Saturday, December 20, 2008
Greek Workers Occupy Unions
The historic central offices of the General Confederation of Greek Workers in Athens have been occupied by militant workers.
The action forms part of a strategy to counteract the designs of the union bureaucracy to distance its membership from the current revolt, and protest its management and mediation of workers' struggles in Greece. The occupants aim to create a space in which to facilitate a grassroots and self organised workers response to the crisis, and bring the wider working class into the events unfolding on the streets of Greece. Town halls in Athens and Thessaloniki have also been occupied in order to hold general assemblies.
The communique of the "General Assembly of Insurgent Workers" follows below:
We will either determine our history ourselves or let it be determined without us
We, manual workers, employees, jobless, temporary workers, local or migrants, are not passive tv-viewers. Since the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos on Saturday night we participate in the demonstrations, the clashes with the police, the occupations of the centre or the neighborhoods. Time and again we had to leave work and our daily obligations to take the streets with the students, the university students and the other proletarians in struggle.
WE DECIDED TO OCCUPY THE BUILDING OF GSEE
-To turn it into a space of free expression and a meeting point of workers.
-To disperse the media-touted myth that the workers were and are absent from the clashes, and that the rage of these days was an affair of some 500 "mask-bearers", "hooligans" or some other fairy tale, while on the tv-screens the workers were presented as victims of the clash, while the capitalist crisis in Greece and Worldwide leads to countless layoffs that the media and their managers deal as a "natural phenomenon".
-To flay and uncover the role of the trade union bureaucracy in the undermining of the insurrection -and not only there. GSEE and the entire trade union mechanism that supports it for decades and decades, undermine the struggles, bargain our labor power for crumblings, perpetuate the system of exploitation and wage slavery. The stance of GSEE last Wednesday is quite telling: GSEE cancelled the programmed strikers' demonstration, stopping short at the organization of a brief gathering in Syntagma Sq., making simultaneously sure that the people will be dispersed in a hurry from the Square, fearing that they might get infected by the virus of insurrection.
-To open up this space for the first time -as a continuation of the social opening created by the insurrection itself-, a space that has been built by our contributions, a space from which we were excluded. For all these years we trusted our fate on saviours of every kind, and we end up losing our dignity. As workers we have to start assuming our responsibilities, and to stop assigning our hopes to wise leaders or "able" representatives. We have to acquire a voice of our own, to meet up, to talk, to decide, and to act. Against the generalized attack we endure. The creation of collective "grassroot" resistances is the only way.
-To propagate the idea of self-organization and solidarity in working places, struggle committees and collective grassroot procedures, abolishing the bureaucrat trade unionists.
All these years we gulp the misery, the pandering, the violence in work. We became accustomed to counting the crippled and our dead - the so-called "labor accidents". We became accustomed to ingore the migrants -our class brothers- getting killed. We are tired living with the anxiety of securing a wage, revenue stamps, and a pension that now feels like a distant dream.
As we struggle not to abandon our life in the hands of the bosses and the trade union representatives, likewise we will not abandon no arrested insurgent in the hands of the state and the juridical mechanism.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE DETAINED
NO CHARGE TO THE ARRESTED
SELF-ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKERS
WORKERS' ASSEMBLY IN THE "LIBERATED" BUILDING OF GSEE
Wendesday, 17 December 2008, 18:00
General Assembly of Insurgent Workers
A banner handing from the facade of the building reads:
From labor "accidents"
to the murders in cold blood
State - Capital kill
of the arrested
will become the bosses' grave
General Assembly of Insurgent Workers