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So what's going on in Greece?

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aloeveraone
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Dec 13 2007 09:25
So what's going on in Greece?

So apparently there's a pretty big series of strikes going on in Greece at the moment...

http://libcom.org/news/greece-general-strike-against-pension-reform-12122007

I've also read bits and pieces about a fairly active student movement there last year and various anarchist activities of a high profile nature. I haven't really been able to find a steady source of information about all of this though. Are there any solid sites that keep up with the situation there (in English)? Also, could anyone fill me in on what the unions there are like? Any that could be considered syndicalist?

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Steven.
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Dec 13 2007 09:46

In our general Greece coverage we've got a couple of bits about the student movement:
http://libcom.org/tags/greece

http://libcom.org/library/a-brief-outline-of-the-student-movement-in-greece-june-2006
http://libcom.org/library/occupation-not-democracy-greek-student-leaflet-2006

on the forums a participant came on here for a bit... I'm pretty sure that student movement was defeated. It seems similar to the LRU stuff in france now
http://libcom.org/tags/lru

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jef costello
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Dec 13 2007 10:55

Student strikes are still on according to a report on indymedia.

Sotev
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Dec 13 2007 13:35

hello from greece.

on 12/12 there was an one-day general strike, proclaimed by the mainstream syndicalist unions, GSEE and ADEDY. The goverment (center-right ND party) is trying to impose a reform on the social insurance (social security) system: lowering the pensions, making us work for more years, reducing the welfare state in general.

around 100.000 people participated in the demonstation in athens, and some 20.000 in thessaloniki. demos were organised in most cities.
most of the strikers were from the public sectors.

there were also large blocs from the uni-students (not on "strike" right now), also large anarchist bloc (1500 people or so).

about the student movenet. the laws passed (similar to LRU), but in greece, in order for private universities to exist, the constitution neeed to change. this hasn't pass so far, but we except more on this this spring.

CCTVs were torn-down or burned by anarchists, these actions were largely accepted by the other demonstrators. right now in greece the state of the CCTV usage is debated in the parliament. a law will propably pass, permitting officially the use of CCTV for observing demos (the reason given is to fight the extremists-anarchists). Keep in mind that from the 500 or so cameras that exist in greece, around 200 (and counting... 200 in Dec-2006) have been burned down by anarchists.

fotos from the demos.

from athens
again, athens
thessaloniki, camera torn down

video, camera torn down by AK (anti-authoritarian movement)

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 14 2007 10:22
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making us work for more years

well as everyone now lives in wondeful health to the age of 95 then its only right that we work for as long as is possible.

What are the actual statistics on life expectancy in Greece/UK/France? I seriously doubt that the life expectancy of the average person has leapt that much, nor that peoples standard of life or health is improving that vastly. Thats not to say i actually believe this crap excuse for making us work longer anyway. But it would still be god to know the stats.

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Steven.
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Dec 14 2007 11:04
Sotev wrote:
Keep in mind that from the 500 or so cameras that exist in greece

That's funny. there are 4,200,000 in the UK.*

* source

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 14 2007 11:37
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the total number of cameras in the UK is around 15,500,000. The UK has one camera for every 5 people.

we have around a hundred times as many CCTV cameras in the UK as we do hospital beds.

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Steven.
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Dec 14 2007 11:49
guydebordisdead wrote:
Hahaha. I edited the wikipedia page to highlight John's lazy sourcing, can't believe someone quoted it so quickly. Amazing.

that is funny, but my sourcing was fine, cos i knew the figure was around 4 million.

Quote:
Throughout the country are an estimated five million CCTV cameras; that's one for every 12 citizens. We have more than 20 per cent of the world's CCTV cameras, which, considering that Britain occupies a tiny 0.2 per cent of the world's inhab itable land mass, is quite an achievement.

http://www.newstatesman.com/200610020022


http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23390407-details/UK+has+1%25+of+world's+population+but+20%25+of+its+CCTV+cameras/article.do

you nob

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 14 2007 11:57
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Hahaha. I edited the wikipedia page to highlight John's lazy sourcing, can't believe someone quoted it so quickly.

sneaky fucker. I never realised it was quite that easy to edit.

ok we have 22 times as many cctv cameras as we do NHS hospital beds!

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Steven.
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Dec 14 2007 12:05
guydebordisdead wrote:
Should have just referenced that to begin with, rather than an 'encyclopedia' that lets anonymous people make edits. grin

Most people aren't anti-social dicks who vandalise it. A guardian study showed it was more reliable than Encyclopedia Britannica.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 14 2007 12:21

funny i tried to access the edit and it said my IP address had been prohibited from doing so because of vandalism and that i'd be allowed back on tomorrow. So that means someone at work has been playing silly buggers with wiki.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 14 2007 14:28
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why are greek anarchists focussing on 500 cctv cameras during a strike wave?

because theyre easier to break than a class based structure of society? I don't know, i expect it passes the time on an AtoB march.

Sotev
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Dec 14 2007 18:44
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So back to the topic at hand, why are greek anarchists focussing on 500 cctv cameras during a strike wave?

you are funny. i mentioned some direct actions. the demos were pretty much uninventful, save for the anti-cam actions and some burned banks. i would love it if the "strikers" did something - anything, even writing and circulating leaflets- on their own. but they didn't. should the revolutionaries in greece wait till there are more cctv-cams like the pathetic 4 millions in UK? now is the time to act, now that portions of the population are against the cctvs. it's nice to see middle-aged proles approve this sort of violent action.

and anyways, the minimizing of the welfare-state goes along w/ the maximization of the warfare-state, no?* and it's warfare against the proles, as always.

*(just see the economy figures, how they fall for social services, public health etc and how they rize for the police, armies, the whole police-security-surveillance complex).

Leo
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Dec 17 2007 10:30
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i would love it if the "strikers" did something - anything, even writing and circulating leaflets- on their own. but they didn't. should the revolutionaries in greece wait till there are more cctv-cams like the pathetic 4 millions in UK?

Maybe they should have written leaflets about the strike instead of breaking cameras?

Just an idea?

Thora
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Dec 17 2007 12:16

How dare some anarchists continue with an anti-CCTV campaign while there's a strike on!

Alex...
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Dec 17 2007 13:48
Thora wrote:
How dare some anarchists continue with an anti-CCTV campaign while there's a strike on!

Or at all, really.

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Rob Ray
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Dec 17 2007 13:58
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Not how dare, more why bother.

Because if the strikes/demos look likely to get heated it's probably a good idea to have the recording devices downed?

Thora
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Dec 17 2007 15:55

Indeed - the law changing to allow CCTV to be used to observe demonstrations seems to be quite relevant to me.

Sotev
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Dec 17 2007 17:54
Leo Uilleann wrote:
Maybe they should have written leaflets about the strike instead of breaking cameras?

Just an idea?

by "they" you mean anarchists? if so, leaflets by various groups were written and handed out against the current reform.

guydebordisdead wrote:
Not how dare, more why bother.

? are you serious? i thought this was a "libertarian communist" forum. should we or should we not fight state surveilance? i said it before, i think this sums it up: the shrinking of the "welfare state" goes along with the policization of society.

Leo
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Dec 17 2007 20:24
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should the revolutionaries in greece wait till there are more cctv-cams like the pathetic 4 millions in UK?
Quote:
by "they" you mean anarchists?

I mean revolutionaries.

Quote:
? are you serious? i thought this was a "libertarian communist" forum. should we or should we not fight state surveilance? i said it before, i think this sums it up: the shrinking of the "welfare state" goes along with the policization of society.

Okay, lets say shrinking of the "welfare state" goes along with the policization of society. However there are certain really important questions. Is breaking cameras really a way to fight against policization of society? Is it possible to fight against the policization of society as something separate from the capitalist system? Who can fight against the politiczation of society and how?

It is the struggle of the working class that is in reality effectively against the new trends of the capitalist society, such as policization, because it is, by it's nature, an act naturally against capitalism. The role of the revolutionaries is not to conduct "direct actions" seperated from the working class, but it is to participate within the activities of the class, and to point out and the common interests of the entire world proletariat in their interventions, and their common hostility towards the whole of the capitalist system.

I think that even if the struggle of the workers is dominated by the unions and even if the workers are influenced by bourgeois ideologies, it would deal a stronger blow to the policization than a few hundred cameras being smashed.

Thora
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Dec 17 2007 22:07

Leo, I'm afraid I still don't understand why you object to people destroying CCTV cameras?

aloeveraone
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Dec 18 2007 00:16

I can see how someone could object to the destruction of the cameras if it was the ONLY thing being done. That would obviously be ignoring the necessary role of being actively involved in the worker activities. I highly doubt, though, that these were the only actions taken by the Greek anarchists. Throwing a rock at a camera does not require a lot of extra effort, and I suspect these actions did not take much away from other actions designed to radicalize the base in the worker movement. If they did, that is a problem - if not, the destruction of cameras is simply an added benefit on top of the hard work that is hopefully being done within the strike movement.

Anyway, this is all speculation on my part since I'm not there. Also, I appreciate all the information given in the thread so far. I'm still a little confused, though... I've heard that there are two different factions of anarchists there that have regular disputes - a communist-oriented one and an insurrectionist-oriented one. I don't want to get into a debate about the pros and cons of either (or even if it's a false dichotomy), but I would like more information about each. Could anyone point me in the right direction?

Sotev, you mentioned the "mainstream syndicalist unions" - the GSEE and ADEDY. Putting the words syndicalist and mainstream together makes me a bit skeptical. Could you maybe provide some links, preferably in English, to information about these two unions?

Also, it's been a few days... any updates on the situation? I appreciate the info, and good luck in the struggle.

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Steven.
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Dec 18 2007 10:02
aloeveraone wrote:
Anyway, this is all speculation on my part since I'm not there. Also, I appreciate all the information given in the thread so far. I'm still a little confused, though... I've heard that there are two different factions of anarchists there that have regular disputes - a communist-oriented one and an insurrectionist-oriented one. I don't want to get into a debate about the pros and cons of either (or even if it's a false dichotomy), but I would like more information about each. Could anyone point me in the right direction?

the more insurrectionist ones bombed the more social-oriented ones offices. Thread here:
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/greek-anarchists-bombed-by-insurrectionists

if you google greece anarchists libcom there are some more threads as well. But you're right that should be for another thread.

aloeveraone
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Dec 20 2007 11:51
John. wrote:
the more insurrectionist ones bombed the more social-oriented ones offices. Thread here:
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/greek-anarchists-bombed-by-insurrectionists

if you google greece anarchists libcom there are some more threads as well. But you're right that should be for another thread.

OK, I checked out that thread and several offshoots from it... and now I might be more confused than ever. Let me see if I get this close to right... *I am not sure about any of the below, don't take it as fact until someone who knows confirms it*

There's a large social anarchist group called the Antiauthoritarian Movement or AK (Is this also AM?)?
There's a large insurrectionist movement called.... what?
There's a small platformist group whose name I haven't found?
There's a small IWW presence, mostly IU510?
There's a small syndicalist union called the Libertarian Syndicalist Union or ESE?
There's a Federation of Anarchists of Western Greece or OADE?
There's some sort of Federation of Anarchists of Greece?

Infoshop also lists two groups, Thieves in Black and Anti-State Justice that I assume are affinity groups within the insurrectionist network?

Also, from what I've found the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) are definitely not anarchist oriented. Could anyone clarify what their orientation is, though? I think the confusion here is due to the different connotations of the word "syndicalist" in the different languages.

Can anyone confirm/add/update any of that? Also, help with all the initials would be useful, too - the language difference is confusing me when it comes to all the acronyms.

Whew. That's complicated. Sounds like I need to make my way to Greece, though...

Sotev
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Dec 20 2007 15:20
aloeveraone wrote:
OK, I checked out that thread and several offshoots from it... and now I might be more confused than ever. Let me see if I get this close to right... *I am not sure about any of the below, don't take it as fact until someone who knows confirms it*

There's a large social anarchist group called the Antiauthoritarian Movement or AK (Is this also AM?)?

AK="AM" http://www.resistance2003.gr/en/ . AK is a network of assemblies ( most large cities have a local assembly). there are other large groupings, around squats etc etc.

Quote:
There's a small syndicalist union called the Libertarian Syndicalist Union or ESE?

yep. www.ese.gr,

Quote:
There's a Federation of Anarchists of Western Greece or OADE?

yep, small group, not a "federation"

Quote:
There's some sort of Federation of Anarchists of Greece?

no.

Quote:
Also, from what I've found the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) are definitely not anarchist oriented. Could anyone clarify what their orientation is, though? I think the confusion here is due to the different connotations of the word "syndicalist" in the different languages.

as I said, these are the main unions in greece. not anarchists, not even "leftists". "syndicalist" in greek doesn't have the meaning it apparently has in english.

for direct action stuff check (click english)
http://directactiongr.blogspot.com

aloeveraone
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Dec 20 2007 20:47
guydebordisdead wrote:
aloeveraone wrote:
Whew. That's complicated. Sounds like I need to make my way to Greece, though...

Why?

Well, it sounds like Greece has one of the most active anarchist movements around. I'd like to see it firsthand.

And to Sotev, thanks a lot. That clears up quite a bit.

ernie
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Dec 24 2007 01:21

Agree with Guy and Leo on the pointlessness of attacking CCTV's and the importance of seeking to help develop the movement. Though it is not clear what guy means by

Quote:
In the context of a general strike what is the purpose of tearing down a cctv camera? (which half the above coverage focusses on). Is this the anarchist tactic for bringing workers closer to revolutionary conclusions?

Could you develop on this guy.

It is also pointless and a diversion to attack CCTV in the name of defending the demo, because the police have their own camaras both hand held and those in specialist surveillance vans, plus those in helicopters etc etc. The best defense against state repression is the development of the widest possible movement of the class.

On the general situation in Greece it does appear to be very interesting and part of a much wider international upsurge of struggles

ernie
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Dec 24 2007 21:30

Guy, I was wondering what you meant by bringing workers closer to revolutionary conclusion? To some anarchists this is the role of a small group of anarchists, a sort of anarchist version of the Kautskian idea of bring consciousness to the class, Just trying to clarify things, not having a pot or anything.

There was no intention of allowing the other thread to spill over, rather when we agree we should say so. We may bitterly disagree on something, but that is not a personal thing so there is no reason why we should not agree on something else

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EasternBarbarian
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Jan 2 2008 18:15

Best part of this is that Greek anarchists do their own thing regardless of what you lot write here and whether armchair revolutionaries sitting in front of screen agree with smashing up CCTVs or not they dont seem to give a fuck . Big up for Greek vandals smile

Alex...
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Jan 2 2008 18:41

And I doubt too much whether the thousands of Greek workers who took part in the strike could give a toss about the handful of people running about smashing up some CCTV cameras.

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EasternBarbarian
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Jan 2 2008 18:45

Well, with this you might be wrong because some time ago I remember big demo that took part there with attendance by trade unions etc. against state surveilance and CCTV cameras. Even though if they don't care about handful of activists smashing cameras is not a resason not to smash them.