19 December 2008
Protests and demonstrations are continuing in Greece in the wake of the killing of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos. Coordinating groups organised renewed protests on Wednesday and Thursday in Athens and Thessaloniki. A number of University and Technical College departments as well as high schools and lyceums remain under occupation. Incidents were reported this week outside the Court House in Thessaloniki following a verdict—suspended prison sentences—for eight policemen charged with viciously beating a Cypriot student in November 2006.
On Wednesday, protesters also draped two huge banners over the walls of the Acropolis. The initiative was aimed at rallying support in other European countries. One banner bore the word “Resistance” written in Greek, English, Italian and German, and a second called for “Demonstrations in all Europe.”
“This is more than a protest, it is an anti-capitalist movement”
By Marius Heuser and Markus Salzmann
WSWS reports from Athens
22 December 2008
Workers and youth have occupied the headquarters of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) in Athens since last Wednesday. The occupation is directed against the trade union leadership, which maintains close contact with the government and is trying to prevent the current protest movement from spreading to the factories.
On Saturday, WSWS reporters spoke to some of the workers in the occupied building. One 40-year-old building worker declared that the movement that had now developed was much more than just a youth protest. “It is a movement that is profoundly anti-capitalist,” he said. Opposition to the capitalist system extends into the factories, he said, but the trade unions are doing all they can to prevent a mobilisation of workers alongside the protesting youth.
He criticised the trade unions as a bureaucratic elite that no longer has any connection to ordinary workers. He was particularly angry about the role played by the social democratic party PASOK and the Communist Party (KKE), which both have considerable influence in the trade unions. On many issues, this worker confirmed, “They are to the right of the conservative parties.”
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