Wednesday, December 02, 2009

[olympiaworkers] Tension in Greece before critical weekend Dec 2 2009

Strikes, marches, blockades, occupations and nights of fire are setting
the climate before the critical weekend of the first anniversary of
Alexandros Grigoropoulos murder.

Political and social tension is rising across greece before the critical
weekend (Saturday 5- Monday 7) that marks the first year anniversary of
the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos and the subsequent December

On the labour front, a series of sectors are restless. On Monday 30/11
Athens saw a demo of hospital doctors who went on a 24h strike in front of
the Evangelismos hospital. At the same time nurses of the Agia Eleni
hospital have occupied the management offices of the hospital demanding
that employed nurses are removed from office work and placed only in
medical care. On the telecom front, the workers of Wind have called
another 24h strike for Thursday 3/12 in response to the forced "voluntary
exit" of 200 workers. At the same time archaeologists employed by the
Ministry of Culture have called a 48h strike for Wednesday and Thursday
demanding immediate payment of all salaries. The archaeologists gathered
in front of the Archaeological Museum of Athens and marched to the
Ministry. On the heavy industry side, steel workers have called a 24h
strike in protest to the layoff of 16 workers at the National Steelworks.
The workers have gathered in front of the main factory of the industry and
are closing on and off the national highway south of Athens. On the public
sector on Wednesday 2/12 stage workers of the municipality of Salonica
have blockaded the municipal headquarters disallowing all citizens and
employers to enter the premises. The workers are demanding the revision of
the new government's plans regarding the integration of stage workers to
permanent employment. On the farming side of things, peach producers have
been blockading the Egnatia national highway, halting all traffic from
Salonica west, demanding that the Ministry of Agriculture fix a universal
price for their products.

Finally a striking event much discussed even in the mainstream media is an
acid attack against the car of a cleaner, Venetia Monalopoulou, contracted
to the Airport of Salonica. The cleaner is a leading syndicalist playing
an important role in the efforts to built a united autonomous union front
of cleaners on the model put forward by K. Kouneva, the Athens cleaner who
is still in hospital a year after an assassination attempt against her
with sulphuric acid. The latest attack came during an assembly of the
cleaners and has been condemned by the cleaners as "boss terrorism".

On the student front, a protest march took to the streets of Athens
amongst piles of ungathered garbage due to a blockade of the Fylis refuse
dump by locals. The students protested the closure of their schools by a
collaboration if rectorial and police authorities during the 36th
anniversary of the November 17 Uprising last month. A similar protest
march took to the streets of the city of Volos on Tuesday 1/12. At the
same time workers of the University of the Peloponese who have been
occupying the rectorial headquarters of their university moved on
Wednesday 2/12 to blockade the main Corinthian highway, thus putting all
southbound circulation in the peninsula to a halt.

On the anti-repression front, as the trial of the imprisoned anarchist
Ilias Nikolaoy started on Wednesday morning under draconian police
presence, a big motorised protest march took to the prisons of Diavata the
previous night. At the same time a big protest march took to the streets
of Salonica on Monday 30/12 protesting against the para-state bomb attack
against the Bueno Ventura antiauthoritarian social centre last week. A day
earlier another anti-repression protest march took to the streets of
Petralona in Athens against the petrol bomb attack against the house of a
member of the Revolutionary Workers Party who is actively involved in the
anti-gentrification movement in the area. At the same time two new squats
have appeared in the archipelagos of social antagonism: on in Exarcheia
and on in Corfu. The latter has been receiving pressure of eviction by
local cops.

Finally the already tense social and political climate has been punctuated
by a series of attacks against state and capitalist targets throughout the
country. The latest of these was Tuesday night's blitz molotov attack
against the commercial centre of Kaisariani, an eastern suburb of Athens,
targetting mainly banks. In Salonica, a series of attacks against houses
of policemen, judges and newspaper managers with small range explosive
devices has been claimed by a the urban guerrilla group Convention of
Anomics/ Ministers of Erebus.

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