Salonica Teachers Clash With Police

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Greek school youth demonstrating through Athens in support of their teachers last week
Greek school youth demonstrating through Athens in support of their teachers last week

ANGRY teachers and students fought with police yesterday in Salonica, turning Tsimiski Street, a central highway of the city, into a battleground.

The normally festive annual parade of schoolchildren to mark the twin anniversaries of Salonica’s liberation from the Turks in 1912 and Greece’s heroic stand against fascism in 1940, was utterly and quite unexpectedly turned upside down.

Teachers’ leaders insist that they were simply demonstrating with placards and slogans, but were attacked by the riot police with clubs and tear gas.

The fighting got to within five metres of the top bourgeois dignitaries who were reviewing the parade.

The leader of the primary school teachers’ union DOE, the traitorous PASOK apparatchik Dimitris Bratis, fresh from actually causing the trouble by calling off the teachers’ strike, hurried to condemn the teachers involved in the incident.

However, the situation is now more serious than the opportunists of PASOK, or even the Stalinists, can control.

In the first place, it is by no means certain that the teachers will accept the abandonment of their strike by opportunist ‘fiat’.

Worse still, everybody is aware that tomorrow’s anniversary military parade is to be the focus of a conscious intervention by revolutionary forces.

This country is poised on the very brink, either of a socialist revolution, or yet another boring attempt of the Greek bourgeoisie to rule by military dictatorship.

from Gerard Lally in Salonica