Friday, May 1, 2020

"The deadliest virus is capitalism": Great May Day rally by PAME in Athens

In a rally with great symbolism, workers and labour unions honored the International Workers’ Day in Athens’ Syntagma Square, thus sending a powerful message of proletarian solidarity. 

Organized by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), the rally took place with all the necessary measures of protection due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the protestors keeping distance from each other, wearing masks and gloves. 

With this symbolic rally the working class reminds us the actual meaning of May 1st: That the deadliest virus is capitalism. The message of PAME’s gathering is that the class-oriented workers’ movement remains in the forefront of the struggle so that the working class, the people, shall not pay once again for the upcoming crisis. The demand for jobs with rights, for the satisfaction of their contemporary needs is more relevant than ever.

In a press release issued today, the Executive Secretariat of PAME points out:
The Executive Secretariat of PAME salutes the thousands of workers, the unemployed, the youth, the women who under this year’s slogan “PEOPLE WILL NOT PAY AGAIN! THE VISIBLE ENEMY IS CAPITALISM“, participated and demonstrated in symbolic mobilizations in every city of the country. We also salute the thousands of workers, unemployed, self-employed, farmers, young men and women who are at home, and would like to demonstrate with us, to demonstrate massively as every year throughout Greece, honoring the International Day of the Working Class.
We pay tribute to all those that died during the pandemic, around the world and with admiration to the heroic doctors and nurses who lost their lives fighting against the pandemic. At the same time they fight against the destroyed health systems of even the most “developed” capitalist countries. But “now is the time for struggle and for life.” 
For the capitalists and the governments of capitalist countries, the pandemic has become an opportunity to violate workers’ rights. The pandemic has shown even more that the system of exploitation cannot be humanized. Only those who have an interest defend such a rotten system: the monopoly groups, their political staff and among them the trade union bourgeoisie, of the GSEE, whose president mocked the workers’ struggles during the pandemic.

The rally was attended by the General Secretary of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas

The symbolic mobilization was a response to the conservative ND government which, under the pretext of the pandemic, tried to mute the voice of the organized labour movement, at a time when it gives the “green light” to the employers to escalate their anti-worker attack. 

The event began with “Bella Ciao”, the legendary resistance song which today symbolizes the solidarity towards the Italian people who have been affected by the pandemic and ended with the participants raising their fists and singing “The Internationale”.