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3 years after the 15 year-old's murder by police, Greece still burns

Tuesday (6th) marked the anniversary of Alexis Grigoropoulos’s death (see SchNEWS 659). Hundreds attended the two commemorative demonstrations in Athens called to mark the day. One was called by high school students and the other by anarchists, the left and grassroots trade unions. Both were met with the bloody hand of the law. In the student demonstration about 2,000 showed up to protest, they threw rocks and bottles at the police and smashed two shop windows and three bus stops. Groups of teenagers attacked two police stations. Tear gas was used to disperse them. Battles ensued around Syntagma square (parliament) between several hundred anarchists and riot police, there were further skirmishes around Exarcheia. The police used tear gas and stun grenades and had petrol bombs, bottles and stones thrown at them (but no plates though, not in these tough economic times). Earlier in the day riot police had attacked Nosotros, the anarchist social centre in Exarcheia. Reports show there were 14 police wounded, 9 arrests and 6 detentions.

As the protests took place Greek ministers were huddled together to vote on another laughable austerity package. The 2012 version will see more tax rises and spending cuts that will hopefully reduce the nation’s deficit from 9% to 6.7%. This package will surely sort out all the inconsistencies in the Greek economy that all the other packages have failed to... just don’t hold your breath.

In another chapter of the ongoing Greek tragedy- 400 steel workers have been on strike for over a month now. They are the employees of the Halivourgiki steel factory, whose bosses had announced that they would reduce their salaries. This would sound reasonable if the industry was making a loss, however there was a recorded year to year profit increase of 30%. Following that profit report the bosses decided to enforce 5-hour working days with a subsequent pay cut of 40%. The workers unanimously rejected the cuts, and the management subsequently fired 34 workers in revenge, on October 31st and November 1st. On Saturday (3rd) a solidarity demonstration took place in Athens. People went around different squares in Athens and informed the local citizenry about the strike, collected money, food and other essentials for the workers. Afterwards they held a motor demonstration and headed over to Aspropyrgos where the workers have been blockading entry to the factory. The workers demand the re-hiring of the fired and the abolition of the cuts. Trade unions have boycotted the worker’s actions. Yet it has resonated strongly and found support across the country with the public.

Those who wish to support the strikers (and are brave enough to put money in a Greek bank!) can donate at the following account


IBAN: GR 40 0110 2000 0000 2006 2330 152
BIC or Swift Code : ETHNGRAA ( Bank Identifier Code )

Account holder: Dimitris Liakos (member of the workers’ union committee)

For all things anarchi and Greek SchNEWS recomends-

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