Statement from OKDE in Greece: “Organize – Occupy – Towards an Unlimited General Strike!”

Posted October 23, 2012

Solidarity received the following statement from comrades of OKDE, the Greek section of the Fourth International. This flyer was distributed on October 9, the day of Angela Merkel’s visit to Athens.

After 6 months of uproar against the government of the banker Papadimos, and following two consecutive elections in which the memoranda policies were spectacularly rejected, it seems nothing has change, except the audacity of the “Hrissi Avyi” (“Golden Dawn” – GD) fascists to kill immigrants and attack left-wing activists. The same disastrous downward spiral, the same terror, the same banal references to “hours of responsibility” and “critical decisions” while workers’ lives are destroyed, the same slashing of wages, pensions and workers’ rights, mounting unemployment, insecurity and despair, and the spread of the neo-Nazis who profit from the social misery and capitalist barbarism!

There is no doubt that Samaras, New Democracy (the ruling right-wing bourgeois party), and their coalition partners, the now toothless PASOK of Venizelos, and the “left” crutch DIMAR under Kouvelis, have been telling blatant lies to the Greek people. There is no doubt that they have been sowing the seeds of racism, using fascist demagogy and encouraging the formation of the new SA battalions (fighting units of the German Nazi party before 1933) of Michaloliakos and Kassidiaris (GD leaders) in order to distract attention from their own criminal policies. They claim that their “moderate and reasonable line” of re-negotiation of the memorandum might appease the creditors and thus avoid the worst scenario of an uncontrolled bankruptcy and the exit of the country from the euro-zone. Very soon, these tales will no longer persuade anybody. Then the ruling class will fall back on the GD fascists and give them the green light to annihilate the workers’ movement.

It is clear that ND, PASOK and DIMAR will remain the guarantors of the memoranda policies, until we give them the boot. They do not lack “political stature” or the ability to find better policies. Essentially they represent the pressing need of big business to destroy the social gains of the working class to save the euro and to fulfill the “international obligations” towards the creditors and interest profiteers of the troika. They are utterly loyal to the “national cause” of the Greek ruling class and are quite aware they are “replaceable” if necessary. The Greek bourgeoisie wants to remain in the euro club and to have at its disposal a broken, impoverished, starving and racially divided working class.

According to recent media leaks, the Prime Minister wanted to “take all necessary measures”, even at the cost of his own downfall. He does not care about the “verdict of the people”, or his campaign promises, or about the anger and despair of millions of people who suffer from deepening poverty and unemployment. The three-party coalition installed by the bankers, creditors and the owners of the television channels, to secure the interests of the Greek ruling class, continue their wretched policies. The burden of system failure is to be paid by the millions of working people, women, youths and immigrants. The vast majority of the population, who did not cause the debt, will now pay for the usury, and are thus the prime victims of the cannibalistic capitalist crisis.

The rulers think they can escape social rebellion and the danger of a general uprising, by directing the anger and hatred of the poor onto the poorest, onto the most vulnerable, and towards those who never had rights. Thus they open the floodgates to the murderous hordes of fascists, the vilest instruments of the bosses, to suppress any workers’ and social resistance. They spread the ideological fog of nationalism, macho behavior, and stupidity – in a society that has never stopped resisting the corporate agenda.

It is high time to draw the lessons from the painful experiences of recent years: It is not enough to say that we are against the Memoranda. Samaras was a liar and demagogue under the “anti-Memorandum” flag. Today, he abandons everything and is proud of taking anti-labor measures that surpass every crime committed by the Papandreou and Papadimos governments. Kouvelis (DIMAR) was supposedly against the memoranda and became later the “anti-memorandum” component of the government. Today he supports the barbaric horizontal cuts in salaries and pensions, the raising of the retirement age, as well as the rapid privatization of public enterprises.

The SYRIZA leadership also claims to be able to stop the Memoranda policies, while keeping Greece in the euro-zone. But if there is no alternative, submission to the will of Rompuy, Merkel, Barroso and Hollande (another so-called socialist and “friend of Greece” who has accepted the European fiscal pact and has inaugurated austerity measures in France) cannot be excluded. This shows that if you respect the rules of the rich and powerful, you are doomed to adopt their policies.

It is impossible to put an end to the memoranda policies and to the “measures – packets” imposed every 6 months, or to end the brutality of the loan conditions, if we do not oppose the fundamental dogmas of the ruling class, and especially repudiate the “bankruptcy” threat and the insistence on staying in the euro-zone. We shall not be able to free ourselves from the terror of the markets if we do not oppose the functioning of the market in Greece. We shall not get rid of the memoranda without targeting capitalism per se. And none of this will be achieved without trampling the fascist snake and cutting off its head.

If we do not want our living conditions eroded daily, if we do not want to be reduced to standing in long lines to receive lower and lower unemployment benefits, if we do not want to leave the country as immigrants because the “boat is full” of unemployed, poor and “dangerous elements”, as the mass media demagogues and fascists claim, we need to tackle the root of the problem. Our rulers must finally be forced, through a massive social uprising, to make their emergency departure by helicopter. We need to reject the slogans of the “ready solution of a new government” and the priority “of solidarity, and not of the struggles”, and the “responsible parliamentary opposition”. It makes no sense to sink so low as to beg the troika to grant Greece the “same terms as Spain and Italy.”

For a political general strike!

The former governments were not chased away by elections. The present government will not be replaced by the hope for the next “anti-memorandum savior” who will eventually implement the Memoranda policies. The strikes in the municipalities, hospitals, and public transport should be generalized. The strikes and mass demonstrations of 26 September were a beginning. The mobilization of the workers in the communities and at the electricity company DEI, as well as the heroic invasion by the unpaid Skaramangas shipyard workers into the Defense Ministry, which humiliated the state, showed the next stage. The vindictiveness of the government and the courts, but also the barking of GD, and the dissociation of the “responsible” SYRIZA regarding such “extreme” actions of the demonstrators, were the result. But today there must be another outbreak, not a simple mobilization to polish the image of reformism, but the organization of a systematic strike struggle that must be coordinated nationwide by the rank and file membership of the unions.

Workers’ control – self-organization in every workplace and in the neighborhoods!

We must challenge the control of the economy by the capitalists and their political staff. The public enterprises and services, and the big corporations need to be controlled by the workers and their assemblies. The pioneering example of the “Dodona” and VIOMET (enterprises under self-management of the workers) should become the rule. Hold meetings in all districts to forge solidarity and to coordinate the fight. Launch anti-fascist committees in every city and district in order to isolate the fascist GD gang.

Down with the Samaras government! For a Workers’ Government!

We need a government that is accountable to the workers and able to break with the system, to reject the debt and interest charges, to free society from the parasitism of the banks through their nationalization without compensation, and to nationalize the strategic sectors of economy and trade. This government has to be accountable to the democratic councils we can ourselves build in the plants, offices and in the service sector. Nothing has ever been, or ever will be produced without us. The only solution will be provided by the workers, farmers, women and youths, seniors and immigrants — that is, by all of us together.

OKDE – Spartakos, Greek section of the Fourth International, 09/10/2012