Note: The following text is a short description of what happened in Athens/Greece on Wednesday 15 June, which was an important day for the ongoing popular movement. Actually we have no time to translate into English the statements of KOE. We ask for the understanding of our international friends and comrades. We hope that in the next two days we will be able to send you the most important actual documents, and we address our thanks for the international solidarity.
Athens, 17/6/2011, KOE International Relations Dept
On Wednesday 15 June a general strike took place in Greece, in conjunction with the protests in the central squares of dozens of cities, which started on 25 May and continue uninterrupted on a daily basis since then. In Athens, the Popular Assembly of the Constitution square called for the blockade of the Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the various mobilizations all over the country, with the majority gathering directly in the squares during the early morning hours, joined later by the demonstrations of trade unions. The Papandreou "government", shaking under the resolute popular protests, attempted to terrorize and put an end to the movement of the Indignados, unleashing the special police forces against the people in all their barbarity – with the kind assistance of the political police infiltrators in plain clothes and of few groups of so-called “nihilists”, who played the government’s game: “Empty the squares”.
In Athens, an incredible amount of chemicals and tear gas have been used in a desperate attempt to disperse the masses in the centre of the city and to evacuate the Constitution square in front of the Parliament. Many people who participated in the blockade of the Parliament using non-violent tactics have been arrested. In the early afternoon the police, using as a pretext the incidents provoked by “rioters” (in several cases they proved to be plain clothed policemen), managed to invade the Constitution square. However, within one hour the people pushed the police out and liberated the square, which became the scene of a big spontaneous concert with famous artists, celebrating the victorious resistance of the Indignados. The Popular Assembly took place later in the evening, after the concert, and confirmed the resolute stand of the Indignados, condemning the failed police attacks and declaring that “we shall not leave until we overthrow the enemy: the government, the IMF-EU-ECB troika, the Agreement, the proposed ‘Middle-Term Program’ and all those who support these policies and brought us to the actual situation”.
The movement of the squares represents the invasion of the masses in the centre of the political scene. It is not anymore a protest, but a factor that interacts directly with political developments and directly influences their course. Wednesday 15 June was a day that proved it, as the popular factor forced the Papandreou “government” into making some panicked moves (apart from the failed attempt to liquidate the protest through the police attack, as described above):
1. In the morning, Papandreou visited the President of the Republic, asking him to sign a Presidential Decree that would allow the government to by-pass the Parliament, that is, to impose the new Agreement without any vote. The President refused.
2. After the failure of this attempted coup, Papandreou in reality resigned, and proposed to the right-wing opposition a “government of national unity”. Under the pressure of the “squares”, the opposition refused. All the so-called “technocrats” refused to participate as well.
3. After this second failure, late at night, Papandreou announced that he would reshuffle the government and ask for a vote of confidence in the Parliament (in order to limit reaction within his own party).
This “government” is trembling. Their role is to pass into law the new “Middle-Term Program” demanded by the IMF-EU-ECB troika. However, it is not at all sure that Papandreou & Co will manage to fulfil this task before they are thrown in the dustbin. The movement prepares for a new blockade of the Parliament the day of “confidence vote” (probably next Tuesday 21 June) and, most importantly, for a huge demonstration and a 24-hour blockade of the Parliament on the day that the government plans to put the new “Middle-Term Program” to a vote (probably on Tuesday 28 June). We are doing our best to prepare for the battles to come in the next days and weeks, with confidence in the strength of the Greek people, whose majority is united under the slogan: “We shall not leave until we overthrow all of them, including their agreements with the IMF-EU-ECB troika!”. We fully share the political aim of the popular movement, that is to get rid of this whole political establishment and to institute real democracy. As we declared long before the outbreak of this movement, “genuine and deep political change is a prerequisite for the realization of each and every other demand of the people, towards a political, social and economic way out for the whole country”.
We salute the maturity of our people’s movement, its patriotic and democratic character, its resolute and tenacious stand against all manipulations, provocations and repressive attacks, which produced the first victory: the confession of failure of the most dire government we have had until today, which has put the country back 100 years as far as the rights and freedoms of the people are concerned, and has surrendered Greece to the IMF-EU-ECB troika and to international capitalist profiteers.
The people united shall triumph!
Throw out the troika and all its lackeys!
The criminal Agreement shall be smashed!
The Middle-Term Program shall not pass!
The struggle continues!