Monday, December 22, 2008
For a Workers' Revolution in Greece!
• Long live the general revolt of the exploited youth and working class of Greece!
• Greece leads the working class of Europe and the world against the attacks of the capitalists and is in the vanguard of the fight for the socialist revolution!
• Down with the repressive government of Caramanlis and the social imperialists of PASOK!
On December 6 the police deliberately assassinated a 15 year old student Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was protesting with a group of friends in the neighborhood of Exarchia in Athens. This is the working class area where the University of Technology is located and which was the centre of the struggle against the bloody dictatorship of the Colonels in the 1970s.
The brutal killing aroused the just anger of the young rebels that have been for more than six days mounding huge demonstrations in the streets confronting the murderous police raising the battle cries “state killers”, “police killers”, “down with Caramanlis”, and attacked the key institutions of capitalist property and the bourgeois state: more than 370 banks, luxury hotels and police stations, many of which were set alight and burned down by the protestors.
The centre of Athens, the scene of the biggest struggles, has been almost destroyed. The youth rebels have burned shops and supermarkets, occupied schools and the Polytechnic University and the neighborhood of Exarchia where the rebellion began and from which it has spread to more than 10 other cities in Greece including Thessaloniki, Patras, Trikala and the islands of Crete and Corfu.
On the 9th of December more than six thousand youth rallied at the funeral of Alex, crying “Avenge the killing of Alex, march on Athens, confront the police killers, release the 150 plus political prisoners.”
• Long live the rebellion of the young workers of Greece who suffer 23% unemployed; who are lucky to find casual contract jobs, with the poverty wage of 650 euros, and are denied access to education by the privatization plans of the bourgeoisie!
• Long live the rebellion of the exploited youth con with their barricades and burning of cars and police stations, stake up the road of the immigrant worker youth struggle of the French Cités of 2006 that rose up to the cry of “Every night we will turn Paris into Baghdad” and the Italian youth, that have risen up on the last months to the cry of “We will not pay for your crisis”!
• Immediate freedom for all the jailed youth and workers!
• Dissolve and disarm the Police!
• For workers and popular courts to judge and punish all those responsible for the killing of Alexandro!
The rebellion of youth which began with barricades, street fights and the burning of police stations and led to general strikes, can erupt into a generalised revolt of the working class and exploited of Greece. The exploited have entered the revolutionary offensive.
But this huge generalized uprising by the exploited youth will not die down quietly. On the contrary it is the spark to alight the uprising of the whole working class and oppressed masses. Thus the strike of 23 October was led by the social democratic union bureaucracy allied to the Stalinist KKE (Communist Party of Greece) under pressure from below to put a lid on the workers opposition to the government’s plans. But the sectoral strikes and the huge general strike of 23 October, shows that the workers of Greece are determined to fight the coalition government of Caramanlis of the ND and the social democratic PASOK. This is because the government has no choice but to make the people pay the cost of the world crisis but cutting their living standards. Greece must do this because it is a minor imperialist power, subordinated to USA and German imperialism, the latter now the dominant imperialist power in Europe.
To pay for their solution to their crisis where the Greek banks have been bailed out by more than 28 billion euros, the bourgeois and its government under Caramanlis have launched ferocious attacks on the working class and the pensioners, with privatizations, cuts in public education and plans to privatize the universities. At the same time the wage basket has been reduced by inflation and more than 20% of the workers and their families now live below the poverty line.
This is the situation that caused the spark of the youth rebellion to light the fire of the working class struggles and the huge general strike of 10 December that paralyzed the country and took to the streets of Athens and many other cities.
The strike of the 10th brought out all the forces of the youth against the attacks on the pensions, and demanded 100% increase in the minimum wage. Facing these facts the Social Democratic and Stalinist bureaucracy of the GSEE (General Confederation of Workers) and ADEDY (main public sector union) raised these demands. Despite this, the strike turned into a generalized revolt of the exploited masses that, united with the youth rebellion took to the streets and barricades and breaking with all agreements between the bureaucracy and the regime, calling for an unlimited general strike against both the ND and PASOK that had taken turns for decades in exploiting, oppressing and repressing the workers.
With this generalized rebellion, the working class and the exploited of Greece have risen up against the crisis, the attacks of capitalism and all the schemes by the bosses and the treacherous workers leaders to divide and rule the workers ranks. We have today in Greece a revolutionary situation, such has not been seen by European imperialism for more than 30 years, when in 1975 the heroic Portuguese revolution erupted.
That is why the major imperialist powers are alarmed: “There is an insurrectionary climate in Athens”; “Greece has no state”, editorialized the leading French imperialist daily, Le Monde; alarmed because the workers suburbs of Paris, London, Madrid, Ro¬me, Berlin etc, contain the same unemployed masses, super-exploited migrant workers, disaffected youth, that is, the same miserable conditions that caused the uprising in Greece. 160 years after it was written in the Communist Manifesto, the Greek working masses are writing in the streets – in the letters of struggle, of fire, of strikes, of blood – the same words: “A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of Communism.”
• End the dictatorship of international finance capital. Stop the attack on the world working class and the slide to barbarism…Forward to the socialist revolution!
In our view, the uprising of the proletariat, the exploited youth and masses of Greece, that mobilized 10s of thousands on 10 December to the cry of “State murderer” and “Down with Caramanlis”, demonstrates that, facing a bankrupt imperialist capitalist system in crisis, that in order to defend the most basic rights and living conditions, it is necessary for the masses to launch a political struggle against the regime to take the power and to put in its place a state of the workers and all exploited people.
This bankrupt capitalist system has exposed itself before the eyes of the masses: the system is rotten and can only survive on the backs of our slavery. Today, against all the reformist lies about capitalism, Greece affirms the revolutionary Marxist program of the 1V International of 1938 that states clearly that: confronting the bankruptcy and decadence of capitalism, and the advance of barbarism, the only salvation for the exploited is in the workers socialist revolution, and that the struggle for this revolution is the most important and urgent task of the proletariat. For the working class, the exploited and the oppressed peoples to live, imperialism must die, and this task, on the whole continent, is concentrated in the struggle for the Socialist United States of Europe.
In this struggle the proletariat and youth of Greece are building on all previous struggles of their class brothers and sisters of Europe. They join with and advance the spontaneous uprising of the Belgian general strike of workers against their leadership. They join with also and learn the lessons of the huge spontaneous uprisings of the Italian masses of the 17 October which paralysed the country taking to the streets in the name of the rank and file of the Cobas, against the treacherous leaderships of the GIL who collaborate with the government of the “Tsar” Berlusconi today, and before that Prodi.
• Long live the spontaneous uprising of the exploited youth and the “kukulofori” (the “hoodies” who fight on the barricades)!
• Long live the fighting spirit of the proletariat and the Greek masses who show they are more conscious and advanced politically than all the “plans” of the treacherous union bureaucracy and the reformists of all colors!
Meanwhile the PASOK and the union bureaucracy calls for “calm”, for Caramanlis’ resignation, and for new elections in order to strangle the fight of the masses. The Stalinists of the KKE (CPG) take a position as in Chile where their “Red Police” openly “condemns the use of violence” by workers – as if the bourgeois state regime is not “violent” when it murders Alex and condemns the youth to a future life of unemployment! – and forms a security guard armed with batons to contain and suppress the heroic youth mobilizations. So, the cry of the Chilean youth “The ‘pacos de rojo’ (red cops) are dangerous” is today given new life on the streets and barricades of Greece.
Today, those who have usurped the name of Trotskyism to rescue the “progressive” or “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie; to call for a vote for Chirac “against Le Pen” in France; who say that the victory of Zapatero in the Spanish election of 2004 was an “expression of the class struggle against the war”, are doing the opposite, expropriating the name of Trotskyism. All have promoted the politics of class collaboration, bowing down before the bourgeois state, trying to reform bankrupt capitalism, instead of joining the campaign to support the magnificent general uprising of the students and workers of Greece who are opening the road to the socialist revolution in that country.
Today the anarchist movement has capitalized enormously from the radicalization of the exploited youth of Greece. This is no accident. The anarchist movement has maintained a tradition of courageous and intransigent struggle against the bourgeois state, while the renegades of Trotskyism have in the recent decades transformed themselves into reformists, providing a left cover and support for the bloody imperialist regimes of the European powers.
So today it is anarchism – that demonstrated its historic bankruptcy in the Spanish revolution in 1936-9 – that is benefiting from this magnificent radicalization of the exploited Greek masses. For this reason we must redouble our fight against those who have usurped Trotskyism and destroyed the 4 International, for an international regroupment, a Zimmerwald and Kienthal of the healthy Trotskyists and revolutionary workers organizations, and open the road to build on the basis of th3e program and legacy of the 4 International of 1938, a world party of socialist revolution.
• Long live the general revolt of the exploited youth, the working class and the Greek masses!
• Down with the repressive and starvation regime of Caramanlis supported by the social imperialist PASOK!
• Forward to the Socialist Revolution!
The task of the moment is the centralization and coordination of the pickets into one national workers and popular militia, the preparation of a general strike to bring down the regime of Caramanlis and the pro-imperialist coalition of ND and PASOK – sustained by the union bureaucracy and the “red police” of the KKE – to open the way to the proletarian revolution that will bring class justice for Alexandros, good work and a living wage for the working class, free education for all the children, and meet all the most basic needs of the masses.
• For a Workers Socialist Greece, for the Socialist United States of Europe from the British Isles to the Russian steppes!
• Our class brothers and sisters of Greece mark the road: against the catastrophe that the capitalists try to download on the proletariat and all the exploited of the world, we must fight to prepare and organize a true international counter-offensive of the working class, to expropriate the expropriators and open the road to the international socialist revolution!
• For the working class and the exploited of the world to live, the capitalist system must die!
Leninist Trotskyist Fraction December 2008
(unofficial translation by CWG)