Solidarity for all: Building hope against fear and devastation

The saga of the Greek crisis has reached a critical point once again, dominating the attention of the global economic, political and media elites. We write this report as Greece heads into national elections after the collapse of the third pro-Troika government.

However, this time the possibility of Greece breaking with the neo-liberal assault on the European people is sending shock waves through the centres of EU finance and governance. Their resorting to the 2012 script of threats, not only against the Greek people but also against their own people, in order to terrorize and extort their vote by any means, only demonstrates that fear has changed sides. Despite the soothing claims that the markets are now protected from a possible Grexit and/or from a write down of part of the Greek debt, what they fear is the contamination of the political message that the “undisciplined” Greeks could send to other countries, most notably to the bailed out, austerity ridden and deregulated countries of the European periphery. In this context, our report aims on one hand to provide an update on the devastating effects of the radical neo-liberal experiment on Greek society, and on the other, to inform the international community by highlighting another experiment: that of Greek society taking action through self-organisation and solidarity, of people standing up and resisting their economic and political “saviours”.

We want, and also need, to counter the campaign of political terror and blackmailing which aims to scapegoat Greece and keep it in the straightjacket of the markets and the dominant political elites, by revealing the dire consequences of a country unravelling, as a democracy and society as a whole. To provide not opinions, but facts, which count the human cost of the (now forgotten, but promoted just few weeks ago) lie of GRecovery.

But mostly, we want to stand in the paradigm of hope that the Greek people – and indeed not on their own, but in resonance with the social uprisings around the Mediterranean basin and the world– have given life to in the last four years. To inform you about the grassroots social solidarity movement that has built a network of resistance against mass deprivation while simultaneously implementing innovative ways of participation and self-organisation. An invaluable phenomenon, which is nurturing processes of deeper social transformation.

Of course the social solidarity movement comprises just one of the threads of the resistance movement in Greece.
Amongst the many large and small struggles active in these years, we should note the campaign of the 595 female cleaners sacked from the Finance Ministry, other public sector workers who oppose their forced redundancies, the workers of ERT, Greece’s national public broadcaster, who have continued to broadcast TV and radio through self-management; the residents of Skouries who oppose gold mining in the Halkidiki region of northern Greece. These struggles have kept alive the last two years the attempt to overthrow the “state of exception” imposed by the Troika regime, fighting exploitation for real democracy and social justice. However, this time the possibility of Greece breaking with the neo-liberal assault on the European people is sending shock waves through the centres of EUfinance and governance. Their resorting to the 2012 script of threats, not only against the Greek people but also against their own people, in order to terrorize and extort their vote by any means, only demonstrates that fear has changed sides. Despite the soothing claims that the markets are now protected from a possible Grexit and/or from a write down of part of the Greek debt, what they fear is the contamination of the political message that the “undisciplined” Greeks could send to other countries, most notably to the bailed out, austerity ridden and deregulated countries of the European periphery.

In this context, our report aims on one hand to provide an update on the devastating effects of the radical neo-liberal experiment on Greek society, and on the other, to inform the international community by highlighting another experiment: that of Greek society taking action through self-organisation and solidarity, of people standing up and resisting their economic and political “saviours”.

Download the full document here.

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