Friday, July 10, 2020

Greece: Huge rallies against ND government's bill which aims to restrict and prohibit protests

“The prohibition of demonstrations will not be implemented” was the message sent to the government by thousands of protesters throughout Greece who participated in massive rallies against the new law which aims to restrict demonstrations and public gatherings. 

In Athens’ Syntagma Square, outside the Greek Parliament, Trade Unions, Students Unions and various organizations of the workers’ movement gave a militant response to the government’s authoritarian bill.

The despicable bill, which targets the people’s right in mass protest, was approved by 187-101 majority votes in Parliament. Except from the governing New Democracy MPs, the bill was voted by the deputies of KINAL (PASOK) and the far-right Greek Solution party. 

During the rally, riot police forces and hooded “protesters” unsuccessfully tried to sabotage the large demonstration by exchanging gasoline bombs and tear gas. The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) denounced the “government’s organized plan to dissolve the rally”.

Speeches at the rally were delivered, among others, by Giannis Tasioulas, President of the Association of Construction Workers of Greece, who pointed out that “there is no other way, but the weapon of the struggle which we are going to defend”. A delegation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (KKE), headed by General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas, attended the protest.

Similar rallies took place in other Greek cities, including a mass demonstration in Thessaloniki. 

Koutsoumbas: The people will repeal the law in practice

In the Greek Parliament, during the discussion for the bill on demonstrations, the deputies of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) strongly denounced and criticized the governmental effort to attack public gatherings. 

“You had the audacity to take out of your drawers this despicable bill for the restriction of the protests and to bring it to the Parliament to vote for it. You are fooling yourselves if you think that this monstrous law will be finally implemented. The workers,  the people will nullify it in practice”, stressed out Dimitris Koutsoumbas, General Secretary of the KKE, during his speech. 

The KKE leader also refered to the hypocritical stance of SYRIZA, the major opposition party which now accuses the government for anti-democratic practices but, in fact, followed a similar policy during its governmental term in 2015-2019. 

Click on the link to read the full statement of the Political Bureau of the CC of the KKE on the governmental bill. 

International Solidarity

The Greek government’s attempt to put the workers movement on hold and ban the demonstrations is condemned by unions around the world who express their solidarity with the struggle of PAME and the Greek working class against the government plans.

Messages that condemn the Bill have been sent by unions:

European Regional Office of WFTU
TUI PS Europe
Left Block OGB, Austria
International Federation of Workers in Finance, Bosnia and Herzegovina
CTB, Brazil
Brick Layer sBranch club Of North Jutland, Denmark
CITU, India
STM-Intersindical Valenciana, Valencia
USB, Italy
SGB, Italy
CTP, Congo
Federation of Public Workers, Portugal
Worker’s Romania Association, Romania
Nakliyat-İş Union, Turkey
DISK/ Sosyal -İs Sendikası, Turkey
Konut -İş Sendikasi, Turkey
Toley Is Izmir, Turkey
Patronlarin Ensesindeyiz, Turkey
KESK, Turkey
Union of Workers in Refineries, Trinidad and Tobaco
SEKO Klubb 111, Sweden
Teacher Association Järfälla, Sweden
“Sloga”, Serbia
LAB, Basque Country
CUT, Galicia
Intersindical Canaria, Canary Islands
Intersindical CSC, Catalonia
La Centrale Générale-FGTB Belgium
COS, Catalonia
Workers Council of RMK GGMBH, Stuttgart, Germany
Workers Council of Westfalen Mobil, Germany
Ver.di 8, Frankfurt, Germany
PEO, Cyprus
FNIC CGT, France
Union Départementale de Val de Marne, France
ROOFERS 36,Los Angeles, USA
RMT Reading, Britain
Reading Trade Unions Council, Britain
University Union of Hertfordshire, Britain
Union of Universities and Colleges of Birmingham, Britain

At the same time, Communities of Greek Migrants, Associations and Committees of Greek Migrantsalso, express their condemnation of the government’s anti-workers plans. Specific messages were sent by:

Committee of Greek Migrants, Dusseldorf, Germany
Community of Greek Migrants, Dresden, Germany
Committee of Greek Migrants, Munich, Germany
Community of Greek Migrants, Frankfurt, Germany
Committee of Greek Migrants, Berlin, Germany
Community of Greek Migrants of Hanover and Outskirts, Germany
Community of Greek Migrants, Stockholm, Sweden
TensdaBasketball Club of Stockholm, Sweden
Community of Greek Migrants, Copenhagen, Denmark

Dozens of trade unionists and militants of the people’s movement from all over Europe are also sending their own personal message of struggle.