‘Overthrow Junta!’ Greek Workers Ready To Act

Thousands of workers were in the ERT ground’s last Wednesday evening defending the occupation
Thousands of workers were in the ERT ground’s last Wednesday evening defending the occupation

OVER 10,000 workers and youth gathered at the occupied ERT (State TV and Radio) grounds on Wednesday evening on the 9th day and night of the fight to keep ERT open and functioning against the dictatorial edict of the Greek tripartite parliamentary junta.

It was a turning point in the struggle.

In the previous two days, the treacherous GSEE (Greek TUC) bureaucracy had refused to call a general strike and, along with most of the media unions’ leaders, they were spreading confusion by putting all hope for victory on disagreements within the tripartite government and on the Council of State (Greek High Court) decision.

GSEE had called a rally for 6pm last Wednesday outside the ERT grounds but workers ignored the call.

Thousands came to the ERT grounds much later and at 9.30pm enjoyed a powerful concert by the ERT Symphonic Orchestra and Choir of Mozart’s masterpiece Requiem. Then followed appearances by different artists up to 5.00am.

A Popular Assembly has been formed at the ERT grounds and a few hundred demonstrators, along with a few ERT workers, took part in a meeting that criticised the Co-ordination Trade Union Committee of the occupation for not inviting workers and students to the Committee.

The Popular Assembly also criticised the programme broadcast by ERT journalists for not opening it up to other workers’ struggles.

The ERT Co-ordination Trade Union Committee (with representatives of 13 media trades unions) met on Wednesday both with Venizelos, the PASOK social democrats’ leader, and with Kouvelis, the leader of the Democratic Left party.

These two parties are the junior partners in the Greek tripartite coalition government and have stated that ERT must not be shut down, although they support a programme of ‘restructuring’ ERT which involves hundreds of sackings.

The media unions have organised a protest rally for Thursday afternoon at the Council of State which is to issue another ‘clarifying’ verdict on ERT.

The political crisis of the Greek tripartite government, caused by the mass action and occupation of ERT, is raging.

A four-hours meeting on Wednesday evening between right-wing Prime Minister Samaras and Venizelos and Kouvelis did not produce an agreement, and a third meeting of the three leaders was fixed for yesterday evening.

Both Venizelos and Kouvelis demand a more cautious approach to the ERT issue and have accused Samaras of being too arrogant.

The real issue is that Greek workers and youth are ready to overthrow the parliamentary junta but they are prevented by trade union leaders who seek a compromise.