Thousands of workers, unemployed and self-employed people, farmers, women, students and pensioners participated in the large demonstration on Saturday afternoon, organized by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) in Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city.
The protest was organized on the inauguration day of the city's 84th International Trade Fair by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Under the slogan "United, mass, class struggle. For modern terms of work and wages, for a life with rights", a river of people holding banners and flags gathered in Aristotelous Square and then marched throughout the city's central streets. The protesters sent a militant response to the anti-people, anti-workers policy of the government-EU and the capital, expressing their strong committment to defend the conquered labour and trade unionist rights.
The major speaker in the rally was Giorgos Perros, member of the Executive Secretariat of PAME, who underlined the need to "strengthen the demand of modern terms of life and labour based on the contemporary needs". Perros called the working class to "prepare a decisive, mass, organized and militant response" to the plans of the government and the capital. "Hands Off our right to collective organization and struggle. Hands Off from the right of the workers to strike" he said and stressed out that the working men and women must not become the "slaves of the 21st century".
A delegation of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), headed by the General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas, attended the rally. Along with Koutsoumbas were the KKE's MPs Giannis Delis, Christos Katsotis and Leonidas Stoltidis.
In a statement to reporters, Dimitris Koutsoumbas pointed out the following:
"Capitalist growth is neither beneficial for everyone nor self-evident, as a result of the international environment, as the present Greek government supports and claims. The goal they all have is to drag the worker and popular movement behind the chariot of monopoly interests, so they can serve the interests of the few at the expense of the interests of the many".
And he added: "That is why a dynamic organization of the workers-people's struggle is needed right now, a development of the class unity, broadening of the social popular alliance, a change in the correlations, so that the new anti-worker, anti-trade union laws, which have brought the working class and the Greek people to their knees, will not pass and the previous ones will be abolished, so we can live our lifes as we truly deserve today".