Press release from some of our Greek friends.
George Papandreou, the former Greek Prime Minister who led Greece into the arms of the IMF has been invited to the TEDGlobal 2013 conference on the 11th June. The ‘Scotland Against Austerity – Stop Papandreou’ coalition have called for a mass demonstration on the same day to voice our opposition to his attendence.
Papandreou is one of the politicians largely responsible for the crisis in Greece, and a symbol of European austerity. As such, his invitation to lecture on “drawing lessons from the Greek debt crisis” is an insult to all those who have been stricken by the rise in unemployment and suicide rates, the reduction in pensions, the collapse of public welfare and those forced to emigrate.
A petition has been initiated calling on TedGlobal to rescind their invitation to Papandreou which has garnered 10,000 signatures and made headline news in the Greek media. (1)
We are calling for people across Scotland to mobilise in opposition to Papandreou and any other representative of austerity in Scotland.
The demonstration is being supported by a wide coalition of groups and individuals, including Real Democracy Now (Edinburgh) and Radical Independence (Edinburgh).
A statement from one of the organisers said “Papandreou is responsible for deceiving the Greek people and triggering a avalanche of catastrophic measures. However, the mobilisation is not solely against Papandreou but against the policies of austerity which he represents and have been imposed all over Europe, including Scotland. We feel that the only ‘lessons’ to be drawn from the crisis in Greece are a complete rejection of neo-liberal politics and the need for international resistance.”
For Media contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Share and Enjoy
Just a quick c&p from an email, as it’s short notice…
EDINBURGH SAYS NO TO GREECE AUSTERITY | CAN’T PAY WON’T PAY
FRI 17th May 6.30pm, St. Augustine’s Church, George IV Bridge
On June 11th, former Greek PM Georgios Papandreou will visit Edinburgh to speak at an elite conference. He is the politician responsible for selling some of the worst austerity measures in human history, imposed by the Troika, to the Greek people. As a result, overall unemployment is over a quarter; youth unemployment has hit 58 percent; one in two Greeks are approaching the poverty level; and rates of homelessness and suicide have skyrocketed. Austerity is crippling Greece, and hitting the poor hardest.
Greece is a global experiment to see how much austerity we can tolerate. If they could get away with it, there are a lot of Con-Dems and neoliberals who would like to see similar draconian measures in Scotland, selling off what remains of our public services, slashing jobs and cutting benefits even further. Morally, the sheer scale of suffering in Greece should command our solidarity. But this is also a practical question: if the Greek workers and students cannot force back the Troika, we could be next.
So let’s start organising. Greek people in Edinburgh, including groups like Real Democracy Now, are demanding we take action. We need to show the traitor Papandreou that he is not welcome in Edinburgh. Come along to the first organising meeting this Friday, because with your support we can stop him.
Share and Enjoy
Last Wednesday evening saw a large demonstration in support of the European General Strike of November 14th. More than 200(? I can’t count like that) people, recent arrivals from Spain or Greece plus longer-term residents and "native" Scots gathered at St Giles Cathedral, surprising themselves and the unaware police.
The demonstration moved down the Royal Mile but instead of heading to Holyrood as expected, the crowd turned left onto North Bridge and headed for Princes St along the carriageway, a bemused-looking bus trundling behind. (Traffic jams at the East End? Unprecedented!) After a walk down to the West End & back, via a brief Starbucks occupation, the march finished at the Mound, where this was read out:
Greece may be in the eye of the storm, but it is not the only country where severe austerity has been imposed. Unemployment in Spain has also reached 25% while British people have seen their income dwindle as a result of the cuts imposed by the coalition. All around the world, people are plunged into despair while large corporations continue to enjoy huge profits. The global nature of the crisis is yet more proof that this is not the result of the corruption and laziness of everyday people in Southern Europe as has often shamelessly been reported, but the result of the political and economic system: the system of neoliberal internationalised market economy and representative democracy, which the affected countries are integrated in via the EU. It also indicates that the answer to it must be global as well. An internationalist network of the exploited and oppressed must stand up against the well-organized international collaboration of the ruling classes and their political institutions. One step in this direction is to be taken on the 14th of November, a day of pan-European action and solidarity. Trade union federations in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus and Italy have called general strikes and there will be demonstrations in a number of cities including Edinburgh.
Believing that the world can change is not an illusion. Believing that it can stay the same is!
Another report here
Share and Enjoy
Lots of liberal hand-wringing over this week’s march by off-duty police in London as part of the PCS pensions strike. “If they’re against cuts, then why won’t the left support them?” asks this typical flamebait piece (guardian, obv.).
Let’s put dogma aside. Let’s also put aside the 1000s of unsolved, “mysterious” deaths in police custody, and the fact that we had to wait less than 24 hours before this example of cocksure impunity. Let’s be empirical & internationalist see what forms of anti-cuts political action police elsewhere are engaging in.
Through the ballot box, that’s very respectable:
In Greece, serving police force members vote in specially assigned polling stations (regardless of their area of residence), together with the local population of those stations. Last Sunday in Athens, 5.000 serving police voted in 11 such specially assigned polling stations. In these precise stations, the Nazis of the Golden Dawn received between 19% and 24% of the total vote.
Oh. Well, cleaning the streets then?
Nazis and riot police in joint operation against migrant traders and anarchists. Athens School of Economics, May 10, 2012
On May 9, 2012, only days after the election day in which 1 in 2 police voted Nazi, the two conducted a joint operation against the migrant street traders around the Athens School of Economics (ASOEE) and the anarchists who joined in their support. Skirmishes of this kind have been taking place for a while now, with riot police attempting to enforce a dogma of ‘zero tolerance’ and a ‘clean Athens’, in a discourse echoing that of the Golden Dawn (the Nazi party) and yet enforced by ‘socialist’ ministers Chrisochoidis (Public Order) and Loverdos (Health).
“Sleep well, and whatever you do, don’t have nightmares”
Share and Enjoy
Saturday 25th January, 4pm, Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh
As international creditors & bailiffs circle Greece, its government has responded with austerity policies. The results include deepened unemployment, cut pensions and social provision. A permanent state of crisis is the new post-democratic way of government: in the name of the economy, the facade of democracy is one more unaffordable luxury sold off to pay interest on a debt to the rich.
Behind the headlines, the fightback. Beyond massive general strikes demonstrations: hospitals, factories and offices occupied and run by their workers. Regardless of votes in parliament and international brinksmanship, the people of Greece are resisting the IMF by “collective[ly organizing] the struggle for a life that is characterized by solidarity, resistance and dignity.”
What happens next?
Dimitris Dalakoglou, editor of Revolt & Crisis in Greece (AK Press, 2011)
and contributor to the From the Greek Streets blog (www.occupiedlondon.org/blog
) will talk about the situation in Greece as seen from the streets and in daily lives. Following this will be time for discussion. How does the revolt in Greece affect other countries? How can we support the Greek people in struggle? What do we do next?
Find the event on Facebook
Meeting organised by Edinburgh Anarchist Federation
With Occupied London
And Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh
Share and Enjoy
Greece solidarity protest, Edinburgh
Despite the freezing weather, and an unexpected snow storm in the middle of the sunny afternoon, over 100 people gathered outside the City Chambers on Saturday 18th February to show solidarity with workers in Greece, who’s government has just voted to approve IMF and European Bank-approved austerity measures, which will have disastrous consequences for the working class.
The demonstration was well-received by passers by, and had a strong internationalist and anti-capitalist message: it is capitalism, not Greece, which is in crisis!
It's not our crisis, it's capitalism!
Slogans such as “From Scotland to Spain, the problem is the same! From Scotland to Greece, no justice, no peace!” were chanted, and a live link to a Greek radio station was established. The protest in Edinburgh was one of many around Europe and the world to mark an international day of solidarity with Greek workers, which included hundreds of Spanish protesters on the streets under the banner ‘Estamos Con Grecia’ – we are with Greece.
Share and Enjoy
Protests in Greece
There will be a second demonstration, called by Greek workers in Edinburgh, on Saturday 18th February, 12-3pm, City Chambers, High Street.
The demonstration is in solidarity with workers in Greece fighting the austerity measures imposed by their government at the request of the IMF and European Bank. The statement on the facebook event reads:
On the 12th of February the non-elected Greek Government adopted a new austerity plan, approved by the Greek parliament, which forces people into misery in order to save the European Banks. The 22% cut on the minimum wage (480 euros – 435 for young people), reduction on pensions, the abolishment of the collective bargaining, the privatization of the public sector (including health care and education) are only indicative measures for the future of the Greek people.
The “rescue” plan for Greece includes 130 billion euros, provided by European tax payers, which are not planned to serve the people but will only be given to the European Banks.
On Sunday the 12th of February the hundreds of thousands of Greek people took the streets fighting against the measures imposed be the EU, the European Central Bank, the IMF which would lead to the enslavement to the bankers. On the streets they gave a battle against the violent repression of the police forces having also as an opponent the “silence” of the media on demonstrations.
Greece is only the start before the generalization of the measures all over Europe. The people of Greece need the international solidarity and they call for our support.
Let’s stay united and fight back AGAINST the austerity measures, AGAINST repression, AGAINST the dictatorship of bankers.
WE ARE ALL GREEKS!
WHEN THEY SAY CUT BACK, WE SAY FIGHT BACK!
On Saturday 18th of February there will be demonstrations everywhere in solidarity with the mobilization of people of Greece.
We make this call at 12.00 outside the City Chambers at Royal Mile. See you ALL there!
Last week’s solidarity demo was lively and well attended. Please come along!
Share and Enjoy
…and looks like it could inject energy and liveliness into local anti-cuts campaigns.
Invite to demo this Sunday, 5pm at St Giles on the Mile:
To Whom It May Concern,
Following the international protests we have organised another concentration for this Sunday 5th in Saint Giles Cathedral (Royal Mile), at 5pm.
We would like to encourage further this movement which it’s NOT ONLY ABOUT THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN SPAIN, but about the economic situation of all those places where cuts and unemployment have grown incessantly.
Please note that it isn’t organised by any organisation, political party or platform, it is just organised by individuals who agreed gathering together.
As said, and by general consensus of the people leading this movement, we have agreed to gather in Saint Giles Cathedral at 17.00h, lasting the concentration for two hours, until 19.00h when we will finish at Princes Street.
We will be reading both the Spanish and English manifesto (translation with few suppressed parts that are concerning only Spanish people).
Thanks for your time.
Real Democracy Now! Scotland.
Share and Enjoy
Holidaying in Greece this year? Lucky you. Be sure and visit barthelonika restaurant, 3 Venizelou Str in the Rogoti Arcade, 1st floor, tel. 2310 225 242.
Is the food there good? It ought to be, since the workers there have fired their boss and intend to run it themselves:
Two weeks ago the owners of the restaurant announced us that the establishment was not going well and that it would close down for the three summer months – and further, that it was uncertain wether it would reopen in September and how many of us would work – and under what working conditions. They also announced us that all the workers at the restaurant would be fired immediately while firing compensations would only start to be paid out in October… that is, of course, if they had any money to pay the compensations out.
[...] The restaurant Barthelonika will be under our control, through our general assembly. Decisions concerning its running will be taken by majority and will be respected by all us co-workers. Whatever remains from profit after expenses will be distributed equally among all co-workers.
How do you like them vine leaves, boss?
Share and Enjoy
During the protests as part of today’s General Strike in Greece, 3 bank workers are reported to have been found suffocated to death after a fire.
This on-the-ground report from LibCom is a sober assessment.
According to news reports that began at 14:00 Greek time after, under pressure by the events, most radio and TV stations decided to break their strike, claim that the fire at Marfin Bank’s Stadiou street branch that has led to the death of three workers (one a pregnant woman) was started by protesters. However this remains an unsubstantiated claim. A similar case three decades ago had originally put the blame for the fire at Kappa-Marousi building on Panepistimiou street, leading to the death of several people inside, to anarchists, while its was later proved the fire was caused by tear gas fired by the police.[...]
After the tragic death of the three workers made the round of Athens, new clashes started to spread in the Greek capital, with a large crowd gathered outside the burned bank when Marfin’s boss tried to visit the site. Clashes broke out between the crowd and police when the former attacked the bank magnate accusing him of forcing the dead workers to scab on a general strike and locking them in the building despite them demanding to evacuate it since 12:00.[...]
the union of bank workers (OTOE) has declared a strike for tomorrow in response to the death of the three bank workers today. The union puts the blame for the deaths on the bank bosses and the police.A video of protesters attacking Mr Vgenopoulos the boss of Marfin visiting the burned bank, calling him a murderer can be seen here http://www.zougla.gr/page.ashx?pid=2&aid=131644&cid=4
I’ve added newsfeeds from a couple of the more reliable English-language Greek newsources to the sidebar. They should provide a bit more depth than you’ll get from the BBC and Sky.
Share and Enjoy