4,000 Striking Greek Teachers March Through Athens!


OVER 4,000 striking teachers and students marched through Athens city centre last Monday afternoon in a joyful mood sensing that they were winning the fight against the government’s Education Bill.

Throughout the march teachers sang songs, chanted slogans and clapped their hands to the beat of drums. They shouted ‘indefinite strike’ and ‘permanent struggle to victory’. At the rally they demanded that their trade unions and the ADEDY (public sector workers federation) call a three-day national strike, starting from yesterday through to tomorrow (Thursday). The union leaders have refused.

On Monday morning it was announced that the Education Bill was temporarily withdrawn following the collapse of the Greek coalition government. The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, leader of the SYRIZA party, is now seeking the votes of at least six parliamentary deputies to add to his 145 parliamentary deputies to win a confidence motion in the Vouli (Greek parliament) tonight.

Teachers rightly suspect that if Tsipras wins the confidence vote he will re-table the Education Bill. Teachers, students and supporting delegations from other workers’ sections gathered outside the Vouli on Monday and attempted to march to the Prime Minister’s Office. The road was blocked by police buses and scores of riot police squads.

As the marchers came to the police buses, armed riot police attacked them with truncheons, tear-gas spray guns and noise-lightning grenades. Yet again several teachers and students were injured by the grenades thrown directly over the demonstrators.

Students reacted by throwing colourful and noisy fireworks at the riot squads.

The teachers and students Occupation Committee of the Administrative Building of Athens University is organising daily mass meetings and has condemned the union leaders’ refusal to call the 3-day strike.