Wednesday, December 02, 2009

As the first anniversary of the lst year's rebellion in Greece approaches social tensions in that country continue to rise. What is different this time is that the new PASOK (Socialist) government is increasingly being seen as unable to live up to the hopes many of its voters put in it. This means that other sectors besides students are now in motion. Here's a report from the Libcom website.
Tension in Greece before critical weekend:
Strikes, marches, blockades, occupations and nights of fire are setting the climate before the critical weekend of the first anniversary of Alexandros Grigoropoulos murder.

Political and social tension is rising across Greece before the critical weekend (Saturday 5- Monday 7) that marks the first year anniversary of the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos and the subsequent December Uprising.

On the labour front, a series of sectors are restless. On Monday 30/11 Athens saw a demo of hospital doctors who went on a 24h strike in front of the Evangelismos hospital. At the same time nurses of the Agia Eleni hospital have occupied the management offices of the hospital demanding that employed nurses are removed from office work and placed only in medical care. On the telecom front, the workers of Wind have called another 24h strike for Thursday 3/12 in response to the forced "voluntary exit" of 200 workers. At the same time archaeologists employed by the Ministry of Culture have called a 48h strike for Wednesday and Thursday demanding immediate payment of all salaries. The archaeologists gathered in front of the Archaeological Museum of Athens and marched to the Ministry. On the heavy industry side, steel workers have called a 24h strike in protest to the layoff of 16 workers at the National Steelworks. The workers have gathered in front of the main factory of the industry and are closing on and off the national highway south of Athens. On the public sector on Wednesday 2/12 stage workers of the municipality of Salonica have blockaded the municipal headquarters disallowing all citizens and employers to enter the premises. The workers are demanding the revision of the new government's plans regarding the integration of stage workers to permanent employment. On the farming side of things, peach producers have been blockading the Egnatia national highway, halting all traffic from Salonica west, demanding that the Ministry of Agriculture fix a universal price for their products.

Finally a striking event much discussed even in the mainstream media is an acid attack against the car of a cleaner, Venetia Monalopoulou, contracted to the Airport of Salonica. The cleaner is a leading syndicalist playing an important role in the efforts to built a united autonomous union front of cleaners on the model put forward by K. Kouneva, the Athens cleaner who is still in hospital a year after an assassination attempt against her with sulphuric acid. The latest attack came during an assembly of the cleaners and has been condemned by the cleaners as "boss terrorism".

On the student front, a protest march took to the streets of Athens amongst piles of ungathered garbage due to a blockade of the Fylis refuse dump by locals. The students protested the closure of their schools by a collaboration if rectorial and police authorities during the 36th anniversary of the November 17 Uprising last month. A similar protest march took to the streets of the city of Volos on Tuesday 1/12. At the same time workers of the University of the Peloponese who have been occupying the rectorial headquarters of their university moved on Wednesday 2/12 to blockade the main Corinthian highway, thus putting all southbound circulation in the peninsula to a halt.

On the anti-repression front, as the trial of the imprisoned anarchist Ilias Nikolaoy started on Wednesday morning under draconian police presence, a big motorised protest march took to the prisons of Diavata the previous night. At the same time a big protest march took to the streets of Salonica on Monday 30/12 protesting against the para-state bomb attack against the Bueno Ventura antiauthoritarian social centre last week. A day earlier another anti-repression protest march took to the streets of Petralona in Athens against the petrol bomb attack against the house of a member of the Revolutionary Workers Party who is actively involved in the anti-gentrification movement in the area. At the same time two new squats have appeared in the archipelagos of social antagonism: on in Exarcheia and on in Corfu. The latter has been receiving pressure of eviction by local cops.

Finally the already tense social and political climate has been punctuated by a series of attacks against state and capitalist targets throughout the country. The latest of these was Tuesday night's blitz molotov attack against the commercial centre of Kaisariani, an eastern suburb of Athens, targeting mainly banks. In Salonica, a series of attacks against houses of policemen, judges and newspaper managers with small range explosive devices has been claimed by a the urban guerrilla group Convention of Anomics/ Ministers of Erebus.

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