(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
July 10, 2011
48-Hour Strike in
R Arun Kumar
is not as if the government is unaware of the peoples’ anger. In fact,
be remembered that the present Socialist government, PASOK, had come to
riding precisely on this discontent against the then Conservative ND
government. After assuming office, the PASOK government too failed to
to its poll promises. Further, it went ahead and agreed to the
conditionalities laden IMF loan package. Last year, when
PAME together with its associate unions campaigned extensively among the people to make the strike a success. It carried out rallies in dozens of Greek cities and neighbourhoods urging the people not only to strike work, but also come out in huge numbers to take part in the protest marches. On the 27th, a day before the 48-hour strike, activists of PAME hung a huge banner with the slogan, ‘The peoples have the power and never surrender. Organise, counter attack’, written in Greek and in English from the historical site Acropolis.
the 28th, activists of the PAME picketed factories, stores,
construction sites, hotels and offices. They had erected pickets on the
of the ships from midnight onwards. Enforcing the strike of the seamen
to be a tough battle since the trade union federation of seamen played
strikebreaking role. The trade unions that represent the engineers and
of the ship engines, belonging to PAME, decided to participate in the
and the unions of the chefs and ship's electricians joined them. The
these unions and the strong picket lines of PAME paralysed
Thousands of workers responded to the militant call of PAME and participated in the strike and demonstrations defying the intimidations and threats of the employers and the government. Self-employed, poor farmers, pensioners, immigrants and students too were there representing the PASEVE (Nationwide Antimonopoly Rally of the Self-employed and the small Tradesman), PASY (All Farmers’ Militant Rally), MAS (Students' Militant Front) and OGE (Greek Women Federation). By striking at where it hurts most and bringing the entire country to a standstill, the capital was made to feel the power of the working class.
The government too took the strike seriously, issued threats to the workers, intimidated them and carried out an intense ideological campaign. It had also covertly encouraged the anarchists, who through their acts tried to divert the attention of the people. They had sent many of their 'men' to infiltrate the ranks of the demonstrating workers and break their discipline by indulging in acts of vandalism. It is these acts that naturally caught the attention of international media and were publicised all over the world. As a result, what is in turn wantonly neglected or completely ignored is the consistent and militant struggle of the working class.
from these acts of subversion, a huge ideological campaign against
parties was also launched. This story is similar to what we are
in our country. Ruling classes in
Leaders of the PAME and Communist Party of Greece (KKE) are countering this campaign by pointing out that the slogans, 'parties out', 'trade unions out' promoted by certain centres like the 'movements in the squares' have a reactionary content and aimed at creating confusions among the people and dividing them. They have rightly identified them as a “backward step for the movement”. The KKE and the PAME are thus fighting on two fronts – (i) against the neo-liberal policies of the government, the prescriptions of IMF that impinge on their country's sovereignty, and the European Union and (ii) against the anarchists, 'agent provocateurs' and the apolitical movements.
the short-term, the government should renegotiate debts rather than
dead-end austerity programmes that suit only big business and the rich.
long run the capitalist barbarity cannot be dealt with delusions and
concessions. It can be overcome only through a systemic change. The KKE
promoting the position that the “people must take into their own hands
ownership of the means of production as well of the natural resources”.
one such inspirational battle that we have recently witnessed in