Saturday, August 20, 2011

And let us ask: why shouldn’t tourism be stricken?

In late 80s and early 90s, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and other left parties and organizations in Turkey run big campaigns against tourists’ visiting in the particular State. Their concept was simple: tourists from wealthy European countries or North America cannot come and lay their money down in a State where there are thousands of political prisoners, immense repression in the streets, minimum of basic civil rights and unspeakable poverty for a large part of the population. Gradually, this campaign receded, and the flourishing tourism industry in Turkey found thousands of clients — mostly Westerners — who seek to visit even the degraded agricultural areas of Southeastern Turkey.
Far from the Mediterranean, on the other side of the Atlantic the tourism industry of the Mexican State consists one of the main pressure levers for the Zapatista indigenous movement’s extermination. In an area where the natural beauty and the archaeological spaces are in abundance, the organized state violence and its paramilitary branches attack Zapatista communities trying to uproot any form of resistance, and gradually forcing the indigenous population to sell amulets and souvenirs to tourists.
Incomes from the tourism industry also flow in the pocket of the relevant repressive mechanisms in order to remove any form of effective social resistance from a whole area or even a whole society.
The case of the long-term strike of taxi owners/drivers, after the major clashes during the general strike on June 28th–29th, brings back to the forefront the issue of ‘blows’ against tourism. Journalists talk rabidly about the ‘evil’ caused by marches and gatherings; for they want via memorandum policy to transform the country into a place captured by local and foreign bosses of the tourism industry, and to turn employees into little slaves who shall beg for a bone.
The legal framework that the current Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Giorgos Papakonstantinou prepares is typical: with incredible shamelessness, he essentially invalidates their obligation to submit an environmental study for a range of new building projects, so as not to obstruct ‘development’ through cancellation requests of projects to the Council of State (Symvoulio tis Epikrateias, StE).
Mouthpieces like the corporate journalist Aris Portosalte rush to applaud investments made for wealthy passers-by tourists which are located in ‘filets’ —in the best plots of land, not only on famous, already constructed Greek islands, but also in regions such as Central Greece (Sterea Ellada) and Thessaly.
While they play the dirtiest game against us all, while they try to tear to pieces even those who have been their elections and favoritism clientele since decades, TV channels talk about ‘blows’ against tourism; and these are just a few…
In a country (Greece) where the State seeks to sell out everything, cancels labour legislation, smashes protesters’ heads without considering human life, suffocates the streets with chemicals, unleashes everywhere an even greater number of cops for intimidation, sentences young fighters to imprisonment for dozens of years on non-existent evidence; in a country where bosses are having a blast firing employees, cutting wages and terrorizing; what’s worth visiting in a country such as this? Who has the nerve or the indifference to visit this place without experiencing the war that a whole society suffers from the political and economic elite?
We are not interested in any tourist; we are merely interested in people who wish to visit this land in order to find out how we live and which situation we’re facing. We are interested in people who wish to stand in solidarity with our struggle, and can tell us how to stand in solidarity with their struggle.
The tourism industry is an industry that has ruined the country. It has brought money but destroyed every social tissue and moral value, submitting everything far below the value of money. But this land, the country — not the nation-state — belongs neither to state rulers, nor to mega-investors.
That is why any blow against tourism (not in the sense of threatening people’s lives, but in the sense of blockading its production chain) is an act that weakens the governmental choices and its corporate mandators.
There’s no use having expectations from their economy model. One of the issues that lie before us is its disorganization, as well as the self-valorization of our labour via new networks of communalized economy —in which the choice of touring and traveling will be an additional, rather than the main aspect of life in a society.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The popular assemblies are (re)born!

In many districts of Athens and the rest of the Greek territory, the open assemblies are rapidly spreading, a practice that has timidly emerged in 2003, and was expanded in some neighborhoods after the events of the December of 2008. The daily presence of thousands of people in Syntagma Square in Athens and most important, the realization of the daily popular assembly, despite its presumed contradictions, have brought to the table the concept of public space, in the proper discussion over civic issues, namely the political issues. Thousands of people so far become self-organized, or stop by the squares of their cities, trying to form an alternative, horizontal way of communication and another way to resolve the problems of everyday life. The support and the outgrowth of other similar assemblies of direct democracy, towards the direction of reinforcing, not only the concept of the dual power but also the foundation of a new society within the society itself, is the fundamental goal these days. The radicalization of such a movement of direct democracy is possible- the people who participate in it will indicate it, if and whenever they want to- only if we participate actively now in all these processes that today it is impossible for all the political authorities to manipulate.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Montreal, QC: Greek consulate disrupted in solidarity with anarchists and immigrants


On Monday, May 16th a dozen people created a disruption at the Greek consulate in downtown Montreal located at 1002 Sherbrooke West on the 26th floor. We entered the office chanting slogans of solidarity to anarchists and immigrants facing heavy repression at the hands of the Greek state and organized fascists. Furniture and plants were overturned and hundreds of fliers were scattered. One office employee attempted to detain a comrade but failed. Outside people displayed a banner stating "(A) Flics-Porcs-Assassins, Solidarité contre la reprèssion d'État en Grèce" and handed out fliers.

Text from the flier:

In Athens, Greece, during a general strike on May 11th against extensive economic restructuring led by the IMF, the repressive forces of the Greek state brutally attacked the strike demo. Dozens were hospitalized and one man was so severely beaten he fell into a deep coma and is on life support.

In addition, a Greek man was killed on May 10th in a largely immigrant district, triggering a police-sponsored fascist pogrom that is still taking place in the immigrant neighborhoods. Immigrants had their car windows smashed out while they were driving, many have been beaten on the street, a Pakistani family had their house fire-bombed, and a 21 year old immigrant was murdered by fascists. The police have been directly sponsoring and protecting this racist terror and have also cooperatively attacked anarchist social spaces which have been showing direct solidarity to the migrants by physically confronting this fascist pogrom in the streets.

In times of economic crisis, immigrant populations are often used as scapegoats as an outlet for people’s frustrations with austerity measures. Such racist and nationalist ideologies have always served to prevent solidarity between immigrants and those “native-born” exploited who persist in the delusion that they have more in common with the masters who exploit them.

In Canada, with a different intensity but following the same logic, immigrants are swept off the streets, jailed, and deported according to the needs of capitalism and social control. The raids, border walls, and detention centers serve to terrorize all immigrants into accepting their current conditions, just as prisons and police terrorize everyone into accepting the current order.

Here, like elsewhere, resistance movements that pose a threat to the continuation of capitalism find themselves necessarily in conflict with the police. As anarchists, we want to destroy police, prisons and the world of exploitation that creates them, which steals away the capacity to create our lives on our own terms.

Cops, Pigs, Murders
Solidarity with anarchists & immigrants in Greece.
Let’s destroy the repressive machine wielded against all of us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Greece: Urgent call for international solidarity!

The purpose of this message is to inform you briefly about what is happening the last days in our country and to appeal an international call of solidarity to all anarchists worldwide.

Greece is at a critical turning point, and many critical changes are taking place in a societal as well as a political and economic level. The disintegration and dissolution of the dominant – until recently – model of power and exploitation is more than evident, so it defines what is commonly called ‘crisis.’ What we are experiencing now is the total failure of a system that is unable to secure any longer the social consensus, thereby is engaged in a frontal attack that is unconditional and with no pretext.

Initially, at the beginning of this condition which was called ‘crisis,’ the attack occurred in materialistic terms. With the devaluation of labour, the horizontal reduction of wages, the ‘flexible’ working conditions, the institutionalization of insecurity, the increase of the price of consuming goods and public utility bills, the increase of taxes and the cuts in welfare benefits. At the same time, the sale of public wealth to private individuals, the widespread police presence on the streets, the auctions, the rising of unemployment began…

In addition, the unprecedented attack by means of propaganda was unleashed. The mass media controlled by the State and Capital unleashed a staggering rate of catastrophology and publishing of disaster scenarios and production of calendar milestones of ‘disclosure’ such us… ‘If Troika does not approve the next installment of the loan, we will fall apart…’ With all these, the communicative mechanism of Power manages continually to blur the water and maintain a state of terror ensuring the paralysis of society via extortion.

However, the resistance has never stopped for a part of the Greek society and the proletariat. Occasionally, declarations for general strikes are surrounded in a different degree by people who actively resist and express their willingness to fight against the conditions imposed by the State and Capital.

At the general strike of May 11th in Athens, once again thousands of protesters marched and voiced their opposition to the Greek government’s new anti-social measures which effect the workers and the majority of people. During the demonstration, while a big part of the protesters had passed by the parliament and were heading to an end, the cops attacked without provocation and viciously the most radical demonstrator blocks – anarchists and anti-authoritarians, neighborhood assemblies, rank-and-file labour unions, extra-parliamentary left – beating them with unprecedented savagery and firing hundreds of tear gas against them, until these blocks were dispersed. More than 100 demonstrators were hospitalized, while others underwent surgery.

Comrade Yannis was the protester whose health right now is in the most critical situation. Having suffered a murderous attack by the cops which caused him severe head injuries, he was transferred to the hospital in an antemortem (pre-death) situation –according to the medical report issued later. After the doctors ascertain the breadth of internal head bleeding, he immediately underwent surgery; he has been intubated in the intensive care clinic since. His situation remains critical but stable, without having escaped the danger for his life or health.

It is obvious that these murderous attacks against demonstrator strikers on Wednesday, May 11th, had a single purpose: to intimidate people and all those who resist to the attacks of Power and capitalist State. It was an act for exemplification aiming at the subjugation of people that seemed to send the following message: stay home, quit and disciplined.

In the content of this very procedure the sovereignty recently enlists more and more the right-wing and/or its parastate offshoots. The outbreaks of racist violence recently multiplied across the country, and reached a climax last week. In the light of the cold-blooded murder of a resident in the centre of Athens with intent to robbery, for which many immigrants have become a target, an unprecedented pogrom against migrants has been unleashed. Groups from organized and/or autonomous fascists, racists and extreme rightists took the opportunity to gather every evening to attack immigrants, injuring several while the death of an economic migrant also seems to have resulted by them. At the same time, the neo-Nazis alongside with the police also attack squats in the city centre, leading comrades into a condition in which we have to defend ourselves at the risk of our lives against police and fascist brutality.

The gravity of the situation is obvious. Once society accepts an unprecedented attack in materialistic terms the most radical political parts – one of the main being the anarchist milieu – are under police and fascists attack (literally this time, if one considers the murderous rage).

This is the reason why we urgently call for international solidarity!

Solidarity has always been one of the value features of anarchists. We always count on solidarity to support our struggles and fight back the logic of isolation and retirement into private life promoted by the state power, and also the capitalist condition of individuation and dismantling of the collective notion.

Now that the Greek society and the proletariat suffer a strain with unprecedented deterioration of living conditions, now that anarchists are under such an oppression that takes dimensions of actual attempted murder, now that the anarchist political milieu is being at the sight of state violence and fascist threat, we need to see our comrades around the world to call actions and stand in solidarity to our struggle; by organizing events, demonstrations, marches, protests, by writing texts, via words and actions; anything that the comrades deem most appropriate; any expression of revolutionary solidarity that only anarchists know and want to demonstrate, will vitalize our spirit and strengthen our struggles.

With comradely greetings,
Group of libertarian communists (Athens)
Eutopia journal

See also the following internet links: additional information about recent events in Greece video: fascists and police in co-operation attack immigrants

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Some notes on the anarchist-antiauthoritarian action/movement in Greece

During December 2008, Greece became the center of the international news reports. The murder of a 15 years old student in Exarcheia led thousands of raged people - in an unprecedented number of cities, even villages - to clash with police forces, attack police stations, banks, enterprises-corporate buildings and state buildings, take over university places, municipalities and even the Opera of Athens, thus forming a picture of social insurrection, which however didn’t manage to have decisive impact in working places. From the incident of murder itself up to the gradual decline of the flow of anger, the factor “anarchists” is quite important, not implying of course that they were the explosives rather than just the detonator in these facts. This factor is one of the important points in the effort of rising of a new and strong international anarchist movement. Through an historical reference and an empirical point of view, we will try to light some of the new directions, which we consider that are interesting as means of development of the anarchist-antiauthoritarian discourse and action in the greek society, which is at the same time European, Balkan and Mediterranean, as it’s located at the crossroads of three continents.

In the hellenic space, anarchism did not accomplish to have a parallel blossoming at that time period, at which it constituted an important revolutionary movement in a lot of other countries of Europe. The anarchist ideas passed in Greece, in this southernmost part of the Balkans, during the second half of the 19th century, through the Ionian islands and the harbour of Patras, regions that had an intense relation with Italy. The anarchist ideas of Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin and others were of great influence on the socialist thinking of that period. As is mentioned in a letter by the anarchist group of Pyrgos (a small town near ancient Olympia) “anarchism was already present here in 1892”, while later on in the same letter it is noted that at the end of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th there aren’t any authoritarian socialists (obviously referring to marxists), but rather “conservative, liberal and anarchist” socialists. The weakness of Socialist groups that existed at that time in certain cities to be incorporated into one more department of the International Workingmen's Association (IWA) as well as the conflict that already had burst out within the IWA, combined with the appearance of Marxist ideas c.1912, signaled a shift in Greece from the “utopian” to the scientific socialism, according to the official marxist bibliography. The anarchist ideas begin to recede and to have no essential effect in the labor and rural movement from the ‘20s onwards. Thus, anarchism in its classic form will cease to have any influence in the social struggles within Greece. From this point of view, we cannot claim existence of an anarchist tradition in Greece that would be connected in some way with the modern anarchist movement, through terms of continuity in lived experience, struggle or theory.             
          Anarchist ideas emerge again in 1974, after the fall of the military junta regime. This time they are imported from European countries like Italy, France, England and Germany, mainly from greek students that return to Greece after 1974. Those ideas appear and evolve in parts of the greek youth and mainly in universities and they don’t belong anymore to the Marxist tradition and thought, since their reference is now libertarian. On the other hand, those ideas and the means, tactics and organizational approaches that were used to express them bear little resemblance with the elements of the “classical” anarchist movement. Main infuences come from the Parisian May of '68 and the situationists, the movement of autonomous occupations and armed organizations of Western Germany, as well as the movement of labor autonomy in Italy. The spread of “anarcho – autonomous” (anarchoautonomoi) in the universities, in the late ‘70s will give its place in the epicentre of presence of anarchists and the so-called “wild youth” in the region of Exarcheia in the decade of 1980. During the late ‘80s and the '90s, perhaps the two more basic directions that characterize the antauthoritarian-anarchist action will be the focalisation in the question of insurrectional violence on the one hand, and the growth of practice of occupations on the other. As is cited in a text written during of riots of December, “the basic element of the anarchist movement in Greece, since its new beginning is the question of the state’s legal monopoly of violence”. This and the right to resist, which is also advocated, aside, other elements mentioned in the same text are: “self-organisation of the struggle, questioning of the organization of everyday life, absence of mediation of (either struggling or not) subjects, autonomy by means of collective decision making (through assemblies and direct democratic procedures, the main tactic being consent and refusal of the rule of the majority)”. The strategy/tactics or, to be more precise, the mentality most of the greek anarchists have in common, is not one that complies with the vision of the “great anarchist organisation” (with two exceptions, one in the ‘80s and one in the ‘00s). Anarchists operate and organize through small groups or “cores”, whose basic goal is to contribute in leading the social antagonism/rivalry to a true social rupture caracterised by violent conflict/confrontation. Perceptions/beliefs of the situationists, practices of the Autonomen and everyday struggle of the zapatist communities have influenced (and still do today) the way anarchist groups conceive their action and practice. Those regards are identified with those of the representative figures of the so-called meta-anarchism (e.g. J. Adams), who pay much more attention to the everyday practices of the activist groups than the politic struggle itself as part of a political-ideological whole.
          During the last decade, a great spreading of the anarchist presence can be pointed out, regarding the issues/topics of interest of several groups as well as its geographical allocation.
          A more “persistent” engagement with local-ecological issues and focus on what we could define as “local libertarian action”, mainly through the action of anarchist-libertarian social centres in various neighborhoods of  Athens and other major cities created the conditions necessary to create the “bridges” of self-organised resistance with parts of the local societies/communities. Of course, this was made possible only where libertarian expression was originated by members of the local community itself, although they could be identified as a voice opposed to the general opinion.
          This systematic engagement with local-ecological issues started mainly by small core groups of comrades characterized by a more libertarian- anarcho-communist approach, in their attempt to shape/form broader conditions of self-organised social struggle in a certain “front”, accompanied by fierce critic of the ideology of development. At the same time, the influence of the action of organizations like ALF(Animal Liberation Front) and ELF(Earth Liberation Front) from northern Europe and America, played an important part in the establishment of what we could call eco-anarchist action, as expressed by several groups. The environmental-ecological issues rose as a primary field of anarchist action, especially since the Olympic Games of 2004 and afterwards, and they are always combined with critics of the capitalist system and its state and political partners, while in some occasions the social ecology approach offers useful analytic instruments. 
          While the ecological issue is established in the collective conscience of anarchists as an important and inseparable part of the social issue, autonomous labour/working/workers’ action starts to make some new importants steps. Undoubtedly the efforts of some autonomous workers to combine the direct action syndicalism with the sectoral assertive syndicalism through horizontal forms of organization in the courier/delivery profession is an important point of reference. This effort has shown a way of forming primary unions, where anarchists and members of the so-called “extreme left” play an important part, following though the example of sectoral syndicalism, while the notion of direct action syndicalism plays a much smaller part. The presence of such movements in some laboral sectors shattered the image of the labor movement completely controlled by the members of formal syndicalism, as expressed by members of PASOK and the greek communist party.
          These two directions that have been developing the last five to ten years are mentioned because they are related with the December uprising/insurrection in two ways: they pushed further the insurrection and they were pushed further by the insurrection. One of the conclusions deducted by last December’s insurrection is that the libertarian vision of direct democracy and self-governing in a communal scale stood as a direction of course and action, which was not spread quickly in the event of elections, but through the conditions of that temporary community of insurrected people. The insurrection brought up these ideas and they were spread through the society by means of the insurrection, in a very similar way this kind of mutual relationship was established in Argentina and Oaxaca five and three years ago respectively.
          At December 11, the occupation of the Aghios Dimitrios town hall and the subsequent call to an open popular assembly gave the chance to more than 300 people to discuss what was going on at the time, thus opening a broader public space of discussion and collaboration. It must be noted of course that there is a libertarian social centre, whose local action already has a decade of history in this specific municipality. In this assembly several opportunities, either in a realistic or in an imaginary level, where presented: gathering and meeting of many people was possible through the procedure of the assembly held in a town hall occupied by anarchists – these people either participated in street clashes with the police forces or expressed their anger for the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos but couldn’t be on the streets because of their age – some were just interested in the procedure, or pretended to be for their own reasons. During the assembly anyone could express his/her opinion (even the vice mayor), but this didn’t mean that this procedure ceased to be characterized as a meeting of people who struggle. In these assemblies the social anti-violence, the destruction of banks, state and corporate buildings and the clashes with the police that took place those days was advocated openly, in public and by name (since we are talking of a local society town hall). There was also an acting of sabotage in the ticket machines of the subway authorized by decision of the popular assembly. For a few days the city council was denied access to the town hall. Before this occupation, nearly all occupations took place in university buildings, where the police cannot easily enter, due to legal reasons. This time the responsibility to decide a violent evacuation laid in the hands of the city council, which meant that they had to turn against many inhabitants of the region/municipality. Discussions were held among the occupiers and the people who work in the municipality services about the possibility of running the truly social services, proving that community control and workers control can be combined. Through this experience, anarchist and libertarian practices, as well as the presence of the comrades in this area, were strengthened, thus pointing that continuity of action in a certain social field and persistence in promoting self – organization and resistance can help the anarchist ideas to be established in a certain local level.
          The idea of occupying town halls and other municipality buildings and running open assemblies spread in other regions of Athens and Salonica in December 2008, initially by initiatives held mainly by anarchists, but soon enough followed by members of organizations and parties of the left.
          Alongside the direction of libertarian intervention at a municipality level through occupations and assemblies, workers action besides and against bureaucratic syndicalism found a way of expression in the occupation of the central offices of the General Confederation of Greece’s Workers in December 17. There members of primary unions mentioned before and people participating in independent groups of workers formed the General Assembly of Insurrected Workers, aiming to empower the message of the insurrection in the field of work. Parties and bureaucrat syndicalists found themselves in an obviously unpleasant situation, where political forces that they categorized as “marginal” for years had now achieved to bring forward the notion of self - oranization in terms of constant rupture with the dominant institutions, either in a municipality or independent class action level. This occupation triggered a series of other occupations of formal workers’ centers in other greek cities, especially after the attempted murder of the immigrant trade unionist Konstantina Kuneva.
It is certain that all these movements were limited de facto, since normality and regularity return to the everyday social life. Still, there are some “cores” of resistance that try to find the right direction through constant questioning and action.
The incidents/events of the last December, and the period after it, “revealed” a relatively big number of people that are interested in anarchist ideas or participate in practices that anarchists develop, yet doesn’t participate in any form of self – organized groups or centres, because they are afraid or not willing to take on responsibilities or simply they can’t be convinced by what they see. On the other hand, elements of anti – authoritarian discourse can be identified in a large number of news or written texts concerning occupations, social centres, anarchist groups, local movements, arson attacks and even armed attacks. This variety of things, actions and discourse does not constitute one solid entity, but does not imply on the other hand a “war” between different approaches or realities. What is missing is a coherent political conversation, not aiming of course to replace activism, but to empower it by offering a more substantial content, in order to avoid confusion and help the directions mentioned before take a more illuminated path to social liberation. 

The comrades of “Eutopia”
[review for the libertarian municipalism]
Athens, September 2009

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Our country is the whole world

by Massimo Varengo
Self-government, municipalism, federalism, libertarianism, are no longer exclusive assets of a residual motion, but themes of reflection for a possible political action.
It is open from some time the search for effective responses to the dramatic increasing of the social question characterized by a massive economic crisis as well as by a series of regional conflicts, ethnic, religious, in profound conjunction with the emergence of the political attack on the standard of living, income, health, the popular classes and the redefinition of the system of world domination. To the left looking for some recipes in a humanitarian outdated liberalism out any possibility, other studies to revive the role of national governments to ensure a renewed pact between capital and labor. But the centralization of decision-making processes, the circulation of huge masses of capital, the disruption of national economies, the reduction in the powers of individual states, the sheer size of the current financial crisis does not make these options credible. Not by chance is in the mature content of anarchism today that the most lively, most critical of the society is seeking, consciously or unconsciously, materials for building the possible future.
Self-government, municipal, federal, libertarianism, are no longer the exclusive patrimony of a residual motion, but themes of reflection for possible political action. And in that anarchists, while a minority, they prove to be, internationally, living part of a cultural, political and social battle, which is measured with existing problems to develop workable solutions that can open new spaces of freedom and new conditions of equality. Important signs of recovery activities and incisiveness are given virtually anywhere in the world, from the anti-neoliberal and anti-capitalist protests at the summits of the major world leaders up to the demonstrations against the raging current of the disastrous effects of the crisis on classes popular.
From Seattle to Athens the black and red thread runs continuously, passing through Russia, where the criminalization and punishment does not prevent the anarchists to continue to work hard against the growing racism and Nazism, in Mexico, where in Chiapas and Oaxaca are experiencing major initiatives of popular self-government and more generally throughout Latin America where an increasing number of initiatives developed in virtually every country, even in Cuba where there are important signs of recovery. And even in Europe, despite the complexity and the scattering of the movement, the anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist, there were significant numbers of events, both theoretical and practical, in social movements. Other important signs of development from Turkey, Senegal, South Africa, Indonesia, from the joint Israeli-Palestinian struggle against the Wall. The time is ripe for a specific task, taking into account the richness and particularity of each individual situation, is able to compare, in mutual recognition, paths and options that have common roots and purpose, for a joint and collective

Monday, January 24, 2011

Statement of the assembly of migrant hunger strikers

We are migrant men and women from all over Greece. We came here due to poverty, unemployment, wars and dictatorships. The multinational companies and their political servants did not leave another choice for us than risking 10 times our lives to arrive in Europe’s door. The West that is depriving our countries while having much better living conditions is our only chance to live as humans. We came (either with regular entry or not) in Greece and we are working to support ourselves and our families. We live without dignity, in the darkness of illegalness in order to benefit employers and state’s services from the harsh exploitation of our labor. We live from our sweat and with the dream, some day, to have equal rights with our Greek fellow workers.  

During the last period our life has become even more unbearable. As salaries and pensions are cut and everything is getting more expensive, the migrants are presented as those to blame, as those whose fault is the abjection and harsh exploitation of greek workers and small businessman. The propaganda of fascist and racist parties and groups is nowadays the official state discourse for issues of migration. The far right discourse is reproduced through media when they talk about us. The “proposals” of the far right are announced as governmental policies: wall in Evros, floating detention centers and European army in the Aegean, repression in the cities, massive deportations. They want to convince greek workers that, all in a sudden, we are a threat to them, that we are to blame for the unprecedented attack from their own governments.

The answer to the lies and the cruelty has to be given now and it will come from us, from migrant men and women. We are going in the front line, with our own lives to stop this injustice. We ask the legalization of all migrant men and women, we ask for equal political and social rights and obligations with greek workers. We ask from our greek fellow workers, from every person suffering from exploitation to stand next to us. We ask them to support our struggle. Not to let the lie, the injustice, the fascism and the autarchy of the political and economic elites to be dominant in their own places too; all these conditions that are dominant in our countries and led us to migrate, us and our children, in order to be able to live with dignity. 

We don’t have another way to make our voices heard, to make you learn about our rights. Three hundred (300) of us will start a Hunger Strike in Athens and in Thessaloniki, in the 25th of January. We risk our lives, as, one way or another, this is no life for people with dignity. We prefer to die here rather our children to suffer what we have been through.

January 2011

Assembly of migrant hunger strikers 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Athens, gym of anarchy

In the last month, we have an enormous attack from the government (of PASOK) with very hard economic measures against the employers. Especially, the first economic measures focus on the wages of the civil servants.
As the mass-media are writing, “the debt-ridden country is under intense pressure from both markets and the European Union to reduce its deficit from 12.7 percent of economic output in 2009 to 8.7 percent this year. Last week, Greece introduced a harsh $6.5 billion austerity package that cut civil servants' wages, froze pensions and raised consumer taxes”.
The percdentage of the duty of the greek state only to four greek banks arrives the 23%, while the previous government (of Nea Dimokratia), before almost 8 mounths, gave to all the greek banks enormous economic amount for supporting them.
The first strike was done on 10 February and was organized only from ADEDY, the union of the syndicates of the civil salaries. The next one was on 24 February and it was organized both from ADEDY and GSEE (the general confederation of the trade unions in the private companies).
Another general strike was done in 5 March with the participation of about 25.000 people in the central manifestations in Athens. We have to point here that the trade unions that are controlled from the stalinist Communist Party of Greece (KKE)  and have formed the PAME (from the words “panworking front”) always make a different manifestation in all the centers of the greek cities. In the manifestation of that general strike, we had clashes between the police and protesters. Also, in this manifestation, leftists and anarchists attacked against the president of GSEE, who is a member of PASOK, and hit him. In the some manifestation, the old left militant Manolis Glezos, 88 years old, while trying to save a protester who had been arrested, accepted an attack from the special forces of the police with tear-gas and went to the hospital, fortunately without serious problems (Manolis Glezos, with another comrade of him, had brought down the flag of the Nazis from the hill of Acropolis, when Hitler;s troops had conquered Greece).
On 11 March, we had in Greece the last general strike with a satisfactory amount of employers and servants participating in it. In the two central manifestations in Athens, the protesters were more than 30.000 and in Thessaloniki about 14.000. Also, in this manifestation, the tension between the protesters and the huge special forces of the police was not missed. We had clashes body-with-body between protesters (usually, anarchists-antiautoritarians) and policemen, broken banks and big shops and 9 protesters arrested. The commands at the police forces were not to tolerate attacks from the protesters. In some cases, the policemen attacked very violently against protesters (and especially groups of anarchists) without a several reason, and so we had as a result also injured protesters.  
It is true that the social-democrat government of G.Papandreou, that has the power the last 6 months, has still not so the support but the tolerance of the society. The people want to believe that the state and the big capital couldn’t be to  prepare a very bad future for the greek society.  They do not want to believe that they will not live as now but with much more bad salaries and conditions. So, they can see the attack of the government but they avoid to face it with very massive manifestations in the streets.  On the opposite site, there is -not a large but- an important part of the society, that faces in the streets and the manifestations the straight class attack of the greek and European bosses against the employers and the civil servants. It is characteristic that after the last manifestation, the police couldn’t  dissolve all the protesters and for two hours, there were sporadic clashes with the police in the streets, especially in the area of Eksarheia.
In the last three decades, the syndicalists of PASOK and KKE had the total control in the workplaces. Now, the syndicalists of PASOK preserve the control of the most of the syndicates of civil servants and in the trade unions they divide the control with the stalinist communists of KKE. The leaders of the syndicates are professional syndicalists and basic members of the big parties and the people do not trust them generally but support them only for solutions of the daily problems of the work. Nevertheless, in the last 5-6 years, something has started to change. Some new syndicates of base, like those in the employers of the bookshops, the couriers, etc have started to create a new form of syndicalist action, a form of the syndicalism of base. In parallel, some other groups of workers-employers from the extreme left and the anarchist-antiautoritarian political space, have made some efforts to strengthen the class struggle forwards a destination of the syndicalism of direct action.      
The state knows that the anarchist militants in Greece have started to have presence and influence not only in the youth (like until 2000) but also in several  neighborhoods and working places. In parallel, the anarchist-antiautoritarian movement in Greece preserves a dynamic presence in the streets and responds –with more or less successful and clever methods- to the police repression. So, in the first three months, the basic propaganda of the government was against the “criminal violence” of the anarchists and the way to face it. The creation of an enormous new part of policemen with motorcycles (group Delta) in the center of Athens is one of the new police anti-anarchist measures. Of course, the state wanted to dissolve every point of out-of-resistance before bringing this –and of course another- packet with heavy economic measures. But, it succeeded it only in a part and not totally.
We know that the days that are coming will be very difficult. The new measures hit not only the economic possibility of the society but also the way of life. The fear of the unemployment and the presence of almost one million immigrants, especially from countries from Asia and Africa, provoke dangerous social conditions and we do not know how many poverty we have to face and also which will be the destination of the social hate that is increasing. We have to create new forms of struggle and also new forms of solidarity and mutual aid between the people. The social-class war must find us united in the next difficult years that will come for European south (and of course not only). We have to believe in a society that seems not to believe in itself and this is a very dangerous point also for the anarchist movement. So, we have not only to wait from the society but, through the new forms of struggle and organization, to create new social relations.   
Libertarian  communists Group
Athens, 14/3/2010