[Marxism] 'Don’t leave Greece to fight alone'
daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 22:44:31 MDT 2015
Solidarity delegation from London council says, 'Don’t leave Greece to
by John McLoughlin
Socialist Worker, UK
A joint solidarity delegation of councillors and trade unionists from
the London borough of Tower Hamlets visited Greece last month.
It was facilitated by the Greek Solidarity Campaign, led by deputy
mayor Oli Rahman and included representatives from the Unison, NUT and
Unite Community unions.
People in Greece are facing the might of the bosses’ European
institutions. We heard what this means from local authority trade
unionists—60 percent pay cuts and 250,000 public sector jobs lost,
equivalent to 2 million in Britain.
Even more vivid was hearing from Solidarity4all. It coordinates the
social centres and health clinics springing up across Greece around
the simple slogan “no-one should be alone in the crisis”. It provides
food distribution and basic health care. It’s based entirely on
volunteers, not as charity but as active citizenship.
Ruling party Syriza MPs pay 12 percent of their salaries to help fund
it and it is open to all—except fascists.
...Migrant workers suffer most. There is a substantial Bangladeshi
community in Greece. It faces shocking levels of racism, as do other
We were told of physical attacks by fascist Golden Dawn members. We
heard first hand from Tipu Chowdhury, one of the Manolada strawberry
field strikers who struck demanding wages that were unpaid for several
months. Hired thugs threatened to shoot them unless they returned to
The workers did not believe them, but they did—injuring 35 with
buckshot. They are still fighting for justice. And they played a major
part in the 15,000 strong anti-racist march in Athens last month.
. . .
A key question in all our discussions was how to apply a counterweight
to the pressure from Europe’s rulers on the Syriza government. The
first answer was always solidarity—don’t leave the Greek people to
fight alone. But there was also a deep sense of the ongoing
combativity of the Greek people, sometimes expressed as wariness.
. . .
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