Piraeus, Greece: Open letter from a secondary school student

To my teachers… and the others:

My name is K.M., and I am a student in the first class of secondary school, at the 10th Lyceum in Drapetsona, Piraeus.

I decided to write this text because I wanted to express my outrage, my indignation, at the nerve and hypocrisy of those who govern us and all those journalists and the mainstream media who help them to impose their lawless and immoral plans at the expense of the pupils, the students, and the younger generation.

My reason for writing is the intention of my teachers to go on strike during the university entrance exam period, and the politicians and journalists who shed crocodile tears about my future, which is “at risk” because of this strike.

What are you saying? What kind of future do I have, because of you? And who is it who has really put my future at risk?

Let’s look at who has constructed the future, and all of our lives, for a very long time already:

– Who made the future for my grandfather? Who dressed his future with the cast-off clothes of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), and forced him to immigrate to Germany?

– Who has misgoverned and ripped off this entire country?

– Who has forced my mother to work from dawn till dusk, all for 530 euros a month? Money that, after paying food and bills, is not even enough for a new pair of shoes, let alone a book I might want from a flea market table.

– Who has cut my father’s salary in half?

– Who is it who has slandered him, threatened to force him to return to work under civil conscription, threatened to fire him, along with all of his co-workers in public transportation, when they, wanting only to live with dignity, went on strike?

– Who wants to shutdown the university that my brother chose so that he could achieve some of his dreams?

– Who gave me photocopies instead of school books?

– Who let me freeze without heating in my classroom?

– Who is to blame that school students are fainting from hunger?

– Who has made so many people unemployed?

– Who has driven 4,000 people to suicide?

– Who has left our grandparents without healthcare or medications?

Did my school teachers do all of these things? Or was it YOU who did all of this?

You say that my school teachers will destroy my dreams by striking.

Who ever told you that my dream is to be one more unemployed person among the 67% of youth who are unemployed?

Who told you that my dream is to work without any social insurance, and without regular hours for 350 euros a month, like you voted for in the latest amendment to your labour law?

Who told you that my dream is to become an economic migrant?

Who told you that my dream is to become a delivery boy?

I want to say a few words to my teachers, to teachers throughout all of Greece:

My teachers, you have an obligation to all students to NOT take a single step backwards. If you retreat from your righteous struggle now, then you will have truly jeopardized my future. You will have mortgaged it.

Whatever retreat you might take, whatever victory the government might win, will deprive me of the right to smile, to dream, to hope, to struggle for a better life, for a humane society.

To parents, my schoolmates, and the whole of society I have to say the following:

Do you really want those who teach us to live in misery?

Do you want us to be simply piled like commodities into classrooms?

Do you want them to shutdown schools and build more prisons?

Will you abandon our teachers in this struggle? Is this how you teach us how to shout out our solidarity?

Do you want the teachers to be able to set an example of self-respect, dignity and militancy for us? Or would you prefer them to present a good example of enslavement?

Ultimately, do you want us to live like slaves?

From tomorrow on, all schools should be occupied by students and parents, in order to support our teachers, and with a chant, a slogan: “Forward, to smash the fascist tyrants!”

Fight together for public, free, quality education. Fight together to overthrow those who steal our laughter, the laughter of your children.

PS. I will cite my grades from 2011/2 school year, not out of vanity, but in order to cut short those who would make the ridiculous argument that “I just want to skip out on my lessons”: Student’s conduct: “Outstanding”. Grade point average: 20 “Excellent” [the highest possible grade in Greek secondary school].