Thursday, March 9, 2023

Greece on the streets — “Our dead, their profits” — Massive strike rallies for the train crash crime

Thousands of workers, school pupils and students, young men and women, participated on Wednesday in massive nationwide strike demonstrations across Greece, demanding no cover-up of the governmental responsibilities for the fatal train crash that took place in Larissa on February 28th. 
The strike came as a continuation of the March 5th huge rally held in Athens' Syntagma Square during the 48-hour strike of railway workers. Read here the call by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME).
Under slogans such as “Our dead, their profits”, the protesters highlighted the fact that the train crash, which led to 57 deaths of mostly young people, was the outcome of criminal policies that treat safety and human life as a cost. It is a political choice over railway operation that has been implemented over the decades by all governments, including neoliberals (New Democracy) and social democrats (SYRIZA, PASOK).

The demonstrators demanded that the actual responsibilities and the culprits of the crime will be held accountable and punished. "This crime will not be covered up. Modern-Safe-Cheap Mass Transportation for the people. Against the criminal policy of profit," is the slogan that dominates the demonstration, which extended from Omonia to Syntagma Square as people were constantly arriving in downtown Athens to protest.

“We shouldn't blame the bad timing, but the capitalist profit and those who governed and are governing this country. This slogan resonates today throughout Greece, in all over the country. The strike gatherings, the rallies of the labor unions, students and pupils associations and other mass organizations are big, optimistic and magnificent. We shall continue!”, said the General Secretary of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas in a statement to reporters. 



Similar massive rallies were held in Thessaloniki as well as in Patras, Larissa and other big cities across the country. According to some local media, yesterday's strike demonstrations were some of the largest the country has seen in the last decade.  Protest rallies were also organised in the city of Ioannina, the port city of Patras, Chania and Heraklion on Crete and the island of Rhodes, among others.

The Piraeus Labour Center and Athens labour unions renewed their call for a mass protest gathering that will be held at Syntagma Square on Sunday (March 12) at 12:00 noon. At the same time, labour unions and students' associations have called for another rally in Thessaloniki's Aristotelous Square on Sunday 12 at 12:00.