Thursday, October 18, 2012

more on today's strike in Greece

The demonstrations of the All-workers Militant Front (PAME) in Athens, Thessalonica, Piraeus and dozens of cities all over the country on the 18th of October, 2012 were a decisive response to the barbaric measures and political line of the government, EU and capital. 

PAME held a majestic demonstration in the centre of Athens. “We do not fall for the games aimed at disorientating, mocking and trapping the Greek people regarding the so-called negotiation.” This was stressed by Sotiris Poulikogiannis, President of the Metalworkers Union of Piraeus, at the central strike rally in Omonia. And he added that the three-party government of ND-PASOK-Democratic Left “have finalised the raft of measures which have been ordered by the monopolies.”

As the trade unionist of PAME said: “From the day when capital established the EU, it has sought through it to maximise its profitability, by cutting back every labour right-gain-freedom (…) all those who speak about a bad negotiation, subservience, foreign occupation etc are playing a dirty role. On the one hand they make a lot of noise and talk tough and on the other hand they assist the attempt to conceal the truth from the people- from the working class. To exonerate the big employers so that their destructive activity can proceed unchecked. They have given a role to the fascist gang of Golden Dawn in this plan. A triple role a) To turn Greek workers against immigrants, B) To use their slave-trading employment agencies to patronize the Greek workers and to hand them over to the employers as cheap labour, C) To operate as a para-state repressive apparatus against the class-oriented movement. For there to be effective struggles the racist-Nazi views of Golden Dawn must be condemned. We call on the workers, and the people to reject them in a mass and determined way. So that they have no factories or meetings where they can go to and speak and spread the poison of racism and xenophobia, and talk about the allegedly good patriotic capitalists.”

S. Poulikogiannis noted amongst other things that: “We upset their plans, because we expose their role and the real causes of the crisis. Because we have a proposal and a plan to overthrow their power. 

They are all infuriated when they hear us shout with class hatred the following slogan: WITHOUT YOU NO COG CAN TURN- WORKER, YOU CAN DO WITHOUT THE BOSSES.

Their plans for net salaries of 580 euros and maybe even less … are not only related to the minimum wage, everyone in the public and private sector will be paid on this basis. This is the life which they are preparing for us and our children. Work from dusk until dawn with starvation wages.

No hope of free time- no possibility of our children going to university- no access to basic health and welfare services- work until extreme old age with meagre benefits instead of a pension.

And all this will take place in the much-awaited development phase which they are ALL talking to us about, and when we say all we mean all those who praise the EU and identify our future with the profitability of the monopoly groups. 

For us this prospect is not called development but transformation of the workers into the slaves of the 21st century. 

There is only one path of development for the class-oriented labour movement: development in favour of the people and not the monopolies, utilizing all the productive potential of Greece. This development can be realized only with people’s power and economy, with the disengagement from the EU. With the socialization of the monopolies, so that they are transformed into workers’ and people’s property that will be utilized according to the central, national planning for the complete utilization of the productive capabilities of the country in favour of the popular strata. Only the workers’ and people’s power, which will transform not merely the current state property into social property but also the big businesses and factories, and can organize production on the basis of central planning so as to utilize to the utmost the immense productive capabilities of Greece. The people will be able to decide on their future and prosper only when they get rid of the yoke of the plutocracy’s parasites.” 

He called on the workers to organize the struggle in all workplaces in order to block the measures which have already been finalised and are dictated by the monopolies. He denounced the reactionary plan for the restructuring of the trade union movement which is promoted by the forces of SYRIZA and called on the workers to struggle through the ranks of the class-oriented labour movement, under the flags of PAME. 

The rally included also greeting speeches by Christos Marganelis from the People’s Committee in Peristeri (a working class neighbourhood in Athens) and Stathis Sachinidis president of the association of the self-employed and the small traders of Athens, on behalf of The Greek Militant Rally of Self-employed (PASEVE). Furthermore, the small shops which participated in the strike remained closed all over the country. 

A minute’s silence was observed as it is one year since the cowardly attack of the anarchist-fascist groups against PAME in October 2011 which led to the death of the construction worker Dimitris Kotzaridis

There followed a large march in the central streets of the Greek capital. At the time when the head of PAME’s demonstration was passing by the Parliament, in Syntagma Square, the tail was still in Omonoia square where the rally of PAME had taken place.

During the strike rally of PAME Aleka Papariga, GS of the CC of the KKE, made the following statement to journalists: “the important thing is to build a strong people’s alliance so that the people follow the path of rupture, overthrow , disengagement from the EU, cancellation of the debt and socialization. There is no other path.”

Death of a Demonstrator

After the completion of PAME’s march, there followed the demonstration of the compromised trade unions of GSEE and ADEDY where there were some minor incidents between the police and the hooded individuals. The police used tear gas, with the result that later a demonstrator who passed through this area felt discomfort and fainted. The information available at this moment states that this man was a 67 year old seaman, unemployed for many years, who according to witnesses had participated earlier in PAME’s demonstration. The information available states that the dead demonstrator suffered a cardiac arrest…

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