Support Striking Greek Teachers!
We all have a stake in their successful resistance.
SIGN THE PETITION
* Greek Federation of Secondary Education State School Teachers (OLME)
* AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement and Syriza-New York
We Stand in Solidarity with Striking Teachers
and Other Public Employees in Greece
Statement by AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement
(Web: http://www.akny.org/ and on Facebook).
and Syriza-New York (Web: http://www.syriza-ny.org/ and on Facebook.)
September 17, 2013
We stand in solidarity with OLME, the secondary education teachers union in Greece, which has launched a five–day rolling strike as of September 16th, following the decision of the teachers’ general assemblies. At the end of each five-day strike the teachers’ general assemblies will take stock of the situation and then decide on the course of the strike action.
Teachers here in the United States face a similar assault, with teacher layoffs, school closings, and relentless testing of students which serves to justify attacks on teachers rather than actually supporting and improving education.
In addition, we stand in solidarity with the many other public employees in Greece who are also going on strike to resist brutal government-imposed austerity measures, including staff at the social insurance funds, the state employment agency and labor ministry, and hospital workers.
The situation in public schools in Greece is dramatic. The “Troika” (the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank) and the cooperating Greek government of Samaras (New Democracy) and Venizelos (PASOK), using the economic crisis as a pretext, and without any communication with the interested parties, have taken a series of harsh measures such as
• 20% reduction of the number of teachers in secondary education since June 2013.
• Closing down of 102 Vocational Education Schools
• Suspension and possible dismissal of 2,500 Vocational Education Teachers
• 47% reduction of spending on education by 2016 compared to 2008
• compulsory transfer of 5,000 teachers to primary education and administration posts
These measures aim at privatizing part of vocational education, introducing apprenticeship as a form of minor/under-age employment replacing education process and at establishing a harsh, examination-centered system in all forms/grades of upper secondary education, forcing students to seek private tuition outside school and leading to school dropouts.
We support the striking teachers in Greece and demand that public education not be sacrificed to comply with the wishes of the “Troika.” The Greek teachers and the Greek people do not stand alone in this struggle. This struggle is not just for public education but also for workers dignity, civil rights and liberty and true democracy itself here in the United States and around the world.
NOTE: OLME intends to create a Solidarity Fund to support teachers in strike. You can contact OLME (@OLMEGR) at the details below.
OLME-GREEK FEDERATION OF SECONDARY EDUCATION STATE SCHOOL TEACHERS
2, Kornarou & Ermou Str.
Athens (10563), GREECE
Tel: 0030 210 3230073-3221255
Fax: 0030 210 3311338-3227382
E-mail: email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org
Greece Solidarity at the Left Forum 2013
During the big conference next weekend in New York, AKNY is holding three panels and taking part in the Turkish-Greek solidarity protest. Get your tickets at the Left Forum site, discounts available for all in need.
“Responding to Neo-Fascism: Greece, Golden Dawn and Diaspora”
Session 2, Saturday June 8, NOON-1:30pm, Room: E305
Nikos Levis (author, Astorian, Occupy activist, member “Stop Golden Dawn” NY)
Alan Akrivos (union activist, Justice newspaper, Queens Socialist Alternative)
Emmanuelle Mimieux (anarchist and anti-fascist)
Neni Panourgia (anthropologist, New School for Social Research)
[Facebook Invite] [Official Link]
IMMEDIATELY AFTER: In Solidarity With The Turkish People–
Occupy Gezi NYC & AKNY-Greece at OWS Zuccotti
“Environmental & Social Struggles in Greece: Skourgies – Halkidiki”
Session 5, Sunday June 9, 10:00am-11:50pm, Room: W606
Alan Akrivos (union activist, Justice newspaper, Queens Socialist Alternative)
Costas Panayotakis (NYC College of Technology)
Panayota Gounari (University of Massachusetts – Boston)
“Crisis and the Left in Europe: Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain”
Session 6, Sunday June 9, NOON-1:50pm, Room: W626
Peter Bratsis (City University of New York)
Marcus Grätsch (Interventionist Left, Germany, FelS Berlin, Left Forum NY)
Despina Lalaki (New York University)
Bruno Gullì (City University of New York)
Carlos Frade (University of Salford, Manchester, UK)
Cosponsored by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (cpdweb.org).
We Support Greek Teachers And Our Sisters
and Brothers in the Struggle for Justice
AS THEY FACE A FORCED-LABOR ORDER FROM THE GOVERNMENT
We are responding to a call for international solidarity from the Greek secondary teachers’ union OLME, who face a dire situation this week in Greece (see the OLME statement in English, below).
The government’s new round of proposed cuts to schools poses a threat to the institution of free education for all, endangering one of the most important historic gains won by the working people of Greece. From where we sit, the importance of free public education is not lost on any of us. In the United States, education comes usually at the cost of a huge student debt.
We strongly denounce the Samaras government’s “civil mobilization orders” on teachers. By these orders, the government is effectively placing teachers under a forced-labor draft. This is an outrageous violation of workers’ rights and the constitution. We watched with alarm when the government first used mobilization orders to stop the recent strikes by Metro workers and the Seaman’s Union. This must not be allowed to happen again with the teachers. It is an attack on the labor movement and on democracy itself, without precedent in the era since the military junta.
We condemn the EU, ECB and IMF for showing no concern about the consequences of their austerity dictates. They cannot evade their responsibility for backing authoritarian rule in Greece today!
We were heartened to see that the Public Sector Union ADEDY called on its members to take the streets in support of the teachers Monday in Athens, Patras and Thessaloniki.
We hope that this example will be followed by other sectors of the union movement. We hope also that the Greek people, especially Greek students and parents, will be inspired to march alongside the teachers.
Education and teachers play a special role in Greek society. While subject to tremendous economic pressures and injustices, teachers struggle daily, not merely to offer education but also to redress the inequalities of a system that does not consider the needs of immigrants’ children. In many cases they even must battle against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn’s efforts to infiltrate the schools.
We support the teachers’ fight against economic injustice and the authoritarian rule of the Greek government. We stand by the teacher union’s efforts to lead the way toward a true democracy, economic justice and against the working people’s unfair sacrifices for the benefit of the economic and political elites.
AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement (Aristeri Kinisi NY)
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Below is the statement from the Greek secondary teachers’ union OLME, calling for solidarity and reporting on today’s situation.
Greece, April 21, 1967—–NEVER AGAIN!
In Protest against State Authoritarianism and Neo-Nazism
In Defense of Democracy and Economic Justice for the Greek People
ATHENS SQUARE PARK
Sunday, April 21st, 12:30 pm to 3 pm
30th Avenue between 28th and 29th Street
Subway: N/Q to 30th Avenue in Astoria, Queens
Forty-six years after the coup of April 21st, 1967 put Greece under a brutal right-wing military dictatorship backed by the CIA, the country again finds itself in a deep political crisis.
Ελλαδα, 21 Απριλιου 1967 −− Ποτε ξανα!
Στη μνημη των θυματων της χουντας
Εναντια στον κρατικο αυταρχισμο και το Νεοναζισμο
Για την υπερασπιση της δημοκρατιας και της οικονομικης δικαιοσυνης στην Ελλαδα
ATHENS SQUARE PARK – Αστορια, 21 Απριλιου 2013 – 12:30 μμ
30η Λεωφορο μεταξυ των 28 και 29 Δρομων
(AKNY.org) Σαραντα εξι χρονια αφου το πραξικοπημα της 21ης Απριλιου 1967, με την υποστηριξη της CIA εγκαθιδρυσε στην Ελλαδα ενα βαναυσο στρατιωτικο καθεστως, η χωρα βρισκεται ξανα σε κατασταση πολιτικης κρισης.
Βασιζομενη στον τρομο και το θανατο, η χουντα της επταετιας 1967−74 σκοτωσε η φυλακισε χιλιαδες, καταλυσε τις συνδικαλιστικες ελευθεριες και λογοκρινε εφημεριδες, μουσικη και βιβλια. Και σημερα, ομως, η δημοκρατια στην Ελλαδα κινδυνευει. Απο την αρχη της οικονομικης κρισης το 2009, σειρα κυβερνησεων εχουν ασκησει λογοκρισια, εχουν βιαια καταστειλει απεργιες και διαδηλωσεις, εχουν ανεχτει βασανιστηρια απο αστυνομικους και εχουν κλεισει χιλιαδες μεταναστες σε στρατοπεδα συγκεντρωσης. Αυτες οι αντιδημοκρατικες πρακτικες, αν και αντιθετες στη διεθνη νομιμοτητα, εχουν την υποστηριξη της Ευρωπαικης Ενωσης και της Τροικας (ΕΕ, ΕΚΤ και ΔΝΤ), οι οποιες, προκειμενου να επιβαλλουν τη μνημονιακη λιτοτητα, εχουν ουσιαστικα καταλυσει τη δημοκρατια στην Ελλαδα.
Επιτυχημένη Συγκέντρωση Αλληλεγγύης στους Λαούς
της Ελλάδας και της Ευρώπης ενάντια στην Λιτότητα
και την Κοινωνική Εξαθλίωση
Αριστερή Κίνηση Νέας Υόρκης
Την Τετάρτη έξω απο τον Οργανισμό Ηνωμένων Εθνών περισσότεροι απο εκατό διαδηλωτές εξέφρασαν την αλληλεγγύη τους με την ιστορική γενική απεργία η οποία είχε κηρυχθεί για την ίδια μέρα, 14 Νοεμβρίου, σχεδόν σε ολόκληρη την Νότια Ευρώπη. Ενατοντάδες χιλιάδες εργαζομένων, συνταξιούχων και νέων ανθρώπων βγήκαν στους δρόμους σε δεκάδες μεγάλες Ευρωπαϊκές πόλεις για να διαδηλώσουν ενάντια στην λιτότητα. Στην Νέα Υόρκη η συγκέντρωση ξεκίνησε στις 2μμ με συνέντευξη τύπου σε Ευρωπαϊκά και Αμερικανικά ΜΜΕ.
Πέρα των προγραμματισμένων ομιλητών ο Gregor Gysi, ένα απο τα ηγετικά στελέχη της Die Linke (The Left) στο Γερμανικό κοινοβούλιο, βρέθηκε στην Νέα Υόρκη και έδωσε ένα σύντομο λόγο. Αντιπροσωπεία με αρχηγό τον εκπρόσωπο τύπου της συγκέντρωσης, Νίκο Λεβή και τους Κώστα Παναγιωτάκη και Φραγκώ Ακριβού παρέδωσαν το δελτίο τύπου στην Ελληνική Αποστολή στον ΟΗΕ ζητώντας σεβασμό προς τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα και τους δημοκρατικούς θεσμούς και το τέλος της ανοχής εκ μέρους της κυβέρνησης της νεο-Ναζιστικής οργάνωσης “Χρυσή Αυγή.”
Την συνέντευξη τύπου ακολούθησε διαμαρτυρία με συνθήματα όπως “The workers united will never be defeated,” “Money for Jobs and Education!” και “Hey Hey Ho Ho – Austerity has got to go!” και με ομιλητές οι οποίοι ο ένας μετά τον άλλο εξέφρασαν την αλληλεγγύη τους προς τους εργαζόμενους, τους συνταξιούχους και τους νέους οι οποίοι υπόκεινται τις άμεσες συνέπειες των βάναυσων μέτρων λιτότητας που επιβάλει η Τρόικα και οι κυβερνήσεις της Ιρλανδίας, της Ισπανίας, της Ιταλίας, της Πορτογαλίας, της Κύπρου και της Ελλάδας. Στην συγκέντρωση πήραν μέρος μέλη του κινήματος Occupy Wall Street OWS, μέλη του Queens College Socialist Club όπως και του Greek Club, μέλη σωματείων όπως αυτά των εργαζομένων στα Πλυντήρια ή στην εταιρεία Hot and Crusty, καθώς και αντιπρόσωποι διαφόρων εκστρατειών και οργανώσεων για την προστασία των δικαιωμάτων των μεταναστών και των εργαζομένων.
SEE EVENT PAGE AND PHOTO ALBUM BY MICKEY Z.
Report on the November 14, 2012
Solidarity Rally Against Austerity
By Aristeri Kinisi NY (Greek-American Left Movement)
[Archive. Originally published by Campaign for Peace and Democracy.]
More than 100 demonstrators showed their solidarity with the historic general strike across Southern Europe on Wednesday night in Manhattan near the United Nations. In Europe, hundreds of thousands of workers, pensioners and young people took to the streets in dozens of major cities to protest against EU-backed austerity measures. The event in New York started at 2 pm in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza with a press conference attended by mainstream and alternative, European, and Greek-American media. The protest was specifically aimed at the nearby Greek Mission to the United Nations.
A surprise appearance was made by Gregor Gysi, speaker of the left-wing party Die Linke in the German parliament, who was leading a delegation for the opening of the New York branch of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Gysi delivered an impassioned defense of social justice against the human devastation caused by austerity.
A delegation headed by the event’s press liaison Nikos Levis, Costas Panayotakis and Frango Akrivos delivered the group’s statement to the deputy chief of the Greek Mission, meeting with him for almost an hour inside the Mission. The statement demanded respect for democratic rights and an end to the government’s tolerance for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, and read in part:
From New York City – where the global financial crisis originated on Wall Street – we have watched with dismay as the austerity measures demanded by the European Union have created a social disaster in Greece and in many other nations hit by the global crisis. The recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the political authorities in the European Union makes a mockery of the conditions the EU has imposed on those hardest-hit by the crisis.
We have heard terrible stories of hardship and even hunger from friends and families in Greece, where unemployment for young workers now stands at 50 percent, and where often meager pensions are being cut to the level of starvation and social degradation.
An increasingly organized resistance to such EU-driven measures is being waged in all of the hardest-hit countries by workers, students and pensioners. On November 14, we shall show our solidarity with their struggles.
People from across the globe, as well as the Greek diaspora, have also watched with concern the neo-Nazi “Golden Dawn” profit from the huge social crisis by posing as an “anti-austerity” party – even as they scapegoat the most helpless, the immigrants and refugees in Greece-many of them victims of the US wars and economic crises in Asia. We have seen the Greek government fail to prosecute public and even fatal acts of violence by “Golden Dawn” members against immigrants and Greeks alike and attack basic democratic freedoms.
We have seen the Greek government itself employ brutal state violence and even torture against protesters and activists and the massive use of tear gas, and violence to attack peaceful demonstrations.
We call upon the Greek government to end immediately and to investigate and prosecute all acts of torture committed by Greek authorities; to end police protection of “Golden Dawn” and to prosecute all known acts of violence by “Golden Dawn” members; and to stop implementing the austerity package that is literally starving our people;
We call upon the European Union to suspend the forced austerity regime that has brought such hardship; to allow a full audit of the Greek (and Portuguese and Spanish) debt, and to cancel all debt payments. We call for a Europe that serves the interests of working people not the banks and the stock exchanges;
We call for an international committee of investigation of torture of protesters by the Greek police as well as its tolerance and protection of “Golden Dawn”;
We call upon the people of Europe to work toward a comprehensive immigration policy for Europe and to stop making Greece responsible for the hundreds of thousands of refugees coming from countries plunged into misery by war and by the same kind of neoliberal austerity policies that are ruining Greece today. The Dublin Regulation needs to be changed; the Regulation decrees that the European country that a person first arrived in is responsible for dealing with their application for asylum. This puts excessive pressure on border areas, where states are often least able to offer asylum seekers support and protection.
Europe as a whole, including its wealthier countries, needs to provide refuge for people fleeing oppression and economic catastrophe. Moreover, Europe as a whole, along with the U.S. needs to end its failed neoliberal policies at home and abroad.
Finally, we call upon the Greek, American and international media to investigate and report on the true origins of the debt and of the crisis in Greece and internationally; and to widely expose allegations of state-sponsored torture of prisoners and Greek government protection of “Golden Dawn.”