Greek mass movement rises up against the state

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The following is an article from Workers Solidarity the paper of our sister organisation in Greece (translated from Greek)

We can overthrow them!

On Saturday December 6, the Police made two murderous attacks. At dawn they beat the thousands of immigrants who were gathered outside the Office for Foreigners and one of them is fighting for his life at the State Hospital in a suburb of Athens. In the evening, the riot police murdered a 15 year old in cold blood in Exarhia.

The response was immediate and explosive. Thousands took to the streets Saturday night and Sunday not only in the centre of Athens but in other cities.

In Athens students, workers, thousands of people of all ages chanted slogans such as “They kill immigrants, they kill students, pimps, killers, racists” and “They give the banks money, the youth bullets, this government’s days are numbered” as the march went up towards the Police Headquarters and then back to Parliament.

The government propaganda began immediately. The responsible Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos had the nerve to call a press conference to declare his confidence in the leadership of Police and say that the angry demonstrators is only “extremists” who are exploiting the indignation for their own purposes.

The Prime Minister Karamanlis and his ministers are in disarray. Thid government of scandals, economic crisis and the murderous repression is politically isolated.

– They gave billions to bankers at a time when people are losing their jobs and the monthly wage is not enough by the end of the month.

– They are responsible for the scandals like the real estate agents at Vatopedi Monastery who robbed pension funds, and the abduction of Pakistanis and illegal wire tapping with the secret services of the U.S. and Britain.

– They say that the free market works and only needs more “reforms” and privatisations like those that have led the economy in the worst crisis since 1930.

– They have sent frigates to Somalia and soldiers to Afghanistan and Kosovo to participate in imperialist wars.

So the demonstrations of anger against the police murder are not only justified, and cannot be isolated with cries of broken shop windows, but are the beginning of an escalation of the movement to topple the government of murderers here and now.

Action

We can and must step up action demanding the killer policemen be punished, that Pavlopoulos and Chinofotis resign, that the police be disarmed, and that the government of Karamanlis fall.

The steps for such an escalation can be as follows:

– Students must this Monday enter the classrooms at colleges and schools, organise meetings and plan occupations linking anger against repression with its requests against the dissolution of Public Education. They can bring out the teachers with them and come down to the rally Monday 8 / 12 at Propylaea as organised force.

Already the POSDEP (Hellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations) declared a 3-day STRIKE 8, 9, Dec 10

– On the side of the students is the stand taken by workers and their unions starting with the general strike Wednesday December 10. Next to the demands of workers against dismissals, price rises and privatisation the general strikes should call for the government of murderers to resign. Such a strike explosion may spread this movement to all workplaces, creating a force that can defeat the police repression and the system that creates it.

– To realise all this we need a strong and organised anti-capitalist left. This is not the first time we have faced such a situation. Older and younger people remember having the killing by police of Michael Kalteza in 1985, in the middle of a large wave of action against the austerity programs of Simitis who was then Minister of Economy. That movement failed to get justice because the unity of students and the working class was broken by the parliamentary left which: separated the “wild” youth with their more radical demonstrations, and the “responsible” left that looked to change through parliament.

We can avoid the mistakes of the past, strengthening the radical left actions and perspective and strip away the murderers, their government and their system. Organise, come together and fight.

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Interview with Panos Garganas

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=16684

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There is a planned rally/vigil for Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Melbourne ­
the city with the biggest Greek population outside of Greece:

Saturday, 13th December, 2008
1:00PM outside the Greek Consulate
37-29 Albert Road, South Melbourne (take St Kilda Rd trams)
Bring Greek music, friends, candles, flowers, etc.

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