TENS of thousands of Greek workers and youth are congregating every day and every night at the occupied ERT (State TV and Radio) building in Athens.
This has been turned into a centre of resistance against the parliamentary junta of the tripartite government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
ERT transmitters have been occupied by armed riot police but a strike resistance TV programme is being broadcast by ERT workers through dozens of Internet sites. ERT technicians have also managed to restore proper transmission to several ERT radio stations.
Dimitris Trimis, the President of the Greek Journalists’ Union, announced on Thursday night that the Press, Broadcast and Print trade unions federations, in a joint meeting with PROSPERT (the ERT workers’ trade union), have decided on ‘rolling’ (continuous) 24-hour national strikes until Monday.
No radio, television or Internet programmes will be broadcast and no newspapers will be printed. Only those who broadcast exclusively news and material on the ERT occupation and struggle are exempted from the strike.
Not a single newspaper was printed yesterday morning.
On Thursday midday, over 50,000 workers, many with their families, students and unemployed youth completely filled the six-lane dual carriageway in front of the ERT building for a rally, part of the one-day general strike called by the GSEE (Greek TUC) against the wishes of the treacherous bureaucracy.
At the main entrance to the ERT building, speakers from the Press trade unions condemned the Greek government’s dictatorial action to shut down ERT.
The President of the PROSPERT union, Panagiotis Kalfayiannis, said that Greek Prime Minister Samaras wants to be another arrogant and autocratic leader like (Turkish Prime Minister) Erdogan.
Kalfayiannis called on all to come to the ERT building because ‘it is from here that the overthrow of the austerity Accords will begin’. He also called on Samaras ‘to go’.
Top singers and musicians are appearing outside the ERT building, despite rain, while the ERT Symphony Orchestra and Choir give concerts at an ERT studio, and broadcast.
Thousands of Greek workers and youth stay all night outside and inside the ERT building, protecting this Centre of Resistance from a riot police invasion. Thus, the ERT occupation has become a centre for the Greek revolution which is now openly challenging and threatening the Samaras parliamentary junta with overthrow.
Athens Metro workers, seafarers and Piraeus dockers have been participating in the ERT occupation. Their strikes early this year were declared illegal, their occupations stormed at 3.00am by riot police and special Port Police commando units, and they have been ‘conscripted’ by the Samaras government.
Speaking on Thursday night, the SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left party) leader Alexis Tsipras said that ‘we are living in times of dictatorship’ as he condemned the government’s actions. Tsipras wants a general election as soon as possible.
The Greek Communist Party (KKE) are calling for a ‘change of policies’ by the Greek government.
The Greek Trotskyists of the Revolutionary Marxist League (RML) are demanding ‘down with Samaras, down with Capitalism’ and are calling for an indefinite political general strike to overthrow the Samaras regime and go forward to establish a workers’ and small farmers’ government based on trade unions and Popular Assemblies..