SYRIZA Cambridge is organising its second event on the issue of Workers’ Control with the support of the Cambridge and District Trades Union Council. The event will start with a short documentary screening about the case of the Greek factory of VIOME and the struggle of the workers to re-open the factory under workers’ control since its owners abandoned it, leaving the workers unpaid for 6 months.
After the screening there will be a discussion on the issue of Workers’ Control with contributions by two local Trade Union representatives and SYRIZA Cambridge. We’re aiming in having an interactive discussion amongst the attendees and we’ll invite you all to express opinions, raise questions and make contributions.
The discussion will be followed by a food and wine social and fundraiser in order to financially support the struggle of VIOME workers.
At least 20 strawberry pickers wounded
in pay dispute after foreman opens fire on them with shotgun, police say.
Originally published at AlJazeera 17 Apr 2013 22:49
At least 20 migrant strawberry pickers were shot and wounded in southern Greece, in a pay dispute after a foreman
opened fire on them with a shotgun, police have said.
Wednesday’s incident occurred near the village of Manolada, about 260 kilometres west of Athens.
Haralambos Sfetsos, the police captain, said most of the wounded workers were from Bangladesh.
“The injured have been taken to various nearby hospitals. We have been informed that none of the injuries are life-threatening,
” Sfetsos told AP news agency.
“We have identified the three foremen and are looking for them. They are three Greek men, who live locally.”
He said the shooting occurred when about 200 workers at the strawberry field demanded six months unpaid wages and
“moved threateningly” toward three foremen, at least one of whom opened fire.
The owner of the site, who was not present at the time, has been detained for questioning while arrest warrants have been
issued for three Greek foremen.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT 24 October 2012 AI Index: EUR 25/010/2012
GREEK AUTHORITIES MUST SEND A STRONG MESSAGE AGAINST CASES OF POLICE ABUSE
A series of serious allegations including torture against detainees including members of vulnerable groups, excessive use of chemical irritants and other ill-treatment against protesters that came to light in the last month have raised Amnesty International’s profound concerns.
The organization is also profoundly concerned over the dramatic increase of racially motivated attacks against migrants, asylum-seekers and other foreign nationals and of cases where the police reportedly discourages or intimidates the victims from reporting such attacks.
Amnesty International urges the Greek authorities to send a strong message that condemns police abuse against protesters and detainees. Any allegations of police abuse and other misconduct should be thoroughly, promptly and impartially investigated and it must be ensured that the perpetrators are going to be brought to justice.
The organization also calls the Greek authorities to send a strong message condemning racially motivated attacks and explicitly deterring police officers from committing such attacks. Any allegations of police deterring victims of racially motivated attacks and other hate crime from reporting them must be thoroughly investigated.
Allegations of ill-treatment during arrest and/or detention In October 2012, serious allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by fifteen anti-fascist protesters during their arrest by police and their detention at the Attika General Police Directorate (GADA) on 30 September 2012 came to light. The allegations included use of taser gun against one of the protesters during arrest, spits, sexually abusive comments against female protesters, verbal abuse, beatings, threats and denial of access to a doctor and legal assistance.
In addition, twenty five other individuals who gathered outside the courts in Athens, and who were subsequently arrested and transferred to the same Directorate on 1 October 2012, made allegations of being tortured by police officers while in detention. The protesters of the second group alleged that they were ordered to strip naked and made to bend before police officers, slapped and hit. The allegations received wide publicity on national and international media.
X., one of the fifteen protesters spoke to Amnesty International and said that while detained in GADA, the arrested protesters were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment. X. said that police officers physically abused many of the arrested protesters including those who were injured, by slapping them, spitting at them and that cigarette lighters were used to burn them. X. also said that the police threatened to reveal the names of the protesters to the far right party Golden Dawn and that they made sexually abusive comments to the female protesters who were arrested. He described how the police deprived them of sleep and refused to provide them with water for several hours. X. also said that the detention conditions were inadequate and included detention in a very small cell along with other individuals, appalling hygiene conditions and having to sleep on the cell’s floor.
According to Haris Ladis, one of the lawyers, representing the protesters, the police did not allow 15 protesters contact with their lawyers for fifteen hours.
Newsnight’s report on the Greek far-right party Golden Dawn made headlines across Europe last week.
In it, MP Ilias Panagiotaros claimed Greece was “in civil war” and indeed advocated a new kind of civil war, pitting the far-right against migrants, anarchists, etc.
Within 24 hours Mr Panagiotaros had retracted his claim that Greece was “in civil war”, saying instead “there is no civil war” and accusing Newsnight of “paraphrasing” his words. We had simply broadcast them, un-edited and in English. Starts Quote
“Fifteen protesters have told us they intend to bring a case against the Athens police”
Now three new reports cast light on the substance of our story – which was: alleged police torture of anti-fascist detainees, Golden Dawn’s influence inside the Greek police force, and its potential influence on the operational behaviour and priorities of the police in the Attica region around Athens.
Today, lawyers for 15 protesters who claim they were mistreated and abused in police detention, have shown Newsnight coroners’ reports on eight of the detainees.
The most serious of the coroners’ documents confirms “grievous bodily harm caused by a sharp and blunt object,” requiring the victim to be off work for a month.
Another describes a kind of injury that is consistent with being caused by a taser, as claimed in the original Guardian report.
Fifteen protesters have told us they intend to bring a case against the Athens police.
A second report issued yesterday by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees contains figures for racial attacks in Greece, which are not routinely collected by the Greek government.
It records 87 racist attacks, 48 of which were by members of an identifiable right-wing political group. In other words, more than half the recorded racist attacks are attributable to people dressed in militaria:
“In some cases, the victims or witnesses to the attacks reported that they recognised persons associated to Golden Dawn party among the perpetrators, either because they wore the insignia of the party or because they were seen participating in public events organized by the party in the area,” says the UNHCR.
The report highlights specifically a worrying overlap with alleged Greek police racism:
“There is a distinct category of 15 incidents where police and racist violence are interlinked.
“These incidents concern duty officers who resort to illegal acts and violent practices while carrying out routine checks.
“There are also instances where people were brought to police stations, were detained and maltreated for a few hours, as well as cases where legal documents were destroyed during these operations.”
Asylum seekers ‘tormented’
Finally, in a report issued on Friday, a coalition of NGOs and lawyers representing the legal rights of asylum seekers in Greece slammed the asylum system there.
Despite Greece being a signatory to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which allows people to claim asylum and guarantees them humane treatment, it is physically almost impossible to do so.
Unlike in Britian there is no specific immigration service and the asylum claims system is handled by the police.
Those trying to claim asylum must queue at a remote station overnight each Friday, after which just 20 are “selected” to make a claim.
The report details numerous instances of arbitrary violence, mistreatment, etc of people in the asylum queue and concludes: “Access to the asylum procedure is almost impossible in Attica.”
The report by the Greek Council for Refugees says:
“The competent authorities take no measures to ease the physical and mental exhaustion of the asylum seekers, who are subjected to inhuman and degrading torment in order to apply.
“Instead they follow specific practices, such as dispersing the queue of asylum seekers, intimidating them and chasing them way, in order to discourage them from returning and trying to submit their asylum application.”
“This irrational practice established by the authorities, i.e. restricting the access to the asylum procedure only to a small number of applicants and only once a week, in a process that takes place before dawn, leaves room for the appearance of arbitrariness, violence and exploitation, towards which the police remain indifferent contrary to their role and in breach of their obligations.”
So in a period of a week, the Greek police force stands accused by NGOs, coroners and UNHCR of mistreating anti-fascist protesters in custody, of “indifference” towards mistreatment of asylum seekers and of actual participation in racist attacks on migrants.
When I interviewed a Greek police spokesperson last week he was at pains to deny all allegations of mistreatment and racism.
We have requested an interview with Greek Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias but he has so far declined.
By Jerome Roos On July 12, 2012 originally published at Roarmag.org
The crisis of European capitalism took a major turn for the worse on Wednesday as the Spanish government made a radical U-turn by announcing even deeper austerity measures to the background of some of the biggest and most radical anti-austerity protests to have rocked Europe in months. While thousands of miners and tens of thousands of sympathizers clashed with riot police during their march on Madrid’s iconic Puerta del Sol, Prime Minister Rajoy told Parliament he would raise sales taxes, slash unemployment payments, raise the retirement age and reduce civil service pay.
At least 73 were injured as riot police indiscriminately fired rubber bullets into the crowds and protesters retaliated by throwing bottles, trash and fireworks back at police. Images circulating on Twitter showed a journalist lying injured on the ground and a young child (below) with a massive bruise from a rubber bullet. One particularly disturbing image showed a woman bleeding protrusively from the head as she was being led away by riot police. The clashes are remarkable because, in contrast to Barcelona and Athens, protests in Madrid have tended to stay relatively peaceful so far.
Perhaps Wednesday’s violent clashes are a sign of times to come? If the struggle of the miners is anything to go by, this certainly seems likely. On Tuesday, while Spain’s borrowing costs continued to hover dangerously close to the 7 percent benchmark at which Greece, Portugal and Ireland previously required full EU bailouts, hundreds of striking miners arrived in Madrid after an 18-day march from the Northern region of Asturias. Read the rest of this entry »
Greek elections: a most fragile victory of the ruling class whilst Syriza is enormously strengthened (Part A)Posted: June 19, 2012
Written by Editorial Board of Marxistiki Foni
Marxist Voice greek newpaper/e-paper, and of ‘Epanastasi’ Revolution greek magazine
Athens, Monday, 18 June 2012
The Greek and international bourgeois media orchestrated a huge terror campaign, painting a picture of economic chaos and collapse if Syriza were to win the elections. Thus by a small margin New Democracy (ND) scraped into first place. However, the rise of Syriza, despite all this, indicates the continuing shift to the Left in Greek society. Now ND will attempt to form a coalition government with the PASOK, and possibly with the other political expressers of the ruling class, which will be one of continued austerity. Nothing has been solved; the problem has only been postponed. All the conditions are being prepared for a victory of Syriza in the near future. Here we publish an analysis on the elections, written by Greek Marxists in SYN and Syriza in the course of today.
Antonis Samaras, leader of New Democracy. Photo: Νέα Δημοκρατία
The results of yesterday’s parliamentary elections are a “fragile” political victory for the Greek ruling class. Meanwhile we see a massive shift of the working masses towards Syriza in the major cities, among the working class, the very young and the productive. Among these layers there was a veritable avalanche of support for Syriza
By Antonis Davanellos*
Originally published at the Socialist Worker
The devastating debt crisis in Greece is raising a new question: What if Greece has to abandon the euro as its currency, in spite of the financial bailouts carried out by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund–known collectively as the “troika.” What would a return to the drachma mean for the people of Greece who have endured harsh austerity as a cost of the troika’s “rescues.”
THE EXPERIENCE of two years under the financial supervision of “the troika” and of consecutive and severe austerity programs has led to a meltdown of illusions about “Europeanism.” Ten years ago, under the influence of arguments made by both the right-wing New Democracy and the center-left PASOK, a wide consensus emerged in Greek society about the country’s relationship to Europe. Read the rest of this entry »
by Jason Barker, Nemanja Korsic New Left Project.org
Marx Reloaded is the Arte culture documentary that mixes serious interviews with some of Europe’s most renowned leftist thinkers with coquettish animation featuring Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky. Among those ruminating on the state of capitalism in the midst of ongoing global recession are John Gray, Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Jacques Rancière, Nina Power, Alberto Toscano and Slavoj Žižek. There’s even an appearance by the controversial German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk.
The following interview took place on 20 April 2011 at the Moskva Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia.
Nemanja Korsic: TV documentaries about Karl Marx are not so common. Was it difficult to get Marx Reloaded commissioned, especially given its political subject-matter?
Jason Barker: Marx Reloaded didn’t begin life as a TV documentary. Originally the idea was to do something much more experimental for the cinema. That seemed like the obvious home for Marx. The idea was to make a fully animated feature documentary, based on Marx’s letters, but with a lot of fictional elements thrown in. Something in the mould of Waltz with Bashir. That’s still my ambition. But gradually it became clear that the type of budget needed for that was going to take years to track down. There’s very little money in documentary film-making and that this was an animated film, and a film based around Karl Marx’s ideas, only added to the “ambitious” nature of it. Read the rest of this entry »