[Marxism] Greek activists welcome much needed breathing space

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 13:11:53 MDT 2015

[a perspective from grass-roots anarchist-oriented activists]

Greek activists welcome much needed breathing space
by AK Malaboca
ROAR magazine, April 4

Many Greeks have low expectations of SYRIZA, but with the coalition in
power a space has opened up that allows for the creation of an
alternative economy.

Editor’s note: this article is a short introduction to the brochure
‘What’s next for Greece?’
<http://media.roarmag.org/2015/04/whatsnextgreece.pdf> , which has
been published at the initiative of AK Malaboca, a group of German
activists from Frankfurt and Bremen. In February, they visited several
activists and initiatives across Greece in order size up the situation
of the changing conditions and debates among activists after the
victory of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition


“We have some breathing space again,” says Makis, a teacher and street
art activist from Athens. For more than twenty years he has been part
of different anarchist groups and initiatives, so you really wouldn’t
think of him as someone naively celebrating the new Greek government.
But as many others we meet in Athens, just three weeks after the
electoral success of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition, he is using this
metaphor to describe his feelings about the recent change of
. . .
Therefore: using the opportunity – creating alternative institutions

The atmosphere nowadays is sceptical, but not hopeless. Ultimately,
nobody wishes to see SYRIZA fail, while at the same time nobody is
believing in fundamental change either. A way out of this dilemma is
focusing on the space opened by the new government to reorganize and
extend the sphere of influence of the social movements.

Besides some impressive initiatives which combat the direct effects of
austerity policies like foodbanks and solidarity clinics, there is
another remarkable development. People are talking about the creation
and extension of alternative economic networks – and they already
started working on it. In the last years, many cooperatives were born,
producer-consumer networks and producer markets were established. Some
were established out of pure necessity, but there is also a
realization of the fact that there won’t be any fundamental change
without alternative economic institutions.

Danea, member of the anti-authoritarian group Alpha Kappa, argues that
now that the movements have more “breathing space” a new range of
possibilities is presenting itself. “So now it’s the time for us to go
beyond this traditional forms of practices, like showing solidarity or
any other symbolic action. Now, we can concentrate on building
economic relations from the bottom up to offer an alternative to the
capitalist market. People are fed up with big words, of how the
production or the society will look like in the far future, which is
not available to them. They need results here and now and it’s up to
us to show them that these ways exist and work for them – here and


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