THE Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis delivered a 5-minute proclamation on all national TV channels and radio stations on Tuesday night condemning as ‘enemies of democracy’, the youths who were protesting against the police killing of a 16-years-old school student, Alexis Grigoropoulos, last Saturday night in Athens. Karamanlis said that his government will ‘enforce the law’.
He stated that he had met the leaders of the political parties of the opposition to ask them to condemn the demonstrating youths’ attacks on banks, hotels, government offices and police stations.
Just a few hours earlier, Karamanlis’ armed riot police had brutally attacked with button charges, tear-gas and even gunfire, the thousands of school and university students who had just attended Alexis’ funeral. School students carried the white coffin with the corpse on their shoulders to the grave as thousands shouted ‘he lives on in our struggles’ and rained the coffin with white flowers.
Following the armed riot police attack at the cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, youths staged demonstrations and started throwing stones at the police. Widespread fierce street battles developed throughout Athens and in several other Greek cities for the fourth consecutive night. In the early evening, three police, according to several eye witnesses, had drawn their guns and fired several shots into the air. The Athens daily, Eleftheros Typos, printed a photograph taken at last Sunday’s mass demonstrations, showing a riot policeman aiming with his gun.
In the city of Patras several reports stated that fascists of the Golden Dawn group came to police assistance by throwing stones at demonstrating youths who had managed to lay siege to the local police station.
The Greek police leadership stated that over 100 youths had been arrested on Monday.
A row has developed between the general secretary of the Stalinist Greek Communist Party Aleka Paparigha and the leader of the Coalition of the Left Alekos Alavanos. Following her meeting with the Greek prime minister, Paparigha stated that the Coalition of the Left harbours the youths who smash up shops. Then the leader of the Greek racists’ party, LAOS Yiorghos Karatzaferis, used Paparigha’s very words to criticise the Coalition of the Left.
The Greek prime minister revealed that he had sent a letter to the GSEE (Greek TUC) leaders asking them to cancel today’s 24-hour general strike (Wednesday 10 Dec) rally and demonstration in Athens. The GSEE bureaucrats agreed to cancel the demonstration but not the rally.
Teachers’ trade unions, school and university students have decided to hold a rally and march to the Vouli (Greek parliament); KKE are to hold their own separate rally and demonstration.
The following is a statement by the Revolutionary Marxist League
Supporters of the International Committee of the Fourth International
No to the government’s ‘emergency measures’!
For daily demonstrations and for an indefinite
general strike to overthrow the Karamanlis
Disband the police, the riot police and the special guards!
THE youth’s uprising, with mass demonstrations of school and university students throughout Greece, seeks revenge for the murder by police Special Guards of the school students Alexis Grigoropoulos.
This uprising must be vindicated with the punishment of those politically responsible, the Karamanlis government.
The collapse of the world capitalist system and the diktats of the European Union are forcing the Karamanlis government to dictatorial measures in order to impose reforms and to condemn the working class and youth to a life of poverty and misery with no social security.
These policies are responsible for the killing and for the police’s barbarous violence. The mass demonstrations and the occupations must continue and must demand the withdrawal of the Education Law and the plans for the privatisation of education, and also demand to disband the police, the riot police and the special guards.
All workers and youth must demand from the GSEE (Greek TUC) to turn this Wednesday’s 24-hour general strike into an indefinite political general strike, with the aim to overthrow the Karamanlis government.
The decision of the GSEE bureaucrats to cancel the strike’s demonstration must be answered with the replacement of the GSEE leadership.
The counter-revolutionary plans of the government for the imposition of ‘emergency measures’ that is martial law, must be met with daily mass demonstrations and occupations.
The political crisis created by the murder of the school student can be resolved by the victory of the youth and of workers, with the overthrow of the government!
The Opposition parties, the PASOK social democrats, the Greek Communist Party and the Coalition of the Left, must refuse to discuss with, or offer support to, the Karamanlis government! Such support will mean support to the riot police’s violence and to the ‘emergency measures’ which the government is preparing for.
The economic and political crisis of capitalism can only be resolved with the overthrow of the system.
This is the task of the mass Marxist revolutionary party which must be build in Greece now!
The students’ uprising must be united with the workers’ general strike to form a great force for the overthrow of the government and of capitalism.
Councils of Action must be formed in all districts, factories and universities to fight for the defense of workers’ and youth’s rights, against unemployment and low wages.
The struggle must be for a workers and small farmers’ government which will overcome the economic crisis with the nationalisation of banks and of large manufacturers and business without compensation and under workers’ control and management.
Everyone to the
demonstrations and to the general strike!
For the overthrow of
For a workers and small farmers government!
Athens 8 December 2008