Yesterday, Sunday 1 July, the 5th edition of Resistance Festival was successfully concluded with a debate under the theme “A country in transition – Struggling for a different Greece”. The leader of SYRIZA and head of its parliamentary group, Alexis Tsipras, and the other three panelists (Sofia Sakorafa, SYRIZA MP, Eftychis Bitsakis, philosophy professor, and Rudi Rinaldi, member of KOE’s Secretariat) discussed in front of more than 1.500 people under the coordination of the writer Loukas Axelos. The debate, also enriched by several interventions of other participants in the meeting, expressed the climate of creative reflection that prevails in society after the deep changes in the political scene and the possibilities open for the Left and SYRIZA.
The previous two days a series of other debates and seminars has been realized, confirming the particular political and internationalist aspect of the Resistance Festival [ the full program (and photos) can be retrieved in the festival’s website: http://www.resistancefestival.gr/ ]. The Organizing Committee expressed its gratitude to the dozens of volunteers, members and friends of KOE, who worked tirelessly under most difficult conditions, overcoming all the material and financial constraints and thus making possible the successful realization of the Resistance Festival for the fifth consecutive year.
The Organizing Committee is particularly grateful towards all the international delegations for their precious participation, which contributed decisively in the success of the event: from overseas (Argentina, Revolutionary Communist Youth / Reunion, JERF / USA, Kasama Project and Occupy Movement), from the inspiring movements of the Arab Spring (Egypt, Popular Socialist Alliance / Morocco, Democratic Road / Tunisia, Communist Workers Party), from Europe (Catalunya, Republican Left / France, Front of the Left / Germany, Youth Rebell / Netherlands, Rode Morgen / Portugal, Bloco of the Left / Scotland and Britain, Revolutionary Communist Group / Turkey & N. Kurdistan, several delegations, among them DCP, ESP, MKP, PF). On its part, KOE salutes a series of fraternal movements and parties from all over the world which finally were not able to send delegations, mainly because of the shameful refusal of EU's consular authorities to grant them a visa of entry in Greece; among them, the Nouveau Parti Communiste Haitien, the Rassemblement des Travailleurs Africains - Senegal, the New Socialist Movement (Georgia), etc.
Apart their participation in the festival’s events, the international delegations took part in other activities as well. Among them, the most important was a seminar of exchange of information and experiences about the situation in their respective countries (including an extended report from KOE about the developments in Greece, which was followed by a lively questions & answers session). Finally, we mention the appreciation of the public for the rich cultural and musical program, which has become a distinctive characteristic of this annual meeting of peoples and movements in struggle. We renew our appointment for the 6th Resistance Festival in summer 2013!
Statement of KOE
As we have already noted on a number of occasions, a crucial aspect of the recent political period in Greece is the radicalism and the new mass movement emerging among the people. In both elections, there was a significant people's movement that managed to terrorize "yesterday's rulers." The elections of 17 June were also a difficult battle under highly polarized conditions. On the one hand, popular power was mainly expressed in the form of the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA) itself. On the other hand, the right wing New Democracy represented a pro-Memorandum, pro-Troika axis with strong anti-left and far-right characteristics. The old dominant forces aimed to strike the people's movement, stop SYRIZA and curb the overall morale of the Greek people. All key international and European forces of capital rallied around these goals, along with the pro-austerity domestic forces.
In these circumstances, we must recall that SYRIZA earned only 4.6% of ballots cast and 315,000 votes in 2009. This jumped to 17% and 1,060,000 votes in May 2012, then 27% and 1,655,000 votes in June 2012. Such a result was inconceivable even a few months ago. It demonstrates a tremendous shift in the consciousness of Greek society. It reflects the steps taken by the popular movement within two years and shows a convergence of popular power with the Left. In other words, SYRIZA finally succeeded to articulate the intense search of broad masses for a way out of the crisis, as well as their rejection of the bankrupt political system.
The results of the two recent elections, which brought the impressive collapse of all the pro-Memoranda parties (PASOK, New Democracy, LAOS, Democratic Alliance) compared to their score in the 2009 elections, and the fact that most of the votes that they obtained was based on their pre-electoral promises for "renegotiation" of the agreements with the Troika, lead to one conclusion: The policy of the Memoranda and the regime imposed by the Troika are delegitimized in the conscience of the Greek people. And this fact constitutes the major problem of the once mighty bourgeois parties. Nobody can ignore this reality; nobody can govern pretending that this policy is "approved" by the Greek people.
* The following text is based on a “non paper” released by circles of KOE on Sunday 17 June 2012 at 21:00 hours, i.e. before the final results of the elections. The official statement will be translated into English soon.
Initial thoughts on the electoral outcome
We salute the big political current directed towards the Left, the big popular current seeking salvation for the country, ignoring the unprecedented anti-democratic pressure from the black net of domestic centers of political and economic power and of global imperialist institutions .
These elections, to a large degree, were centered on the morale and the fighting spirit of the Greek people. The Greek people recognize very well the right way forward for the country. It is for this reason that even the pro-austerity and pro-Troika forces were compelled to adopt a lukewarm anti-austerity rhetoric [in their electoral campaigns].
The geopolitical dimensions of the developments in Greece
Article by Rudi Rinaldi (published in the weekly “Dromos”, issue Nr 117, 26 May 2012)
It is not only fears of the domino effect that might worry the various international centres and powerful countries. It is not simply a matter of economic turbulence or shocks that feeds world-wide interest. Our country has been at the epicentre of international rivalries and processes. It would therefore be a mistake to imagine that some autonomous process is driving the evolving situation, without considering the interference in terms of players' strategies, tactics, traps, rearrangements, new alliances, challenges and double games.
Objectively, the election result of May 6 has created a new environment. The failure of governance in Greece is a blow to the European political project under ‘Merkelism’. Greece is not Hungary (the geographic centre of Europe), but it is at the centre of the grid of the international system’s central contradictions. It is a meeting and coupling point of these contradictions. Controlling this situation is of particular importance for the manipulation of political developments. Greece is not just a guinea pig for policies that, after they have been tested on it, will be exported to other EU countries as well. It also has central importance as a site for the balancing of international relations. Thus, the role of governing in Greece is critical to the geostrategic plans made for both Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Popular force and political balances
The latest and new element (and perhaps unexpected by many) is the emergence of the ‘popular factor’ that, by selecting SYRIZA as its expression in the central political scene, has created a new situation and is forcing readjustments on all the already unstable scenarios. This being the case, it is useful to go behind the rhetoric to see what the real goals are. Does the U.S. want the strengthening of a ‘German’ Europe? What is the impact of the rearranged alliances (in the broader Middle East and south-eastern Mediterranean) on the policies of the United States, Russia, Israel and the European powers? To what extent are the "markets" (and their disproportionate effects) influenced by the strategic goals of various key players?
Statement of KOE:
To the progressive Irish People
To the republican socialist movement campaigning for NO on May 31st
Brothers and Sisters!
You find yourselves just a day before a most critical vote in the referendum about the so called “Stability Treaty”. Your vote is critical, first of all, for the very future of Ireland, for the very future of each one of you and of your children. The camp of the “yes-men”, composed by all the obedient and guilty servants of a repeatedly failed policy and of a system that has times and again proved to be destructive and corrupted to the core, are trying to terrorize you. According to them, “the Apocalypse will fall on your heads” in case you dare to prove, once again, that you put above all the future of your children and the dignity of a sovereign Ireland. The truth is that a NO vote shall oblige them to think twice before they further advance their program of total annihilation of the Irish People’s social, democratic and national rights. Moreover, a NO vote will have an immediate repercussion on the further development of the struggles all over Europe, where the peoples are courageously fighting to overthrow the yoke imposed by a handful of profiteers and their political personnel.
Dear friends from all over the world,
[...] A few weeks ago, on May 6, the Greek people dealt a severe blow on their enemies, foreign and local. The dramatic reduction of the once mighty political parties’ influence (the two biggest bourgeois parties fell from a total of 77% in 2009 to 32% now!) has spread the panic in the reactionary camp. Furthermore, the electoral results prevented the parties that support the IMF-EU-ECB troika to form a government. After this first victory of the popular masses, which found expression in the electoral field as well, in direct continuation of the General Strikes and of the Squares’ Movement, we are heading towards new elections on June 17. Gods and Demons have now been united against our people, trying to terrorize the Greeks with the coming of the Apocalypse in case they continue their support to the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA). Frau Merkel and her local lackeys are threatening us with the End of the World in case we dare to say “Enough is enough with your bankrupt political system!” The modern Un-Holy Alliance of the Bankers and of the “Markets” blackmails us with the ghosts of Hunger and Death if we decide that our priority is the salvation of the people and not their profits. And yet! The people of Greece hold firmly! The barrage of the enemy cannot eliminate the realistic possibility of an even more decisive popular victory on June 17, through the further reinforcement of SYRIZA.
It is in this critical context that the Organizing Committee of our Festival has taken the “risky” decision to prepare the 5th edition of the Resistance Festival, considering among others the huge interest of our international friends to take part in it. Thus, we will try to organize the Resistance Festival as a tool for us and for all the foreign delegations to meet, to interact, to deepen our bonds of mutual solidarity and to coordinate in the best possible way our struggles. The Resistance Festival shall take place just two weeks after the elections of June 17. We hope that we welcome you all in a Greece that starts marching on a radically different path: the path of the broad popular front, fighting for Real Democracy, National Independence and Reconstruction of our country. Thanks to the courageous struggle of our people’s movement, and thanks to the international solidarity, we believe that we do not exaggerate when we assert that … THE FUTURE IS NOW!
Extracts of the message sent by the Youth of KOE to the Revolutionary Communist Youth (JCR) of Argentina on its 40th anniversary
[...] Dear comrades of the JCR,
You are celebrating in the most appropriate way the 40th anniversary since the foundation of the JCR: by continuing your struggle, as integral part of the your people and youth, opening the path towards the Democratic-Popular Revolution that will meet the deepest aspirations and the most basic interests of the broad Argentinean popular masses. We are also celebrating with you, by intensifying our fight against the IMF-EU-ECB troika and their local lackeys, united with you in the struggle against our common enemies.
The young people all over the world, despite the very different conditions between countries and regions, have many common points: first of all, in the context of the global crisis, we are all targeted by the ongoing war declared upon us by the most retrograde and reactionary forces, which “promise” to the youth of the world a dark and barbarous future. We have, however, another common point: our globally expressed aspiration to fight against this destructive system and to live a worthy life! From Latin America, Africa and Asia to the Mediterranean countries and to the “developed” West, the youth is in the forefront of the battle for Democracy, Justice and Liberation.
Communiqué de Presse
1. L’Organisation Communiste de Grèce (KOE) se trouve actuellement à l’épicentre d’une attaque organisée, visant à frapper SYRIZA (Coalition de la Gauche Radicale), duquel notre organisation fait partie intégrante. Les derniers jours, les centres politiques du système (avec le parti de la Droite - Nea Dimokratia et leurs énergumènes dans les Media en premier rang) reproduisent aux chaînes de TV et aux journaux de vieilles affiches de KOE avec un contenu contre l’Union Européenne et, comme de procureurs du roi, ils exigent que nos positions soient condamnés par SYRIZA et que nous sommes exclus du… « corps national » !
2. Il s’agit d’un effort désespéré de la part du vieux système politique, qui tente de déplacer l’actualité loin du message des élections du 6 mai : loin du fait que les forces qui soutiennent les accords avec la troïka FMI-UE-BCE ont été vaincus aussi au champ électorale et elles ont, ainsi, perdu l’initiative. Cet effort de désorientation va de pair avec l’effort de forces réactionnaires de se rassembler et de reconstituer leur propre camp unifié contre le camp populaire. Ils ont choisi un « européanisme » d’esclaves volontaires, identifié avec les accords imposés par la troïka et les exigences qui viennent chaque jour de l’extérieur, de la part de puissances impérialistes et des « marchés ». Ils ont choisi la tactique de la polarisation à travers la misère, et ils espèrent qu’ainsi ils pourront occulter les différentes perspectives sociales possibles. Mais ils sont loin d'être convaincants parce que, eux, ils sont déjà à la tête de la « liste électorale » composée par Mme Merkel pour les élections nationales du 17 juin. Et aussi parce que, avec cette attitude, ils réduisent délibérément les marges gagnées par le pays contre la troïka exactement grâce au vote populaire du 6 mai.