Actions – Strikes – Solidarity
In Thessaloniki took place the event “Debt: The first 5000 years” with David Graeber, anarchist and anthropologist, at the social occupied space, Fabrica Ifanet at a time when we must resist to the notion that the State attaches to the term “debt” and to intensify social struggle against the violation of the rights of the working class.
- Employees Association of Paper-Book Sector in Attica in a statement condemned the attempted arson of the Alternative Bookstore, which had been vandalized on June 1st. Employees in the book sector, said that this was the latest in a series of similar attacks on bookstores and publishing houses (eg recent attempted arson of the central Athenian bookstore IANOS), and condemn such practices no matter where they originate from.
- On June the 5th a solidarity action for the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala in Oaxaca, took place. Comrades from Greece hung on a banner at Propylea in Athens, hand out a text and leaflets and wrote slogans of solidarity.
The San Juan Copala has declared its autonomy, it does not recognize the representatives of the Mexican government and is under siege by paramilitaries. Paramilitaries have murdered at least 21 residents of the autonomous municipality. On April 27 they had killed two human rights observers from Mexico and Finland during the attack on a caravan of solidarity. (More information in Spanish: http://autonomiaencopala.wordpress.com and http://vocal.lahaine.org/)
- Super market expropriation and money burning in Thessaloniki (more info and video); same statements preceded in Pagrati (1 June) and Egaleo (7 June), Athens.
On 14th of June, anarchists stormed a super market, destroyed the security systems and took food and other products from inside and left without paying. They also took the money from the cash desk and burnt it outside the super market.
- On June 25 a live concert was given against state repression in Exarchia Square in the centre of Athens. Comrades read a text by Aris Sirinidis : “From Korydallos prison, the ultimate expression of state terrorism, I send my greetings to today’s roadblock against state repression and Exarchia, the diachronic laboratory of struggle for social liberation” (extract). Comrades, also read the greeting of Nikitopoulos Sarantos, who is detained in Korydallos prison and accused for the case of the “Revolutionary Struggle”: “For the neighborhood of Exarchia, where the continuous repressive presence of police forces and police brutality is apparent, has been hit by drug trafficking and has been the main target of repressive policy, continues to resist and will continue … It could be no other way, as long as the blood of Michalis [Kaltezas] and Alexis [Grigoropoulos] remind us the social war that rages, it could be no other way as the memory of each individual and our collective memory remind us both beautiful and ugly moments on these streets ” (extract).
- The court of Piraeus decided that the strike of workers in the port of Piraeus (the largest port in the country, nodular for the summer season) is illegal and abusive (!). The court decision was not only outrageous (and, unfortunately, similar decisions followed), but it came out just one day before the general strike of June 29, which both (sold-out) main unions: the GSEE (private sector) and ADEDY (the public sector) had called out .
Repressive forces blockaded the gates of the port. The authorities of the port blocked the strikers from a new blockade of the harbor, as had already done on 23 June, during the strike of harbor workers. However, with the help of solidarists and other workers, they were able to break the police cordon and block the port and prevent the ships to sail. The morning of June 29 only a few ships sailed, and at 6:15 a.m. The police used tear-gas, but failed to disperse or repel the crowd of workers from the port.
- On the 29th of June mass of people participated in the demonstration organized by GSEE and ADEDY. In the center of Athens outside the parliament the police attacked the demonstrators using tear gas and injured many of them.
Police riot squads indiscriminately started beating anyone who crossed their way, while outraged protestors answered back with wooden sticks and stone throwing. The police had not had enough of the barbarism, so just after the end of the demonstration they invaded in Omonia central metro station. Cops even attacked passengers exiting the train because they condemned their fascist practices. Riot squat police approached the train platforms where, with the assistance of some of the metro employees, stopped the wagons, while kept on terrorising passengers.
Repression – (In)Justice
- On June 5th, police acted in sideline with LAOS (the far right-wing governmental party) to defend the fascist policies, in order to “clear” the historical-tourist-commercial centre of Athens, proceeding in mass arrests and wild beatings of migrants.
Police forces organized a raid in the historic center of Athens. DIAS attacked and chased with fury dozens of immigrant vendors from Kolokotronis Square to Thisseio and Omonia, proceeding in seizures of their merchandise, beatings and arrests around the center. Two immigrants ended up at the hospital. The first was beaten by a truncheon on the head and the elbow. The second was beaten by cops on the chest when they tried to stop him and by kicking him up repeatedly on a marble surface on Stadium st. Six of cops “convoy him” in custody at the hospital, where with incredible lies were trying to get away from citizens who saw the injury and followed him there.
- On June 6th, ended the 18-month detention awaiting trial of the two policemen Korkoneas and Saraliotis and so were released on probation – until the final outcome of the trial for the cold-blooded murder of Alexander Grigoropoulos the night of December 6th, 2008.
In court of Amfissa the medical coroner testified that Korkoneas shot directly to the crowd, excluding the allegation of the ostracism of the bullet on the surface before hitting the 15 year-old victim.
- Another fact from Greek ‘Justice’: Ridiculous sentences imposed by the court to the police officers who had “load” a young man’s backpack with a Molotov cocktail in Thessaloniki on December 2009. Penalties of provisional removal from service for 3 and 2 months was imposed on the head officer and the four police officers involved, respectively, and a fine of 200-300 euros on a sixth police officer who threw on the ground the mobile device that a woman witness used to record the incident.
- The Belgrade 6 are free, all charges dropped
Some excellent news from Athens IMC today: the Belgrade 6 have been released and all charges against them have been dropped. The six comrades had been arrested in September 2009 in Belgrade, charged with an action that took place at the greek embassy in Belgrade on August 25, in solidarity to then hunger striker Thodoros Iliopoulos.
Government – Society – I.M.F.
- A 50-year old man set himself alight in a bank branch in the city of Thessaloniki last week. The story wasn’t paraded in national or international media; it doesn’t sell enough, or perhaps it’s just too uncomfortable to handle. A rough translation of the snippet that’s been circulating around news agencies:
A man of approximately 50 years of age set himself alight inside a bank branch in the centre of Thessaloniki early on the evening of June 2nd, 2010.
As announced by the police, the man soaked himself with petrol and set himself alight in front of the bank’s employees who rushed out of the building. Fire brigade units rushed to the point and managed to put off the fire from the man’s clothes before this would prove fatal for him. They then put off the fire inside the bank branch itself.
The man seems to have been facing serious financial issues and was a customer in the branch where the incident took place.
- The moment that supposed disclosure of political scandals and the setting up of multi-party committees of inquiry in the name of “catharsis and transparency” in political life, next to the desperate attempt of standing bandits to convince average citizens that parties, particularly the ruling PASOK and New Democracy (opposition party) are willing to change the political system … the government and the Minister of Labour Loverdos trying to impose, via a new presidential decree-law, the most predatory labour terrorism . (For Social Security Act in Greece see here).
Let us focus on two points: First, young people until the age of 21, when they first enter into the job market, they will be hired with the 80% of the minimum salary or wage, whereas the rate for the youth aged 21-25 years old is estimated around 84%. At the same time, we have a differentiation in the terms of conditions of employment –such as lower-type employees. Second, older workers who are dismissed will have the right to self-insurance, while for people aged 57-60 years old the cost of self-insurance would be covered by the employer at the 50%. The percentage will reach the 80% of the cost for insured employees aged 60-64 years old.
- On June 12th Latvian judges revoked the measures for social security imposed by the IMF, that called on massive cuts in pensions 10-70%. According to the court, these provisions were unconstitutional and in contrast to the principle of the so-called “rule of law”. “The fundamental rights of citizens based in the Constitution are mandatory for the legislature, regardless the financial status of the state”. Article 109 of the Constitution of Latvia states that everyone has the right to social security regarding age, accident, unemployment, etc. Respectively, the Greek Constitution provides such care as the core of the welfare state. The decision could be used as a stepping stone, even in legal terms, to challenge anti-social measures of the IMF not only in Greece, but in any country.
- From 14 to 18 June an IMF’s representative group visited Athens, since “the implementation of the [“support”] program requires frequent visits by IMF staff in Greece”.
One of the first areas that IMF will affect is the most crucial of all: health. In Greece the health situation is tragic. Thereby, there is an urgent need to self-organize ourselves, since methods of self-management on such a sensitive area is either less time-tested or almost absent, unlike the situation on sectors such as food, housing, employment, education etc. The deliberately planned collapse of the health care system encourages private hospitals and all private care structures, private insurance companies and finally the full privatization of health sector, as the IMF has already sought on every country they are involved in.
- The ultimate goal of the international mission Freedom Flotilla is to lift the embargo that the official state of Israel has declared to Gaza Strip, excluding about 1.5 million inhabitants of Palestine from medicinal, first aid and construction materials.
According to a statement of complaint on June 1st by the initiative “A boat to Gaza” from the prison Mpersempa of Israel, the ship”Freedom of the Mediterranean” with 22 Greeks on board the morning of May 31 accepted pirate attacks from fully armed Israeli commandos. Earlier “Sfendoni, which also had Greeks on board and the remaining four vessels of the international mission had accepted a similar violent attack. Israeli commandos used actual fire and killed unarmed civilians. They stormed on the ships with weapons, brutally beat the crew, exercising physical violence and using weapons of electrical shocks, tied them in handcuffs, and savagely dragged them on the deck. The attack on international waters, 80 nautical miles off the coast of Israel and Gaza, it cost an undetermined number of deaths (over 10) and about 48 injured, mostly in Turkish ship «Mavi-Marmara». Of the 685 people who participated in the humanitarian movement, 45 agreed to be deported while the others remained into prison, until June 2nd when they finally deported to their countries of origin.
- The Greeks who were illegally detained in Israeli prisons condemned the brutality of the Israelis and the attack made against the international mission.
Michalis Grigoropoulos, a sailor on the ship “Free Mediterranean” stated the following: ‘You know, of course, that we had a pirate attack against us. What I want to tell you, is that comrades from our Incentive have been tortured. I refused to sign any document and was deported against my will. I was put in isolation. I denounce the Zionist state for yet another crime against humanity. We saw from afar the onslaught by the commandos of the Zionist army on the Turkish ship of the Freedom Flotilla. I denounce the Greek government, which left the greek ships and the greek citizens unprotected. A huge popular movement must now be formed, which will demand the release of all hostages and the return of our ships. Solidarity to the Palestinian People must grow. Palestinian Resistance must win, and it shall win.’
- The Greek and Cypriot state (see also May 21-31) condemned the incident, but in practice refused to provide assistance when it was asked, while the Israeli army invaded into vessels, and did not provide any assistance to prisoners.
Moreover, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak is one of the vice president of the so- called “Socialist International”, chaired by-who else? – the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.
- On June 3rd the initiative “A Boat to Gaza” called on a protest at Propylea to the House of Parliament and the Foreign Ministry. Earlier, mass demonstrations of protest against the brutal killing of comrades had taken place in Athens and Thessaloniki, where police suppression could only compete the savagery of special forces of Israel.
- On June 4th about 40 people denounced the deadly attack by the Israeli army by occupying the offices of Israeli Netafim in Athens. Netafim is a national company manufacturing irrigation systems, one of the largest worldwide, with annual profit over $ 500,000,000.
- On 27 June the communist anarchist organization Common Cause, in a statement-complaint against the violent mass arrests in Toronto at the meeting of G20, concluded: “We will continue to resist the austerity measures and other policies that exploit and oppress us in our daily lives. Today, street violence hit us in Toronto, but the violence of the State continues around the world. Violence of the capitalist state will not stop at the end of the Meeting of G20, neither our resistance. We express our solidarity to all those arrested in Toronto, the demonstrators and all those around the world who continue to struggle for collective liberation. Freedom to the 600 in Toronto!
- Photos from the terribly destructive leakage of BP in the Gulf of Mexico during June, which occurred in April.