Greek workers occupy union HQ in Athens
We have just received the declaration below, originally posted on libcom by a comrade from Greece. While we don't know the background to these events they seem to us sufficiently important to be given the widest possible distribution. GSEE (General Confederation of Greek Workers) is the national trade union in Greece.
DECLARATION: 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.
WE DECIDED TO OCCUPY THE BUILDING OF GSEE
- 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 phenomenon".
- 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 way.
- 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 mechanism.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE DETAINED
NO CHARGE TO THE ARRESTED
SELF-ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKERS' GENERAL STRIKE
WORKERS' ASSEMBLY IN THE "LIBERATED" BUILDING OF GSEE
Wendesday, 17 December 2008, 18:00
General Assembly of Insurgent Workers
The banner hanging from the occupied building reads as follows:
From labor "accidents"
to the murders in cold blood
State - Capital kill
of the arrested
will become the bosses' grave
General Assembly of Insurgent Workers