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19th Congress of KKE

First day of the 48hr strike: A large rally of determined workers


The first strike rally of PAME on Tuesday morning in Athens and dozens of other cities was mass, dynamic and lively. An indication of the size of the demonstration in Athens was that it once again occupied the entire centre of the city. Thousands of workers, self-employed, tradesmen, youth and women demonstrated their opposition to the savage anti-people and anti-worker measures which are being pushed forward by the government, EU and Troika. The central slogan of the rally was “The measures must be overthrown, the people must have their say, either we will prevail or the monopolies will.”

When PAME's forces reached the Parliament, the human river of demonstrators with the flags and banners of PAME encircled Syntagma Square. Once again the rally and march of PAME was considerably larger than that of the compromised leaderships of GSEE and ADEDY.

The strike struggle began at the crack of dawn on Tuesday. Workers from their workplaces and members of the class-oriented trade unions were outside the factories, hotels, supermarkets, shops, banks, all over Greece protecting the strike and calling on the workers to participate in the strike rallies.

A special moment was the initiative of the sectoral trade union of the workers in the finance sector which hung a gigantic banner covering the facade of the “Bank of Piraeus” building, as a response to one of the banking groups that has played a leading role in the anti-worker offensive against the employees in the banking sector.

A little later the contingents began to arrive at the central rally with banners of dozens of trade unions, industrial workers, People's Committees, Unemployed Committees, students, teachers, workers in health and welfare etc.

Nikos Papageorgiou, President of the Trade Union of Workers in Restaurants-Tourism-Hotels in Attica, was the central speaker at PAME's rally and stressed amongst other things: “ If we do not organize ourselves and fight for a deep overthrow at the level of the economy and power, there is no way that pensions, social-security and social rights will be restored by any government to the level of 2 or 3 years ago.”

“For the class-oriented labour movement” he added “ There is no other prospect other than the struggle for another development path, with the people masters of their country, without the commitments to the EU, with the socialization of the large monopolies,. Until then, we will struggle, expressing genuine class solidarity, in every workplace, in every neighbourhood, so that the measures do not pass, so that no one finds himself alone against the employers and their mechanisms. We will escalate the struggle so that the people do not remain mere observers of the developments, but so that they shape them.”

“ We will continue even more decisively inside and outside the workplaces.” He stressed, calling for mass participation in the strike demonstration of PAME at 5 o'clock Wednesday in Omonia.

A large delegation of the CC of the KKE took part in the demonstration, headed by Aleka Papariga, the GS of the CC of the KKE, who stated and stressed at PAME's strike rally in Omonia that : “ We call on the people to show in a systematic and well organized way disobedience and defiance not only to the government's measures, but to the system in general. This is a good start so that the counterattack can be organized which must have as its outcome the abolition of the monopolies, the disentanglement from the commitments to the European Union, i.e. disengagement from the EU. Any other solution that is being proposed operates within the framework of the system.”

Messages of solidarity were sent to the strike rally by dozens of class-oriented organizations and trade unions from all over the world amongst them the European Regional Office of the World Federation of Trade Unions.

Another militant, combative, strike demonstration will take place on Wednesday afternoon, which will be followed by a march to the Parliament at the time when the anti-worker raft of barbaric measures which will shatter the lives of the workers will be voted on .


KNE 2011