On the afternoon of Sunday 16/5/2010 took place a solidarity intervention and public speaking for the strikers and our comrades in Greece. For several hours we occupied Newtown square, banners were hung around, displayed many anarchist flags, distributed texts, scattered flyers throughout the area, and played Greek anarchist music.
Related: Solidarity from Melbourne | Video of Sydney event on Athens Indymedia
The Murderers “Mourn” Their Victims
(Regarding the tragic deaths of 3 people)
The enormous strike demonstration that took place today, 5th of May turned into an outpour of social rage. At least 200,000 people of all ages took to the streets (employees and unemployed, in the public and private sector, locals and migrants) attempting, over many hours and in consecutive waves, to surround and to take over the Parliament. The forces of repression came out in full force, to play their familiar role – that is, of the protection of the political and financial authorities. The clashes were hours long and extensive.
However, in the midst of all this, a tragic event that no words can possibly describe took place: 3 people died from suffocation due to smoke inhalation at the branch of Marfin Bank on Stadiou Avenue, which was set ablaze.
The state and the journalistic scum, without any respect toward the dead or those close to them, spoke from the very first moment about some “murderous hooded youths”, attempting to take advantage of the event in order to calm the wave of social rage that had erupted and to recover their authority that had been torn apart; to impose once again a police occupation of the streets, to wipe out the roots of social resistance and disobedience against state terrorism and capitalist barbarity. For this reason, during the last few hours the police forces have been marching through the center of Athens, they have conducted hundreds of detentions and they raided – with shootings and stun-grenades – the anarchist occupation “Space of United Multiform Action” on Zaimi street and the “Migrant's Social Centre” on Tsamadou Street, causing extensive damage (both these places are in the Exarcheia neighbourhood of Athens). At the same time the threat of a violent police eviction is hanging over the rest of the self-organised spaces (occupations and social centres) after the Prime-ministerial speech which referred to soon-to-come raids for the arrest of the “murderers”.
The governors, governmental officials, their political personnel, the TV-mouthpieces and the salaried hack writers attempt in this way to absolve their regime and to criminalise the anarchists and every unpatronising voice of struggle. As if there would ever be even the slightest chance that whoever attacked the bank (provided the official scenario stands) would possibly know there were people inside, and that they would torch it alight regardless. They seem to confuse the people in struggle for themselves: those who without any hesitation hand over the entire society to the most severe pillaging and enslavement, who order their praetorians to attack without hesitation and to aim to shoot to kill, those who have lead three people to suicide in the past week alone, due to financial debts.
The truth is that the real murderer, the real instigator of today’s tragic death of 3 people is “mister” Vgenopoulos, who used the usual employer's blackmail (the threat of sacking) and forced his employees to work in the branches of his bank during a day of strike – and even in a branch like the one on Stadiou Avenue, where the strike’s demonstration would pass through. Such blackmailing is known only too well by anyone experiencing the terrorism of salaried slavery on an everyday level. We are awaiting to see what excuses Vgenopoulos will come up with for the relatives of the victims and for the society as a whole – this ultra-capitalist now hinted by some centers of power as the next prime minister in a future “national unity government” that could follow the expected, complete collapse of the political system.
If an unprecedented strike can ever be a murderer…
If an unprecedented demonstration, in an unprecedented crisis, can ever be a murderer…
If open social spaces that are alive and public can ever be murderers…
If the state can impose a curfew and attack demonstrators under the pretext of arresting murderers…
If Vgenopoulos can detain his employees inside a bank – that is, a primary social enemy and target for demonstrators…
…it is because authority, this serial killer, wants to slaughter upon its birth a revolt which questions the supposed solution of an even harsher attack on society, of an even larger pillage by capital, of an even thirstier sucking of our blood.
…it is because the future of the revolt does not include politicians and bosses, police and mass media.
… it is because behind their much-advertised “only” solution, there is a solution that does not speak of development rates and unemployment but rather, it speaks of solidarity, self-organising and human relationships.
When asking who are the murderers of life, of freedom, of dignity, the agents of authority and capital, and their lackeys need only to take a look at themselves. Today and every day.
HANDS OFF FREE SOCIAL SPACES
IT IS THE STATE AND THE CAPITALISTS ARE THE MURDERERS, TERRORISTS AND CRIMINALS
SOLIDARITY WITH THE REVOLT IN GREECE
An Employee of the Burnt Bank Speaks Out on the Tragic Deaths in Athens
I feel an obligation toward my co-workers who have so unjustly died today to speak out and to say some objective truths. I am sending this message to all media outlets. Anyone who still bares some consciousness should publish it. The rest can continue to play the government’s game.
The fire brigade had never issued an operating license to the building in question. The agreement for it to operate was under the table, as is the practice with all businesses and companies in Greece.
The building in question has no fire safety mechanisms in place, neither planned nor installed ones – that is, it has no ceiling sprinklers, fire exits or fire hoses. There are only some portable fire extinguishers which, of course, cannot help in dealing with extensive fire in a building that is built with long-outdated security standards.
No branch of Marfin bank has had any member of staff trained in dealing with fire, not even in the use of the few fire extinguishers. The management also uses the high costs of such training as a pretext and will not take even the most basic measures to protect its staff.
There has never been a single evacuation exercise in any building by staff members, nor have there been any training sessions by the fire-brigade, to give instructions for situations like this. The only training sessions that have taken place at Marfin Bank concern terrorist action scenarios and specifically planning the escape of the bank's “big wigs” from their offices in such a situation.
The building in question had no special accommodation for the case of fire, even though its construction is very fragile under such circumstances and even though it was filled with materials from floor to ceiling. Materials which are very inflammable, such as paper, plastics, wire, furniture. The building is objectively unsuitable for use as a bank due to its construction.
No member of security has any knowledge of first aid or fire extinguishing, even though every time they are charged with securing the building. The bank employees have to turn into firemen or security staff according to the appetite of Mr Vgenopoulos (owner of Marfin Bank).
The management of the bank strictly bared the employees from leaving today, even though they had persistently asked so themselves from very early this morning – while they also forced the employees to lock up the doors and repeatedly confirmed that the building remained locked up throughout the day, over the phone. They even blocked off their internet access so as to prevent the employees from communicating with the outside world.
For many days now there has been complete terrorisation of the bank’s employees in regard to the mobilisations of these days, with the verbal “offer”: you either work, or you get fired.
The two undercover police who are normally posted at the branch in question for robbery prevention did not show up today, even though the bank’s management had verbally promised to the employees that they would be there.
At last, gentlemen, make your self-criticism and stop wandering around pretending to be shocked. You are responsible for what happened today and in any rightful state (like the ones you like to use from time to time as leading examples on your TV shows) you would have already been arrested for the above actions. My co-workers lost their lives today by malice: the malice of Marfin Bank and Mr. Vgenopoulos personally who explicitly stated that whoever didin’t come to work today (May 5th, a day of a general strike!) should not bother showing up for work tomorrow (as they would get fired).
- An employee of Marfin Bank
Re: Solidarity intervention and public speaking for strikers ...
good to see! keep it up! the greek workers and unemployed are fighting for us, too!