Greek Workers And Youth Occupy!

DEH public electricity board workers marching to the Greek parliament square
DEH public electricity board workers marching to the Greek parliament square

Despite torrential rain, over 20,000 youth and workers with their families congregated for the second night running in Athens’ main square in front of the Vouli building (Greek parliament).

The building is surrounded by hundreds of riot police despite the very peaceful nature of the demonstration.

Similar demonstrations took place in nearly all the Greek large cities.

Workers at state corporations have also taken to the streets and occupied against the government’s plan to annihilate the public sector in Greece on the orders of the IMF and of the European Commission.

Port workers in Piraeus, the port of Athens, have now occupied the Piraeus Port Authority’s HQs, while Greek Postbank workers continue for the third day their occupation of the bank’s centra offices in Athens.

In Athens, the mood of youth and workers on Thursday night was more lively than on Wednesday.

There were repeated variations of the slogan ‘We have awaken – it’s your turn now Europe’, and Spanish, Italian and French flags appeared with slogans written on them.

There was a lot of jeering against the police and shouts such as ‘you are thieves and scoundrels’ addressed to the government and politicians.

Other slogans were: ‘Nothing can stop us, we will kick out the troika (the IMF, EC, ECB)’, ‘Bread, education and freedom’ (the main demand of the Athens Polytechnic students’ uprising of 1973), and ‘A Greece of fed-up Greeks’.

Hundreds had set up tents for an overnight stay in the square.

The square protestors have been branded by the capitalist media as ‘the indignants’, the fed-ups with the government policies. This is true, but it is only a surface description.

The vast majority of the demonstrators are in their 20s and early 30s, but there is a considerable percentage of people in their 40s and 50s. Few teenagers have been participating, since this is a school exams period.

Most of the square demonstrators have been in and out of jobs and many are unemployed.

Students, ex-students and older workers with experience seem to be the organisers of committees etc. in the square.

Early on Friday morning, hundreds of telecommunication workers of OTE (Greek Telecom) blocked one of the the main throughroads in Athens against the privatisation of the company. But the Greek government announced that already the Deutsche Telekom, who hold a large share of OTE, have been invited to make a bid for a total take-over.

The OME-OTE (telecom trade union) have declared strikes and participation in a rally called by the GSEE (Greek TUC) and ADEDY (public sector trade unions), but for the end of next week.

Workers are more than fed-up and indignant against their trade union leaders who refuse to call an immediate walk out and occupations.