Thursday, June 11, 2020

Capitalism is the virus: Large workers' rally by PAME and Trade Unions in Athens

Under the slogans “Take a breathe. Break the chains of exploitation” and “Poverty, unemployment and authoritarianism: Capitalism is the virus” thousands of people, workers, students, young men and women participated in a large rally organized by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), Trade Unions and Labour Centers in Athens, Greece.

The rally was organized as a response to the anti-worker attack of the conservative ND government which tries, once again, to shift the burden of the new economic crisis to the people. 

The demonstrators gathered at Syntagma Square, in front of the Parliament, where representatives from Trade Unions and Workers’ Associations delivered short speeches. A special moment was when Cliff Smith, head of Roofers Union Local 36 from Los Angeles, delivered a message through videocall. 

The demonstrators marched through the city center towards the U.S. Embassy where they staged a protest in solidarity with the popular protests in the U.S. and against government’s repression and barbarism.

The rally was attended by a delegation of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), headed by General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas, as well as by the Ambassador of Palestine Marwan Toubassi.

In a statement to reporters, Dimitris Koutsoumbas pointed out:

“We unite our voice with the working people, the working families, who can’t breathe in a system for which they have paid so much and continue paying even with their lives, due to the huge shortages in the Health sector. They can’t breathe due to insecurity, poverty, low wages, unemployment. They can’t breathe due to state repression, violence, bank debts…”

The KKE General Secretary also expressed his solidarity towards the people of the U.S. and Palestine.

“Our rally to the U.S. Embassy expresses our solidarity to the American people who are in the streets of the struggle against a government, the Trump government that expresses the whole capitalist barbarity, racism, terrorism and repression”. 

D. Koutsoumbas added that the rally also expresses solidarity to the sorely tried, due to Israeli occupation and U.S. position, Palestinian people who face “continuous settlements, annexations, imprisonments, persecutions and murders”. The Greek government – said the KKE leader – must immediately implement the unanimous decision of the Greek Parliament for the recognition of the Palestinian state.

Similar demonstrations took place in Thessaloniki and other cities throughout Greece.