The thousands of protesters that filled the streets in Greece on Friday January 9th, proved that the fire of December wonʼt be put out, not by bullets and acid against activists, nor by the ideological terrorism spread by the media these last few days. Consequently, the Stateʼs only response to the youth and the workers was, once more, raw repression. Encouraged by the mediaʼs demands of zero tolerance, and by the orders of their bosses, the police were free to attack with chemicals, violence and arrests, against anyone who came their way.
When, as on January 9th, oppression by the State turns even against the workers, journalists, photographers and lawyers who stand in the streets against the side of the murderers, it becomes even clearer that the rebellion during the past month has put forward an issue of dignity for everyone whose survival depends on wage labor. As a result, some of us, media workers and students, stand beside the rebels. We do it actively: we participate in their fight as workers, and we join their fight with our own everyday battle in our places of work. Our main goal is to prevent the bosses from imposing their views about the events, an example of which is that a photographer, Kostas Tsironis, was fired by the daily newspaper “Eleftheros Typos” (“Free press”) because he took a picture of a cop raising his handgun a day after the 15-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was murdered.
We donʼt fool ourselves about what the media, a crucial ideology apparatus of the State, will do to force the people to leave the streets and go home; theyʼll do everything, and we know it all too well, because, of course, we work in the media. We also recognize that the big-time journalists are only able to promote the abolition of university asylum and the idea of two different kinds of demonstrators (the violent “koukouloforoi” vs. the “peaceful” ones), as long as we remain silent.
Our place is with the rebels. One more reason for this is because we experience everyday exploitation in our workplaces too. In the media industry, like everywhere else, we have to deal with the consequences of precarious, unsecured or unpaid labour, by-piece working, overtime labor, and all the other forms of bossesʼ whims. Lately, under the threat of a coming economic crisis, we also experience intensification of layoffs, and of the fear of them.
Like all workers, we experience the hypocrisy and the betrayal of the syndicates. The Journalistsʼ Union of Athens (ESIEA) is an institution that turns against the workersʼ calls for resistance against the bosses, due to the crucial need to overcome any internal divisions and job fragmentation, in order to create a united trade union in the press. In their attempt to split the media workers from all the other workers, ESIEA is, in reality, a bossesʼ union and a basic support mechanism for them, as was testified by their refusal to take part in the general strike on Wednesday, December 10th 2008.
For all these reasons, as an initiative of wage workers, unpaid workers, recently-fired workers and students in the media, we have decided to occupy the ESIEA building, in order to voice all these things, in solidarity with a society in revolt:
- Free information, against the ideological propaganda of our bosses in the media
- Direct action, self-organized and democratic, by all media workers against the attacks waged against each and every one of us.
* Solidarity with militant worker Konstantina Kuneva
* Immediate release of everyone arrested during the rebellion
* We have no fear of getting fired; the bosses should fear our strikes
From the occupied building of ESIEA, 2009-01-10