Part 1. New murderous attack against the movement
At 22:05 hours of Tuesday 24 February, the Social Centre of Immigrants and the offices of the Network for the Political and Social Rights and of the group “Rosa” (one of the organizations of the Radical Left Coalition SYRIZA) have been the target of an unprecedented murderous attack. An unknown person tried to throw a defensive hand grenade through one of the windows while a meeting was taking place inside the building. Fortunately, the reinforced window did not break and the hand grenade fell back in a jardiniere outside the building, where it exploded. Had the hand grenade penetrated the window and exploded in the meeting room, many comrades would be killed, as the hand grenade was of defensive type, with high power. It is characteristic that the explosion destroyed the stone-made jardiniere and smashed the windows in nearby buildings. Many people from the surrounding shops immediately ran after the perpetrator of the murderous attempt, who managed to enter a car waiting for him in the next corner and escaped. The witnesses wrote down the number of the car used for the escape: later on it has been revealed that it is an “unregistered” car plate (as those used by the “state security” services…). The Communist Organization of Greece issued the following statement:
The Communist Organization of Greece (KOE) condemns the murderous attack against the Social Centre of Immigrants yesterday evening in the centre of Athens. Those who organized and carried out this operation wanted to provoke deaths. It is out of a series of lucky coincidences that the hand grenade did not explode inside the Social Centre, which at that time was full of comrades.
After the December Revolt, the bourgeoisie and its mechanisms try to create a climate of tension, escalation of the repression, spreading of fear and terror among the youth and the masses. Simultaneously, several forces of the radical movement are targeted by the “block of law and order” as “political coverage of the terrorists”, and the Radical Left as a whole is denounced as “one of the two extremes that threaten the lawful order and the democracy”.
It is obvious that this dirty process serves the interests of the reactionaries and aims at freezing the resistances. More specifically, it aims at cutting off the broad popular masses, which are heavily afflicted by the “anti-crisis” measures of increased austerity and by the galloping unemployment, from the movements of resistance. The state and para-state mechanisms that are activated in order to put forward this process are using all means: from the flagrant provocation to the murderous attacks.
The multiplication of such “events” after the December Revolt reveals that these are not at all mere coincidences, and that they aim at serving the reactionaries’ strategy. The “block of law and order” desperately seeks for pretexts in order to unleash even more “emergency state measures” and to strengthen the fascisation of the state. We all wonder: What would the reactions be if there were deaths among the people who were inside the Social Centre? And what would the “response” of the state be in front of the angry reactions?
The government and its mechanisms bear a huge responsibility. The state incontinence that we live during the last months are not irrelevant of the government’s desperate effort to remain in power. We are facing the most cynical, dangerous and incapable government of the post-dictatorship era. We repeat: the faster this government is chased away by the popular movement, the less damage will be provoked on all levels.
We will not make a step backwards; we will continue the struggle in order to pave the way for a great social and political change!
We express our full solidarity with the comrades of the Social Centre of Immigrants and of the Network for the Political and Social Rights. Let’s advance the mass struggle against the repression and the terror policy of those who “manage” the crisis. Let’s be in alert and respond with the mass movement to the provocations. We will not pay their crisis!
Part 2. Victorious occupation of the Athens Piraeus Electric Railways (ISAP) administration building
On Wednesday 25 February, at 08:30 hours of the morning, a large delegation of the All-Attica Union of Janitors and of the “Initiative of the 90 base trade unions” entered the administration building of the Athens Piraeus Electric Railways (ISAP) and demanded to meet the ISAP Managing Director. Our aim was to ask the ISAP administration to stop using the sub-contracting private company OIKOMET, which flagrantly and continuously violates the labour legislation and threatens the unionized janitors. This firm is owned by an old cadre of the social-democratic party PASOK and its legal councillor a former vice-minister of Interior Affairs during the last PASOK government. It is the firm who was threatening the combative unionist Konstantina Kouneva, who is in the Intensive Care Unit of Evangelismos Hospital in Athens after the murderous attack against her with vitriol by bosses’ goons. [ see more about the Kouneva case in our “Appeal for Solidarity” of 29 January 2009: http://www.international.koel.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=77:appeal-for-solidarity-against-the-bosses-crimes&catid=14:other-documents&Itemid=10 ]
The administration of ISAP declared that we cannot meet with the Managing Director Mr. Papathanassis “because he is sick”. The workers’ representatives replied that we are sick and tired of these excuses, especially when the brave unionist Konstantina, who was sub-contracted by OIKOMET to ISAP and was cleaning its installations, still fights for her life in the hospital. Following the proposal of the colleagues from the All-Attica Union of Janitors, the workers’ representatives proceeded to the occupation of the administration building, declaring that “we will not leave until the Managing Director comes here and declares that ISAP will cancel the contract with OIKOMET”.
After that the Managing Director apparently felt better and came to meet us in the occupied building. A long and heated meeting followed, with him and other cadres representing the ISAP administration. A few hours later they declared that they accept our immediate demands. We told them that we do not end the occupation until they put their agreement in black and white. A new round of discussion followed, and finally, at 17:45 hours, the ISAP administration and the All-Attica Union of Janitors signed an official document entitled “Minutes of Cooperation”. In this document the ISAP administration declares that (a) it will immediately start the procedure to cancel the contract with OIKOMET; (b) will propose the direct employment by ISAP of permanent janitors.
This is a first important tactical victory for the heroic struggle of Konstantina Kouneva, of the All-Attica Union of Janitors and of the 90 base trade unions who support the janitors. We have no illusions about the possibility that the ISAP administration will attempt to breach this agreement, and we are very well aware of the fact that it is up to the combative trade-unions to oblige the ISAP to fulfill its promises. Nevertheless, the victorious outcome of the occupation is a fact, very encouraging for the combative unionized janitors and for the movement of solidarity with Konstantina Kouneva.