Against the European army, military equipment, nationalist parades and anniversaries
- The state agreed to pay 550 million euros (!) to the “Greek” Dockyards for the construction of two additional submarines type 214. The prime minister, on the one hand slaughters pensions and wages and on the other pays well the Arab ship owners of Abu Dhabi Mar, who now own the shipyard.
- The EUROpean GENDarmerie FORce is coming soon to Greece “to halt protests in view of economic crisis.” By using the army of the Member States of the EU to repress social struggles, the government hides the involvement of the state army in crisis and sets on the European emergency powers for military intervention. The European Gendarmerie Force is composed of France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Romania, while the Headquarters are based in Vicenza, Italy. It also involves secret services that team up with European militaries to guarantee “safety in European regions where there are critical situations”. The Federal Ministry of Defense praised the project by writing on its website: “Police or Army? A European division promises solution.” The old question “Republic or tanks?” is now replaced by “Police or Army?” Our answer cannot be other than: ALL IN THE STREETS!
- Many actions took place against the “national parade” of October the 28th in several cities of Greece, including Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Veria, Kozani, Xanthi, Mytilene, etc.
- In Chania, Crete about 200 students interrupted the nationalist march by landing a demonstration in the middle of it, protesting against the privatization of education – clashes with cops followed.See a history of parades
New robust student protests against the ignorance and commercialism
The student protests escalated throughout Greece, the entire month.
The Minister of Education spoke about “obscure centers that instigate the occupations” and said that “the lost lesson hours will be replenished even if you have to make classes on Saturdays, holidays or to cut the five-day trips.
But the students insisted. Up to 8 October, at least 60 schools in Athens were under occupation, 24 secondary schools were not working in the prefecture of Thessaloniki, and 11 schools in Aetoloakarnania. In Patras, 32 high schools did not operate, 6 schools in Fthiotida and one of Evia were under occupation.
Among other things, students are protesting against the commercial character of schools where people pay for supplies, books, oil, etc.
They also ask for an increase in the limit of absences.
- Teaching staff at the Marathon High School (and other schools) were examined at the police station! “Give me the names of children”, the officer pressed the teachers. After the testimonies, some teachers said “The prosecutors normally do not intervene anywhere, and now they are going after the children” and others “will the police impose the lessons?”
- Residents of Ano Ambelokipi (central Athens) and schoolchildren in the area organized a protest march against the construction of a 28-meter high building with 3 underground garages, on a building plot of PPC (Public Power Corporation), demanding instead to build schools and create green space. The struggle of the residents has been going on for 15 years and has even won a court decision, so the rallies now have to do with the ownership of the PPC.
In Trikala (central Greece) 4 schools had been occupied by students, but tension built up when students tried to occupy the Professional Lyceum A (EPAL) of the city. The alarm of the building went off (!) and undercover cops of Trikala arrested a student who was later released: This happened for the 2nd time in the same month.
Musical high school students marched in Athens and Thessaloniki.
- Meanwhile, 105 students were referred to trial on October 29 because they occupied the 3rd high school of Orestiada for 4 days in October 2009: There are criminal prosecutions for pupils in order to break the wave of occupations with the help of the “legislative act of 1999” (it was also passed by the government of PASOK). Finally the 105 students were acquitted, with the dynamic support of hundreds of other students outside of the court.
- After the 5th Education Office of Western Attica demanded that the school principles notify the authorities immediately in case of occupation, the First Instance Court of Athens sent a mandate to police headquarters, asking them to conduct a preliminary examination in any school that is under occupation and if necessary implement the process for flagrant crimes.
In universities …
Apart from the cuts in university funding by 30% compared to last year, changes towards the privatization of universities and generally the management by managers in the Anglo-Saxon model of university were announced! Changes expected to be voted on as a bill by Christmas.
Assemblies held on universities, and teacher associations.
- On October 14 a Pan-Educational rally took place in central Athens, with 1500 demonstrators from occupied faculties.
- On October 23 protesters clashed with police forces in Rethymnon, during a students demo, only 300 meters away from the hotel where the 65th Rectors Session was conducted. Protesters tried to break through the police cordon and reach the hotel, threw eggs and yogurts to the cops, who used tear gas. The protesters then moved out to the city of Rethymno. Police arrested four people. Close to midnight, and while the University of Rethymnon was under occupation, there was an arson attack from “OER” fascist group in the self-organised haunt in the university.
- On October 26 an anti-fascist gathering was called in the town hall of Rethymno.
Cops, judges, ministries, prisons, inquisitors, witch hunting, etc.
- According to the regulations of the new law of the Ministry of Justice, 1230 prisoners will be released from the hell-like prisons of the country. From now on, the detention for unpaid [juridical] costs is prohibited. There is the possibility of suspending the sentence to 5 years if the convicted has not been previously sentenced to 1 year or more. The new law extends for all misdemeanors, to home confinement for those aged over 75 years old. Those who have been sentenced to 3 years can buy off their sentences, unless they are repeatedly offenders. The buying off of the amount of the penalty will be paid in installments within 2-3 years for “poor prisoners”, while the upper and lower limits from 10-60 euros that is now applied convert to 5 to 100 euros. The law also plans the release of prisoners with sentences of 3-5 years for misdemeanors if they serve the 1 / 5 of their sentence and buy off the remaining 1 / 5.
The Greek government is looking how to make money from all its hostages alike – from taxpayers, pensioners and other “peaceful and law-abiding” to accused in pending trial, detainees and prisoners.
- On October 1st the transfer of political prisoner Simos Seisidis before the Coroner in the central courts of Athens was postponed, when the political prisoner asked to be transferred from prison to court in police car and not in specifically designed, armor-clad police van, given his health condition (Simos had his leg amputaded after being shot by cops and has difficulty in walking). Simos’ request for decent transfer was denied by police and the judicial authorities. His lawyer blamed the police for not taking care of Simos’ transport and also for the situation of his health. Comrades of Simos who had gathered in court shouted in solidarity for Simos and all imprisoned. The trial process was finally held on October 8th at the hospital of Korydallos prison. On 19 October, Seisidis put the prosthetic c-leg, which was bought instead of 37,000 euros (!) with the contribution of comrades and solidarists. Simos would be called on the court again on November 19th.accused of fellonies related to the robbery of the National Bank in Solonos str.
- On October 4th in the Evelpidon Court, protesters gathered in solidarity to Aris Sirenides, held prisoner in Korydallos since May 2010. Aris has been framed in a huge plot against him for the incident of a gunfire shot at a Riot police vehicle in Exarcheia in July 2009.
- The prisoners in Neapolis prison in Lasithi, Crete refused to reenter their cells, protesting against the inhumane conditions of their detention. They called the public prosecutor and the Ministry of “Justice” to take immediate action. The prison has a capacity of 70 persons, however there are more than 170, many of them sleeping in toilets, bathrooms and on the floor. The reason of the mobilization was yesterday’s transportation of another 15 prisoners in the same hellhole.
- The 6 detainees for the case of the Revolutionary Struggle were taken to court after the completion of 6 months to decide whether or not to extend their detention. The 3 prisoners who took the political responsibility (Nikos Maziotis, Kostas Gournas, Panagiota Roupa) refused to appear on the Board of Appeals which was appointed on October 14th, with Maziotis stating meaningfully: “The revolutionaries do not apologize to the criminals of the state. “The other 3 (Sarantos Nikitopoulos, Christoforos Kortessis, Vaggelis Stathopoulos), who deny all allegations of involvement in RS and being persecuted for their political action, were called for additional testimonies on October 20th.Since October 9th, Kostas Gournas, one of the 6 detainees for the case of Revolutionary Struggle, who is held in Trikala prison (Korinthos), began a hunger strike demanding his transfer to Korydallos prison (Athens), in order to have contact with his family (his wife and his newborn baby), as it is provided by the law. Nikos Maziotis, in solidarity to Kostas Gourna’s demand, also began a hunger strike, while many other political prisoners in various jails all over the country abstain from food.Meanwhile, many actions of solidarity to the political prisoners have taken place, including marching to prisons, concert of solidarity and gatherings in central places.People, who belong to the anarchist / antiauthoritarian movement and have been targeted as relatives or friends to the 6 detained for the case of Revolutionary Struggle, received summons either as “defendants” or “witnesses”, while an arrest warrant lies over against one more person. Several summoned refused with written letters to attend the interrogation procedures, expressing solidarity to the 3 anarchists Ch.Kortesis, S. Nikitopoulos, V. Stathopoulos, who fight for their immediate release denying any involvement in the RS and to the 3 fighters who have accepted political responsibility for the RS, P. Roupa, K. Gourna, N. Mazioti.
The last were transported at Laiko Hospital on October 27th, after several days of hunger strike, demanding the withdrawal of the vindictive isolation imposed to Kostas Gournas. When both asked to undergo the necessary medical tests without the presence of police, they were transferred back to the prison of Korydallos.
- At Malandrinou prisons the mailing to the imprisoned has banned. The letters sent to the imprisoned are not handed to them but returned to the senders on the pretext of security. The head of prisons stated that in order to allow the mailing, the imprisoned must have submitted the identification of the sender in advance (!), which is impossible if the prisoner does not know who and when is sending a letter. This measure violates the right of the imprisoned to contact with the outside world from which they are excluded because of their physical confinement.
- The court in the remote town of Amfissa reached a verdict for the two cops, murderers of the 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos on December 2008. The sentences are: life sentence for murder with direct malice for Korkoneas, plus 15 months for illegal weapon possession and 10 years sentence to his co-defendant and accomplice to the murder, Saraliotis. Since the decision did not receive the absolute majority of the statutory body, the defendants acquired the right of referral to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration of the sentence. Saraliotis has asked for his sentence to be suspended. His demand is being considered by the court and has provoked strong opposition from the relatives of the victim.
- A demo was held towards the Volos Prison; 100 comrades in solidarity participated actively in a vigorous protest, handing out leaflets in the nearby neighborhoods. The demo lasted for over an hour.
- Elias Nikolaou was released from captivity after paying the 15000 euros warrant. He is accused of planting a home-made explosive device outside the City Police building in Evosmos, Thessaloniki on 13/1/2009.
- Contrainfo expressed its solidarity and support to the comrades of the counter-information networks kaosenlared.net, lahaine.org, 29-s.net, barcelona.indymedia.org, alertasolidaria.org denouncing the terrorist attacks of the Spanish state.
- According to reports, the Minister of Public Order prepared a draft of law for the implementation of internal security and economic police, following the model of American FBI.
Immigrants, protests, international actions of solidarity
- Nigerian immigrants marched in the centre of Athens to celebrate the 50 years anniversary from the independence of their country from Great Britain, while sending at the same time a message to the Embassy of Nigeria, who refuse to renew their passports. Although the number of Nigerians was small, the police presence was strong. According to a report from Indymedia, the march that took place was also an action of solidarity to a trade unionist Egkountente Bafokou, who was arrested for “sabotage” at a refinery in the city of Sokoto, northwestern Nigeria.
- On Friday afternoon an antifascist gathering took place at Attiki Square (Athens), an area often marked by fascist attacks. At least 1.000 people, immigrants and locals marched together through the streets towards the quarter of Agios Nikolaos. The march was successful. Powerful slogans were sought and written, while leaflets were distributed in different languages. After the ending of the march and the departure of the comrades and solidarists, immigrants once again were violently attacked by the police, resulting in the injury of at least 10 people (two seriously), mainly of Afghan origin – among them children.See one of the calls
- A whole month of protest has passed (started on 1/9) at Propylea (academic asylum at Panepistimiou St. in the center of Athens) for the approximately 60 Iranians, Afghans and Pakistanis refugees who seek asylum from the Greek state. Today they stitched up their mouths and started a hunger strike. The same day a member of the municipal police violated the asylum of Propylea and beat up an Iranian hunger striker.
- Two-day solidarity for immigrants in Igoumenitsa, the north-western port of Greece that connects the country with Italy. The place is used by the authorities as a prison camp for the illegal immigrants.
- A right-wing gang with the support of “discontent residents” attacked a mosque in the area of Agios Pantelaiemonas, a volatile area the past few months in Athens, wounding two immigrants and moreover unleashed a pogrom chase against immigrants in the region. The right-wing extremists attacked a mini market, run by immigrants from Bangladesh, where 5 people were trapped for at least half an hour. Police forces arrived after half an hour and disbanded the fascist gang, without -as was expected- making any arrests.
- The Social Network of Support for Immigrant and Refugees condemned the brutal attack on 22 October by the police and the municipality of Athens that together proceeded in a “cleansing” of the region close to Larissis station (the central train station in Athens). Close to the point the neo-nazist organisation Xrisi Avgi (Golden Dawn) has established its central office.
- On October 25th a protest was called outside the Embassy of Argentina in Athens, against the attacks of October the 20th by henchmen of the Peronist bureaucracy to members of Partido Obrero. The companion Elsa Rodriguez is in critical situation in a hospital in Buenos Aires, after a henchmen bullet wedged in her head. On October 21st, in Bueno Aires,Mariano Ferreira, a young fighter, fell dead by a bullet in the chest, while two more comrades were shot in the legs. Immediately a general strike was called out and 60,000 people protested vigorously against the murderers of the peronist bureaucratic union.
- At the Reception Centre of Political Refugee in Lavrio (old port in the south-east of Attica), 25 Kurdish refugees, mostly women, and 13 Afghans started a hunger strike demanding political asylum, medical care, repair of the building, restoration of food supply, supply of cleaning items and electrical devices. Since October 23rd, 270 people, among them 53 children, have occupied the center, complaining for the inhumane living conditions.
- On the basis of good collaboration between the Greek and the Turkish state as well as against the illegal immigration, the arrival of 200 FRONTEXT frontiersmen was announced in order to guard borders on Evros, the north-east portal of Greece that connects Europe with the Eastern Word.
Mobilisations against the modern labor-middleages.
On the 5th of October, the Greek government suggested an arrangement by which corporate agreements (each company makes their own agreement) will prevail against the departmental ones (any company – same agreement for all workers of the same branch). So the employers can legally pay lower wages than those defined by departmental agreements. Big companies (more than 50 employees) will be able to impose elastic shifts, work by rotation, suspension, “controlled dismissals”, e.t.c. Smaller companies (less than 20 employees) are not obliged to release some plan “to overcome the crisis “, while being allowed to make dismissals freely.
And while the dismissals carry on and many companies get integrated into the article 99 of the bankruptcy code, the constant labour precarity gets more intense. Various trades like waiters, cleaners, cashiers, suffer from the “one day labour agreements”, which means that working people submit their name on a list and wait to be called for one day. Hundreds accept humiliating working conditions for very low wages.
In the name of the “crisis”, people’s rights and privileges -won after long and bloody social struggles- are being violated.
In the meantime, the National Bank of Greece “thanks” us during the whole month : Through a T.V. spot, propagandises its being emerged as the 5th bank in Europe in Capital efficiency.
- In the morning of October 5th, the labour committee of the workers of ΔΟΛ (LABRAKIS JOURNALIST ORGANISATION), organised a press conference to let “the workers’ side be heard”. Media workers and others in solidarity blocked the blue building (that the owner Psycharis has sold to a bank) in response to the lock down of Ellinika Grammata that left 94 people unemployed and many external associates unpaid) and the owner’s intention to dismiss 150 more clerks and 135 journalists, as a “necessary premise to purge the organisation”
The workers have created massive assemblies, with many first-grade unions taking part, while the clerks decide to go on repeated 24h strikes.
On October 6th, the courts judged the first 24h strike as illegal ad abusive.
- The afternoon of October 12th there was a demonstration of about 2500-3000 people against the dismissals and the unemployment of the last months; its central slogan being:”The struggle at Ellinika grammata, is a struggle of all the working people”. There was a call to the demonstration by many unions, anarchist collectives, leftist groups, student associations.
- The night of October 19th, there was a big live concert at Propylaia square, against the dismissals and the unemployment, and to support those dismissed at ΔΟΛ.
The employers refuse to submit to any dialogue with the working people or their unions, and use their friendly media to convince on “the necessity of the sacrifices”.
On October 20th they decided to take measures to intensify labour, and to control the workers there.
- On October the 13th people working at the “culture and tourism” ministry on unstable time agreements, blocked the entrance and the archaeological sites of Acropolis, demanding their regularization as well as payment of money the ministry owes them. The curator of the place led the way for the intervention of the special police forces. Next morning, two police squads attacked and sprayed the strikers, some people in solidarity, even some reporters. One striker was prosecuted. They repeated the mobilisation for two more days.
- On October 28th the strikers placed a huge banner at Acropolis, saying : NO TO THE DISMISSALS. They said they would keep on, since many of their time agreements were to end on October 31st.
- The government plans the sell out of Ο.Σ.Ε. (Greek Railway Organisation) for March 2011. They prepare the shutdown of some lines, dismissals, the takeover of some debts by the state so as to make Ο.Σ.Ε. more attractive to foreign investors, aiming to sale the 49% of the shares. The greek state will keep the ownership of Ο.Σ.Ε.’s buildings which are going to be assigned to the private sector after agreement.
- The people working at Ο.Σ.Ε, Ο.Τ.Ε(greek telecommunications organisation), ΕΛ.ΤΑ(greek post offices) went on strikes, resisting the privatisations and the abolition of the collective labour agreements. The strikers of O.Σ.Ε. escalate their struggle with repeated 24h strikes.
The same at O.T.E, where they strengthen their opposition to the changes in their labour and insurrance rights.
At ΕΛ.ΤΑ, they are opposing the privatisation, which will bring the abolition of post offices at mountainous and agricultural areas, stating that the privacy of correspondence is handed out to the private sector.
- The struggle at Banquet gained a victory as according to the solidarity committee on October 15th the employers and the 8 fired employees signed an agreement. It contents the employer’s will to re-hire them- although they don’t want this anymore- , the insurance of Vaggelis Kitsonis, the payment of all the money owed (55000 E), the payment of the court costs, the compensation for the three months of their unemployment, the mutual withdrawal of complaints.
ENVIRONMENT / HEALTH
September 30th – October 3rd
- Ecofestival. 17th Pan-Hellenic Festival of Ecological Agriculture and Handicrafts, which also promoted the idea and practice of ecological self-organized life by creating structures of solidarity economy.
A rally organized by Santorini citizens took place in front of the parliament about the disastrous sinking of Sea Diamond. The oil from the wreck is visible to the naked eye, but it is also confirmed in the results of the Laboratory of Toxic and Hazardous Waste of Technical University of Crete. State, insurers and traders play with our health and the environment, while they still refuse to take the necessary measures.
- Local residents claim the protection and caring of Mimikopoulou pine forest with total area of 53 acres in Maroussi (northern Athenian suburb) .7 years ago, fire broke out there two times, but it stayed in control because of the immediate mobilization of the residents. It was proclaimed that there were arsons in both times. The residents take care of the grove since 1983, when the pines were destroyed by a storm. Since then, they have planted 500 saplings, they have done cleanings and tree planting and hired crew who built dikes to prevent access to vehicles, as workers around companies parked inside the woods.”Not one inch of cement! We demand to keep the area as a whole forest,” the residents say.
- Hazardous toxic leak from the premises of the landfill in Katerini (northern Greece), that it hasn’t maintained for 6 months, threatening the groundwater and the sea with the risk of entering the food chain, according to reports of the Voluntary Working Group of Pieria.
- The state extends the disciplining of its own citizens, and the Ministry of the Health is preparing a new rule provision that prohibits smoking in private cars. So far, smoking fines provided to owners / clients stores and taxis.