the central building of state-owned Agricultural Bank in Panepistimiou st. are as well occupied by the workers of the bank.

The workers of the state-owned company Oil refineries are blockading the premises of the company and have decided for a non-stop strike (at least for 10 days) so petrol stations all around the country have long queues of cars. The entire union of workers in petroleum, oil refineries and chemical industry are on strike.

In Thessaloniki workers occupied the Company of Water and Sewing of the city along several municipal buildings.

Yesterday the government in a very provocative movement announced the bail out of one more bank the Proton Bank for more than 800.000.000 Euro of public money.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/10/11/macrhes-and-occupations-all-around-athens-today/

Mark.

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A few hours ago, GENOP (the trade union of DEI, the Public Power Corporation) has occupied the building where the company’s bills in Athens are issued. The move came as a protest against the imposed property tax. Already, hundreds of people in solidarity are gathered at the spot (247, Pireaus Avenue near Tauros). Already, the minister of development (Papakonstantinou, the ex-minister of Finance) has requested the intervention of an attorney general in order for the occupation to end.

Meanwhile, the occupation of ministries and other public buildings is spreading wildly ahead of the General Strike of October 19th. As for the strikes:

- There will be no public transportation in Athens on Thursday and Friday (at least), as all workers (except for the suburban railway) have called for a 48-h strike.

- Taxi drivers have also called for a strike on Friday, and will decide future mobilisations on the day.

- ADEDY (the civil servants union) has asked GSEE (the main reformist trade union) to turn Wednesday’s strike into a 48-hour one.

- School teachers are holding a 48h strike next week (Wednesday and Thursday) and will call for rolling 5-day strikes thereafter.

- Lawyers are abstaining from their duty from tomorrow (Thursday) until October 19

- Workers at the ministry of Finance have declared a 10-day strike, from October 17-27

- Custom duty workers have also called for a 10-day strike (October 14-24)

- Workers at tax offices are striking between October 17-20

- Workers in banks are also striking between October 18-19

- All publicly-owned media workers are calling for a 48-hour strike from Thursday to Saturday

- Museums and archaeological sites will be shut on Wednesday and Thursday due to the strike.

- Workers at local prefectures and ports are also striking. All ports will be shut between October 17-19.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/10/13/electricity-corporation-union-occupies-building-issuing-property-tax-in-athens-tonight-as-wildcat-occupations-and-strikes-spread-across-the-country/

Ed

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some mainstream news coverage of Greece:
Al-Jazeera: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/10/201110190538784585.html
BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15366310 & http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15370881

Judging from this and the Occupied London liveblog it looks like there's been loads of clashes and like EVERYTHING has been shut down (private and public sector)..

One other thing, in one of the BBC videos they mention that France's credit rating has been downgraded.. now if there's anyone else in Europe that's good for a fight it's the French and should austerity hit there in a big way I reckon that we could see serious struggle (moreso than what's been happening in Spain and Portugal) spread across Europe in a big way.. or is that just me?

Valeriano Orob…

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think everyone of us is craving for it and pushing in that direction, mate. Right now in Spain we have the calm that precedes the storm, me thinks, due to the next elections and the resistible rise of the partido popular, which shows again that most of the spaniards are still hooked on parliamentary politics. On the other hand the massive saturday demos show that clashes are to be expected as the non-violent approach it's quickly showing itself more and more as a running on the spot thing.

wojtek

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A comment from Richard Seymour's blog Lenin's Tomb. RS may have got it from the Guardian's live feed, but I'm not sure:

Had it not been for militants from the immensely disciplined communist party forming a human chain around the parliament, it is likely that the seething mass would have attempted to storm the building early on. As it was, clashes broke out as soon as riot police started firing tear gas to keep the crowds at bay with hundreds of protesters physically pushing their way up to the great marble steps of the parliament building itself.

Arbeiten

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So, the communist party stopping the people storming the parliament?

klas batalo

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

some fucking communists they are...

Ed

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bunch of videos from yesterday:

[youtube]I5KZXY36Tzk[/youtube]

[youtube]T_gjIWknhT8[/youtube]

[youtube]WIZcdcfIpy0[/youtube]

[youtube]7OM8znTZYkk[/youtube]

[youtube]SSiVl1eScM4[/youtube]

[youtube]SWC7RZpxyl4[/youtube]

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

El PAME (KKE) ha convocado para hoy concentracion a las afueras del parlamento Griego. Los miembros del PAME (totalmente ausentes en otras ocasiones y en otras tomas de la plaza y de las calles alrededores, incluso ayer), hoy han decidido proteger el parlamento. Han hecho cadenas humanas con palos de madera y cascos, alrededor del parlamento. Lo (no tan) sorprendente, es que han dado la espalda al parlamento y a los antidisturbios.

No permiten a la gente (que no esta con el PAME), acercarse al parlamento. Declaran que no van a permitir a nadie que se acerque.

En la ciudad de Ioannina, miembros del PAME atacaron contra gente de otros bloques, mandando algunos al hospital.

Esto quita las ultimas dudas que tendria alguien sobre el papel que ejerce el KKE.

En la ultima foto, miembros del PAME "protegiendo" la valla policial en la calle lateral del Parlamento. No dejan a la gente acercarse. Incluso se les pide en algunos periodistas su DNI profesional, para dejarles pasar.

This was posted up on the Greek thread on alasbarricadas. The photos show PAME members protecting parliament today.

Athens News: Second day of general strike as parliament votes

Athens News: Live news blog, Oct. 20

13.05 Members of the Communist-backed Pame union mean business with the human chain they have formed around parliament. They are letting no one through the cordon in front of parliament and are even demanding that journalists present their professional ID in order to be let through. The question is, of course, under what legal authority they are acting.

[…]

12.35 People tweeting from Syntagma are saying that demonstrators are urging protesters assocated with Pame, who have formed a human chain around parliament, to allow more people enter the square. For its part, Pame has told the General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE) that hooded youths must not be allowed enter the square as part of its demonstration.

 

Caiman del Barrio

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Once again, signs of the so called "anti cuts movt" fracturing. I think it would be reasonable to expect similar developments in Italy, Spain and even the UK if things continue to escalate.

What were the (stated) reasons behind KKE's move? How popular is the urge to 'defend democracy'? How popular is the (implicit) belief that the 1 million odd in Syntagma Sq were fascistic?

Arbeiten

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

PAME are out again today doing the same, probably don't want that state that they intend to 'capture' being damaged right....

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OccupiedLondon

14.59 The clashes are escalating. Molotov thrown into Stalinist crowd.

14.52 Clashes continue as protestors try and reach the parliament. The clashes are severe, flares shot straight into the crowd.

14.47 Generalised clashes between hundreds of anarchists and Stalinists in Syntagma. Stones, bottles and flares are thrown. Protestors trying to break through PAME lines to reach the parliament.

14.44 A huge anarchist block now attacking Stalinist lines. They are face to face by the Great Britain Hotel in Syntagma. Police firing teargas.

Ufff. This is looking bad in many ways. But as it now seems, their situation there in the recent times is like a cold civil war (I'm not talking about the anarchist vs. stalinists, but the society as such), flaring up time to time as friction grows. Comrades over there, keep on, but stay safe!

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/10/20/live-updates-from-the-general-strike-october-20/

16.56 Unconfirmed: media is reporting possibly one person dead from the earlier clashes.

16.38 Police lined up around the square, looks like they are getting ready for another attack.

16.35 Report from Greek Indymedia: while the anti-authoritarian/anarchist groups were fighting with the pame security forces at the upper side of the syntagma square, riot cops tried to attack them from the lower side. Then people from base syndicates, ultra left (a trotskyist group called EEK), the union of workers who support drug addicts and other demonstrators blocked the riot cops and this way helped the anarchists who were fighting the stalinists.

16.21 Large groups have started occupying the lower side of syntagma square and numbers are growing, coming in from the side streets. Syntagma square is full again with PAME members at the upper side in front of the parliament and the other demonstrators (base syndicates, union groups, ultra-left, anti-authoritarians) at the lower side.

16.09 Thousands of members of PAME in front of the parliament. Police pulled back from the lower parts of Syntagma, smaller groups of anti-authoritarians, base syndicates and ultra left entering the square. Most union demonstrators still blocked in the side streets.

more news on http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2011/10/20/greece-october-20th-constant-updates/

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

16.56 Unconfirmed: media is reporting possibly one person dead from the earlier clashes.

according to more recent information by Occupied London and Contra Info not true

jura

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some things never change, I guess. Stupid red fascist cunts. Also, to everyone in Greece, I hope you're safe!

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/10/20/53-year-old-demonstrator-dead/

53-year old demonstrator Dimitris Kotsaridis dies from police chemical warfare

LATEST UPDATE, 18.26: The 53-year old demonstrator was a member of the stalinist union, PAME. His name was Dimitris Kotsaridis. It is officially confirmed by the hospital’s report that the 53-year old carried no head injuries as originally reported, and that he has died from inhaling an excessive amount of tear-gas shot by the police.

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cue media stories of evil anarcho-fascists murderous attack on loyal communist defenders of Greek democracy and society.

Plus ça change...

Clashes between the stalinists and the rest of the left, anarchists included, have been going on for years, if not decades. But still, in the current climate, the backlash that will certainly come from this may well have a damping effect similar to the death of the 3 bankworkers last year. In these situations, the rights and the wrongs are irrelevant compared to the emotional response produced through the media discourse and popular conversation in public spaces (work, cafes, bars, etc).

What the result will be, we will have to see. But it seems unlikely that the immediate response will be greater class cohesion or sense of shared identity.

wojtek

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A lovely bit of of revisionism from the Morning Star:

Violent anarchist thugs attacked peaceful protests in Athens today as tens of thousands of Greeks rallied outside parliament before the vote on despised new austerity measures demanded by creditors.

As the second day of a general strike paralysed the country, more than 50,000 peaceful demonstrators flooded Syntagma square. Trade union and Communist Party supporters had set up a cordon in front of Parliament to prevent MPs from entering to vote, but riot police moved in to break it up. Later in the day, the peaceful protesters came under attack by people who threw petrol bombs, stones, paint and clubs in an attempt to break the remaining cordon. Riot police used tear gas to break up the assault. At least 10 people were treated by medics, many for facial injuries.

Anatta

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Trade union and Communist Party supporters had set up a cordon in front of Parliament to prevent MPs from entering to vote

That could be true I guess?

Hieronymous

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anatta

Trade union and Communist Party supporters had set up a cordon in front of Parliament to prevent MPs from entering to vote

That could be true I guess?

Truly disgusting. The Greek Communist Party (KKE) is the last unreconstructed Stalinist party in Europe. And they are brutal fucking thugs, as bad or worse than the cops.

Yesterday, on the last day of the 48-hour general strike, a KKE member died of a heart attack in the battles with anarchists and other groups opposed to further austerity legislation just passed in Parliament. All this as the KKE union front PAME linked arms and defended the front of the Parliament Building at Syntagma Square. They obviously are angling for more seats in the next election.

Here's the story in Athens News

raw

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

Anatta

Trade union and Communist Party supporters had set up a cordon in front of Parliament to prevent MPs from entering to vote

That could be true I guess?

Truly disgusting. The Greek Communist Party (KKE) is the last unreconstructed Stalinist party in Europe. And they are brutal fucking thugs, as bad or worse than the cops.

Yesterday, on the last day of the 48-hour general strike, a KKE member died of a heart attack in the battles with anarchists and other groups opposed to further austerity legislation just passed in Parliament. All this as the KKE union front PAME linked arms and defended the front of the Parliament Building at Syntagma Square. They obviously are angling for more seats in the next election.

Here's the story in Athens News

LAOS also applauded the actions of PAME/KKE in parliament yesterday - fascists/cops/stalinists united against the whole movement. And also its to be clear that PAME/KKE were attacking everyone including normal citizens. In retaliations last night 3 offices of the KKE in Thessaloniki were attacked by anarchists.

Rob Ray

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A lovely bit of of revisionism from the Morning Star:

Innit, I'm refusing to touch copy on the international desk atm.

raw

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rob Ray

A lovely bit of of revisionism from the Morning Star:

Innit, I'm refusing to touch copy on the international desk atm.

Any possibility of you writing a statement on this? I mean as a person working there? I am not saying you agree with it at all but it may be quiet good to show there is dissent within Morning Star or is this not a good idea?

Rum Lad

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Decent first person write-up of what happened at Syntagma yesterday on Vice:

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/athens-greece-riots-protests-anarchy-communists-syntagma-square-day-two

Arbeiten

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anatta

Trade union and Communist Party supporters had set up a cordon in front of Parliament to prevent MPs from entering to vote

That could be true I guess?

If it was true (and unfortunately, that is really really far from the truth), then they did a piss poor job of it!

Na they are a parliamentary stalinist group. real life stalinists too :eek:

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

on the Greek CP: http://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article694 (10 years old but still accurate)

KriegPhilosophy

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interestingly Stalin during his bolshevik years would have denounced the KKE as reformist.

evolve

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lots of double standards.

I'm a greek anarchist.

Some facts:
1)PAME,for a number of years, does its demos in different place & time than all the rest.
Yesterday,they left the familiar path, and decided to occupy the main square outside the parliament.
2)PAME set its block guard surrounding the square,letting nobody in.They also surrounded the parliament.
3)PAME,as any block in a protest, has the right to guard it,control who enters it,and the right to not move and relocate according to the wishes of others.They,as any other, have the right to use violence to repel others from forcefully entering the block.
4)A minority of self proclaimed anarchist,autonomists and other crap are the first who initiated an attack against PAME's block using rocks, pieces of marble and molotov cocktails.
Note:Not only the block's guard, but the people in it as well.
5)The syndicalist of PAME died of heart attack, and the tear gas and chemicals from the police played a role in that.

Some personal opinions:
a)Anyone who actively defends the attack on pame's block, in the way and with the means by which it happened is no comrade of mine,and should be expelled from any decision making process.Do i have to remind you of May 5th 2010?
b)PAME's actions were stupid, committed for public relations, and to "rise up" above the other protesters as order preservers.They blocked the "main stage" of the protest because they could.Although i completely disagree with that action, i fully recognize their right to do so.If it was the other way around, if the PAMEites had tried to enter the square occupied by the rest of the demo and got beaten up everyone would cheer in celebration of the defeat of the stalinists.

that is all

KriegPhilosophy

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Admin: no flaming.

mons

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is there any reason to think it's disinformation?

redsdisease

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

mons

Is there any reason to think it's disinformation?

Seems less like disinformation and more like an oversimplification of something pretty complex. I'm not going to pretend like I can sort out what happened based on internet reports, but several first hand accounts make it seem pretty clear that the events that evolve is presenting as clear cut and obvious were anything but.

@KriegPhilosophy: That seems really unnecessary.

Arbeiten

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

yeah this isn't disinformation, it just seems like bad politics. Point 3 is absurd and it seems like a typical form over content argument. If there were enough Fash out to stop people marching on parliament, would we 'respect' their block? No of course not. This seems to me to be the nub of evolve's argument, that PAME wanted to stop people disturbing the austerity process, therefore they should be allowed to. ludicrous.

As for point 4, a 'minority' of blah, blah, blah, well, we have seen this mdoe of argumentation before and should always be skeptical.

Samotnaf

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

PAME set its block guard surrounding the square,letting nobody in.They also surrounded the parliament.

....letting in the deputies and then getting their international organisations to say that they surrounded parliament to stop the deputies getting in...a very sick joke.
The vast majority of the people in the square, from what I heard, were really disgusted with PAME. As for the 5th May,invoking that is clearly an attempt to make PAME look like victims, when they were there to try to assert some superiority to the movement and solidify their own base against the anarchists etc. But it backfired, as all the Greek right-wing press and other media are praising PAME for their defence of parliament.

evolve - you have yet to live up to your name.

piper65

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Statement by the KKE

Statement of the Press Office concerning the organized murderous assault against PAME’s rally in Syntagma and the death of the Trade Unionist of PAME Dimitris Kotzaridis

On this occasion organized groups with specific orders and anarcho-fascists unleashed an attack with Molotov cocktails, teargas, stun grenades and stones, in attempt to disperse the majestic rally of workers and people in Syntagma Square and especially in the area where PAME was concentrated. A result of this attack is the death of the trade unionist of PAME, Dimitris Kotzaridis, 53 years old, secretary of the Viron branch of the Construction Workers’ Union. Dozens more PAME demonstrators were injured.

The hatred of the hooded ones against the labour and popular movement and PAME expresses the fury of the forces which serve the system and bourgeois power. The government has massive responsibilities for this. The operation to intimidate, slander and suppress the labour and people’s movement is rooted in state structures, centres and services. History demonstrates this, today’s barbaric and murderous assault also proves this. The hooded ones, anarcho-autonomists, fascists or whatever they call themselves tried to achieve what the forces of repression, the blackmail and threats failed to do: to intimidate the people so that they submit. It objectively arises that the very same centres executed the provocateur murderous burning down of Marfin the day the Memorandum was voted on, 5 May 2010.

Their goal to disperse the rally of PAME failed. Likewise, the plans of the government, the mechanisms of the system, the parties of the plutocracy which seek to intimidate and suppress the torrent of the people’s counterattack which came onto the streets with the 48-hour strike must also fail.

The KKE expresses its sorrow and its condolences to the family of Dimitris Kotzaridis who fell in the struggle for the just cause of the working class and the people. It expresses its solidarity with the injured demonstrators, with all those who defended the workers’ and people’s demonstration from the provocateur groups. It calls on the people to stand up decisively; to struggle together with the KKE, to rally in the trade unions, in PAME and the other radical organizations which fight against the anti-people policies, the power of the monopolies. This is the opposition force to the parties of plutocracy, the EU and the IMF. This is the strength of the people in order to repel the barbaric measures, the violence and the intimidation of all the repressive mechanisms. The people can overthrow the anti-people policies and power.

[youtube]qxba6jjAdW0[/youtube]

Thanks Mark, that alasbarricadas discussion was really interesting, and cleared a lot of doubts

proletarian.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Another video showing the people in black (Anarchists, rightists, fash? Not saying this to wind anyone up) antagonizing, provoking....and throwing rocks at the KKE workers?

However much you disagree with what was happening in relation to 'protecting parliament' or whatever - I don't fully understand the whole situation - it asks a lot of questions about violence within the working class.

wojtek

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From yesterday's Morning Star:

In a disturbing development, three Communist Party offices were firebombed in Thessaloniki early this morning.

It is not yet clear who carried out the attacks.

Does anyone have any idea who could be behind this? Anarchists, fascists, who?

Fyi, I'm not trying to shit stir.

evolve

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Please fuck off and spread your disinformation somewhere else please.

Oh great, just because you disagree with it and doesn't fit the "Whooo, anarchists, fuck yeah!" image you've constructed, it's "disinformation"?

Does anyone have any idea who could be behind this? Anarchists, fascists, who?

Either provocateurs or provocateurs who identify themselves as anarchists.

This isn't news people.In athens indymedia, i ~6-7 attacks on KKE offices have been reported.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

evolve

Some facts:
1)PAME,for a number of years, does its demos in different place & time than all the rest.
Yesterday,they left the familiar path, and decided to occupy the main square outside the parliament.
2)PAME set its block guard surrounding the square,letting nobody in.They also surrounded the parliament.
3)PAME,as any block in a protest, has the right to guard it,control who enters it,and the right to not move and relocate according to the wishes of others.They,as any other, have the right to use violence to repel others from forcefully entering the block.
4)A minority of self proclaimed anarchist,autonomists and other crap are the first who initiated an attack against PAME's block using rocks, pieces of marble and molotov cocktails.
Note:Not only the block's guard, but the people in it as well.

5)The syndicalist of PAME died of heart attack, and the tear gas and chemicals from the police played a role in that.

Some personal opinions:
a)Anyone who actively defends the attack on pame's block, in the way and with the means by which it happened is no comrade of mine,and should be expelled from any decision making process.Do i have to remind you of May 5th 2010?
b)PAME's actions were stupid, committed for public relations, and to "rise up" above the other protesters as order preservers.They blocked the "main stage" of the protest because they could.Although i completely disagree with that action, i fully recognize their right to do so.If it was the other way around, if the PAMEites had tried to enter the square occupied by the rest of the demo and got beaten up everyone would cheer in celebration of the defeat of the stalinists.

that is all

.
Arbeiten

Point 3 is absurd and it seems like a typical form over content argument. If there were enough Fash out to stop people marching on parliament, would we 'respect' their block? No of course not. This seems to me to be the nub of evolve's argument, that PAME wanted to stop people disturbing the austerity process, therefore they should be allowed to. ludicrous.

As for point 4, a 'minority' of blah, blah, blah, well, we have seen this mdoe of argumentation before and should always be skeptical.

.

A rough translation of part of a statement from the "I Won't Pay" movement (They were also involved in the clashes. See the link to the alasbarricadas thread for a google translation of the full statement):

PAME and the Communist Party, with their usual logic of ownership, occupied Sintagma and prohibited the passage of everyone to demonstrate in the same area. Workers' associations, unions, political organisations, and even ordinary people were the new "internal enemies" for PAME, and they prevented them from approaching parliament. Under the pretext of guarding and protecting their own demonstration they protected parliament from the anger of thousands of workers who had the objective of stopping the vote on the measures.

On the other hand the murderous attack from groups with pieces of marble and molotov cocktails is an unthinkable act for the movement of the masses. The absence of other deaths is due to chance.
[…]
The out of place denunciations from PAME, against individuals and groups who use verbal and graphic symbols of the "I Won't Pay" movement, does not worry us and does not touch us. Our project and aim is the refusal to pay the increase in taxes, something which the Communist Party supports in theory according to its declarations. Let them make clear who they are referring to with their denunciations. Any attempt to control the violence within the workers' movement is repugnant and dangerous. The enemies of "I Won't Pay" are the government, the EU, the IMF and any exploiter.

The part about "pieces of marble and molotov cocktails" seems fair enough to me. Apart from anything else throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at other demonstrators has to be wrong, however obstructive or provocative they are. This isn't a defence of PAME and the KKE or an argument that people shouldn't have tried to break through their cordon, or got into fights with them for that matter, just that some actions are unacceptable.

working class …

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://working-class-self-organisation.blogspot.com/2011/10/morning-star-supports-stalinist-lies.html

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think it is quite extreme to us to see such a division within a protest where one part of the protesters attack the other, but frankly, I think there's nothing wrong with using force if it is necessary against whoever try to get their control over the movement. Looking at the videos, there's nothing that supports the claim of the KKE/PAME. It seems that they already prepared to some confrontation with other protesters. And if the cops deserves to be pushed, attacked (and they do), than anybody else, who act as the filth, deserves no better.

piper65

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

About that video, you have to take into account that it is not taken from the start of the protest, tension had been building up all day until charges from KKE started. And IMO, one can't talk about provocation when the other group (I mean KKE) shows up organized, with helmets and sticks.

[youtube]MESW7O43Axc[/youtube]

In this other video you can see all the people that was confronting the KKE, There might been some fascists there, you can't tell their ideologies :lol: , but suggesting they are the anarchists, or the fascists is ridiculous, it's like the party dusted off the typewriters from the Spanish war and got to work.

Some guy in alasbarricadas made an interesting point suggesting the KKE was looking for making some political points, making sure the vote happened by blocking parliament and the celebrating its representatives votes against the austerity measures. And at the same time looking like te responsible party capable of carrying the struggle forward. They certainly are taking advantage of every twisting of truth they can make, even using the death of one of its comrades for some petty political leverage.

Also, they can't accuse anyone of agents provocateurs or fascists when they are giving the police their backs and the protesters their sticks. That's double-think like I haven't seen before.

Samotnaf

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc:

I think it is quite extreme to us to see such a division within a protest where one part of the protesters attack the other, but frankly, I think there's nothing wrong with using force if it is necessary against whoever try to get their control over the movement.

Although very different, the 1976 South African uprising starting in Soweto, began like this:

After a second volley of shots had left more students dead and wounded, the leadership suddenly reappeared, in the form of one Tsietsi Mashinini, who stood up on an overturned vehicle and exhorted his fellow students to disperse. He was promptly forced to scuttle when the students turned their rocks on him.

(here)

Cops in Greece are obviously very different from cops in 70s South Africa, as are would-be leaders and pretend "communists", but feelings of anger expressed against those who claim to be on the side of movements but in fact do their best to repress them often get turned into physical expressions of anger. For us who don't live in Greece, we should firstly try to find out a bit more before jumping to blanket condemnations such as Mark's saying:

Apart from anything else throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at other demonstrators has to be wrong, however obstructive or provocative they are.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc

I think it is quite extreme to us to see such a division within a protest where one part of the protesters attack the other, but frankly, I think there's nothing wrong with using force if it is necessary against whoever try to get their control over the movement. Looking at the videos, there's nothing that supports the claim of the KKE/PAME. It seems that they already prepared to some confrontation with other protesters.

I'm pretty much in agreement with this - though the use of force against other protesters is a big step to take. It looks clear to me that the KKE/PAME were setting up a confrontation, for whatever reasons or calculations of political advantage. There had already been fighting in Ioannina before things kicked off in Athens.

soc

And if the cops deserves to be pushed, attacked (and they do), than anybody else, who act as the filth, deserves no better.

The question here is how far you're prepared to go. Can you really justify actions that risk people being seriously injured or killed?

Samotnaf

Cops in Greece are obviously very different from cops in 70s South Africa, as are would-be leaders and pretend "communists", but feelings of anger expressed against those who claim to be on the side of movements but in fact do their best to repress them often get turned into physical expressions of anger. For us who don't live in Greece, we should firstly try to find out a bit more before jumping to blanket condemnations such as Mark's saying:

Apart from anything else throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at other demonstrators has to be wrong, however obstructive or provocative they are.

It's a long time since I've lived in Greece and I'm very much out of touch with what's going on but I don't have a problem with condemning some of the actions taken by people on my side. I'm not arguing for pacifism or saying that the anger isn't justified.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to clarify, I don't wish anybody to get seriously injured or killed. I think it is the responsibility of an organised movement to find a way to disarm the police and anyone, who try to contain us. Disarming won't be possible without violence, but our aim is not eliminate, but to draw them harmless.

XaViER

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Stalinists acted as cops, so they should be treated as cops.

XaViER

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And from polish perspective - if during process of revolution or general disturbance they will somehow get to the power, all anarchists, socialists, democrats etc. will be jailed or dead.

It was true here in Poland no more than 20 or so years ago. We all remember here what they can do to us. I write this especially to greek comrades. This is not Kronstadt thing. It was only 20-30 years ago when stalinists like those thugs which you see at photos here were killing working class people in the middle of the Europe. Never forget about this.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The urban75 thread on this is worth looking at - in particular the posts from Dimitris.

Dimitris

No offence Dimitris, but that first clip you linked to shows PAME standing their ground with a couple of bottles and flares being chucked at them (you can even see one member control another who retaliates slightly after a bottle is thrown at him), there's also a shot clearly at the end of someone knocking chunks of concrete out of a wall to throw at them.

PAME must of known it would kick off though.

PAME are standing where they should not be. This is what triggered the whole thing in the first place anyway. To be honest with you, I had a feeling that we would have such a development even from a day before, on Tuesday, when I saw PAME forming a cordon in front of the parliament where the police normally is. When the riots against the police started that day PAME received a lot of criticism because they left. They got criticized by people as they expected that PAME would be there and confront the police themselves, but they are people that do not know PAME and how they work, because they do not have experiences of demos. I was sure that PAME would not just "surround" the parliament on Wednesday as they were officially saying but they would be actually GUARDING IT, as I pointed out and in this very thread on my post that morning before I left for the demo.

The demo was not organized by PAME and the people were not there in order to break PAME's demonstration. The demo was organized by the trade unions and the syndicates and it was within a 48 hour general strike, so ALL PEOPLE had the right to be there at the parliament square and demonstrate and not just KKE and their members. This was the most crucial day of the demonstrations, more crucial than the day before when about 500,000 were in the streets of Athens. On the most crucial day then, when inside the parliament they were voting for the new labor reform, PAME was not letting the workers and the syndicates to demonstrate outside the parliament. PAME HELPED the government to pass forward this law without even the people to have the ability to demonstrate against that.

Myself I did not like the view of workers being in between petrol bombs and stone throwing, but if there is someone to blame why this started, you should blame PAME, this is what they were organized for and that is why they had all these helmets etc in that van hidden WAITING for riots to happen. They also know that they have the mass media that will "sell" KKE's side of the story, even TV channels that are pro-government (like MEGA channel) are going according KKE's side of the story. Imagine that one person died, a member of PAME, because of police chemicals, and instead of blaming the police for the use of such chemicals they blame the " anarchofascist provocateurs that wanted to destroy the peaceful worker's demo of PAME"

Edit: there's a response to this post from a KKE/PAME supporter here and a reply from Dimitris here.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Deeply agreed.

Arbeiten

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark I see what you mean, and I respect your view (in the most non-liberal way possible), but shit, if you have like PAME, protecting parliament. it jut confuses the shit out of me. At the point when a group of protestors protects the state, how far can we presume they are 'on our side' so to speak.

Whats more damaging molotov cocktails at PAME or the restructing of the state to fuck over the people? (bit rhetorical, but I am willing to think it out a bit more).

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

strike of some sailors continues: http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/grece-poursuite-de-la-greve-des-marins/ ... KKE/PAME and their nationalist allies only would storm the parliament when they could acquire absolute power

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Al Jazeera documentary on Athens since the 2008 riots

[youtube]C45QKpGFy6w[/youtube]

Caiman del Barrio

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry but all of this apologism for PAME seems like the thin end of the wedge for pseudo-Trot 'leftist unity'.

Away from Kronsdadt analogies and other such dead rhetoric, let's cast our mind back to something very recent and pertinent. 20,000 students and radicals marched on Parliament last December. If the cops hadn't have been there behind 3 lines of reinforced Herras fencing, several thousand of them would have stormed Parliament, disrupted the fees vote and (more likely than not) trashed it a bit too. If a cop had have died during that assault, we wouldn't have given a shit, surely?

I don't see how PAME were any different than the cops in this scenario. This was the day of a vote on austerity, after all.

I think what's starting to happen here is the rupture of the 'anti-cuts movement'. Worth noting that Stalinists also encircled the Portuguese Parliament to defend it recently.

proletarian.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

But the contradiction is a class one. Do you see the Police the same as workers who are in the CP? Most Anarchists on here seem to say Police are not working class, but I presume the workers of the CP are? This is important regarding the question of violence within the working class. I don't think you can just say it's alright to fuck them up (obviously they were being violent as well) cos they're blocking 'us' from storming Parliament.

There must be other methods with regards to workers in the CP not simply street fights, fire bombing their offices and so on.

But, I am not there so do not know the problems as it would apply on the ground, day-to-day and so on. I might have a completely different attitude if I was. Just asking the question.

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article23235

Mass Movements and Popular Radicalization in Greece
MARCHETOS Spyros
19 October 2011

Mr. Papandreou has shunned constitutional procedures since May 2010, when the infamous Memorandum authorized austerity to save the bankers. It was imposed by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but its ratification by the Greek Parliament was constitutionally unsound. Since then the Pasok government, whose legitimacy has plummeted, penalized protest and turned more and more openly towards repression.

The parliamentary Left however failed to tune in with mounting popular disaffection, and remains divided. Practically, Synaspismos never dared to question eurozone austerity, while the Communist Party refuses cooperation with groups beyond its control. Disappointing a new generation of activists, both parties shun the struggle against the repayment of the public debt and the euro. So, while the popularity of the neoliberals implodes, the parliamentary Left attracts few and inspires even fewer. For example, its deputies do not respond when the rank-and-file calls them to participate in the growing tax revolt. Instead of leading the resistance, they dampen it.

Thus, a political space opened up for the appearance of new forms of popular mobilisation, from the bottom up. The nonchalance of the official Left and the example of the December 2008 revolt turned activists towards popular mobilisation. Combative new trade unions sprung up, and also many rank-and-file committees and movements, usually on single issues. In 2009 overcharged utilities bills were the main target; In early 2010 the focus fell also on highway tolls, and a vibrant movement from north to south of Greece was created.

The utility bills issue has by now become explosive. Informal groups, aided by local supporters of the Left, organise clandestine campaigns to reconnect electricity and water to families whose bills have been left unpaid. Since last year, the spontaneous chase of the fewer and fewer politicos who dare to appear publicly has turned into a popular sport, condemned by government and the media alike, but applauded by almost everybody else. «I was the egg-thrower», declared Marina Dimitriadou, a fragile 33-year old unemployed historian. She threw two eggs at the Minister in charge of the police, when he appeared in the picturesque town of Rethymno. «I spent eight hours in prison because of this! While the Minister, who regularly orders the use of globs and forbidden cancerogenic chemicals against protesters, walks free!»

Many Greeks share her sentiments, and are keen to imitate her action. But resistance can be much more organised. In Keratea, outside Athens, a real popular revolt of the whole community managed to stop the construction of an illegal landfill, after pitched battles with the police that lasted all winter. Locals, anticapitalists and anarchists, with only marginal help from the official Left, beat the collective might of the oligarchs, the police, and the media. Their victory offered a template of struggle, and slowed significantly the government’s neoliberal attack.

Αll these movements formed the Aganaktismenoi, people from all walks of life gathering since last May in public squares all over Greece, in response to the call of the Spanish Indignados. Their daily meetings at Syntagma, in front of the Parliament, united tens of thousands Greeks and immigrants from all political milieus, most of them mobilizing for the first time in their lives; perhaps one million participated. Repression, especially brutal in June, when they almost toppled the government, sent many of them to hospitals, and more to their homes, but increased the determination of most, as well as their sophistication in resisting police attacks. After a summer break, the Aganaktismenoi seem now to regain their dynamism; their slogan, «We Owe Nothing, We Sell Nothing, We Pay Nothing», resonates with most Greeks, but has yet to be endorsed by the parliamentary Left.

Another mass movement, burgeoning since last September, might prove the detonator of a social explosion. Pupils and students have taken to the streets in their thousands, protesting against the death of public education in the hands of an arrogant Minister. Almost all university schools have been occupied to stop a catastrophic law that destroys universities, subjecting them to neoliberal attrition. A huge pupils’ movement, protesting savage budget cuts that have left schools without books and heating, is right now in progress. Many hundreds of Gymnasia and Lycaea are in the hands of the pupils, and a general occupation of all schools has been announced for October. Thus a whole generation might get radicalised in the coming months. The most critical protests however focus on tax resistance, a historically overcharged issue in Greece.

Arguably, the country has the most unfair tax system in Europe. According to official data, shipowners contribute to the state coffers much less than immigrants; tax evasion costs a fraction of the tax breaks to the powerful (the church first among them). The tax resistance movement was born in this summer, when a host of blatantly unfair and confused tax measures caused general uproar. More and more radical every day, it already connects hundreds of rank-and-file committees from Μacedonia to Crete. The ceremonial burning of tax invoices in public squares, by trade unionists and protesters of every political hue, has taken by surprise the government, but also the official Left.

These single-issue mobilisations, now tending to coalesce into a powerful mass revolt, are important for many reasons. They respond to real needs, that will be more and more pressing as the world financial crisis unfolds; so they will flourish, unless horrible mistakes are made. Uniting people beyond the confines of class, gender, or political affiliation, they create the preconditions for a wide movement against the established order. They radicalize many, and provide spaces for anticapitalist discourse. They form new generations of militants, that might soon tear off the leadership of the Left from the hands of its incompetent current cadres. And last but not least, by creating a crisis of governability they might soon liberate us all from the satraps of the Troika. Probablythat they, and not the organized Left, will bring down this government.

Spyros Marchetos

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

proletarian.

But the contradiction is a class one. Do you see the Police the same as workers who are in the CP? Most Anarchists on here seem to say Police are not working class, but I presume the workers of the CP are? This is important regarding the question of violence within the working class. I don't think you can just say it's alright to fuck them up (obviously they were being violent as well) cos they're blocking 'us' from storming Parliament.

There must be other methods with regards to workers in the CP not simply street fights, fire bombing their offices and so on.

But, I am not there so do not know the problems as it would apply on the ground, day-to-day and so on. I might have a completely different attitude if I was. Just asking the question.

I do not know about the current internal situation of the KKE but during the 2008 rebellion, they lost a small number of branches due to the parties moderate policy and its denunciatiation of the movement, ... since the 1960ies, they periodically have lost more critically members but many of them (with the exception of the 1989 split which produced the NAR and some libertarian marxists) drifted towards "euro-communism" or "left socialism" and from there finally towards PASOK

Caiman del Barrio

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

proletarian.

But the contradiction is a class one. Do you see the Police the same as workers who are in the CP? Most Anarchists on here seem to say Police are not working class, but I presume the workers of the CP are?

Sorry, but this is really reductionist. I'm not sure how you're defining workign class, does it include Blackshirts? To me it's all about social role: if a cop can re-join the working class once s/he renounces his/her uniform, then conversely, organised politicos can leave it once they arm themselves in order to defend the state, capital and the austerity programme.

This is important regarding the question of violence within the working class. I don't think you can just say it's alright to fuck them up (obviously they were being violent as well) cos they're blocking 'us' from storming Parliament.

There must be other methods with regards to workers in the CP not simply street fights, fire bombing their offices and so on.

Well, much like you, I lack a lot of context, other than a perception of Greek 'anarchism' as being overly insurrectionist/fetishistic of violence. Not long ago we were reading of anarchists attacking 'rival' squats after all.

That said, I think it's very important to debunk the revisionist misinformation regarding the day in question, which carefuly positions itself on the shoulders of pre-existing stereotypes of "violent anarchists". Let's be clear here: those in PAME in Syntagma Square were the low cost infantry of the counter-revolution. They were tooled up and hyped up (just like the blacked up anarcho types in front of them), I'm gonna infer that negotiation or engagement wasn't a possibility in that moment.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Caiman del Barrio

Away from Kronsdadt analogies and other such dead rhetoric, let's cast our mind back to something very recent and pertinent. 20,000 students and radicals marched on Parliament last December. If the cops hadn't have been there behind 3 lines of reinforced Herras fencing, several thousand of them would have stormed Parliament, disrupted the fees vote and (more likely than not) trashed it a bit too. If a cop had have died during that assault, we wouldn't have given a shit, surely?

Many of us would. But it's not because he was a worker, or anything about that. Only because class war isn't about killing people but to destroy their role as it is now. If a cop dies or just simply gets stripped out of his gear and removed from the area, the same thing happens: he stops being cop effectively. If there's an option for doing disarm the state thugs, that should be our choice. But we need to be aware that this judgment is easy from home: once the situation escalates to that point, keeping such a cool head is almost impossible.

All of the usual demonstration routes and locations are like a walk in the enemy's territory and we are lacking of the means to go ahead without furious anger and eruption of unleashed violence. These circumstances aren't the best for preserving life. :wall:

Wellclose Square

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Though it's years since I've read anything relating to these episodes and it's kind of straying into 'remember Kronstadt!' territory (though it should always be borne in mind), the PAME/KKE's policing role is reminiscent of that of the CPI in the 'historic compromise' in Italy in the 1970s, and Enrique Lister's/La Pasionaria's CP in Spain - appealing to the bourgeoisie against those uncontrollable anarchists/workers. I wouldn't put it past the PAME/KKE to recreate the Nazi-Soviet Pact with the Golden Dawn to 'protect the nation'. The PAME have made their bed...

Samotnaf

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

you might be interested to know that we have just come out of the nightmare that the Greek stalinists in co-operation with other leftist trade unionists and the cops created during the 48-hour strike in Greece and that we are all O.K. We refer to the policing role of the KKE members, if you don't know: they were stationed in military formation in the area around the parliament, armed with helmets and sticks, facing the demonstrators with the riot squads behind them, preventing anyone from approaching, even asking for reporters' identities and attacking fiercely later those in the crowd who defied their cordons. As the clashes started, the riot squads came for their protection attacking people with chemicals and flash-bang grenades evacuating the area. It was revealed later that the stalinists had made an agreement with the police so as to be allowed to police the demo themselves. According to our information, similar agreements were made between the KKE and other left parties' or groupuscules' unionists so that each was alloted a special place near the parliament accepting KKE's hegemony. They later supported fully KKE in its denunciation of the 'anarcho-fascists', 'parastatals' etc, namely all those who were not part of the deal, not willing to accept it and tried to break their cordons.
As the capitalist attack deepens, this Greek style of 'self-policing' of 'problematic' crowd events has signalled the comeback with a vengeance of the left political parties and the left unionist bureaucracy against a proletarian crowd that had managed to escape their mortal embrace last June (albeit in a very contradictory way...). We can't say whether this concerted public-order policing by the KKE and the professional police with the approval of most of the left and leftist organisations and unions is the visible part (in the streets) of a deal for a national unity government, but it certainly revealed very dramatically that the capitalist state has a lot of left-wing reserves as well as alternative police methods against us, as we argued in our two letters on the progress of our enemies.

- tptg.

See also this.

proletarian.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Caiman del Barrio

proletarian.

But the contradiction is a class one. Do you see the Police the same as workers who are in the CP? Most Anarchists on here seem to say Police are not working class, but I presume the workers of the CP are?

Sorry, but this is really reductionist. I'm not sure how you're defining workign class, does it include Blackshirts? To me it's all about social role: if a cop can re-join the working class once s/he renounces his/her uniform, then conversely, organised politicos can leave it once they arm themselves in order to defend the state, capital and the austerity programme.

I accept your criticism, it is not simply who is and who isn't forced to sell their labour power but the role they perform e.g siding with the state in this instance. Of course Blackshirts may individually be workers but so what? There is nothing in their role that is proletarian, they are the exact opposite.

baboon

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the KKE: the lessons of proletarian history are that the left wing of capital will be the major bastions/defence of the state against rising workers' struggles. One could see this "national defence" in the protection of the parliament building organised by the stalinists.
About three weeks ago some elements of the Greek trade unions, involving the KKE I should think - but I didn't see the details, organised a "protest" outside the German embassy of firemen and police. If they weren't involved, the reinforcement of nationalism and blaming foreigners for the crisis (especially the Germans) is perfectly compatible with the politics of the KKE.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[quote=indymedia/tptg]We all experienced the nightmare that the Greek stalinists in co-operation with other leftist trade unionists and the cops created during the 48-hour strike in Greece on October 19 and 20 and some comrades in the anti-authoritarian milieu are badly wounded. We refer to the policing role of the KKE members: they were stationed in military formation in the area around the parliament, armed with helmets and sticks, facing the demonstrators with the riot squads behind them, preventing anyone from approaching, even asking for reporters' identities and attacking fiercely later those in the crowd who defied their cordons. As the clashes started, the riot squads came for their protection attacking people with chemicals and flash-bang grenades evacuating the area. It was revealed later that the stalinists had made an agreement with the police so as to be allowed to police the demo themselves. According to our information, similar agreements were made between the KKE and other left parties' or groupuscules' unionists so that each was alloted a special place near the parliament accepting KKE's hegemony. They later supported fully KKE in its denunciation of the 'anarcho-fascists', 'parastatals' etc, namely all those who were not part of the deal, not willing to accept it and tried to break their cordons.
As the capitalist attack deepens, this Greek style of 'self-policing' of 'problematic' crowd events has signalled the comeback with a vengeance of the left political parties and the left unionist bureaucracy against a proletarian crowd that had managed to escape their mortal embrace last June in the squares movement (albeit in a very contradictory way). We can't say whether this concerted public-order policing by the KKE and the professional police with the approval of most of the left and leftist organisations and unions is the visible part (in the streets) of a deal for a national unity government, but it certainly revealed very dramatically that the capitalist state has a lot of left-wing reserves as well as alternative police methods against us, as we argued in our two letters on the progress of our enemies ( http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/10/486344.html, http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/10/486740.html). Have a look at this extract we translated from an article in yesterday's Eleftherotypia, a liberal newspaper of wide circulation:

"It is obvious that attempts are being made at readapting the doctrine of the security forces' involvement in the social reactions, which will escalate continuously. A society that suffers badly from the economic measures cannot be beaten up by the forces of repression which have not found or do not want to find a way to isolate those who regard violence as an end in itself.

The events of recent days, if not marked by the death of the 53-year-old PAME trade unionist, could be seen as a sign of an effective change of the police doctrine towards a softer management of demonstrations.

Indeed, in those two days that police were fully in a transitory phase in terms of its leadership team, the risk was double. Initially, the apparatus was led for two days by those available since changes in leadership were announced simultaneously with the big demonstrations. And even with the participation of Christofareizis C., who was recalled from retirement, the designer of the MAT [TN: the riot squad] in the '90s, whose name was associated with the attack against pensioners out of Maximou [TN: the Presidential Mansion] in 1995. The other change observed was the return of the doctrine of self-control and inconspicuous granting of power to organized unions to self-guard the demonstrations.

What happened on Thursday with PAME guarding its demo not only in a defensive but also in an offensive way at the Unknown Soldier monument was the beginning of a new tactic which gives room for self-regulation to the demonstrators that will have the first say in the prevention of the intrusion of troublemakers in the body of the mobilizations. And this is risky, because the incredible violence between protesters, while the police was discreetly absent, could have had more serious consequences. Although any police involvement might have had even worse consequences. In any case this tactic is likely to be applied again after consultations have been made.

In this critical period it was clear that Chr. Papoutsis [TN: Minister of Public Order, or in the neo-orwellian language of PASOK government, Minister of Citizen Protection] wished for a softer administration at all levels of the Staff and not only at the leadership. That is why he transfered hardline officers that he thought they were damaging the image of the police due to the behaviour of policemen who had seriously injured protesters and professional journalists in recent months, during demonstrations. Obviously, for reasons of balance, the minister also hired an experienced veteran and put him in the position of the operation consultant.

For over a year, the minister has been talking about a lack of democracy in the security forces and has threatened that he will not hesitate to attack some structures, units and commanders. Certainly these commanders were appointed by the same government two years ago, when the offensive doctrine was applied for the regaining of the streets, according to the official announcement that had been made then.

The murder of student Al. Grigoropoulos had repercussions on the police as they were delegitimised in huge parts of the society, i.e. they were marginalized socially and professionally. There is an attempt now by the Ministry of Citizen Protection to reverse this disturbance of professional self-image and behaviour, in the worst period in decades, as the economic crisis is ruining people and cracks in social cohesion are increasing." [TN: It is not surprising then that some riot squads were telling the demonstrators that they were there for their protection!]
(Greek Police: softly-softly is the new doctrine, Eleftherotypia, 23/11/2011)

However, the struggle against the cops of all colours and their diverse methods as well as against the capitalist attack on the working class goes on!

TPTG

TPTG
- e-mail: [email protected]
- Homepage: www.tptg.gr [/quote]

I think as a movement gathers momentum, as it is clearly the case in Greece, the nice and polite avoidance of leftists and anarchist vanishes. As far as everything is ineffectual, we can wave our flags next to the trot or stalinists, but as things get more rough, these bastards show their true colors. Again, nothing new, but it must be bore in mind.

Wellclose Square

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

On the KKE: the lessons of proletarian history are that the left wing of capital will be the major bastions/defence of the state against rising workers' struggles. One could see this "national defence" in the protection of the parliament building organised by the stalinists.
About three weeks ago some elements of the Greek trade unions, involving the KKE I should think - but I didn't see the details, organised a "protest" outside the German embassy of firemen and police. If they weren't involved, the reinforcement of nationalism and blaming foreigners for the crisis (especially the Germans) is perfectly compatible with the politics of the KKE.

And perfectly compatible with the politics of the Golden Dawn - The struggle against Fascism begins with the struggle against Bolshevism

As to Samotnaf's most recent post on this thread, the role of the KKE and its associated lefts, unions, etc. (a fine 'Popular' Front) appears to be the logical conclusion of leftist/Labour/TU approaches in the UK, summed up in TUC = Tories' Unofficial Cops.

Solidarity with TPTG against cop collaborators.

Agree with soc here:

I think as a movement gathers momentum, as it is clearly the case in Greece, the nice and polite avoidance of leftists and anarchist vanishes. As far as everything is ineffectual, we can wave our flags next to the trot or stalinists, but as things get more rough, these bastards show their true colors. Again, nothing new, but it must be bore in mind.

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

On the KKE: the lessons of proletarian history are that the left wing of capital will be the major bastions/defence of the state against rising workers' struggles.

The real question is how far you're going to get by throwing molotovs at them. I also think the "Stalinism" of the KKE doesn't have all that much to do with it. I could easily see SIPTU in Ireland (despite no serious Stalinist affiliation) deciding to police a demonstration that they thought would erupt into violence in order to ensure to the broader public that they weren't violent trouble makers.

The development of "social war" seems to me to be a contradiction that will not be overcome by militancy in protests against the "left wing of capital", but in fact is just as likely exacerbated. It's not a question of moral correctness but one of proletarian progress. How might we overcome this? I suggest that it's unlikely to be overcome by bitching about "Stalinists" or by trying to beat them down in the streets.

In broad strokes we can see the decomposition of the working class into a unionised, older and more secure section trying to protect itself from deepening austerity through relatively tame measures and being at least somewhat represented by PAME. On the other hand a completely disenfranchised youth with little prospect of progressive change within the current system being pitted against the more comfortable section of the working class. How might we reconstitute this without devolving into a proletarian civil war while the ruling class walks away with the spoils?

I'm curious about what the average greek punter who isn't an anarchist thinks about what occurred. To me it looks like an excellent way for the media to demonstrate how divided and useless the left is, and potentially even worse, how little regard for human life the molotov throwing anarchists have.

Now some have said that those people throwing marble, who were clearly instigating a fight prior to the PAME erupting into response, may not have been anarchists. It's true, they could have been anyone from the fash to the cops. What I find more worrying is the idea that we should defend them. Whatever about the role of stalinists etc, instigation of violence in this scenario was at best a tactical debacle and at worst a long term injury on the prospect of proletarian struggle.

Samotnaf

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jacobian:

I'm curious about what the average greek punter who isn't an anarchist thinks about what occurred. To me it looks like an excellent way for the media to demonstrate how divided and useless the left is, and potentially even worse, how little regard for human life the molotov throwing anarchists have.
Now some have said that those people throwing marble, who were clearly instigating a fight prior to the PAME erupting into response, may not have been anarchists. It's true, they could have been anyone from the fash to the cops. What I find more worrying is the idea that we should defend them. Whatever about the role of stalinists etc, instigation of violence in this scenario was at best a tactical debacle and at worst a long term injury on the prospect of proletarian struggle.

You clearly haven't bothered to read the TPTG who are neither the "average greek punter" (a patronising expression that sounds like you're curious about Greeks going on demos to do their shopping, and not proletarian shopping either) nor anarchists; they said:

KKE members.... were stationed in military formation in the area around the parliament, armed with helmets and sticks, facing the demonstrators with the riot squads behind them, preventing anyone from approaching, even asking for reporters' identities and attacking fiercely later those in the crowd who defied their cordons. As the clashes started, the riot squads came for their protection attacking people with chemicals and flash-bang grenades evacuating the area. It was revealed later that the stalinists had made an agreement with the police so as to be allowed to police the demo themselves. According to our information, similar agreements were made between the KKE and other left parties' or groupuscules' unionists so that each was alloted a special place near the parliament accepting KKE's hegemony. They later supported fully KKE in its denunciation of the 'anarcho-fascists', 'parastatals' etc, namely all those who were not part of the deal, not willing to accept it and tried to break their cordons.

And the right-wing media praised the left wing of capital for protecting the bourgeoisie's parliament.

You really think the guy who died of a heart attack was the victim of those who have " so little regard for human life"?

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

You clearly haven't bothered to read the TPTG who are neither the "average greek punter" (a patronising expression that sounds like you're curious about Greeks going on demos to do their shopping, and not proletarian shopping either) nor anarchists.

I don't see anything patronising about wondering what non-leftist Greek proles think.

I saw the videos and its pretty clear who started throwing marble and other things as well as hostile advances, and who was trying to start a fight and it wasn't the PAME unless you equate standing in front of parliament as an offense punishable by attack.

The stuff about "anarcho-fascist" is clearly a smear, but lets face it, it was after some idiots threw stuff at them and began a confrontation.

When anarchists can manage to organise 415k union members in greece they'll be faced with whether or not to go ahead with general strike or whether they should storm the parliament provoking a potential military response and isolating the Greek proletariat with respect to Europe.

I don't see the point in trying to defend useless social war with nothing more than moral justifications and no prospect of success of any kind.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think you have couple of good point jacobian, but let's make some distinctions here:

There's the demo itself. It wasn't organised by the PAME/KKE, but still they wanted to make a political score with policing the demo by themselves. I think, no matter who they were and what was the underlying reason, this act in itself provoking attacks from... not just anarchists, but anyone, who realise that this is nothing but appropriating the demo for their own agenda. In such a cases, violence is unavoidable, even more, it shouldn't be avoided, if the PAME or any other group doesn't stand down.

Apart from the protest, I agree: stalinists having big union support as they go for the most superficial defense against the austerity, therefore it seems the best solution for those, who already have a secure job for years or even decades. But, frankly, this is the key element in every parlamentary opposition force. The "left" itself constituted by unions and social democratic (stalinist, trotskyst, or more softy sd parties). So, of course in the large scale, you can't direct violence against just anyone, who belongs to these unions and parties. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that the left won't engage in often violent actions against revolutionaries. If not their own ranks, than they will collaborate with the police for doing so. That is to say, to smash the socdem/bolshevik organisations is necessary, but of course can not be done by pure violence. That is a different campaign: it isn't enough just to reveal their inherent reformist agenda, which is aimed to get in power as much as other political parties. The sharp difference between the younger and older generation of workers is alarming, simply because the older generation in the working class has more to fear: those must be addressed with the building of anarchist organisations.

Anarchists are key element in any movement to contest the very idea of "professional" leadership, and we must continue doing so in many ways. Stand firm in terms of organisation, propaganda and only ultimately violence.

Caiman del Barrio

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jacobian

I saw the videos and its pretty clear who started throwing marble and other things as well as hostile advances, and who was trying to start a fight and it wasn't the PAME unless you equate standing in front of parliament as an offense punishable by attack.

Sorry wtf? They were tooled up, in the SECOND DAY of defending Parliament so that the latest austerity bill could pass. Another Greek poster has already said on here that the videos don't include earlier clashes between the blocs.

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Caiman del Barrio

Sorry wtf? They were tooled up, in the SECOND DAY of defending Parliament so that the latest austerity bill could pass. Another Greek poster has already said on here that the videos don't include earlier clashes between the blocs.

Ok, so someone suggested that the videos don't show everything, so it's possible the PAME started it. I don't think that's as likely but it's possible.

Supposing it is true though. All the rest of the problems of intra-class war still stand.

In addition certain anarchists have been stating that the guarding of the parliament was sufficient grounds for attack. Were they?

Really I think this immediate response from several anarchists makes the likelihood that the PAME started it even lower.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In addition certain anarchists have been stating that the guarding of the parliament was sufficient grounds for attack. Were they?

The parliament was about to accept the next round of austerity measures. The crowd (and not only anarchists!) was tying to storm the parliament several times before, and those weren't really anarchists only. Many times even the PAME had hard time to hold their membership back.
If the cops are defending it, the crowd attacks the cops. If the PAME was organising the defense of the parliament that ends up with the same effect.

If the crowd would storm the parliament we would talk about a lot of new possibilities now. But given that it wasn't only the cops who stopped this happening, but "fellow protesters" with their MPs in the parliament I can not see anything wrong that those "protesters" were effectively against the tide.

You give too much credit to who started the actual confrontation. Doesn't matter if the "anarchists" tried to break up the PAME lines or not, they were in the way to stop the vote happening in the first place, and this intention was clear. So, what is the difference in this particular situation between the police and the red-flagged "protesters"? IMO nothing, nothing at all.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh, and as for the avarage greek punter:
[youtube]7OvModwZRWI[/youtube]

KriegPhilosophy

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@KriegPhilosophy: That seems really unnecessary.

Oh great, just because you disagree with it and doesn't fit the "Whooo, anarchists, fuck yeah!" image you've constructed, it's "disinformation"?

Stalinists in Greece have been the enemies of anarchists for almost a century, have you forgotten history? KKE in the past have defended police from petrol bombing attacks and have tried to de-mask and beat militants who were organizing to mount assaults on police lines.
Ever since the fall of the junta the KKE have been increasingly supportive of the democratic state in greece. Also this is not the first time anarchists have attacked the KKE; when the uprisings in Poland occurred against soviet rule anarchists petrol bombed the offices!
Stalinists are our mutual enemies and anarchist-syndicalists who co-operate with PAME should not forget the lessons of the thirties.
KKE knew exactly what they were doing when they surrounded the parliament, to protect state from any symbolic or physical damage.
The only reason Stalinist's are not attacked in England is because they are an insignificant political force.

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc

If the crowd would storm the parliament we would talk about a lot of new possibilities now. But given that it wasn't only the cops who stopped this happening, but "fellow protesters" with their MPs in the parliament I can not see anything wrong that those "protesters" were effectively against the tide.

Really? What possibilities would those be? If most people in Greece think the best bet is slightly reduced austerity (something made plausible by who is actually in parliament) it seems a move to take parliament like this would be little more than adventurism.

Worst case scenarios are very easy to imagine, if they actually succeeded in shutting down parliament. Namely a military crackdown against a faction of the working class that doesn't have sufficient economic traction in the unions much less a force capable of countering repression. Further negative consequences could include isolation from a Euro bailout and a concerted international financial attack.

As for the average greek punter, single data points don't tell us much. I'd like to see more broadly how people feel then one old lady.

A volunteerist revolutionary strategy from a vantage of weakness seems ill advised at best.

soc

You give too much credit to who started the actual confrontation.

Actually I don't. As I pointed out, it had nowhere to go regardless of who started it.

I do think it's an important question what to do about more conservative sections of the proletariat. Certainly you don't think the PAME represents the most conservative end do you? And if it's OK to attack them, who else and under what conditions? And where does that lead?

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jacobian

If most people in Greece think the best bet is slightly reduced austerity ...

I can't see that this would be the case. But it's almost impossible to prove or prove the opposite. They have a big burden, the government wants and actually passes these laws. (as they actually did again). So even if the majority of the greeks wants reduced austerity, it doesn't happen. And, as I pointed out earlier, the demonstrators did actually try to storm the parliament many times before, which shows that lot of protesters are to shut down the parliament. As for the rest of the population, given that the politicians are quite in danger (including KKE MPs) on the streets of Athens, I wouldn't be so sure that the majority of the people doesn't want to see the government and the MPs at least beaten up after what they did. But either way, in the first case, I was arguing on the behaviour of the protesters and participants of the clashes, and really doesn't matter, what the rest of the population wants within this scope.

I'm not sure what is your point with your projections. So... we shouldn't do a thing just because it could get rough? Perhaps we should wait until the "right time" comes?

Your last question is important. Stalinist formations are as much counter-revolutionary as the rest of the bourgeoisie. But surely, avoiding the confrontation with them, as they clearly go militant, is not the way forward.

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

KriegPhilosophy

Stalinists in Greece have been the enemies of anarchists for almost a century, have you forgotten history?

First, I don't think the KKE are really that Stalinist anymore. Euro-communists who have drifted into the vacuum left by social democracies drift into neo-liberalism seems more likely.

Secondly I'm not really that sure that the PAME are that Stalinist compared to the KKE. I'd like to hear more from Greeks who actually know, but I think it's unlikely that you could have 400k people who had that much love for Stalin.

Third, if I'm wrong, and they are actual ML Stalinist reactionaries, then the anarchists in Greece have an immense problem on their hands and the current conversation looks utterly weird as a reaction to it. Who are you trying to convince that the conflict was necessary? The argument that it's a historical conflict isn't likely to win supporters from the rest of the class.

In any case complaining about their superior forces and their willingness to engage in conflicts which you can't win and which are likely to push moderate supporters into even more retrenched anti-anarchist positions seems totally useless.

Some sort of vision of how to deal with the balance of forces for class recomposition seems to me to be completely missing.

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc

I'm not sure what is your point with your projections. So... we shouldn't do a thing just because it could get rough? Perhaps we should wait until the "right time" comes?

You shouldn't do something if you have almost a 100% probability of failure. If you think there may not be a failure you should have some idea what the potential outcomes which aren't total failure would look like and what you would do with them.

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc

Your last question is important. Stalinist formations are as much counter-revolutionary as the rest of the bourgeoisie. But surely, avoiding the confrontation with them, as they clearly go militant, is not the way forward.

Which is more counter-revolutionary, the PAME or the GSEE.

wojtek

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Deleted

bastarx

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jacobian

soc

Your last question is important. Stalinist formations are as much counter-revolutionary as the rest of the bourgeoisie. But surely, avoiding the confrontation with them, as they clearly go militant, is not the way forward.

Which is more counter-revolutionary, the PAME or the GSEE.

jacobian

KriegPhilosophy

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

First, I don't think the KKE are really that Stalinist anymore. Euro-communists who have drifted into the vacuum left by social democracies drift into neo-liberalism seems more likely.

SYRIZA have a far more stronger euro-communist presence than that of the KKE, mainly because euro-communism goes against KKE party line (Marxist-Leninism).

Secondly I'm not really that sure that the PAME are that Stalinist compared to the KKE. I'd like to hear more from Greeks who actually know, but I think it's unlikely that you could have 400k people who had that much love for Stalin.

The contemporary meaning of the word Stalinism doesn't necessarily mean embracing the cult of personality that it classically represented(even though placards of Stalin have been see at KKE demonstrations), especially with the fall of the soviet union. Rather it means anti-revisionism, anti-trotskyist, Marxist-Leninist and authoritarianism. I'm pretty sure the KKE have a pretty strong grip on the rank and file of their own union and just because they are militant doesn't make them deviate from their party.

Third, if I'm wrong, and they are actual ML Stalinist reactionaries, then the anarchists in Greece have an immense problem on their hands and the current conversation looks utterly weird as a reaction to it. Who are you trying to convince that the conflict was necessary? The argument that it's a historical conflict isn't likely to win supporters from the rest of the class.

No the anarchists/ anti-authoritarians/Autonomists do not have a problem when they are fighting the authoritarians mainly because they know from what history has taught them that compromise is not an option. Also our ideas are in the hearts of the majority of the youth and 30-40 years down the line the Stalinist's will be simply a shadow of what they once were. Who are you trying to convince that the confrontation was unnecessary? Why won't the historical argument win supporters? Because if people investigate for themselves the trend of the relationship between the Institutionalised Left and the radical movement they will see that the attacks and the aggressiveness of the radicals are completely justified.

In any case complaining about their superior forces and their willingness to engage in conflicts which you can't win and which are likely to push moderate supporters into even more retrenched anti-anarchist positions seems totally useless.

What "superior forces" exactly? The KKE/PAME security detachment were eventually booed by the "Non-anarchist moderate" crowd who were looking on the conflict, mainly because anarchists weren't randomly beating bystanders; it was the riot police and the red flag holding Stalinist's.

Some sort of vision of how to deal with the balance of forces for class recomposition seems to me to be completely missing.

What does that even mean ffs?

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

KriegPhilosophy

that even mean ffs?

You already answered the question. Your plan appears to be waiting 30-40 years for the Stalinists to die.

KriegPhilosophy

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You already answered the question. Your plan appears to be waiting 30-40 years for the Stalinists to die.

Oh yes of course. :roll:No I just don't believe that revolution is around the corner (in Greece that is), Civil war maybe in 5-10 years time but it's going to be extremely bloody, drawn out and may lead to dictatorship. I'd rather wait 30-40 years with a strategy of tension than go into full industrial conflict.

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

a few general remarks about the KKE:

- unlike all other major CPs in Europe (even compared with those who show strong similarities eg the Czech or the Portuguese one), the KKE openly identifies with Stalin see e.g. inter.kke.gr/News/2008news/2008-12-thesis-socialism/

- it is not KKE/PAME/KNE against anarchists/anti-authoritarians, it is KKE and its fronts and "anti-monopolists, anti-imperialist allies" (a few nationalistic priests, businessmen, journalists, a few former local PASOK and ND politicians) against everyone else in the movement ... e,g, last Thursday, the KKE/PAME bloc first attacks were not directed against Anarchists but against members of the "I won't pay movement", see e.g. http://kasamaproject.org/2011/10/25/greeces-occupation-verdict-on-the-governments-leftists/#comment-45510

jura

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just a quick note, Entdinglichung: I don't think the Czech CP (KSČM) bears strong similarities to KKE. It has no workplace presence, no KKE-style militants, no real influence in the unions, negligible mobilization potential, and a pro-small business orientation. As far as Stalinism is concerned, it officially distances itself from it and calls for a "democratic socialism" respecting the "market laws". Of course, there are Stalinist and generally nostalgic elements in the party, but I don't think they can influence its politics.

guadia

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung

- unlike all other major CPs in Europe (even compared with those who show strong similarities eg the Czech or the Portuguese one), the KKE openly identifies with Stalin see e.g. inter.kke.gr/News/2008news/2008-12-thesis-socialism/

aside note: the big difference between greek and czech cp is that czech one is in no way rooted on workplaces like greek one and is not able to mobilize workers/youth like its greek counterpart. fortunatelly one should add.

jura

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Haha, guadia, I think we should establish Libcom office hours in KPK so we don't cross-post.

guadia

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

... hihi. not, it was just a short intermezzo in my mostly lurking habit here. now i have to prepare myself for the meeting anyway. :)

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is the KKE's statement on the story: http://inter.kke.gr/News/news2011/2011-10-21-murderous-attack-info

I have to say, this whole mess is utterly disgraceful as it is. I can understand the concerns of those who see the attacks against the PAME lines as dangerous as it is an attack against working class people. But, putting things in to context, soldiers, bailiffs and policemen are working class too, and they still brutalise, intimidate, or even kill other working class people revolution or otherwise.

One would think, that the PAME's tactic, to encircle the parliament sounds actually quite OK as far as "democratic protest" goes because they say, that was because they wanted to keep the MPs out of the building. The issue is, that there is some contradiction within these lines. They know, that such a measure is only symbolic, because the MPs can get in anyway, and not by chance, their own representatives. Aside from this technical issue with the explanation, there is the problem of how they behaved: they didn't let anyone close without party membership card. That is to say, they tried to appropriate the demonstration for themselves, in order to get a good media attention as we already used to this with any other opposition parliamentary force. So, their action was already provocative against anyone, who aren't of their ranks, aren't member of their organisations. Their "protection team" engaged in violence indiscriminately which is already fucking big contradiction to their statement.

But one should not forget how these "workers' parties" come about on the first place. As someone, who are from a country where their sister organisation was ruling for nearly 40 years, I completely understand how the anarchists' attacks were motivated. Anyone, who states that this current which the KKE is a part of, is anti-capitalist by any means, should rather re-evaluate her understanding of what capitalism is. These so-called Communists were responsible for utter exploitation of the proletariat during the decades of their rule, repression of any opposition (coincidentally, they called them bourgeois infiltrators, or fascists at any opportunity), terror against the unemployed, educated. These parties were not less nationalistic than their right-wing counterparts, with the only exception in regards of the USSR, which of course was due their dependency of the tanks and army of the SU. Revolutionaries were seen by these parties one of their biggest enemies with their phrases that the time for revolution isn't just yet here. Today in Europe they made their own adjustment to the new environment, embracing the petit-bourgeois and their nationalist, protectionist ideals, and offer a hard hand to manage the class conflict in their national reach. Though in most parts of Europe they became quite insignificant, in Greece they still hold their position, due the controversial situation that Greece has experienced during the last few decades. Greece didn't experienced the rule of Bolshevism as the eastern European areas, but rather the heavy presence of the western interest, well-served by the junta, which was favourable ground for the SU-supported party. However, their massive support was never enough to get in to power, and after the fall of the USSR, they went through the same transformation as the other Stalinist parties. In fact, many of the eastern European Communist Parties were rather took the KKE as an example, only that their fate was already decided by their own history as ruling force.

Spot how do they smudge the lines between proletarian and capitalist forces. The very word, "anarcho-fascist" betray their opportunistic nature which is so wide-spread in the left in general (as a good example, I could refer how in Hungary, whenever the conservative party comes power, the left obsessed with the comparison with Mussolini, fascism, and so on. But there are so many example.) The alarming feature of their rhetoric is the fact, that all around Europe there's a deliberately spread paranoia about police infiltrators, agent provocateurs linked to every violent eruption of the proletarian forces. Indeed, even the policing itself relies heavily on the movements self-policing, that is, keeping every event as ineffectual as possible. The non-violent features of the bourgeois parties (leaving the repression to the ideologically neutrally-depicted police-force) are at the focal point of the parliamentary democratic violence. In a parliamentary democracy, any attempt to overthrow the political system becomes a "simple crime" by law, merged in to the pool of anti-social behavior which always have a scientific, "neutral" description, thus the confrontation with it on a political level can be avoided.

We have already seen many times how this system of "non-violence" succeeded in fragile political situations. "Non-violence" becomes a good excuse for institutionalized violence by the state, who doesn't have to rely on agent provocateurs if the crowd is already disarmed by the non-violent ideology.

Arbeiten

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is going on here! Of course standing in front of parliament with helmets and batons is grounds for attack! If the police were doing it this debate wouldn't even be happening. It is not that the police as people that are irredeemably evil, it is their social function as protectors of the state, capital and as agents of counter-revolution. PAME as the armed wing of the KKE* performed the social function of the police last week. I think the argument that they represent the working class is pretty weak and should be ruthlessly criticised. We all know what happened last time a group of Stalinists claimed to represent the truth of the proletarian. A cluster fuck thats what.

Just because a group claims to represent the workers (and may even hold the working class 'majority' in parliamentary elections) it doesn't mean that they actually do. How protecting the state at a time when austerity measures are going through can claim to be representing workers is beyond me (unless they are, in some marxio-machiavellian way, trying to force a real state of emergency. Which I doubt).

*An out and out Stalinist party lest we forget

Samotnaf

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc:

t the PAME's tactic, to encircle the parliament sounds actually quite OK as far as "democratic protest" goes because they say, that was because they wanted to keep the MPs out of the building.

I don't think anyone who was there in Syntagma who is not in PAME/KKE believes this: this is for internal consumption of the party base, and for potential voters - for the "average Greek punter", the spectator who never initiates or participates in any social contestation, but who follows, the mythical Joe Average that jacobian wants to appeal to to justify his opposition to those fighting the KKE. It's a Leftist lie.

Caiman del Barrio

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

soc:

t the PAME's tactic, to encircle the parliament sounds actually quite OK as far as "democratic protest" goes because they say, that was because they wanted to keep the MPs out of the building.

I don't think anyone who was there in Syntagma who is not in PAME/KKE believes this

Interestingly enough, IWA members tell us that Parliaments were also surrounded in Barcelona and Lisbon (I think? Maybe Oporto) recently. In Portugal (as I have said), it was a Stalinist con trick comparable with what happened in Athens, whereas in Barcelona, it appeared to be a genuine attempt at 'non-violent' disruption by the 15M movement, with CNT members participating.

baboon

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think that one of the questions posed is that is workers attacking other workers, even if duped by stalinism, positive or negative for the movement overall? Negative I would say.
It raises a further question which is is the parliament business a pointless sideshow anyway and that the real needs for the development of the struggle lie elsewhere? I would think that they do.

Arbeiten

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

I think that one of the questions posed is that is workers attacking other workers, even if duped by stalinism, positive or negative for the movement overall? Negative I would say.
It raises a further question which is is the parliament business a pointless sideshow anyway and that the real needs for the development of the struggle lie elsewhere? I would think that they do.

Nicely put baboon and I largely agree. I just think its important not to fetishize (in the non-marxian sense) workers. But your post avoids both the traps of this and falling into choosing sides (not like my last post that was probably overly partisan).

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some statements by Greek anarcho-syndicalist groups. These are google translations which to be honest doesn't seem to work very well with Greek. They are critical, as I am, of the molotov cocktails and rock throwing - which doesn't change any of the criticisms of the KKE and PAME.

Rosinante

1. The 48-hour general strike on 19 and 20 October, although unorganized and destined to lose from the trade union leadership, demonstrated clearly that no power on earth stronger than the collective power of workers and that the latter stems from the same workplace and has as its main strike weapon. More than 1 million protesters across Greece, the biggest rally of the last 35 years in Athens and many other cities and an exemplary block production across the country, make no doubt the biggest strike of the post and show that this government and their bosses Capital, have lost any foothold in society and must leave. The left is now obvious that Greece is a system of economic and political dictatorship.

2. The immediate and tangible results of this industrial action was far inferior abilities. The government even threatened to fall, polynomoschedio not voted, or even kept alive a discussion of scaling and final counterattack of workers.

3. The causes of this failure are again indifferent to both criminal and civil designs that eating the union and the labor movement generally. Once again, big and small "shops" chose to organize their own parade, as perceived by everyone, openly sabotaging any popular or union plan that would promote the economic organization of the class and could lead to victory.

4. Particular mention should be made to trade union wing of the Communist Party PAME that copying the practices of counter-revolutionary Social-Democrats of the '30s, tried to block every move with different characteristics than their own, to suppress all forms of radicalization of the workers and to preserve the urban parliament from protesters. In fact, it wanted to safeguard the management of the defeat on his behalf.

5. The attitude of PAME / KKE exceeded all bounds when the same evening of 20 October a militant member of the worker died because of murderous chemical and that the police tried to link his death with the incidents which had safeguarded with other protesters. Communications of PAME even surpassed those of delirium provokatorologiko ANTARSYA and some components, which will please the Communist Party to play. But the majority of organizations reported not substantially or to strike or the need for escalation of industrial action, as if 48 hours strike were to organize a fight.

6. Over and out failed and harmful policy planning is lousy attitude pieces of the demonstration, not attacked by the guard, but against protesters of PAME with marble and petrol bombs that fell on the crowd. Disapprove of such practices in the most categorical way as to attack the guard go with helmets and sticks against each other demonstrator.

7. The anarcho-syndicalist INITIATIVE - Rosinante, calling on all anti-capitalist forces of the union movement for direct strike coordination in order to answer the brutal attack of economic capital and the government servants and tsakisthei the state authoritarianism.

8. The solution now lies in the organization of economic struggle of the working class. Armed with the anti-GENERAL STRIKE TIME

Roads will be holding right

Until the victory!

Anarcho-syndicalist Initiative Rosinante

ESE Thessaloniki

Specifically in Athens chunk protesters fail to reach the chamber floor of the "guard" of PAME. This attitude is justified creates strong reactions that result in clashes between demonstrators and KNAT strikers-and by extension the serious injury to people on both sides. Similar picture in other cities with smaller intensities. Tragic outcome of the conflict and the intervention of riot police with chemicals, the death of a member of PAME tear.

It is imperative for us to safeguard organized out of the strike block and to protect people who participate in them, let alone the current circumstances the State is trying to exploit the benefit of the slightest opportunity that will allow it to dissolve and violently strike the concentrations creating a climate of terror. But no defense has no right to suppress the anger of the strikers if they did not endanger the block and collective decisions are taken. So stop Breakthrough Stalinist type has been proven by history that goes back to the class movement. Modern examples of the '79 the fall in the capture lab, '98 Polytechnic in playing the role of cops and protesters by giving the cops and the '03 protecting the American Embassy in antiwar demonstrations.

It is true that the block of PAME was attacked with Molotov cocktails and stones from protesters. We make it clear that we do not agree with dangerous to human life, selection of cocktails in the conflict. It would be more honest to confront someone with him who has to play the role of the cop with the same weapons. And leaving the crowd of strikers, which anyway was against the attitude of PAME to break lines. We are in an empty political anti-Communist Party fury that shows at times, like today, kicking and does not perform a substantial criticism of the Communist Party, structures and actions. However we believe that primary responsibility for the events is the leadership of the Communist Party and the option of sided with the regime and its protectors, against all those who are not in line. Any wishing to play the role of the cop and the patron of the labor movement will be facing hostile moods. And this prove or building structures away from any partisan and authoritarian logic, or the road when conflicting forces as PAME prevent violence, the labor movement to grow and express itself. We believe the dead Dimitri Kotzaridi another victim of state repression, whose existence, deliberately suppressed by the party to which he belonged. It could also be done differently, they would have to condemn them clearly now, his colleagues, the forces of repression.

We are in solidarity with any employee puts in front of the class antagonism, from whatever political tendency of the movement from which it comes. Everything and not only at this stage it is important the class struggle against the political - parliamentary pursued for years now, the Communist Party and all sorts of divisions.

The working class does not need patronage and bosses as they are great skills to organize itself. Any manipulation by political parties and collectives who declare, unsolicited, representatives of labor and popular movement do not fit in our own libertarian logic and we find the opposite.

ESE Ioannina

Theft

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

All i think of is lessons from history, I'm not talking about Kronstadt, but maybe some should use that as a starting point and go from there into the history of leninist/stalinist history.

jacobian

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

I think that one of the questions posed is that is workers attacking other workers, even if duped by stalinism, positive or negative for the movement overall? Negative I would say.
It raises a further question which is is the parliament business a pointless sideshow anyway and that the real needs for the development of the struggle lie elsewhere? I would think that they do.

This is the crux. My gut feeling is negative, but from where I sit it's very difficult to tell how negative it is. That's why I'm concerned to know what other non-PAME unions members think and what other demographics of the wider public think.

How permeated by Stalinism is the workers movement overall, the PAME specifically, and what will be done about this permeation. What means and methods have contributed to the enduring appeal of Stalinism. How will this problem be isolated and overcome.

I'm not particularly keen on the "we'll wait until they die" approach, as, depending on how the PAME are recruiting in the first place, it might never die.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More Ohi Day videos here

'Corrupt politicians, ensconced parliament, you will drown under the anger of the uprising'

An incident at a Greek soccer match, in which fans refused to take down a banner calling politicians corrupt, has triggered a nationwide banner campaign. The referee stopped a match between Panathinaikos FC and Ergotelis FC on October 23 demanding that fans remove the banner. Since then, activists are calling on households to hang banners from their windows and balconies with the word ‘No’, or ‘Oxi’, on October 28 to protest their government’s harsh austerity measures...

http://storyful.com/stories/1000010455

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Popular revolts and dentist appointments (or, what to do in the case of Stalinist betrayal?)

A collective text on the events of October 20th in Athens.

In the past few days we have struggled to put together thoughts on what unfolded before our eyes in Syntagma on October 20th – let alone to put pen to paper. Sure, we had heard all about the notorious, dark stories of betrayal of the all-encompassing Party of the Left here in Greece. The dark stain of Varkiza, a pen stroke selling off the hopes of thousands while safeguarding the Party elite. The outright lies about the Polytechnic uprising of 1973, an uprising the Party had failed to control – beyond any doubt, then, it must have been provocateurs behind it. The storming of the Chemistry School in 1979, the Party youth lined up in military formations, following orders directly from the police. Or again in 1998, when their co-operation led to the arrest of nearly 200 anarchists. Sure, the events are reiterated and narrated over and over, having by now gained a formidable place into our collective consciousness, inscribed deep in our feelings and our attitude toward this mountainous rock – both in its size and sturdiness – of the Greek Left, the KKE.

And yet, living through history played out on the streets has something of a chilling effect upon you. Seeing the front lines of PAME (the union front of KKE) chain up in front of us, turning their backs to the Parliament left us, like thousand others, jaw-dropped. It wouldn’t take a futurologist to predict what was to happen next. “People beware, they’ll betray you in Varkiza once again” – the chant could only be an oral prelude to a huge mess.

We will never get ourselves to support the hurling of molotov cocktails into a crowd of demonstrators, even if this crowd was strictly following Party orders to safeguard the Parliamentary Junta we are faced with. Molotovs that were thrown with explosives inside them, not all aimed at the front-line of PAME, but some landing deep inside its demonstration. We are historical subjects, shaped by the times that we live in – and to read the wild Athenian youth that has swiftly emerged in the streets as an army of “provocateurs” can only support the KKE’s conspiratorial reading of history (this time round, sadly, joined by a large section of the other Parties of the Left). And yet we are also potentially revolutionary subjects – or so we claim to be: sure, the KKE suffered its largest defeat on the streets in decades, most possibly a proof of how out of touch it has been with the the sweeping pace of change in the dynamics of the Athens streets in the past months, weeks and days. But what does that leave us with? Is this really a victory? In terms of communicating a message, only too many are happy to believe, it seems, that the thousands that lined up in front of the lines of PAME last Thursday were “police provocateurs” or “hooligans”. Worse even, the largest part of the Left kept reiterating the tired claim of a people “unprepared”, “unready” for storming Parliament – in order to justify its own pathetic unwillingness to break through the red lines of democratic consensus. It went as far as making the ludicrous claim that no “Parliament storming” had been scheduled for the day, and so the KKE was not defending the parliament building, only its own demonstration….

… The ideological deficit of the wider Left renders them irrelevant in the current process of political and historical making. Not least because of their religious obsession with the coming of a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, a future day of liberation, PAME folk, must remain unrestrained from carrying out their revolutionary agency, protect the Parliament, until the Holy Day comes when the proletariat rein. Nothing must come in their way, no deviation from the mapped route. Using false dilemmas about ‘violent demonstrators against non-violent protectors of democracy’ KKE are forever trying to convince us all that the act of revolution belongs to some narrowly defined social class, who use non-violent methods to overthrow capitalism. Yet revolts, let alone revolutions, are not time-scheduled – never have been, never will be – this is not dentist appointments we are talking about. And still (just like dentist appointments) these are inherently violent; anyone claiming that radical change can come without violence are either deceiving themselves or trying to deceive and to pacify those around them.

At a time when the people of Athens are reaching the tipping point of seeing a revolutionary break-through in their hearts and in their minds, any act preventing people from realizing their revolutionary potential is a major act of historical betrayal. We stand firmly against the Parliamentary Junta, the plexus of Power in the Greek territory and far beyond it. We are using our revolutionary agency to fight in the streets. We are using our revolutionary spirit to imagine different escape routes from the parliamentary nightmare.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/10/29/popular-revolts-and-dentist-appointments-or-what-to-do-in-the-case-of-stalinist-betrayal/

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mainstream media on the Ohi Day protests

The parade on Friday was supposed to commemorate Greece's resistance during World War II. Seventy-one years ago on this day, Greece refused to let Italy's fascist ruler, Benito Mussolini, bring his troops into the country. Greeks took to the streets chanting "Ohi!" — "No!" — to show that they wouldn't give up their sovereignty to anyone.

But this year many Greeks came to the parade to say "no" to austerity. As schoolchildren in navy-blue and white uniforms walked passed parliament in Athens, waving Greek flags to marching-band music, anti-austerity protesters booed riot police and told off their politicians. "We want freedom, not another dictatorship!" they chanted...

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2098138,00.html

Edit: also here

Edit2: from the Greek press Kathimerini ----- Athens News

KriegPhilosophy

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is the crux. My gut feeling is negative, but from where I sit it's very difficult to tell how negative it is. That's why I'm concerned to know what other non-PAME unions members think and what other demographics of the wider public think.

How permeated by Stalinism is the workers movement overall, the PAME specifically, and what will be done about this permeation. What means and methods have contributed to the enduring appeal of Stalinism. How will this problem be isolated and overcome.

I'm not particularly keen on the "we'll wait until they die" approach, as, depending on how the PAME are recruiting in the first place, it might never die.

Ah, I see what you're saying. What we have here is rather than just a class war, we have an ideological struggle for dominance. I suspect The KKE and it's front's recruit from the traditional industries that have not been yet subjected to the casualisation of work as with the service based industries where the KKE have probably been dominate since after WW2 and the civil war.

The reason I say that "waiting" is a good idea is because after Neo-liberalism has gone it's course and achieved it's objectives with this first generation, it will have undermined the existing political establishment so much that this will allow the radical movement to once again be the dominant revolutionary ideology ahead of the traditional left. Also Greece has an anarchist tradition stretching all the way back to 1860 and Marxist-Leninism just as it did in most of Europe sprang up with the Bolshevik coup after the Russian revolution and most likely will subside along with the KKE unless it completely changes it's tune.

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

AJE: Greece to hold referendum on EU aid package

Kathimerini: PM announces confidence vote and referendum

Athens News: Papandreou’s biggest gamble

(I'd love to see Merkel's face when she heard :D ). We're definitely into diminishing returns territory here. March's EU "comprehensive" deal lasted a couple of months until it fell apart and had to be fixed by July's "final" deal. But that fell apart within a month, by the time the rioters were on the streets of English cities at the beginning of August, the July deal was in pieces and France was struggling with rumours of a downgrade. Now the October "definitely the last one, honest" deal has lasted less than 4 days (and in the case of the markets, less than 24 hours, thanks to Italy's bond sale). At current trend rates, EU deals will take anything up to 72 hours of unbroken "up to the wire" negotiations in order to produce a brief fillip of market exuberance for about half an hour.

Who says rioting in the street achieves nothing?

Of course the promise of a referendum at some unspecified date in the future is a two-way gamble to a) get the pressure of the streets to ratchet down (to calm the nerves of the more rattled politicians and get them back in line to prevent the government falling); and b) to put the ball back in the Franco-German\ECB court to get a better deal on fiscal integration.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

I'd love to see Merkel's face when she heard :D

Reuters: Greek referendum ignites German anger, hammers markets

The reaction from Germany, which funds a large part of European Union rescues for Greece as it struggles with a huge debt, was of scarcely disguised fury.

A leader in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition said he was "irritated" by Papandreou's announcement and said the euro zone would have to consider turning off the flow of money which has kept Greece afloat over the past year.

"This sounds to me like someone is trying to wriggle out of what was agreed -- a strange thing to do," said Rainer Bruederle, parliamentary floor leader for the Free Democrats and a former German economy minister.

"One can only do one thing: make the preparations for the eventuality that there is a state insolvency in Greece and if it doesn't fulfil the agreements, then the point will have been reached where the money is turned off."

Guardian: Greek referendum throws markets into turmoil

8.37am: The Athens stock market just opened for trading, and shares have taking quite a kicking.

The main index has slumped by 7%, with shareholders in Greek banks desperately trying to offload them. Eurobank has plunged by 21%, with National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank both falling 16%. But the worst performer is Hellenic Postbank (TT), whose shares shed 25% of their value.

8.28am: It's turning into a rout. The FTSE 100 is now down 150 points at 5392, a decline of 2.7%. Barclays and RBS are now bouncing around the minus 9% mark.

The oil price is also suffering, with the US crude oil price down around 2%, or 1.7 dollars per barrel, to $91.4. That (and the heavy losses in the mining sector) reflects fears that the European debt crisis could yet pull major world economies back into recession, and hit growth prospects in developing nations.

8.23am: The euro has been falling steadily this morning, losing almost two cents against the dollar to a low of $1.3686.

Yesterday afternoon, just before George Papandreou proposed a referendum, one euro was worth $1.416.

8.15am: Banking shares are leading the sell-off across Europe, with some stocks suffering double-digit losses.

In France, Socgen is down 13.6%, Credit Agricole is 10.8% lower, and BNP Paribas fell 10.2%. All three banks are heavily exposed to Greek debt.

Germany's Commerzbank is down 9.8%. And in Italy, trading in Unicredit has been suspended after its shares fell 8.25%.

Athens News: Press Watch, Nov. 1

With his government accused, directly or indirectly, of a treasonous cession of Greek sovereignty, Papandreou decided to put all his chips (and he doesn’t have many left) on the table.
 
There are a number of possible calculations behind the move. The premier may want to call the bluff of his anti-memorandum opponents, on the left and right, who are already showing panic over the prospect that a “no” vote will lead to immediate, disorderly default.
 
A referendum could also be a means to signal to Greece’s partners that they have to sweeten a raw deal that they imposed on the country without a shred of democratic decency. Such a strategy has a touch of Papandreou’s cunning father, Andreas. The details of the new memorandum have not been hammered out, and a referendum must obviously enter the calculus. European technocrats have much to consider if they are forced to adopt a modicum of social sensitivity.
 
Many are convinced that Greek pension funds will be devastated by the 50 percent write-down on Greek bonds. The long-term, blind imposition of fiscal discipline amidst unprecedented recession will inevitably destroy the last vestiges of the welfare state, creating the model of a new European social jungle.
 
The “partners” until now have not cared one bit about the widespread misery and poverty created by their policies. Greece is being punished with incredible ferocity so that Germany can show the other “pigs”, as the mostly southern European countries with debt problems are called by their allegedly virtuous northern neighbours, what is in store.
 
A referendum could be a last-minute pressure tactic, to force a better deal, since a “no” vote would expedite a messy Greek bankruptcy (if it doesn’t happen before the referendum), with disastrous implications for the eurozone, and beyond.
 
Beforehand, Papandreou has to clinch a vote of confidence on November 4 from his own MPs, many of whom want him to step aside in favour of a national salvation government, with someone else as prime minister.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hohohoho... if any one had any doubt before, by this time should have lost any illusion: real shit storm is under way.

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

[...]Beforehand, Papandreou has to clinch a vote of confidence on November 4 from his own MPs, many of whom want him to step aside in favour of a national salvation government, with someone else as prime minister.

G:

11.46am: More political upheaval in Greece - a ruling party MP has quit George Papandreou's parliamentary group. Milena Apostolaki's defection cuts the government's majority to just 2 votes, with 152 of the 300 MPs still loyal.

This really is getting serious - Papandreou has called a vote of confidence for Friday night. Lose that, and the uncertainty over a mere referendum might look quite attractive.

11.30am: The political situation in Greece is moving fast. Helena Smith has just spoken to insiders at New Democracy (the main opposition group run by Antonis Samaras), who say the party will meet tomorrow to discuss the referendum. With Samaras already demanding a general election, the gathering could be decisive in setting ND's next move.

At this rate the coalition could be gone in the next 48 hours, before Friday's confidence vote or the opening of the G20 at Cannes this Thursday. (Is it only me or is there a grand irony in the spectacle of the neoliberal politicians of the EU grovelling before the Chinese Communist Party and asking if they could spare a trillion?)

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Did I say 48 hours? Silly me.

G:

12.55pm: George Papandreou's cunning plan for a referendum on the bailout may be blowing up in his face. Greek news agency ANA is reporting that six members of his PASOK party have called for his resignation.

ANA, which Reuters dubs a 'semi-official' news agency, says the six MPs have signed a letter stating that Greece needs a new prime minister. The letter says that:

"The country urgently needs a politically legitimate government, a plan for a national revival."

Hoping to get hold of this letter....

Meanwhile back at the ranch...

1.20pm: The escalating Greek political crisis (see here, here, and here) is causing alarming scenes in the financial markets.

The FTSE 100 extended its falls to a low of 5338, that's a 206 point fall, or 3.5%. Germany's DAX is down 6%, with the French CAC little better with a 5.5% decline. All eyes are now on Wall Street, which opens in ten minutes.

For a real horror show, though, try the bond markets. The yield (basically the interest rate) on 10-year Italian bonds is now up at 6.34%, despite the European Central Bank's efforts to buy up peripheral debt.

The ECB will be desperate for that yield to keep away from 7% - the point at which a bailout looks a dead certainty.

German interest rates, though, have dropped sharply as investors rush to put their money in the safest places. The 10-year Bund is now yielding just 1.79%, down from over 2% yesterday. UK yields have also dropped sharply, down to 2.23% from around 2.45% on Monday.

I make those rates currently 6.3171 & 1.8081 respectively for a 450 bps spread. Just to remind y'all that according to the LCH Clearnet ruling at the end of last year (that killed Ireland) Eurozone 10 year sovereign bonds that go over the 450 bps spread over the reference base (the Bund) for any sustained period of time, will trigger higher margin calls (the % you have to lodge with the clearing house against using those bonds for repos - cash loans) from 5% to 15%. This does two things - 1) The country in question is out of the game for raising bonds on the money market, 2) the local banks (who will have have high holdings of the local bonds to make the spread with the ECB base lending rate) will have to start selling bonds to pay the increased margin call on the loans they already have. And, to sum it all up, you're bust.

Presumably the ECB will go into hyperdrive to try and buy Italian bonds to get that rate back down, otherwise its bailout time for Italy, and possibly good night Vienna for the whole Euro shooting match (which is why they can't let it happen). I wonder who Merkel wants to kill first?

see:

Greek 10 Year
German 10 Year

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

G:

1.53pm: The six MPs who have called for George Papandreou's resignation are currently holding talks with the parliament's president Fillipos Petsalinikos, Helena Smith reports from Athens.

Rumour is rife that they, too, will break away from the ruling Pasok party and proclaim themselves independents which would rob Papandreou of a working majority in the 300-seat House.

"It's all over. The government is about to collapse," said an official.
[...]

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just in case you thought all the exciting PIGS action was happening in the Med, Ireland has just announced that it has found 3.6 Bn euro (2% of GDP) down the back of the sofa. Accounting error apparently... (words fail me) :roll:

RTÉ

The Department of Finance has confirmed that Ireland's debt is €3.6bn lower than previously thought due to an accounting error.

Broadcaster TV3 earlier reported on the error, which saw a payment between State gencies being counted twice.

The transaction was made from the National Treasury Management Agency to an unnamed agency and represents 2% of the country's debt [...]

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BBC Paul Mason, Greek referendum is coin-flip on euro exit

[...]
Referendums are, always, basically a coin-toss, an all-chips on the black romantic gesture. Right now the scale of EU-level mobilisiation to dissuade Mr Papandreou is huge.

But if Greece votes no - and goes for euro-exit - there are several plans in the process of being published that explain what you have to do. Close the banks for days, ration food and energy, institute strict capital controls - with most probably a few fast patrol boats at Glyfada harbour to check every departing yacht for cash and bonds.

Later you get massive devaluation, with inflation, your non-sovereign debts become instantly doubled so you cannot pay them (i.e the stock of Greek private debt to external lenders, for example, or, intra-corporate debts).

Finally you get the chance to become competitive again. (I base this on SOAS professor Costas Lapavitsas upcoming document, which he has verbally outlined to me).

However, despite this very, very unappealing prospect, you are at least in control of your own economy and you do not have foreign civil servants dictating what ministers can do.

One reason so many Greeks have told me this route is impossible is because there is no Kirchner - no left-leaning autarchic politician who can pose as the tribune of the nation and create a narrative around the default process, as Nestor Kirchner did in Argentina. Nobody on the right wants to do it either. And that is Mr Papandreou's gamble - that nobody outside the KKE will present a coherent alternative to a yes vote, and that the KKE does not want power.
[...]

Looks like Costas' session at this year's HM conference will be pretty busy this year.

BBC: Peston, The price of Greek democracy

FT: Eurozone crisis live blog

14.10: More bad news alert: Richard Milne, the FT’s capital markets editor reports that the premium Italy pays to borrow over Germany has risen to a fresh euro-era high, leaping over a critical level that can trigger margin payments and that has previously exacerbated crises in Portugal and Ireland.

Italy’s 10-year bond spread to German Bunds hit 454bp, above the 450bp level used by some clearing house, as investors fretted that the latest eurozone deal was coming undone.

That was despite traders reporting that the European Central Bank was heavily purchasing Italian debt on the first day in office of its new president, Mario Draghi, former governor of the Bank of Italy. Nevertheless, Italy’s 10-year bond yields still rose 21bp to 6.34 per cent while Germany’s fell 24bp to 1.79 per cent.

Hmm. ECB running out of firepower on the Italian front?

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I assume this gonna be a the black Tuesday of our times... :twisted:

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well certainly a pretty overcast one ;) . However I suspect there will be more eventful days to come before this is all over.

In the meantime the Germans seem to be getting every PASOK minister they can find, on the phone*. Quite possibly to demand Papandreou's head. But on the other hand they've demanded that he appear in Cannes tomorrow to stand like a naughty schoolboy who's just set the class guinea pig on fire, to answer for his actions before a star chamber of Sarko, Merkel and the ECB. Which would be tricky if he's no longer PM by this evening.

If I was into speculation I would wonder whether or not Papandreou saw that he was going to be ousted by his PASOK rivals in favour of a government of national unity, and decided that if he was on his way out, he may as well be remembered as the man who got ousted 24 hours after proposing that "the Greek people" have a democratic say on the austerity programme - as a worthwhile investment for his political future. Pure speculation, however.

* Including to that loathsome slimey slug Venizelos who took to a hospital bed this morning to evade the flack, claiming he knew nothing about the referedum play. Not sick enough to be prevented from talking to the Germans on the phone though

FT earlier:

Now more on the mysterious illness of Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek finance minister, which we blogged on at 1225. The story is a bit more complicated than it at first appears, writes Kerin Hope in Athens.

He was rushed to hospital in the early hours of today suffering from stress-related stomach pains, according to people in his office.

Not so, insiders say.

He’s trying to distance himself from Mr Papandreou’s latest political maneouvre – and the possibility it could trigger the government’s collapse.

A ministry flack told Reuters the minister knew nothing about the referendum plan ahead of the announcement. Not very likely, say insiders, since it’s been discussed on and off by high-level socialists for weeks. A diplomatic illness is just the thing to keep
people at bay while Mr Venizelos, who is also deputy prime minister, ponders his next move.

budulinek

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/11/01/the-referendum-as-a-pacifier/

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hmm looks like the ECB managed to pull out enough firepower to get the Italian yield back down from 6.33 to 6.19, leaving the spread at 442 bps, just under the death zone level. I bet Signor Draghi's first day at work was pretty fun.

RedEd

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The whole military top brass has been changed. What's this all about? http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/8/49916

subprole

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2011/11/greek-referendum

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2011/10/26/the-real-greek-solution-a-military-coup/

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In a similar vein, in Italy:

FT blog:

[...]
Meanwhile later today Giulio Tremonti, finance minister, is to chair a meeting of the financial stability committee that also includes Ignazio Visco, the new governor of the Bank of Italy, plus the heads of the insurance sector and the market watchdog Consob.

A spokesman for Mr Tremonti denied reports that the minister had suggested last night to Mr Berlusconi that he step down. There seems little chance that the prime minister will quit unless forced by a vote in parliament, but momentum is building outside the government for the introduction by Giorgio Napolitano, head of state, of an emergency technical administration, with Mario Monti, economist and former European commissioner, the name most often mentioned as a possible prime minister.

And by "outside the government" I don't think they're talking about the Italian working class.

subprole

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Despite the deep austerity already imposed and the new measures planned in the agreement, the Greek debt will still be 120% of GDP in 2020, exactly the same as in 2009 when the Europeans and the IMF arrived in Athens as new colonial administrators. Despite the headline news of a 50% haircut of the debt, once the figures were scrutinised the real reduction of the overall debt was found to be only around 30bn. The Greeks are asked to bleed for at least another 20 years with no obvious improvement in the fiscal position. The debt appears to be only a pretext for the radical change of the social contract. It is used in order to destroy the weak welfare state, to transfer public assets to private hands at bargain basement prices and to turn the Greek workers into a precarious unprotected proletariat. The Greek and European elites desired and used the debt as a social lab for experimenting about the future of a declining Europe. [...] The strikes, occupations and other imaginative protest actions have turned Greece into an ungovernable country. The delegitimation of the government has moved from opinion polls to the streets. The elites who felt for 30 years unassailable, superior almost transcendent to the ordinary people for the first time sense the popular anger and outrage and are unable to comprehend it. The referendum is the despondent ‘acting out’ of a regime that has not an iota of public approval left.

http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/the-final-blackmail-of-baron-papandreou/

subprole

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What the fuck is going on with this spam filter?

subprole

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

dp

subprole

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/the_long_goodbye

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Still slightly uneasy that there's so little comment in mainstream media about the military sackings story

Reuters: Opposition fury over sackings of Greek military chiefs

(Reuters) - Greece's opposition reacted with outrage on Wednesday to the sacking of its military chiefs, calling it a bid to stack the armed forces with party loyalists before a possible government collapse over the country's debt crisis.

The socialist government late on Tuesday replaced the heads of the army, navy and air force and the chief of joint chiefs of staff in what officials described as a long-planned move largely unrelated to political turmoil.

"We won't accept this decision," the main opposition conservative New Democracy party said.

Greek governments have exerted tight control over the country's armed forces since the collapse of a seven-year military junta in 1974.

Army chiefs are often selected on the basis of party loyalty as part of a deeply-entrenched system of political patronage. The outgoing military leadership was appointed in August 2009 by the previous conservative administration, just before national elections were called.
[...]

Which kinda makes it sound like it's become common practice for each out-going government to stack the military with their own loyalists to keep the other party in check. Even so...

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article2360

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung

http://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article2360

International Viewpoint

Nevertheless it has to be emphasized that this legitimate and basically correct political criticism of PAME cannot in any way justify the attack on the PAME contingent which was carried through with stones, boards, smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails by members of some groups that define themselves within the anti-authoritarian and anarchist spectrum. Anything that promotes the use of force within the working class movement is not acceptable, because it is not directed against the forces of repression. It has a destructive impact on the development of the movement itself. The result of these practices was, in fact, that an extraordinary manifestation of workers’ anger dissipated inconclusively. The bourgeois propagandists took the opportunity to talk about a kind of civil war, and this deters some workers who are participating in such protests and demonstrations for the first time.

Some groups of the autonomous-anarchist current referred in their statements to the Stalinism of the KKE and tried to justify the violent attacks as a kind of public anger against the logic of PAME that attempts to hegemonize the entire movement. But these accusations can and should convince no one. In reality, these groups follow a similar logic when they commit acts of violence at every demonstration in a wholly arbitrary and uncontrolled fashion. In this way they inhibit the organized mass contingents from implementing their own plans. On the other hand, it is not correct to hastily denounce these groups as a camouflaged part of the security state apparatus, etc. It is undeniable that the anonymity of the autonomous-anarchist spectrum and the wearing of "hoods" on the street make them more susceptible to infiltration by police agents. Nevertheless, it is unacceptable to simply dismiss all these groups as police agents and quasi-governmental mechanisms. Furthermore, the block of people who started the attack on PAME was totally disorganized, without banners, and therefore its composition is unknown. The explanation presented by KKE and PAME, that disguised police provocateurs had planned the attack beforehand and then carried it out, is insufficient and does not lead to relevant political conclusions.

The real background to the emergence of such behaviors is a fetishism of violence as a means of resolving political conflicts. This fetishism finds fertile soil in a certain milieu, especially among the youth. It is a kind of fixation on violent behavior that is, in the final analysis, far from any political and organized forms of protest that could be really dangerous to the system. The fire of the Marfin Bank on 5 May 2010, when three bank employees were killed, is characteristic in this respect. Just the day before there was an attack on a teachers’ contingent and on the following day attacks on KKE members and on district offices of the party in the style of a mafia feud. All this has nothing to do with anticapitalist struggle; quite the opposite.

Regardless of the media reports regarding who should be blamed for the physical altercations at Syntagma Square, there is no question that the logic of the KKE—to organize "reasonable" and "peaceful" demonstrations without any prospect of an escalation, which is clearly against a mood in the movement that is prepared for a massive collision—is deeply flawed. Equally, however, the tactic of uncontrolled violence must be condemned since it amounts to meaningless and purposeless destruction and pushes in a direction which is contrary to the goals of the workers’ and popular movement. Even an explicit understanding of the police-style function that the PAME leadership exercised within the movement does not in any way justify the attacks with Molotov cocktails on striking PAME protesters. Such practices can only provoke disgust and outrage.

Any thoughts on this?

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

.

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

Any thoughts on this?

Frankly, though it seem fair view in many respect, at the end of the day it doesn't really put forward any settlement around the events. First of all, the anarchist/anti-authorian groups and the fetish of violence isn't tightly related. There are plenty of counter example, if we look at the responses to the Marfin bank incident. But the use of violence, and the fetish of violence are light years away from each other.

The other problem is that there are always groups and individuals condemning the violence towards the PAME/KKE but none of these put forward any suggestion, how people supposed to react to the violence of the PAME and Co. I mean, ok, don't throw molotovs. But... to suggest that these thugs are different somewhat of the police is stupid. They were armed, organised, and directed against the protest. Wait... they are organised and directed against the revolutionary movements all the time! If they get in power you can see how they handle the proletarian revolts, just have a quick look back to Czechoslovakia, or Hungary. So is it fetish of violence to attack an already dangerous bourgeois force?

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/03/greek-government-brink-of-collapse

"What we need is calm … not a massacre which has happened before," said Apostalos Kaklamanis, who helped found Pasok out of an anti-resistance movement with Papandreou's father, Andreas, following the collapse in 1974 of military rule.

Another veteran socialist, Telemachos Hytiris, said Papandreou should now assemble a government of national unity with the purpose of ratifying last week's EU/IMF bailout for the country and then call early elections.

sounds like a light version of a state of emergency ... with a government probably backed by all parliamentary forces from LAOS to DIMAR

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also from the Guardian

Greek crisis: finance minister breaks ranks over referendum - live

9.27am: Papandreou's grip in power appears to be slipping.

Helena Smith writes from Athens that:

Venizelos is holding "crisis talks" with various cabinet members at his sixth floor office in the finance ministry. Politicial developments are expected to move fast. What is sure is that there is no love lost between Venizelos and the beleaguered Greek prime minister George Papandreou who he challenged for the leadership of the Pasok socialist party in 2007.

The finance minister's decision to voice his opposition to the referendum at 4:45 AM not only highlights Papandreou's increasingly perilous position but how determined Venizelos is to make his own position clear.

Greek media are reporting that the finance minister attempted, as he sat next to Papandreou flying back from Cannes, to persuade him to drop the plebiscite plan after the humiliating grilling both men were subjected to in Cannes. Interestingly, Pasok cadres who have most vociferously opposed the ballot on the EU's latest rescue plan for Greece are all aligned to Venizelos (Venizelists) with at least one now publicly saying they will not give Papandreou the vote of confidence he has called Friday night.

From the Athens News

Emergency cabinet meeting called by PM

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has publicly split with Papandreou over the issue of a referendum, declaring as he returned from France: “Greece’s place within the euro is a historic conquest which cannot be questioned. The acquired right of the Greek people cannot be put to a referendum.”

The prospect of Papandreou winning a vote of confidence in parliament, scheduled for midnight on Friday, without the support of his finance minister is inconceivable.
 
Two Pasok MPs – Eva Kaili and Elena Panariti – have announced that they will not be supporting the prime minister in the November 4 vote, effectively leaving Papandreou with a maximum of 150 votes in the 300-seat house.
 
Kaili reiterated her position on November 3 against the referendum, while Panariti joined the chorus of voices requesting the formation of a national unity government, thereby requiring a change of prime minister.
 
Rumours are circulating that ruling party MPs are preparing to hand Papandreou a statement requesting that he retract the decision to hold a referendum. Former Pasok deputy finance minister Dimitris Kouselas has been reported as saying that the referendum is no longer an issue.

Live news blog – November 3

Press Watch, Nov. 3

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from a statement of the maoist-left nationalist KOE (part of SYRIZA but probably not for much longer)

http://www.international.koel.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=134:full-support-of-the-popular-protests-press-statement-of-koe-31102011&catid=17:2011-against-imf-eu&Itemid=13

On our turn, we fully dissociate ourselves from the unacceptable declarations of Mr Papadimoulis, MP of SYRIZA, who very correctly pointed out that the citizen who physically aggressed an MP of PASOK in the city of Trikala was not member of SYRIZA – the problem is that Mr Papadimoulis did not stop there: He felt obliged to add that this citizen “must be punished according the law” (!), and this while the people of Trikala liberated the citizen just minutes after his arrest by the police.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

After days of unprecedented turmoil, the PASOK government in Greece is teetering on the brink of collapse and it is now extremely likely that PM Papandreou will be announcing his resignation within the day. Mainstream media are already paving the way for a government of “national unity”. There is, of course, no unity between guards and their inmates; between wolves and sheep.

Waving the flag of the urgent, the unpredictable, the plexus of power in the Greek territory is making a last-ditch attempt to “unite” the exploited with their exploiters. The most recent outbreak of discontent out of the streets, spilling into the fiestas of national parades and football games has troubled many. It was becoming clear that anger was edging onto the unmanageable, that the possibility of a real break-through was becoming tangible.

Power responds in the way it knows best: the state of emergency. Shut up everyone, and bow your heads — these are exceptional, troublesome times. It is its last defense; aiming at that primordial feeling, fear. By default then, this is at the same time the last barrier to overcome before freedom, before the fear of power is no longer there.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/11/03/national-unity-is-a-gruesome-trap-pm-papandreou-expected-to-resign-national-unity-government-lying-ahead/

-----

From the urban75 thread

Dimitris

I still believe that the whole thing is a bluff though a well planned one as well. Our minister of economic affairs and vice president of the government mr Venizelos this morning clearly stated that he is against the referendum. Within the day PASOK mps that are close enough to Venizelos started resigning or saying that they will not vote on the confidence vote on Friday. In this way the government falls, Papandreou (prime minister) is quite sure that he will resign and that Venizelos will be the next prime minister. He will ask for a coalition government with other political parties (Samaras the conservatives leader some minutes ago said that he agrees in such a government) and all of them together they will accept the haircut in order the 6th installment of the IMF loan to be given to us.

So within this chaos that has been created the haircut "solution" will be accepted by ALL OF THEM without any negotiations and consequently we will suffer as I said on my previous post up to 2020 at least.

After all that they may go for elections but the new government (which ever may that be) will say that they cannot do anything now because everything is already signed.

This is how "democracies" rule

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/blog/2011/nov/03/greek-crisis-referendum-eurozone ... it seems, that the bourgeoisie probably wants a (bonapartist?!) government led by an "independent expert":

Talk of George Papandreou's resignation "within the next" hour are just one of the many scenarios circulating in an atmosphere of "great confusion. One suggestion is that senior banker Lucas Papademos., a former vice-president of the European Central Bank, could take over.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the Athens News live blog

2.59pm So what's going on around the cabinet table? Skai TV has the following leak that says that Papandreou has told ministers that he was forced to call a referendum in order to make main opposition leader Antonis Samaras to shoulder his responsibilities.
 
2.53pm In the last five minutes, the BBC has reported that Papandreou is to offer to resign - within the next half hour:

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is expected to offer his resignation within the next half-hour, sources in Athens have told the BBC.
 
Mr Papandreou will meet Greek President Karolos Papoulias immediately after an emergency cabinet meeting has finished.
 
He is expected to offer a coalition government, with former Greek central banker Lucas Papademos at the helm.
 
Mr Papandreou himself would stand down, the BBC understands.

2.43pm
Most of the party leaders have spoken, but here are the comments of some that we missed earlier on.
 
Fotis Kouvelis, the head of the Democratic Left, said that "the clearest solution  ... in order not to turn the political crisis into a crisis of democracy is an immediate recourse to elections". Kouvelis, a lawyer whose party has four MPs, stated that elections could take place within 21 days. 
 
The Communist Party (KKE), which has 21 MPs, has called on the "popular masses" in Pasok and New Democracy to work together with it in organising for a counterattack aimed at the "power of the monopolies".
 
Of course, in referring to "monopolies" the KKE is not referring to state-run utilities but the "plutocracy". 
 
2.39pm So how many Pasok MPs have come out against the referendum and election idea? Reuters says that about 10 MPs have publicly called for a coalition government to approve the EU bailout deal and proceed to new elections, while about 15, including five ministers and deputy ministers, have rejected the referendum idea. One of those MPs, Kostas Gitonas, told Meva TV some time ago that there should not be a referendum: "No, by no means ... It's a madhouse."

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

From the Athens News live blog
[...]The Communist Party (KKE), which has 21 MPs, has called on the "popular masses" in Pasok and New Democracy to work together with it in organising for a counterattack aimed at the "power of the monopolies".
[...]

[/quote]

Popular Front-tastic. Looks like the KKE are angling to get inside the government of "National Salvation", or at least curry favour.

The deposition by Papadreou by Venizelos, (after his phone conversation with Merkel from his "sickbed" on Tuesday) - and what's simultaneously happening in Italy - looks uncomfortably like Merkozy-decreed regime change. In the case of Berlusconi, of course, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy (or one less despised by 78% of Italians at last count). But still, in the grand scheme of the contradictions between Eurozone economic imperatives and liberal democracy, it's a further escalation.

wojtek

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What's happening to Berlusconi?

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from FT blog, re Italian/Bund spreads

12.42: Bond markets are becoming incrreasingly exerecised by the widening spreads of some eurozone nations (read Italy). Here’s the latest analysis from Citi:

"We are also quite close to the point beyond which other sovereigns have found it very difficult to return, when yields breach 6%. This is partly because feedback loops kick in and additional widening could easily accelerate.

For example, if spreads of 450bp on 10-year governments are exceeded for five consecutive business days, LCH haircut requirements for banks borrowing against Italian collateral will rise by 15%. If banks liquidate their [Italian sovereign bond] holdings, this will simply exacerbate the problem. If instead they choose to seek funding at the ECB (for example, if they are running short of collateral), publicity around different countries’ banks’ usage of ECB facilities seems likely to lead to more selling in both the banks and the countries concerned.

This is part of the reason why when Portuguese spreads breached this point, not only did the sovereign yield quite rapidly back up further, eventually breaching 10%, but the rating agencies followed up with sovereign and bank downgrades for good measure. Admittedly this was all part of Portugal’s losing access to markets and applying for a bail-out, but we see no reason why the feedback loops should operate any differently for Italy."

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Uh... and this means?

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It means that Italy is on a knife edge of being forced into the same bailout scenario as Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Only difference is those 3 countries collectively make up less than 5% of Eurozone GDP, whereas Italy is the 3rd largest economy in the Eurozone, so the financial stress of any attempted bailout makes Greece look like a storm in a doll's teacup. Not to mention the massive exposure of France to Italy, debt-wise. Which is why "Super" Mario has spent his first two days at the ECB, buying Italian bonds.

see NYT web of debt diagram (US $ billions)

Which is the leverage currently being used in Italy to try and get Berlusconi out in favour of a "technocrat" caretaker government, which not coincidentally is also what they're looking for in Greece.

AthensNews blog

3.46am Sources say that New Democracy will only support an interim government if it a) it limits its work to ratifying the Brussels agreement and ensuring the payment of the 8bn euro bailout tranche and then b) calls elections, which should take place before Christmas.

Significantly, it is also understood that New Democracy will only support an interim government made up of unelected technocrats who should be selected by the president.

edit: If Draghi is now Super Mario (Guardian), does that make Merkel and Sarko Donkey and Diddy Kong, respectively?

edit2: oops, missed the significant para off that last quote. amended.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the Athens News blog - looks like it's now down to the political horse trading

4.15pm New Democracy says it has made known its proposal and will not become involved with talks with Pasok about it. Earlier, at 3.30pm, we reported that two Pasok officials were on their way to ND headquarters to discuss their caretaker government proposals.
 
It's a terminology issue, but it is clear that New Democracy is proposing a caretaker/transitional government, rather than an interim one. What they want is a government of unelected technocrats, to be appointed by President Karolas Papoulias.
 
4pm A Reuters news flash, sent out about ten minutes ago, says that the Greek government is ready to discuss the opposition's proposal for an interim government.
 
3.58pm Can they stem the tide? A group of Pasok MPs, led by parliament deputy speaker Grigoris Niotis and Rodoula Zissi, have reportedly sent a proposal to Papandreou during that he remain party leader in order to "guarantee developments". 
 
3.53pm Another response from a party leader, this time from Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) chief Yiorgos Karatzaferis. He seems to be delighted at the news that New Democracy now supports an interim government - a demand that he says his party had been striving to bring about for a year and a half. "Imagine how much might have been saved," he added, expressing hope that reason would prevail and egos sidelined.

From the Guardian blog

2.22pm: Breaking news from Athens -- leaks from the cabinet meeting show that Papandreou has acknowledged that he can't hold the referendum, as exiting the eurozone would endanger Greece's future. Friday night's vote of confidence is still going ahead, though (it appears).

Helena Smith has the details:

Papandreou, while willing to form a government of national unity that would include the main opposition conservative party New Democracy, is still insisting on the confidence vote going ahead tomorrow night.

Greek TV stations are reporting that the beleaguered leader is about to dispatch some of his senior lieutenants to ND's party HQ to negotiate the creation of a unity government. Yiannis Michelakis, the party's spokeman, has just told Mega TV that if formed the administration would be "transitional" and would have one priority -- to ratify the debt deal that has triggered this latest phase of the crisis.

Early elections would then be held.

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/03/greeks-austerity-grassroots

In early October, a peculiar news item barely made its way into the back pages of Greek national press: in the northern city of Veria, a small group of people had started reconnecting the electricity supply of households disconnected from the national grid due to bill non-payment. This kind of solidarity action seemed rather abnormal.

Then again, it is difficult to define what constitutes normality in the country nowadays – the upper echelon of political power is in an unprecedented turmoil, and Tuesday's referendum announcement by prime minister George Papandreou, followed by him reportedly preparing to step down, has thrown his political allies and foes into a tailspin. Parliamentary opposition parties are calling for a "national unity" government, snap elections, or a succession of the two; the entire mainstream political spectrum in the country seems to have entered a delirious state of panic. In a stunningly surreal scene, eurozone leaders and global markets are nervously waiting for people in Greece to cast a vote.

And yet, at this precise moment, Greek people are realising they are left with what they had at the outset – that is, absolutely nothing to hope for from the mainstream political scene.

Take Yannis, a 43 year-old man working in a bank in Athens, who doesn't want to return home because it is going to be cold again. The heating will be off, as nobody in the block can afford the heating prices. His 16-year old daughter, Sophia, does not want to go to school, as she finds little meaning in preparing for her exams: why would she want to enter university knowing full well she will never find a job in Greece, anyway? Or take Eleftheria's father, a 72-year old pensioner leaving in the village of Kymi, who called her today while she was returning home and hesitantly asked her for money to buy his medicine that the state fund no longer covers for. His pension was recently cut by 50%. "But, please," he pleaded, "do not tell your mother." Back in the city, Eleftheria's streets are lined with garbage which has been lying there for more than three weeks.

Thousands of workers are to be put on reduced pay schemes across the country and hundreds are being fired on a daily basis. The government has raised already existing taxes and introduced a variety of new ones across the board, while slashing salaries and pensions in both the public and private sector. Official unemployment rose by more than 35% year-to-year and now stands at just under 20%; homelessness is on an enormous increase across the country, while tax on food consumption has shot up from 13 to 23%. At the same time, public transport is being dismantled and hospitals across the country barely function. For the first time, there were no books to be distributed in public schools and universities are in utter disarray. The "bloated" public sector has been portrayed as responsible for all the misery the country has to endure. At the same time, social services have been intentionally abandoned, making it easier for enraged citizens to accept the privatisation of the public sector in return.

People here feel the country is gradually sinking, carrying them down a path dug in arbitrariness and injustice. Yet at this very moment – when it is not only the rules of the game that are challenged but the game itself – they seem to feel empowered to act in ways that would not have appeared feasible in the past: they physically attack politicians, mock and cancel military-inspired national public parades and humiliate army officials attending them, participate in neighbourhood assemblies and mass demonstrations (irrespective of the amount of tear gas thrown against them by the police), create grassroots trade unions to demand their labour rights, occupy workplaces, disrupt public services and protest in violent, impulsive, unpredictable ways.

In these peculiar times, when there is nothing to lose for so many, everything becomes possible. In the northern Athens suburb of Nea Ionia, the municipality is now actively calling for locals to shun the new tax, offering instructions to avoid its payment on its official website and promising legal support and even volunteers to reconnect potentially disconnected supplies. Grassroots refusal to put up with austerity is quickly gaining momentum, regardless of everyday politics of fear and emergency, or never-ending market crashes. In return, the realisation is sinking in that a possibility for tangible change only lies in people changing their understandings, their habits, the ways in which they do politics: while asked to cast a vote, Greek society sees a major role recast.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

Mark.

From the Athens News live blog
[...]The Communist Party (KKE), which has 21 MPs, has called on the "popular masses" in Pasok and New Democracy to work together with it in organising for a counterattack aimed at the "power of the monopolies".
[...]

Popular Front-tastic. Looks like the KKE are angling to get inside the government of "National Salvation", or at least curry favour.

The KKE call to New Democracy members might sound surprising but at one point there was actually a short-lived ND-KKE coalition government.

Mitsotakis struck an unusual bargain with the two branches of the KKE to achieve a governing majority. The three parties formed a coalition government that would prepare the country for a new national election in the fall of 1989 while simultaneously pursuing the cleansing process in public life. The KKE agreed to join the coalition on condition that Mitsotakis not be appointed prime minister. Accordingly, the new government was led by ND deputy Tzannis Tzannetakis, a former naval officer, and KKE members were appointed to several ministries, including the Ministry of Justice. In a political system with a traditionally huge gulf between the right and the left, the notion of the ND governing together with the communists was truly novel. This coalition marked a major step toward national reconciliation and the legitimation of the communist party within the body politic. After a hasty investigation and a number of emotional and tense parliamentary sessions in July and August 1989, the ND-KKE majority voted to indict [Andreas] Papandreou and several of his close political lieutenants for involvement in the Koskotas affair and also for illegal wiretapping activities.

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

ocelot

Mark.

From the Athens News live blog
[...]The Communist Party (KKE), which has 21 MPs, has called on the "popular masses" in Pasok and New Democracy to work together with it in organising for a counterattack aimed at the "power of the monopolies".
[...]

Popular Front-tastic. Looks like the KKE are angling to get inside the government of "National Salvation", or at least curry favour.

The KKE call to New Democracy members might sound surprising but at one point there was actually a short-lived ND-KKE coalition government.

Mitsotakis struck an unusual bargain with the two branches of the KKE to achieve a governing majority. The three parties formed a coalition government that would prepare the country for a new national election in the fall of 1989 while simultaneously pursuing the cleansing process in public life. The KKE agreed to join the coalition on condition that Mitsotakis not be appointed prime minister. Accordingly, the new government was led by ND deputy Tzannis Tzannetakis, a former naval officer, and KKE members were appointed to several ministries, including the Ministry of Justice. In a political system with a traditionally huge gulf between the right and the left, the notion of the ND governing together with the communists was truly novel. This coalition marked a major step toward national reconciliation and the legitimation of the communist party within the body politic. After a hasty investigation and a number of emotional and tense parliamentary sessions in July and August 1989, the ND-KKE majority voted to indict [Andreas] Papandreou and several of his close political lieutenants for involvement in the Koskotas affair and also for illegal wiretapping activities.

the KKE payed for this by losing the majority of its youth organization and several branches in Northern Greece

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the urban75 thread

sihhi

Fedayn

The KKE will be happy then. A KKE Mp, Liana Canalis (sp) was on tv last night condemning the referendum, rather wittily as it's like 'being asked if you want to be killed or to die', and demanding an election. So, so-called revolutionary KKE demanding the return to bourgeous democratic politics and an election.... What then if a pro-austerity government wins?!

You know the answer Fed. But for others. KKE are a pro-austerity party.

It joined a national unity government in 1989 (led by tory backbencher Zanis Zannetakis, with the conservatives the main party) to impose new restrictions on the right of trade unions to be recognised. It got the justice and home office ministries and as a means of "putting the past behind us" destroyed secret police files from 1967-75 which could have been used to prosecute the thousands of torturers in the Greek police and army. ΚΚΕ Εsoterikou - the main part of the Syriza today - was also a part of that coalition.

This has become known to Greek leftists as the Vromiko 89 - the dirty 89 (compromise).

Today's KKE says it was against the coalition just betrayed by unreliable people at the top - but the ideology, habits and slogans - 'against monopoly capitalism, for a strong national economy' - are all the same. It's Eurocommunism - it's the same in the Die Linke, the NPA in France, the CPB's pro-Labourism here.

Athens News blog

5.34pm Communist leader Aleka Papariga is speaking live on TV. She has also called for an interim government to prepare for immediate elections. She says the three-month vicious cycle of threatening not to release bailout money and of passing more austerity measures must be broken.

"Elections here and now under a caretaker government. Any other government would be illegal, even if the law provides for it," said Papariga.

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyway, the referendum will not be held. Quelle surprise...

from the (more succint) talk to the party, before the parliamentary address:

“There is no need for a referendum following the conservative opposition’s switch of its position and willingness to back the October 26 package.”

“We must hail the fact that [the main opposition party] New Democracy will vote for the new bail-out agreement.”

“We had a dilemma: consensus or a referendum … Failure to back the package would mean the beginning of our departure from the euro. But if we have consensus, then we don’t need a referendum.”

Of course if there is consensus amongst the politicians, who needs to ask the people what they think?

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Video: Crisis in Greece

Greece is in the midst of a social rebellion with people at many different levels of society involved in strikes, occupations, riots, workplace slowdowns, self-reduction campaigns, and other forms of economic sabotage. Greece has become ground zero of the Eurozone’s fiscal crisis. The austerity measures promoted by the IMF/EU/ECB, otherwise known as the troika, are at the core of the social crisis in Greece. This short documentary looks at the crisis in Greece and social reactions to structural adjustment measures in October 2011.

-----

Kathimerini: Bank liquidity at risk

The dramatic developments in Greece have led to a new wave of bank deposit withdrawals in recent days, at a time when liquidity is crucial.

The local banking system has so far managed to withstand the pressure thanks to dynamic support from the Bank of Greece and the eurosystem, but bank officials warn now that local lenders’ strength is limited and the system is running the risk of breaking down.

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

So Papandreou has won his confidence vote - Athens News live blog

Never play poker with this man. Still, the setup appeared to be that he couldn't win the vote without a deal for a national 'consensus" deal with ND, for which he would step down. If he's wriggled out of that by Monday, I'll be suitably impressed. But let's see.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well it looks like that deal is off...

ND leader Antonis Samaras has demanded a brief transitional government, without politicians, invested with the sole authority of ratifying the bailout deal and calling elections by year’s end.
 
Just before the results of the vote were announced, Samaras declared that he has no intention of governing with Pasok.
 
“It must be a government that is the guarantor of the interests and wealth of the people,” Papandreou said, charging that a government of technocrats, which Samaras proposed, would only serve vested interests.
 
The prime minister rejected Samaras’ demand for elections within six weeks as a danger to national interests.
 
Papandreou’s speech seemed to hint that he intends to stay in power until he oversees a series of steps to implement all the aspects of the bailout, and then hold elections at an undetermined point in the future.
 
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos later said he expects elections to be held by the end of February 2012. “The country can collapse in a single moment,” he said, ruling out quick run to the polls.
 
Papandreou’s apparent refusal to resign gives him sweeping control of the process, as President Karolos Papoulias has no authority over the formation of a government unless the government loses its parliamentary majority or resigns.
 
“The solution is one – to achieve interparty support for this agreement with a strong, enhanced parliamentary majority, under a strong government,” Papandreou said, noting that Greece’s partners must be assured everything will be done to implement the October 27 bailout agreement.
 
Papandreou said he will seek a “mandate for the broadest possible political agreement, and for the creation of a government that reflects that”.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the ongoing KKE/anarchist bickering on urban75

papageorgiou12

Would you please show us your "massive" demonstration of last night that had been "announced" (since this was apparently the reason for the failure of your Thursday demo)? Did you manage to storm the parliament building and take over power? I am "afraid" we did not see you last night in Syntagma square.

Dimitris

It was not "my demonstration" and I was not there actually. Anarchists had not called for a demo yesterday correctly as we do not believe that yesterday it was a crucial day for anything. It was a parliamentary vote of confidence that really has nothing to do with us, because we oppose to the whole system anyway. There is no difference if the government is PASOK or Nea Dimokratia or a coalition of a number of parties as it seems that it will happen anyway. We do not care about the mechanisms of the parliamentary political parties and the system, only about the end result that is a clear attack against the working class as I have already mentioned on earlier posts in this thread. It makes sense to KKE to be there and demonstrate because you are a parliamentary party, therefore you take part in that system.

If there will be a demo organized when they vote for the 26th of October agreement, there will be a point of course of us to be there. But not yesterday.

On Thursday I was on that small demo although anarchist movements had not called for anything, because I felt that people needed to demonstrate against what was happening that day, with Merkel and Sarkozi basically dictating to Greece what to do and the greek political parties taking part to a big theatrical act, during the day there seemed to be no government and later everybody agreed to what EU is dictating us. If there should be massive demos during the last 2 days I believe that the correct day should be Thursday and not Friday, after Thursday what happened yesterday is rather irrelevant. They voted for "confidence" for a government that basically it does not exist and from today a new government will be in power that nobody has elected. What happened yesterday is nearly similar to a dictatorship and KKE makes this whole ridiculous procedure looking normal exactly because you take part in it voting no matter if you voted NO.

papageorgiou12

If you "do not care about the mechanisms of the parliamentary political parties and the system", why then do you have to demonstrate IN FRONT of the parliament building and not in some other location in Athens?

KKE, as any revolutionary Leninist party should do, participates in the bourgeois parliament to unmask it in front of the people. Being in the same room with a bourgeois deputy does not poison a revolutionary's mind (if he has a clear strategic line), nor does it entail an acceptance of the parliamentary insitutions as the paradigm of democracy. The attitude of non-participation, in the name of revolutionary purity, is a sure sign of an "infantile disorder".

soc

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Disgusting.

papageorgiou12

KKE, as any revolutionary Leninist party should do, participates in the bourgeois parliament to unmask it in front of the people.

I found it almost entertaining how bolshevik dogs like to think that they hold the eternal truth in their "party line". Everybody else, is infantile, stupid, ignorant, agent provocateur and we need them to "unmask" the parliament. They unmasked it so effectively through history, that when they took over, they continued to unmask it as they were running capitalism. Big fucking difference isn't it?

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The EU is increasingly showing it's regime change agenda. They started after the vote of confidence with the announcement that this infamous 8bn final tranche of the May 2010 bailout (originally due this September) would be withheld until "political stability" had been restored. Now today, Olli Rehn puts it on the table:

FT: EU steps up pressure on Greece

PARIS, Nov 6 – The European Union has stepped up pressure on Greece to establish rapidly a national unity government to implement a new bail-out programme, saying continued membership of the euro was at stake.

EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told Reuters: “We have called for a national unity government and remain persuaded that it is the convincing way of restoring confidence and meeting the commitments.”

Greece breached confidence with its eurozone partners last week and had put itself on a path towards leaving the single currency, but now appeared to be on its way back from the brink, he said.

“Work has been going on in Athens to mend that confidence and we need a convincing report on this by Finance Minister [Evangelos] Venizelos tomorrow in the Eurogroup,” Rehn told Reuters in a telephone interview. The 17 eurozone finance ministers meet in Brussels on Monday evening.

His comments came after conservative Greek opposition leader Antonis Samaras demanded that socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou resign before he was prepared to discuss a transitional government leading to elections.[...]

So no more money until Papandreou goes, basically.

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Took long enough
Athens News: Coalition government deal reached

According to sources, Greek prime minister George Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras agreed on the form of a coalition governments at talks hosted by the president Karolos Papoulias on Sunday.

According to an announcement fom the Presidency George Papandreou will not lead the new government. The new government will ratify the EU deal of Oct. 26th and afterwards will lead the country to elections.

Papandreou asked the president to hold the three party meeting after a cabinet meeting to explore the possibility of an agreement soon, the prime minister's office said shortly before the cabinet session ended.

Prime minister George Papandreou said he would not head a new coalition government, which could be agreed with the opposition as early as Sunday, a statement from his office said.

"It is clear that this government will pass the baton but it will not pass it to a void -- it will pass it to a new government, if we agree on it, and I hope this will happen soon. And when I say soon, I mean today, not tomorrow," he said in the text of remarks to his cabinet, released to the media.

"I'm not interested in being prime minister in the new government."
[...]

Clinging to power? Moi?

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

in German: http://www.rsb4.de/content/view/4457/131/ an interesting piece by two anti-militarist groups about the Greek army and a European (German/Dutch) special police brigade which came into Greece during October for an "exercise (including armoured vehicles), the article also states, that the Greek government thinks, that it cannot rely on its army for a crackdown

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from Guardian live blog

1.34pm: Turning attention away from Berlusconi temporarily and back to Greece - I'm afraid we must report that the talks on the formation of a coalition government have hit a snag -- the favourite candidate to replace George Papandreou isn't even in Greece.

Helena Smith, our Athens correspondent, tells me that Lucas Papademos, the front-runner for the job and former vice president of the European Central Bank, is now racing back to his homeland. This threatens to delay the vital process of choosing the new leader.

Helena reports that:

The 64-year-old Papademos was in the US when he was informed of the ground-breaking political developments in Greece and is now making his way back to Athens poste-haste.

Formally the governor of the Bank of Greece for almost eight years, from October 1994 to May 2004, Papademos is widely regarded as a "neutral figure," who is well respected in Europe and would be a safe pair of hands at the helm of government. But friends who know him well have told our correspondent that Papademos, who is also a well-respected academic, is unlikely to agree to the job without carefully weighing things up first.

"As things stand, the leaders of both political parties want to give him his cabinet, tell him what to do and let him go by the end of January. It's a recipe for disaster," said Stefanos Manos a former conservative finance minister.

"Lucas is a thoughtful person, an honest guy, a clever person but he's also very cautious ... he's going to want to lay down his terms and as they stand I very much doubt that he will accept. I don't think for a moment he is willing to be a puppet PM."

The confusion may well mean that nothing is decided before this evening, when markets in Europe have already closed and Wall Street could be getting edgy.

So in short -- Greece is far from getting a government that will guarantee political stability.

Couldn't organise a fuckup in a nightmare...

Valeriano Orob…

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

from Guardian live blog

1.34pm: Turning attention away from Berlusconi temporarily and back to Greece - I'm afraid we must report that the talks on the formation of a coalition government have hit a snag -- the favourite candidate to replace George Papandreou isn't even in Greece.

Helena Smith, our Athens correspondent, tells me that Lucas Papademos, the front-runner for the job and former vice president of the European Central Bank, is now racing back to his homeland. This threatens to delay the vital process of choosing the new leader.

Helena reports that:

The 64-year-old Papademos was in the US when he was informed of the ground-breaking political developments in Greece and is now making his way back to Athens poste-haste.

Formally the governor of the Bank of Greece for almost eight years, from October 1994 to May 2004, Papademos is widely regarded as a "neutral figure," who is well respected in Europe and would be a safe pair of hands at the helm of government. But friends who know him well have told our correspondent that Papademos, who is also a well-respected academic, is unlikely to agree to the job without carefully weighing things up first.

"As things stand, the leaders of both political parties want to give him his cabinet, tell him what to do and let him go by the end of January. It's a recipe for disaster," said Stefanos Manos a former conservative finance minister.

"Lucas is a thoughtful person, an honest guy, a clever person but he's also very cautious ... he's going to want to lay down his terms and as they stand I very much doubt that he will accept. I don't think for a moment he is willing to be a puppet PM."

The confusion may well mean that nothing is decided before this evening, when markets in Europe have already closed and Wall Street could be getting edgy.

So in short -- Greece is far from getting a government that will guarantee political stability.

Couldn't organise a fuckup in a nightmare...

Obviously, not much efficient...Probably in the UK it'd be a "We-will-fuck-you-good-all-of-you-oh-yes" squad, much sooner..Would that please you more? :lol:

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Kathimerini: Coalition talks fail to produce new PM, cabinet

The front-runner for the position appeared to be former Governor of the Bank of Greece and ex-European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos (photo), but by the afternoon his candidacy seemed to wane. It was rumored that Papademos had asked to pick some members of the cabinet and for the interim government to serve for more than the planned three months but his requests were reportedly rejected by New Democracy, although there was no official confirmation of this.

Other figures that were linked to the position that Papandreou will be vacating were European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros and former Economy Minister and Greece’s current representative at the International Monetary Fund Panagiotis Roumeliotis. Reports that the latter was flying to Athens from Washington last night were not confirmed.

From the Greek Streets: IMF representative “very likely” to become Greek prime minister

It sounds like a sitcom joke, or maybe a strange feeling that perhaps those at the echelon of power might have a sense of humour after all, even if it’s a twisted one — but it’s true: Greece’s representative at the IMF (called Panagiotis Roumeliotis, in case you  want to know) now appears “very likely” to become the next prime minister, according to corporate media reports and ‘leaks’.

In the near-incomprehensible sequence of events unfolding before our eyes, democracy is unveiling itself for what it really is — nothing more, of course, than a means to protect and perpetuate the existing system of power and domination. The fact that the veil of any sort of “representation” or “consensus” has dropped can be a positive one: resorting to showing its brute face is a sign of weakness on the side of power, and a hint of some great opportunities on the side of our own.

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from the Graun:

Sources at the main opposition New Democracy party (which has vowed to 'renegotiate' the latest €130bn debt deal drawn up for Greece) say they've "come up with a real problem."

"We in no way want this government to last longer than three months," one source said.

Lucas Papademos, the favoured candidate for the post, says unless his tenure is longer he won't accept the job on the grounds that he will be nothing more than a puppet pm.

the KKE:

Calling the new government a "dark front", Aleka Papariga, the fiery Communist party (KKE) chief on Monday urged Greeks to overthrow the administration and impose new elections "as soon as possible."

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/10/26/greeces-rich-flee-will-workers-rush

It’s not often that data from upmarket estate agents features prominently in Trotskyist newspapers. But comrades will thank luxury residential property specialist Knight Frank for the news that wealthy Greeks have spent £250 million on homes in London over the last year.

That’s just for houses and flats worth £2 million and above, mind you. No doubt others will be slumming it in the kind of hovels that a measly £1 million buys you in the capital these days, but you get the general picture.

It’s a safe bet that the story is the same in Paris and New York and other cities favoured by the world’s super-rich, too. Anyone would think these guys are running away from something.

So why is a substantial proportion of the Greek bourgeoisie so obviously preparing to decamp? My guess would be that they have looked at the range of possibilities for their home country over the coming period, and decided that from their point of view, none of them are good.

...

Meanwhile, the very rich are voting with their feet and setting up bolt holes should their worst fears be confirmed by events. If you have ever considered opening a Greek delicatessen in Mayfair, Knightsbridge or St John’s Wood, now could be the time to act.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]C0JkSmoyYIY[/youtube]

Interview with economist, and former adviser to Papandreou, Yanis Varoufakis. Second part of the interview here. As my understanding of economics is limited I'd be interested in anyone else's views on his analysis (and proposals for saving the eurozone).

-----

Edit: Lucas Papademos confirmed as new PM

CornetJoyce

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

German workers hardly exercise power over the German rulers; but still, his notion of appealing to the self-interest of German workers "over the heads" of the rulers makes some sense..

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More from Yanis Varoufakis

On the Brussels agreement: Europe’s reverse alchemy in full throttle

One knows that there is something rotten in the world economy when the fate of a Greek PM makes headlines all over the world and for a whole week. Greece is not, and ought not to be, that important. But Italy is. And so is, from a global perspective, Europe. For some time now, Europe has been hiding its ills behind its (Hellenic) little finger. At long last, the truth (which I have been at pains to shout from the rooftops for more than 18 months) is now out: This is a systemic crisis that threatens not only the euro but the world economy in its entirety.

While Greece is insignificant, the eurozone, lest we forget, is the globe’s largest economy; a block that accounts for China’s single largest slice of exports, for one fifth of America’s exports, for more than $120 billion of Latin America’s exports, not to mention up to half of emerging Africa’s money-spinning trade (from fresh fruit and flowers to minerals). A deep recession in Northern Europe (which will surely result from the euro’s demise) is, thus, bound to unleash deflationary winds that will destabilise an already imbalanced global economy.

It is for this reason that all eyes have been, of recent, on the 27th October EU Brussels’ Agreement. For, as we all know, this is the Agreement that was meant to avert the euro-system’s collapse; a collapse that will force Germany to forge a new currency whose immediate appreciation will be the trigger of the recessionary forces mentioned just above.

Alas, while the world is looking, it is failing to see. Judging by the headlines, the world’s media, markets, political leaders and opinion makers were biting their nails until word came from Greece that a national unity government will be formed so that the Brussels’ Agreement can be implemented. It is as if the whole wide world was praying for the Greeks to give the Brussels Agreement a chance. And since Silvio Berlusconi announced that he will go Mr Papandreou’s way, similar hopes have been raised about Italy.

It is the purpose of this article to argue that the world’s prayers have been misplaced. That the anxiety to see Greece and Italy return to the Brussels’ Agreement fold is a sign of the calamity to befall the global economy. For this Agreement, as I shall be arguing below, is most likely to prove the euro-system’s greatest foe, rather than its cure. If I am right, the sights and sounds of a world agonising over the fate of the Brussels’ Agreement will be followed by the sights and sounds of a world readying itself for a major new twist in an already devastating Crisis.

[...]

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Lancet

Health effects of financial crisis: omens of a Greek tragedy

-----

Athens News

In time of crisis, HIV gains ground

-----

From the Greek Streets

Far-right thug with an axe becomes new minister of infrastructure, transport and networks

The photograph above depicts the newly appointed minister of infrastructure, transport and networks in Greece, Makis Voridis. Voridis is member of the far-right, populist party LAOS which participates in the government of ‘national unity’ with four members. Voridis was the same person pictured above, in 1985, holding a hand-made axe and forming part of a group of thugs roaming around Exarcheia in Athens, in search of people demonstrating against police operations taking place in the neighbourhood at the time.

Photo from jungle report.

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Anarkismo

Let's go one step further: On the present situation in Greece

At the time of the writing of this article the ruling class is continuing to search for the "right" person who as "transitional" prime minister can guarantee implementation of the unpopular measures to be taken against the people of Greece, squeezing them once again and ensuring continuation of the most savage exploitation in recent history.

We are in a situation where new austerity - and other - measures are continually being announced, wages cut, redundancies constantly growing, bargaining agreements hacked to pieces, the number of unemployed and poor people is increasing, social rights and civil liberties are being up, where repressive mechanisms and their assistants act more and more like a Mafia than ever before, and where society is being crushed further every day.

As a result there is massive social unrest, as thousands of demonstrators take to the streets and squares either as strikers or simply as frustrated people. There are numerous new attempts at social organising such as the local people's open assemblies and new movements (such as the No Pay Movement), while at the same time the whole social movement contines in its conflict and clashes with the forces of repression and their parliamentary assistants.

The 48-hour strike called by the central union confederation GSEE (General Confederation of Greek Workers) and ADEDY (Civil Servants' Confederation) on 19-20 October produced a massive, unprecedented mobilisation across the country, as thousands of workers, unemployed, pensioners, students, schoolchildren, etc. went on strike and took to the streets to show their opposition to the measures being taken by the rotten political system and the plethora of laws that are now destroying our entire society. In Athens, a vast sea of people turned out - one of the largest strikes in recent decades - clearly showing the huge social and political rupture between the great majority of the people and the entire class of political and economic power. As a result, the social plundering has been fully de-legitimised and the only weapons left in the hands of the State and its institution is complete suppression and the salvation generously offered by the world of parliamentary representation.

In particular, the contribution to this process by the PAME (All Workers' Militant Front, a syndicalist part of the Communist Party-KKE), copying the counter-revolutionary practices of social democracy and Stalinism since the 1920s, has tried to block every movement with different characteristics to their own, suppressing all forms of labour and popular radicalisation and preserving and saving the bourgeois parliament building from angry demonstrators. This attitude by the PAME/KKE exceeded all bounds when, on the same evening of 20 October, a militant worker and member of this party died because of the murderous chemicals that the police used and the party attempted to link his death to the clashes between the KKE and other protesters. Some other left formations have been moving on the same wavelength (perhaps with more audacity), organizations like ANTARSYA (a non-parliamentary coalition on the anti-capitalist left, outside the KKE) and some of their components, together with some Maoist groups, imploring the Communist Party to give them some attention.

But apart from the clearly repressive - at the expense of the autonomous and non-party-aligned social movement - tactics by the Stalinists, the miserable attitude by some parts of the protesters must also be condemned, some sectors of which are self-characterised as anarchists and anti-authoritarians, who attacked not the KKE guards, but the simple PAME protesters with marbles and petrol bombs that fell into the crowd. We must condemn these practices in the most categorical manner, as we do the attacks of the KKE guards who used helmets and sticks against any other demonstrators.

However, we can now see that there is a broader "systemic arch" that includes both the State, its institutions and the parties involved in those institutions, but also some leftist extra-parliamentary forces which have been already deployed in the name of "safeguarding" the constitutional system (from the "uncontrolled" people) and the "organised" movement (that is, institutionalised syndicalist and political representation) and is attempting to control and define the limits of bourgeois normality within which the social anger and indignation can move.

As the crisis deepens and the social war is exacerbated, the challenge now is to bring up the issue of how to finally overthrow social barbarism, by collectively building a new life on the wreck of the entire old world which is adrift together with its components. Another goal must be to go beyond the limits of the spectacle of mass demonstrations, limits which are imposed by the system and the mass media, and turn the mobilization into something more real, with more concrete action and not just a regular spot on the TV news.

While we are at a historic crossroads, in a situation where the possibilities for social counter-attack and subversion have now occurred and one can no longer hide behind the alleged passivity of society, we have seen, however, the weaknesses and failures of those forces who act in the name of social change but who are substantially hiding behind the mistakes and systemic choices of the institutionalised Left.

However, the forces of class-struggle anarchists are still small and fragmented and cannot manage the burden of responsibility by themselves. Yet the dominant characteristics of a significant part of the anarchists are still violence for the sake of violence, hostility to any anarchist organisation and aformalistic tendencies that lead nowhere, despite some flashes.

But it is time that this multi-tendency current for unmediated, horizontal, direct-democratic social disobedience and change in society, should develop its own independent, autonomous path of struggle for social counter-power. Through its own instruments, which have no connection with military-style debates, parliamentary and press aformalistic illusions. It needs this social movement to establish its own counter-institutions for the organisation of life on the basis of individual and collective empowerment, solidarity, cooperative economics and direct democracy everywhere. Grassroots unions in workplaces have appeared over the past 3-4 years, there are scattered, local, public and open assemblies, self-managed projects that have timidly begun to appear as a result of the generalised crisis... these all point the way. And there are also the class-struggle anarchists, and also various other militants who share the same views, despite their small and scattered forces and the lack of a relevant tradition... they too must play a multifaceted role.

Let's go one step further. If we are to bring about the social revolution we must begin from a change in our lives towards an organised, creative way! For anarchy and communism!

Related Link: http://ngnm.vrahokipos.net/

subprole

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/world/europe/for-european-union-and-the-euro-a-moment-of-truth.html?pagewanted=all

Entdinglichung

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

more fascists: http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/grece-lextreme-droite-au-gouvernement/

Nommé secrétaire d’Etat au développement et à la Marine marchande, Adonis Georgiadis appartient au LAOS (littéralement : « Alerte orthodoxe populaire », dont l’acronyme signifie « peuple » en grec). C’est un acteur particulièrement controversé de la vie politique grec. En 2006, il a édité un ouvrage de l’intellectuel néo-nazi Konstantinos Plevris intitulé Juifs: l’entière vérité, un texte faisant l’apologie d’Adolf Hitler et appelant à l’extermination des Juifs. Georgiadis s’est également illustré à la télévision grecque en novembre 2009 pour avoir accusé Georges Papandréou d’avoir « vendu la Grèce à la communauté juive », ajoutant que « le peuple juif, en contrôlant le système bancaire mondial, peut l’utiliser comme une arme pour faire chanter et contrôler les pays étrangers, comme la Grèce ». Georgiadis a également reproché publiquement à la gauche de son pays d’avoir « remis la Grèce entre les mains des musulmans et autres déchets comme ça » (sic).

ocelot

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

tr:

Appointed secretary of state development and the Merchant Marine, Adonis Georgiadis belongs to LAOS (literally "People's Orthodox Alert", [the acronym] stands for "people" in Greek). This is a particularly controversial player in the political life of Greece. In 2006, he published a book of the intellectual neo-Nazi Konstantinos Plevris called "Jews, the whole truth", a text glorifying Adolf Hitler and calling for the extermination of Jews. Georgiadis also appeared on Greek television in November 2009 accusing George Papandreou of having "sold out Greece to the Jewish community," adding that "the Jewish people, by controlling the global banking system, can used it as a weapon to blackmail and control foreign countries, like Greece." Georgiadis also publicly criticized the left of his country for having "delivered Greece into the hands of Muslims and other garbage like that" (sic).

Mark.

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Athens News: Karatzaferis denies he is antisemitic

Rightist Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) leader Yiorgos Karatzaferis has denied that his party has antisemitic views, distancing himself from past public remarks that have drawn strong criticism from Jewish and human rights groups.

The 64-year-old Karatzaferis last week joined the new coalition government, headed by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, with four members of Laos in the new cabinet.

They include Transport Minister Makis Voridis, once leader of the youth wing of the pro-junta EPEN party – a position he later said he held not out of sympathy for the 1967–74 dictatorship but as an outlet for his nationalist views.

[...]

In a profile published in October 2002 in this paper, journalist Harry Papachristou wrote: “Flagrant anti-Semitism and xenophobia are standard items of his oratory. In his daily TV sermon, excerpts from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forged, anti-Semitic book, are regularly read.”
 
As a New Democracy MP in 1996, Karatzaferis he asked in parliament whether Christos Rozakis, a deputy foreign minister, was a Jew.
 
At the founding of his party in September 2000, he announced: "They say that to get ahead you have to be one of three things: a Jew, a homosexual, or a communist. We are none of these... Vote for a parliament without Masons, without homosexuals, without those dependent on Zionism."
 
A month later, he asked Prime Minister Costas Simitis in parliamant whether his daughter was "married according to Jewish ritual in Synagogue" and, if so, "why did it happen in secret."

A year later, after the 9/11 attacks, he claimed that the Israeli Mossad had advised the 4,000 Jewish workers and employees at the World Trade Center to absent themselves from work that day.
 
When the Israeli ambassador issued a statement condemning his allegations, Karatzaferis told viewers on his TeleAsty station that "These people [Jews] who have committed so many crimes in this land have no right to protest."
 
"Come now, Mr Ambassador, let's talk about the Holocaust, let's talk about the myths of Auschwitz and Dachau and those ovens; let's talk about the gas chambers to see if their walls were insulated to retain the gas or were simply made up of bricks," the Laos leader continued.

subprole

10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://communisation.net/The-indignados-movement-in-Greece

The ‘real democratic’ discourse was the almost total absence of practical actions in the ‘indignados’ movement. Leaving aside the 3 days of general strike and the spontaneous attacks against politicians here and there that have been taking place for a while in Greece, manifesting a diffuse, accumulated rage on the part of the working class and proletarianised petit-bourgeois and middle strata, there were no important actions organised by the assemblies, neither the central nor the local ones, or even more informal groupings of protesters (with the exception of some interventions in unemployment offices organised by the Group of Workers and Unemployed). Even the sabotaging of ticket machines in Syntagma underground station twice was organised by the so-called ‘I don’t pay’ movement which pre-existed the gatherings in the squares. The bureaucracy of the assemblies, on its part, did its best to block any such actions. The various ‘thematic groups’ that were created during the first days of the movement, to the extent that they did not wind up merely as practical executers of the assembly’s decisions (photocopying and handing-out leaflets etc) vanished in non-practice. It is true that swearing against politicians and cops outside the Parliament, spending time with so many other people, eating, drinking, dancing, chatting, and sleeping together is a nice feeling, and a break with the normality of everyday life. However, this movement lacked the practical actions and the imagination that the December 2008 riots or even the 2006–7 student movement had produced.

A major emphasis of the democratism of the movement and its bureaucracy was the condemnation of proletarian violence, and in this sense it once again echoed the Spanish movement. This democratism identifies violence with an increasingly authoritarian state, against which it counter-poses a ‘true democracy’ that will be able to resolve conflicts in a peaceful, civilised manner. It sees proletarians as treated unfairly, not as exploited. It sees citizens instead of classes. Contradictorily, these same citizens attack politicians whenever they happen to encounter them. However, as it will become evident below, there was a shift in this internal dynamic of the movement after the confrontations with the police on June 15, a shift that led to the major clashes on June 28 and 29. This shift affirmed the class character of the present conflict and the proletarian component of the movement, and this was most clearly manifested at the moment of its virtual death.