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Assault against PAME trade-unionists and workers who were demonstrating at the Ministry. 35 cadres of the class-oriented movement were arrested.

Yesterday’s (30/1) savage assault by the riot police against trade-unionists of class-oriented federations and trade unions at the Ministry of Labour, where they went immediately to protest against the unacceptable statements of the Minister of Labour G. Vroutsis that the social-security system “was built on the basis of clientelist relationships”, is related to the decision taken by the government to escalate the authoritarianism and repression against the working class-people’s struggles in order to implement the harsh measures which make the people destitute and in order to curb the organized struggle of the people. Statements that presage a new attack on the social-security system.

The naked violence and savagery of the government which sent the riot police and arrested 35 PAME trade-unionists, injured 9 workers is the next link in the chain of the “law and order” operation being rabidly implemented in the recent period by the government in order to repress the struggles of the people against the anti-people political line and to intimidate the labour and people’s movement. THE MOBILIZATION OF THE WORKERS FROM THE VARIOUS SECTORS WAS IMMEDIATE. They gathered outside the Ministry of Labour. However, the riot police were able to drag the 35 trade-unionists, who they had arrested, to the police vans using batons and tear-gas, pushing back the demonstrators who had gathered together in a mass solidarity demonstration outside the Ministry of Labour.

The very right of the people to strike, to demonstrate in an organized way and to fight against the anti-worker offensive which is the strategy of capital is being targeted by the government and the bourgeois class which it in reality serves.

In order to pass the tests of the “investors”, i.e. the domestic and foreign monopolies, the government, hand in hand with the Judiciary which has a clear class character, is attempting to impose a deathly silence all over the country, offering guarantees of security for capital against the labour and people’s movement.

The provocation of the government has failed

The government , some hours afterwards, disseminated tampered photographs to the bourgeois media allegedly from the office of the Minister of Labour with folders and furniture scattered all over the place, in order to convince people that the delegation of PAME and the trade unions invaded the Ministry in order to cause damage and to vandalize. The PAME trade-unionists exposed the provocation, stating categorically that our class-oriented labour movement does not have such a rationale and practice and that they are trying to set up a provocation against the working class-people’s struggle.

The statement of the government’s spokesperson was provocative and slanderous, who not at all by chance called the protest of the class-oriented trade unions a “form of violence” and “extremism”, associating in an underhand and provocational way the forms of struggle of the people’s movement with the “terrorist” attacks of recent weeks. Thus it has been very clearly confirmed that the real goals of these acts were the intimidation of the people and the repression of the labour and people’s movement. Thus it has been borne out that it is the class struggles which in reality disturb the atmosphere of consensus and the deathly silence which the government wants to impose.

THEIR INTIMIDATION WILL NOT SUCCEED. The demonstrators, with a very large rally, combative and organized, who had gathered outside the Ministry of Labour marched to the General Police Directorate of Athens, where the trade-unionists had been detained, shouting slogans, such as “Release the workers from the police station, they are not terrorists, they want jobs” and “the law and order of the bosses will smashed by the just cause of the workers”, As the time passed, the solidarity was reinforced and the number of people outside the police station increased.

The anger and solidarity is overflowing

Dozens of statements by trade unions, labour centres, federations and movement organizations concerning the provocative repressive assault of the government are being issued continuously in the aftermath of the events.

The GS of the CC of the KKE was at the rally outside the Athens’ Police Directorate, having arrived from the farmers’ mobilizations, and stressed the following in her statements: “We demand only one thing from the Minister of Labour. That he bring the video with the damage allegedly caused by the representatives of the trade union movement who wanted to demonstrate, and justifiably so, about the provocative statements which really stir things up, and give it to the TV channels. Let him show us the video. What is the damage? 40 people went, face to face, trade-unionists, representatives of organizations, to do what? To destroy the offices? To destroy the computers? To beat up the Minister? This is ridiculous. And, of course, when a minister makes provocative statements, the representatives of trade union organizations have the right to go and demonstrate the next day. This is all that happened and nothing else (…) when a government is not prepared to carry out even the slightest retreat in the face of the people who are suffering, then it has no other solution other than violence. But the people have much more strength and can repel the state repression. Because basically, as numerous as the mechanisms of the state are, the people are more numerous. And the people should not be afraid of this. They should be afraid of the torments which are on the way. And for this reason they must acquire courage, resistance and fight against the lies and the slanders. As they have slandered the workers that whatever gains they have are the product of corrupt favours, they are now again slandering by presenting the workers as vandals...”

A combative response and a new continuation of the demonstrations

Late in the afternoon it was announced that the detentions were transformed into arrests and that the Attorney charged the 35 trade-unionists with disturbance of the peace and aggravated damage. The rally outside the Athens’ Police Directorate continued until late at night and a new demonstration was arranged for the next day so that all the charges against the arrested militants of the class-oriented movement are dropped and that they be released.

At the same time on Thursday 31/1 the seamen, health-workers, workers on the urban buses and railways are on strike, while at the same time the farmers’ mobilizations are continuing and the preparations for the general strike in February are already being intensified, which has been scheduled for the middle of February.

The trial of the trade-unionists

In the end, the 35 trade-unionists were set free. Previously, they had been arraigned instantaneously to be tried, with the charge of “illegal loitering in a public place”, but the trial was postponed to the 12th of February, as the Ministry’s witnesses did not appear.

It is indicative that the trade-unionists were not arraigned on the charge of “aggravated damage”, something the Minister had claimed in a provocative way, accusing the trade-unionists of PAME of “damaging the offices”. Every hour that passes exposes the fact that this accusation could not be substantiated.

In these conditions the strengthening of international class solidarity with the struggles in Greece and with PAME is necessary.


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