Thursday, December 18, 2008

[olympiaworkers] Greek workers occupy union offices

Greek workers occupy union offices

dec. 17, 2008

A banner handing from the facade of the building reads:

From labor "accidents"
to the murders in cold blood
State - Capital kill
No persecution:
Immediate release
of the arrested
Workers' self-organization
will become the bosses' grave

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.


-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

-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

-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



Wendesday, 17 December 2008, 18:00
General Assembly of Insurgent Workers

A letter to students, December 2008

An open letter to students by workers in Athens, against the background
of the social upheaval following the police shooting of a young boy.

A letter to students

Our age difference and the general estrangement make it difficult for
us to discuss with you in the streets; this is why we send you this

Most of us have not (yet) been bald or big-bellied. We are part of the
1990-91 movement. You must have heard of it. Back then, and while we
had occupied our schools for 30-35 days, fascists killed a teacher
because he had gone beyond his natural role (that of being our guard)
and crossed the line to the opposite side; he had come with us, into
our struggle. Then, even the toughest of us got to the streets and
riot. However, we didn't even think of doing what you easily do today:
attack police stations (although we sang "burn police stations…").

So, you're gone beyond us, as always happens in history. Conditions are
different of course. During '90s they passed us off the prospect of
personal success and some of us swallowed it. Now people cannot believe
this fairy tale. Your older brothers showed us this during the 2006-07
students' movement; you now spit their fairy tale to their faces.

So far so good.

Now the good and difficult matters begin.

We'll tell you what we've learned from our struggles and our defeats
(because as long as world is not ours we'll always be the defeated
ones) and you can use what we've learned as you wish:

Don't stay alone. Call us; call as many people as possible. We don't
know how you can do that, you will find the way. You've already
occupied your schools and you tell us that the most important reason is
that you don't like your schools. Nice. Since you've already occupied
them change their role. Share your occupations with other people. Let
your schools become the first buildings to house our new relations.
Their most powerful weapon is dividing us. Just like you are not afraid
of attacking their police stations because you are together, don't be
afraid to call us to change our life all together.

Don't listen to any political organization (either anarchists or
anyone). Do what you need to. Trust people, not abstract schemes and
ideas. Trust your direct relations with people. Trust your friends;
make as many people as possible in your struggle your people. Don't
listen to them when they're saying that your struggle doesn't have a
political content and must seemingly obtain. Your struggle is the
content. You only have your struggle and it's in your hands to preserve
its advance. It's only your struggle that can change your life, namely
you and the real relations with your fellowmen.

Don't be afraid to proceed when confronting new things. Each one of us,
as we're getting older, has things planted in their brains. You too,
although you are young. Don't forget the importance of this fact. Back
in 1991, we confronted the smell of the new world and, trust us, we
found it difficult. We learned that there must always be limits. Don't
be scared by the destruction of commodities. Don't be scared by people
looting stores. We make all these, they are ours. You (just like we in
the past) are raised to get up every morning in order to make things
that they will later not be yours. Let's get them back all together and
share them. Just like we share our friends and the love among us.

We apologize for writing this letter quickly, but we do it swinging the
lead from our work, secretly from our boss. We are imprisoned in work,
just like you are imprisoned in school.

We'll now lie to our boss and leave work: we'll come to meet you in
Syntagma sq with stones in our hands.


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