.21/2/10 athens greece news
- Early in the morning pigs have entered the University Society Area in Zografou district of Athens, swearing against people, trying to stop a party that was taking place at this time, attacking against the residents and arresting many of them. Outside the area also special pig forces used to wait together with pig busses. Clashes started straightly and the pigs excused their action saying that they had information about damages in the buildings, thing that never happened.The only damage that we can talk about is an opened fire extinguisher which was used against the pigs. The pigs also tried to investigate sleeping places of students and their action came after an order from the rector of the University. During the opperation also the electricity went off reminding of cold war times. The pigs for one more time in cooperation with a rector break the Asylum law, a law that exists in Greece after a lot of struggles and blood which forbids the entrence of fascists and pigs in Universities.
- Clashes with fascists in Larissa town. After information about a fascistic gathering in the central square of the town antifascists gathered on the meeting point to avoid this gathering. When 15 shitheads appeared on the spot some riots started. Half of the fascists ran away and the other half had to visit the hospital. The small van that the used to drive for night patrols was also smashed. Clashes with cops happened straightly after this and the antifascistic demonstration entered the Medical University where other comrades and people in solidarity used to wait inside. At once the building got surrounded by masses of pigs and undercover pigs who also threw a sound-shine granade in the entrence of the building and injured two comrades after a glass was broken. None damage has happened in the building from the side of the antifascists and despite this fact the pigs also asked to brake the Asylum law but the rector refused. Two women and two men from the antifascists were taken in the pigs' station.
Fotos from the action: https://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1134689
(The statue on the fotos belongs to the leader of "X" team which was cooperating with the German Nazis during 1941-1944 and used to give names of people in resistance to Gestapo and SS. The certain guy on the statue continued also later his anticommunistic actions on Cyprus island. The decision to rise up the statue was taken from the right wing major of the town. The sprayed slogans of the fotos: "Civil Class War, Fascists Back to Your Holes", "Earth is Our Only Country", "We are All Refugees in The World of Bosses", "Aegean Sea Belongs to Its Fish", "Fight for Land and Freedom", "No Tolerance for Nationalists Fascists or Rascists", "National Macho and In Your Job Just Arshole".)
- Fotos from anti-rascist demonstration and concert in Athens on 20th February:
Monday 22nd February 2010
- Solidarity actions with the dismissed persons of METKA factory (watch older update)still go on. Slogans were sprayed on the walls of the company's administrator villa in Volos town and flyers were spreaded so also the neighbours can have a picture about him. On the fotos: "Oikonomou you are a creep, you threw 3 workers in the streets", "1 person in the villa, 3 in the streets", "Achtung, Oikonomou walks free around and dismisses syndicalists", "3 dismissals, Oikonomou you still sleep in peace during the nights?", "Their wealth is our blood".
- The rectrorship building of the University in Zografou district of Athens is occupied since mourning after the last day's pig attack to the area. Also students and people in solidarity gathered in the central entrance of the area. A huge plakat was rised up, public busses were sprayed and information flyers were spreaded around. After lots of people gathered, the information actions took place also in different Universities of the area and the small demonstration also visited the rectorship building. The rector Moutzouris who gave order to the pigs to brake the Asylum law refused to appear in front of the people and prefered to keep on his show in mass media. The people also smashed control systems in several entrances of the area. The Universities are not an area for cops, but an open space for students and the society.
- Abandoned seafarers of MV Aetea Sierra joined the antiracist demonstration in Sat. 20/2:
Hard working seafarers, far from our families, we face exploitation, injustice and impingement of our rights. We ‘ve been abandoned by our employer since 3 of August 2009 in Piraeus anchorage, 6 miles from the shore. We are not paid till July and we live on the vessel under inhuman conditions. The shipowner E. Saravanos was convinced by the court for exposing the crew in danger, and the ship was set to be auctioned. Though nothing changed for our case, the shipowner is free and uses any legal mean to postpone the auction.
We ‘re still in the floating prison Aetea Sierra, without heating, we drink rusty water and sometimes the fuel supply is not in time and we remain for days on a blind ship. It took 7 months to get surpasses and come ashore, but we have to pay 100 euros for our transfer. How can we pay? We haven’t been paid since July, our families suffer without money, our children had to quit school…
We struggle for our rights, with the support of the Filipino Workers Union – KASAPI and greek rights organizations until the final victory. We ask the greek authorities to care for the abandoned foreign seafarers and act for our violated rights. We demand to be paid our owned salaries and moral damage and to be repatriated as soon as possible. We insist that it must be put an end to those shipowners’ business strategies which are playing with the lives of the seafarers.
At 20 of February we participated in the antiracist rally in the center of Athens together with thousands greeks and migrants, we experienced the solidarity to our case and we raised a lot of support contributions in our “solidarity cuisine”.
see previous information about Saravanos court
Solidarity committee for the abandoned seafarers of MV Aetea Sierra
In MV Aetea Sierra floating prison, anchoraged in Piraus , Greece , remain 17 seafarers since August 3. The living conditions and the vessel’s safety are unacceptable. The sailors are not payed since July and they can’t support their families. They struggle for their right to be payed and repatriated as soon as possible.
On Friday January 29 2010 the Piaraus Court found guilty the Aetea Sierra shipowner “representative” Evangelos Saravanos for exposing the lives of the crew on danger. Mr. Saravanos was convicted with 3 years and 2 months sentence, he appealed and then released.
His conviction was an important moral justification for the crew, but it doesn’t urge the payment of the 7 months owned salaries, neither the repatriation of the crew.
The lawyer of ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) Thanasis Alikatoras statet that “Mr Saravanos has convivted the 17 sailors to conditions of 15th century Galeons by ambandoning them in the open sea without any petrol, heating, water, food or light. As a result the sailors’ lives are in danger due to malnutrition or an accident because some other sailing ships might not be able to sight the ‘dead ship’. The abandoning of sailors like this and the violation of their fundamental rights is a usual business tactic. The same happened to other ships of Mr. Saravanos enterprises Thesarco and Agrosy. In particular Aqua Sierra was abandoned on 2003 in Monrovia , Liberia , where one of the crew members passed away hit by malaria. Trinity Sierra was abandoned in Panama channel as the coastguard inspection found 42 safety violations and prohibited the ship to enter the port. Violations of the same nature or other legal problems were witnessed in the cases of Thermopilae Sierra and Taxiarchis Sierra. It is a common tactic of “white collar” criminals to abandon their crews when their ships are no more profitable”.
Mr Saravanos lawyer Mr Portokalis developed his client’s business tactic on a basic question: “Is the delay of salaries payment a criminal action? Piraeus anchorage is a safe one and we are wondering why did the sailors press charges in terms of safety when their only demand concerns their payment”. On top of that he suggested that the Filipino sailors wiped the ship’s fuel away and that the ship’s generator was shut down on purpose in order to convince the jury they are in danger.
Remarkable was the presence in the court audience of a greek retired seafarer who was recently operated for throat cancer, but he appeared to express his solidarity to the Filippino seafarers. He witnessed that he was also abandoned for 10 months in India by Mr Saravanos and the 20 member crew was left without water and food. “He didn’t pay my salaries, and he won’t. He pays only his lawyer to go unpunished”.
From the 17 seafarers of Aetea Sierra only the 2nd chief officer from Serbia supported Mr Saravanos in the court, saying “I am on Mr Saravanos side and I don’t sign the complaint against him”. This witness was found by the court as not convincing and became a boomerang to Mr Saravanos advocacy.
Network of Social Support to Refugees and Migrants and the Filipino Workers Union in Greece -Kasapi stand in solidarity with the seafarers trying to bring in publicity their struggle for payment and repatriation and they led a petition campaign supported by many greek and international organizations and individuals. Due to this pressure Mr Saravanos was arrested and brought in court and, also, the auction of the vessel is decided for February 17th.
The parliament member Th. Dritsas from the Radical Left Coalition party (SYRIZA) brought the case of Aetea Sierra in the parliament, asking the minister of Economy, Competinness and Merchant Marin Mrs Louka Katseli to solve the problems of abandoned alien seafarers, by bringing a new legal frame and signing bilateral treaties with seafarers’ countries.
- Abusive & anti-syndicalistic dismissal in AGRA Publications Company (watch older update)
On the 13th of January the worker Ntinos Palaistidis was fired from AGRA Publications Company with the excuse of "unconventional behavior" because he appealed to the Labor Inspectorate about issues having to do with the working conditions in the particular workplace. The dismissal took place just three working days after the tripartite meeting at the Labor Inspectorate, which advised that: "The company could reconsider the request of the employee with a view to resolving".
From the first moment of the dismissal Employees Association of Paper-Book Sector in Attica, began with protests: continuing strikes by workers in Agra, protest gatherings, interventions. Intervention in the central bookshops of Thessaloniki took place by Employees Association of Paper-Book Sector in Thessaloniki on 17th February.
Next to Ntinos, the AGRAS workers and Employees Association of Paper-Book Sector Athens developed a broad front of solidarity from many workers, labor unions and collectives (Postal & Courier Workers Union Attica, Associations Of Workers In Private Teaching Centres, Panhellenic Union of Workers In TIM HELLAS (Wind), Antiwar Internationalist Movement, Libertarian Syndicalistic Union Thessaloniki-Ioannina, Common Action of Solidarity). Hundreds of workers signed resolutions of solidarity and hundreds of messages via e-mail and faxes started to flood AGRA Company demanding the immediate reinstatement of Ntinos Palaistidis.
AGRA Company tried to reply to all this solidarity movement by mobilizing around 40 famous persons of the "letters and arts circles", who have their books edited in Agra, to 'spontaneously' defend the 'friendly to workers tactics' of AGRA and the owner. We were also informed from them that the workers' demands is a matter for the courts and not for the workers' struggle!!! With the publication of the notice of support for AGRA Company by the 40, various mass media attempt to isolate the strikers and blackmail their fight.
To the text above have already answered the AGRA's workers on strike, but also the Employees Association of Paper-Book Sector.
- Today, for one more time, the makeshift refugees' quarters in the near of Igoumenitsa town was attacked by pigs and also 10 arrests of refugees took place. A comrade doctor who also participates in the Solidarity Committee asked to use the Red Cross surgeries for the refugees' examination and medical treatemnt because most of them are suffering of serious illnesses. The medical treatment takes place in an open-air area where the difficulties are many. Red Cross, without even announcing the reason, refused to offer their facilities. Such a position was also shown by the pharmaceutical and lawyers' clubs of the town who have already refused any help for the refugees. Beside to the repression environment which has been spread in Igoumenitsa's town, also a solidarity movement has risen up by comrades all around the hellenic area. Until now, these movements have reached a humanitarian level (pharmacies, clothes, food). Soon there will be information about more actions.
- On Saturday 20th February a team of young workers entered into a theater in Athens to inform the people about the general strike on the 24th of the month.
Video of the action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X51Oc41Hy3o&feature=player_embedded
- Some out-parliamentary communists, members of Communistic Party marxists-leninists were arrested around 23:00 for rising up posters about the General Strike. They refused to give fingerprints and until 02:00 they haven't been released from the pig station.