Some say that in August there is no news or almost nothing happens. Yet, the Greek State passed new austerity measures, while repression forces acted with excessive zeal. The trial of the uniformed killers of Alexis Grigoropoulos continued, with comrades’ presence in Amfissa. Inside and outside the cities of Greece, actions of self-organization were held. By the end of August, while many were on vacation… the summer department of the parliament passed in a hurry new amendments to the terrorist law, which ‘permit’ authorities to shove in prison entire groups of demonstrators for ‘terroristic action’!
The Capital’s raid with its shield of the repression regime is continuing on all fronts, in cities, forests, mountains, rivers, beaches, therefore our actions of resistance are urgently needed everywhere.
- On 1 August, following the government’s civil conscription order and army vehicles roaming the country’s streets offering gas supplies, the lorry owners/drivers (see also July 26–August 1) suspended their strike in exchange of the lifting of the civil conscription. The minister of Transport asked the strikers to refrain from new actions. Corporate media failed to underline that personal files of unionists were opened during the last days of the strike, while prosecutors of economic crime were sent to lorry owners businesses.
See also an analysis of August about the forthcoming contestation over electricity in Greece: after the truck drivers, the next major field of struggle in autumn is very likely to be the Public Power Corporation and the attempted privatization of a large percentage of its energy plants and supplies.
- During the summer period, the workers of the restaurant Banquet and the Solidarity Committee continued their mobilization with pickets, demonstrations, a live concert and public kitchen outside the restaurant. The employer re-opened the place (as September is a profitable month due to Thessaloniki International Fair) in an attempt to ruin the workers, but he failed thanks to practical solidarity from fellow workers, students, unions and food supply workers, and the financial support of the Solidarity Committee’s campaign. Previously, after constant protests (almost everyday there was a gathering) in front of the restaurant, the boss decided to close it for the summer, in order to destroy economically the workers and force them to stop their struggle. However, now he refuses to hire the workers that mobilized the last months, protesting against the firing of one worker for syndicalist reasons. Some gatherings outside the restaurant took place, while the police arrested one worker in 31 August. After protests and a gathering outside a central police station, where it was believed he was held, police set him free – his court will take place in about five months. In 2 September another worker of the Solidarity Committee was arrested, after legal actions of the employer.
Background information about the labour conflict in the restaurant Banquet
- Smaller or bigger bosses continued to dismiss workers in various fields, while several published articles tried to prove that the ‘official’ unemployment rate seems higher… Media, advertising and publishing companies held a leading role in dismissals, such as the alleged progressive ‘Eleftherotypia’ daily. But an even brighter neo-liberal employer remains the ‘party of the people’, the ‘Communist’ Party of Greece, which sacked and left unpaid many workers in its companies (Typoekdotiki S.A., ‘Rizospastis’ daily, 902 FM radio station). Instead of invoking the popular rage, the ‘Communist’ Party should start to tremble for it.
- Since late August, the Movement for Labour Empowerment and Self-Organization issued a call for the establishment of a trade unions’ block and base movements for the demonstration of the Thessaloniki International Fair (11 September).
- In 26 August many teachers gathered outside the Ministry of Education. Not only their representatives were not accepted, but furthermore the riot police brutally attacked the assembled, as shown in the following… educational video.
MURDERS AND TORTURES WITH THE STATE’S BLESSINGS
- In August, during the trial of the two killers of Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Amfissa, the public prosecutor rejected all ‘mitigating factors’ brought forward by the side of the two accused cops. If his recommendation is upheld by the court’s judges, Korkoneas is facing a life sentence (the trial will recommence on 11 October).
- A 32-year old Polish man (no details were published by the police) was found dead at Kypseli police station, central Athens. He supposedly slit his throat with a broken glass vase in the early hours of 2 August. He had been arrested two days earlier for ‘attempted robbery’ and was held in pre-trial detention.
- Ιn 2 August a solidarity action took place outside Trikala prison and a march downtown for the prisoners’ hunger strike on the appalling conditions of detention. At the end of the month, at the same hellhole, Vangelis Pallis was found severely wounded in his prison cell. The guards claimed he was wounded with glass by himself! He was transmitted to the hospital of Trikala in a critical condition. Prisoners were enraged and many put fire to their mattresses. Riots followed in Grevena prison. Vangelis Pallis is being targeted by warders mainly because he is one of the first detainees who took part in revolts inside prison.
- The Conscripts’ Liberation Network ‘Spartakos’ denounced more deaths of soldiers that occurred in August.
IMMIGRANTS / ANTIFASCISM
- In 6 August Baruti, autonomous social centre of Veria in northern Greece, called to an anti-fascist, anti-racist action for human freedom.
- Mass grave of refugees was discovered in Thrace, near the Greek-Turkish borders (full text and photos).
- In 13 August the Muslim cemetery of the Northern-Greek region of Posh Posh was vandalized. A protest march to the Turkish consulate in Komotini was immediately organized by the Association of Greek Muslims.
- In 16 August protesters gathered at Syntagma Square, Athens, against the visit of the murderer Netanyahu and denounced the Greek government’s cooperation with the Zionist State.
- Ιn 21 August another pogrom of immigrants was held by the cops of the northern-western city of Igoumenitsa.
- In 29 August asylum was finally granted to Iranian hunger strikers (more info).
WELCOME TO THE GREEK ISLANDS
- Anarchist slogans on Santorini island, at the town hall (5 August) and the courthouse (23 August), in protest against the inhumane detention of immigrants.
- Aegina, an island just one hour by ferry from the port of Piraeus, was left for days without water and electricity.
- Fourth exhibition on Ikaria island with works by Christodoulos Xiros which he makes inside the prison cell (he is detained as a member of the Revolutionary Organization 17 November – 17N). His lawyer denounced violation of Xiros’ rights as a patient.
- In 6 August with the slogan ‘Ship to Gavdos island – No more lies’ inhabitants and visitors gathered at its port and protested against the exclusion of the island.
- Police attacks against free camping took place in various parts of Greece. In 3 August twenty two people were arrested on the beach of Lake Preveli, Crete. In 22 August almost the entire palm wood was burned in the same area. Right-wing tabloids accused people of the anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement as arsonists. Testimonies and photos of comrades, who took part in the fire extinguishment, were ignored by the authorities and media, which cover the interests of those preparing to exploit the burned land.
- Do you happen to know the legendary Bridge of Arta, located over Arachthos River (near the northern-western city of Arta)? Now the municipality plans to destroy the river itself by narrowing the riverbed in order to exploit… dry land!
- A thanks letter to people in solidarity and to comrades from Rosa Nera squat by the inhabitants who fought against the building of wind towers in the area of Apopigadi, Crete, where the works by a subsidiary of the multinational company EDF have stopped – at least temporarily.
- European Goldfields is described as ‘a developer-producer with globally significant gold reserves located within the European Union’. In August its monstrous project which consists of the ‘development’ of local mines in Halkidiki (northern Greece) was promoted by the Greek government in too much of a hurry.
- In August, a time when many people are absent from Athens, the works of the Casino on Parnitha mountain expanded further. Excavators invaded near remnants of burnt trees, where there was forest before the holocaust of 2007. The area is theoretically protected by law as part of the National Park. A witness reported the invasion to the authorities which claimed that the area is private, owned by the Casino.
- In 26 and 27 August thousands of minks were liberated from farms in villages near Kastoria and Kozani, an area of northern Greece well-known for its fur companies. Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the two actions. A few days later their communiqué was translated and published on www.antispe.gr. Some media tried to connect this group with ALF and to criminalize the actions of its members.
SOLIDARITY TO THE PROSECUTED ANARCHISTS IN CHILE
- The night of 28 August five diplomatic vehicles were attacked in Thessaloniki. The action was claimed by a new group and is dedicated to comrades in Chile who are prosecuted.
- In August a sticker, signed by the ‘Conspiracy of the equal’, circulated around public transportation (metro, buses) in Athens which read: ‘Passengers are requested, in the name of elementary class dignity, should they have validated their ticket, to hand it over to passengers without a ticket, once they have completed their journey. In this way, possible quarrels will be avoided with those sad leeches, the ticket inspectors.’
Tickets in Athens’ public transportation are valid for 1,5 hour once validated, so a huge impromptu movement has started with people passing on tickets to fellow passengers once they’ve completed their journey. This has prompted OASA, the transport authority, to issue ‘legal warnings’ on the back side of tickets making clear that this action is illegal. Hence, this sticker has come as a response.