October 19, 2011
An unprecedented sea of hundreds of thousands of people participated in the majestic strike rally of PAME, which filled Athens, the like of which has not been seen in recent decades, on the first day of the 48 hr nationwide general strike. All the central roads of Athens had been filled to a suffocating level by the enormous crowds of workers for many hours.
Massive rallies unprecedented in size and militancy took place in all the cities throughout Greece.
These forces were rallied so that the draft legislation with new anti-people measures will not be voted through, with the following line: Down with the government and the parties of the plutocracy, working class-popular organization and alliance everywhere, a solution concerning the question of power. The slogan which resounded in the rally was “Worker, without you no cog can turn, you can do without the bosses”, “Disobedience to the plutocracy, People, a front for power”.
The huge success of the strike was based on the paralysis of countless factories, big production units and other workplaces by workers and employees who experience poverty, destitution, and the dead-end of unemployment. Its huge size and militancy was also based on the closure of numerous small shops and businesses which face the danger of closing down permanently. Many new forces of workers participated for the first time in the strike giving a special dynamic to the struggle against the barbarity of the measures of the government, the plutocracy, the IMF, the EU.
From dawn the forces of PAME with their picket lines supported decisively the workers in “ghetto” workplaces who decided to go on strike for the first time, defying employer intimidation and even civil mobilization, which the government had imposed on the striking garbage collectors of the municipalities, and the other mechanisms of strike breakers used by the government.
The provocateur groups who jumped out of the contingents of the compromised trade union organizations of GSEE and ADEDY sought once again to create staged incidents. Nevertheless, they did not manage to conceal the huge size and the demands of the immense strike rally, the organized and protected participation of the working people in the demonstrations of PAME where not a single incident occurred.
Giorgos Perros, member of the Executive Secretariat of PAME, stated amongst other things from the podium of the strike rally: “there is no pro-people PASOK. There is no pro-people government no matter if it is called “centre-left”, or “left”, if it does not come into conflict with the monopolies, if its programme does not include the overthrow of the monopolies or in other words their socialization. Either with the people or with the monopolies. Workers’- people’s power or monopolies’ power. There is no other way! Don’t waste any moment. Counterattack all together! Tomorrow, on Thursday everyone must come to the encirclement of the Parliament by PAME from all sides and streets.
Processes in the bourgeois parties to inhibit the people’s torrent of rage
The very big success of the first day of the strike exerts pressure on the parties of plutocracy and its government. Thus, at these moments there is an intensification of the processes for the reformation of the political system by PASOK and ND and the other bourgeois parties, with scenarios of a “big coalition of PASOK-ND” as well as efforts to ensure the consensus for the passing of the anti-people measures against the torrent of the strike that flooded Athens and other cities today.
The GS of the CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga, mentioned the following in relation to these processes in her statements to the media : “ I don’t think that Mr Papandreou expects our toleration and consensus. Maybe for reasons to do with publicity abroad he is meeting with the parties in order to demonstrate that he has their support. He has no support from us. None whatsoever. What he has from us is our radical, total, real and substantial confrontation.”
After her departure from the meeting which she had with the Prime Minister, who has carried out a series of meetings with all the party leaders, the GS of the CC of the KKE, stated :
“From now on things will literally be decided by the mighty people and not by the negotiations which the government will carry out or by the councils and caucuses with the other parties.” Aleka Papariga called on the people to go forward without fear, with out illusions until the final victory and she added: “There is one solution: the wealth which exists is this country must become the people’s. We must disengage from the bonds of the EU and unilaterally cancel the debt. There is no intermediate solution.”
It should be noted that all the forces of the class-oriented forces will rally for the second strike battle on Thursday and for the encirclement of the Parliament which will constitute a new landmark in the struggle against the anti-worker measures, in conflict with the monopolies and their power.