In “FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN” Despina Lalaki talks about the dynamic of forming left alliances in communities on the other side of the Atlantic.

FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN…

By Despina Lalaki

 

First We Take Manhattan Greek Left and New York Left groups rallying together

First We Take Manhattan
Greek Left and American Left groups rallying together in New York

Global Cities and Diasporic Networks in the aftermath of Syriza’s Victory

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by Despina Lalaki   March 24, 2015

Since the pressures of international financial capital and its subservient political elites will continue with the same if not greater intensity, it is also certain that a new cycle of social mobilization in Greece and the rest of Europe will begin again. Today, when social movements are “internationalized” mainly through the internet, what role could the communities of the Greek diaspora play in faraway cities, such as New York, cities of great importance for the flow and concentration of financial capital that are registered in our collective imaginary for every possible reason other than their role in the history of social movements?

Since the elections of 2012, the meteoric rise of Syriza has generated a wave of enthusiasm – at home and abroad – expressed by the proliferation of grassroots groups and organizations rallying in Syriza’s support, against the rise of fascism in Greece and Europe at large and the authoritarian practices of the Greek government such as the overnight shutdown of ERT (Greece’s public broadcasting network). In what felt almost like a chain reaction, nearly every European capital appeared that it would get its own Syriza branch while smaller Greek radical left parties such as Antarsya (Front of the Greek Anticapitalist Left) followed suit organizing marches, protests, conferences and open public discussions in universities and other forums.

On the other side of the Atlantic

The  organizing force behind all these rather small groups has been diaspora Greeks who have either lived and worked abroad for decades or migrated recently as a result of the economic pressures back home. The phenomenon has been repeated even across the Atlantic. In February 2012 a gathering at Zuccotti Park in New York City, in response to what was meant to be an international solidarity action under the cry “We Are All Greeks” gave rise to the establishment of three different groups: AKNY (Left Movement NY) – Greece Solidarity Movement, Syriza-NY and Antarsya-US.

The impact these groups, as collective subjects, may have in the broader fight for social change is certainly unclear. Yet, it appears as if they work like small centripetal forces around which various fragments of the European and American Left flock, inspired by the historical possibilities the rise of a Left party in power brings. Similar are the effects of the rise of Podemos which, transcending the local and particular circumstances of Spain, has generated trans-national networks and organizations enabled by the presence of Spaniards abroad. Whether these groups – all rather diverse in their practices, organizational structure, ideological orientation and immediate goals and objectives – will be able to galvanize greater movements back home or abroad remains to be seen. Some facets of their particular conditions, however, beg for more attention: the diasporic aspect, already mentioned, as constitutive force of their organization, and a strong urban element which, on various levels, plays an important role in the emergence of a new global political geography.

In our days, social movements’ actions and radical political changes, thanks to the internet and the social media, rapidly reverberate across large geographical scales. The movement of the squares of 2011, encompassing the indignados in Spain and Greece and Occupy Wall Street in the US, the Egyptian Revolution and the Turkish uprising, the revolts in Tunisia and Syria, the Hong Kong or Sao Paulo protests, the rise of Podemos in Spain and Syriza’s ascendance to power are all closely interconnected in our political imaginary. A global struggle for real democracy is taking place and in the process a global change of consciousness is well under way, extending far beyond the political, geographical and ideological spaces of the cities which first ignited it.

The urban element and the Global Cities according to

S. Sassen

The historically-proven importance of the urban element in constituting social movements once again appears to play a great role. Global cities – a term largely popularized by sociologist Saskia Sassen in her 1991 book The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo – recognized as such primarily for their importance as nodes in the global economic system, constitute also relational conduits where movements connect and develop. Global are the cities where not only financial capital meets and decision-making institutions are located but also sites where new actual physical social relationships are forged and in which potential protesters, activists and radical scholars are implicated. Athens, Cairo, New York, Istanbul or Madrid set a new global political agenda and for that reason alone can be indexed as ‘global cities.’

Diasporic communities and social movements

Global cities occupy a central position in the transnational social, cultural and political networks, networks which are made up of nomadic social actors, various kinds of diasporas – small-minded nationals as well as internationally-minded professionals, workers, scholars, researchers, activists and so forth. Transnational social movements, as well, are enabled by electronic networks and weak-tie connections which facilitate the transmission of information but are enacted by social actors on the ground, individuals in direct contact forging actual relationships and strong ties while connecting and coordinating their actions. Individuals and groups moving within and between large urban centers form nodes in relational networks that can connect struggles over distant lands.

AKNY, Antarsya-US, and Syriza-NY, organizations with which I am most familiar, are diaspora-based organizations working not only to popularize the struggles of the Greek people back home but to build connections and solidarity with organizations, groups and individuals that fight similar fights in New York City and the US. New York, home to a large Greek diaspora, is also home to various forces of the American radical Left which have been closely following the recent political developments across the Atlantic. Greece has ignited the Left’s political imagination around the world, often to the astonishment of the people of the Greek Left who may be more reserved or more cautious in their optimism at the moment. From New York City, the epicenter of world capitalism and source of tremendous symbolic power, modest diasporic networks can capitalize on the prestige that the city emanates, increasing the visibility of their struggles, expanding their influence and potentially building strong counter-hegemonic organizational structures. If nothing else, the results of the recent negotiations between the Greek government and the Troika suggest that international solidarity and mobilization may be key to not only avoiding further capitulation but to developing a strong front against the continuous onslaughts of finance capital in Greece and beyond.

New York, for instance, thousands of miles away from any European city, for a long time loomed large in European’s imagination, mostly as a hub of high lifestyle, high culture and conspicuous consumption. Yet, the several hundred people who, in 2011, gathered, rather spontaneously, at the small ‘privately owned public square’ of Zuccotti – formerly called Liberty Plaza Park – reminded us at whose expense that lifestyle was forged and specified exactly how few people it concerned. Symbols, along with changing consciousness, or probably because of it, are subject to change as well. On January 22nd, when Pablo Iglesias, the General Secretary of Podemos addressed Syriza’s supporters at the party’s preelection rally at Omonia Square by opening his speech with Leonard Cohen’s: “First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin…” might have had in mind something along these lines.

 

Note: This article was previously published in Greek in Ενθέματα Αυγής, https://enthemata.wordpress.com, March 15, 2015.

Despina Lalaki is a Sociologist and Visiting Research Fellow at The Center for the Study of Culture, Technology and Work, CUNY, The Graduate Center.

 

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Δημόσια Συζήτηση εις Αστόρια – Σάββατο, 12 Οκτωβρίου 2013

Οι Πολιτικές Προεκτάσεις της Κρίσης στην Ελλάδα
Μετά τις Ενέργειες Καταστολής της Χρυσής Αυγής

Εναλλακτικές Προτάσεις της Αριστεράς

Δημόσια Συζήτηση
Σάββατο, 12 Οκτωβρίου 5-8 μμ

[ ENGLISH ]

Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent Street
Γωνία Crescent & 30th Road
Τραίνο: N/Q 30th Avenue, Astoria
(Note: Ο Ναός Church of the Redeemer παραχωρεί μόνο τον χώρο, χωρίς να προσυπογράφει τις απόψεις που παρουσιάζονται στην εκδήλωση)

Θα μιλήσουν:
– Κωστής Καρπόζηλος, Ιστορικός, Columbia University, σεναριογράφος του ντοκυμαντέρ «Ταξισυνειδησία»
– Peter Bratsis, Επίκουρος Καθηγητής Πολιτικών Επιστημών, CUNY, μέλος ΣΥΡΙΖΑ- Τομέας Νέας Υόρκης
– Ιάννης Δελατόλλας, Ακτιβιστής, ΑΝΤΑΡΣΥΑ
– Δέσποινα Λαλάκη, Κοινωνιολόγος, ΝΥU, Αριστερή Κίνηση Νέας Υόρκης- Κίνημα Ελληνικής Συμπαράστασης

Στις 18 Σεπτέμβρη δολοφονήθηκε ο αντιφασίστας αριστερός ακτιβιστής και διεθνούς φήμης χιπ-χόπ μουσικός Παύλος Φύσσας από μέλη του νεο-ναζιστικού κόμματος Χρυσή Αυγή. Ο Φύσσας και έξη φίλοι του, βγαίνοντας από καφετέρια στην περιοχή της Νίκαιας, στον Πειραιά, δέχτηκαν επίθεση από 30-40 μέλη τάγματος εφόδου της Χρυσής Αυγής. Ο Φύσσας μαχαιρώθηκε κατά τρόπο που θεωρήθηκε από τις ιατροδικαστικές αρχές ως μη ερασιτεχνικός. Σε απάντηση στην δολοφονία, χιλιάδες πολίτες κατέκλυσαν τους δρόμους της Αθήνας ενώ συγκεντρώσεις συμπαράστασης έγιναν σε δεκάδες ευρωπαϊκές πόλεις καθώς και στη Νέα Υόρκη και το Τόκυο.

Έχοντας αγνοήσει την βία της Χρυσής Αυγής τόσα χρόνια η ελληνική κυβέρνηση ξαφνικά στις 28 Σεπτεμβρίου αποφάσισε να ενεργήσει. Ενώ οι επιχειρήσεις της αστυνομίας συνεχίζονται ακόμη έξη μελη της οργάνωσης, από βουλευτές και ηγεσία μέχρι ενεργά μέλη έχουν προφυλακισθεί ενώ αρκετοί άλλοι έχουν κριθεί υπόδικοι με κατηγορίες που κυμαίνονται από συμμετοχή σε δολοφονικές πράξεις και εκβιασμούς μέχρι προστασία σε μαγαζιά, βιασμούς, μαστροπία, και επιθέσεις κατά της σωματικής ακεραιότητας ελλήνων και ξένων κατοίκων. Και ρωτάμε: Γιατί υπήρξε τέτοια καθυστέρηση από πλευράς της κυβέρνησης να λάβει μέτρα;

Τις τελευταίες δύο δεκαετίες διαδοχικές κυβερνήσεις της Νέας Δημοκρατιας και του ΠΑΣΟΚ ανέχθηκαν και υπέθαλψαν την βία της Χρυσής Αυγής εναντίον μεταναστών, αριστερών, ομοφυλόφιλων, αναρχικών, καλλιτεχνών, διανοουμένων, και άλλων. Στις μέρες που ακολούθησαν την δολοφονία του Παύλου Φύσσα, δύο ανώτατοι αξιωματικοί της αστυνομίας παραιτήθηκαν, επτά άλλοι μετακινήθηκαν και αντικαταστάθηκαν, ενώ η ΕΥΠ έχει αναλάβει τις έρευνες στα στρατιωτικά κλιμάκια. Πάμπολλα παραδείγματα δείχνουν ότι η βία της Χ.Α. εξυπηρέτησε την κυβέρνηση αποθαρρύνοντας κάθε αλλαγή, καταπιέζοντας κάθε διαφωνία, και υποστηρίζοντας τα μεγάλα οικονομικά συμφέροντα και την άρχουσα τάξη. Μιά εβδομάδα πριν τον φόνο τάγματα εφόδου της Χ.Α. επιτέθηκαν σε αφισσοκολλητές του ΚΚΕ και τους τραυμάτισαν, πιθανότατα γιά να καταστείλουν την οργάνωση των εργαζομένων στα ναυπηγεία εναντίον της λιτότητας και των νέων περικοπών στα μισθολόγια.

Η βία της Χ.Α. δεν διαφέρει πολύ από την βία της κυβέρνησης. Και οι δυο θεωρούν εχθρό όποιον απαιτεί κοινωνική αλλαγή. Η κυβέρνηση καταπιέζει ειρηνικές διαμαρτυρίες με δακρυγόνα και μαζικές συλλήψεις. Το κέντρο της Αθήνας αποκλείεται από την αστυνομία κάθε φορά που βαθμοφόροι της τρόικα επισκέπτονται την χώρα γιά να ελέγξουν την πρόοδο της εφαρμογής του μνημονίου. Κατά την διάρκεια της απεργίας των εργαζομένων στα μέσα μαζικής μεταφοράς και των δασκάλων η κυβέρνηση κήρυξε στρατιωτικό νόμο, απειλώντας τους εργαζομένους με επιστράτευση και με τον νόμο περί προδοσίας. Η πολιτική της λιτότητας έχει βοηθήσει την ανάπτυξη αντι-μεταναστευτικού κλίματος και νεοναζιστικών ομάδων και έχει προβεί στην κλιμάκωση του αυταρχισμού και ποινικοποίησης της πολιτικής και κοινωνικής διαμαρτυρίας. Στην προσπάθειά του να τρομοκρατήσει το εκλογικό σώμα ώστε να δεχτεί αδιαμαρτύρητα την εφαρμογή του προγράμματος λιτότητας η κυβέρνηση έχει προαγάγει την ρητορική των «δύο άκρων» εξισώνοντας τα κόμματα της αριστερής αντιπολίτευσης με το νεοναζιστικό κόμμα.

Τα δύο τρίτα των νέων κάτω της ηλικίας των 30 ετών είναι άνεργοι. Μισθοί και συντάξεις έχουν περικοπεί κατά 30%- 50% τα τελευταία τρία χρόνια. Αλλά η επακόλουθη κοινωνική αναταραχή και αντίσταση έχει αγνοηθεί από την κυβέρνηση η οποία συνεχώς ανακοινώνει ανύπαρκτες επιτυχίες, με τον ίδιο τον Πρωθυπουργό να παρουσιάζει μία στρεβλή και ψευδή εικόνα δήθεν συνολικής υποστήριξης του κυβερνητικού προγράμματος κατά την διάρκεια της πρόσφατης περιοδείας του στην Αμερική.

Στις 12 Οκτωβρίου, ημέρα της Απελευθέρωσης της Αθήνας από τους Γερμανούς Ναζί το 1944, θα παρουσιάσουμε μία ριζικά διαφορετική εικόνα της κατάστασης στην Ελλάδα από ό,τι μας παρουσιάζουν τα ΜΜΕ και θα συζητήσουμε τις προτάσεις της Αριστεράς γιά έξοδο από την κρίση. Προσκαλούμε όλη την Ελληνο-Αμερικανική κοινότητα να παραστεί. Τα γεγονότα στην Ελλάδα είναι μέρος μιάς γενικώτερης, παγκόσμιας κρίσης που αφορά και τις ΗΠΑ. Η Ελλάδα έχει γίνει το πεδίο άσκησης του παγκόσμιου καπιταλισμού. Τα συμπεράσματα που αντλούνται από το ελληνικό πείραμα ήδη εφαρμόζονται σε άλλα μέρη του κόσμου, όπως και σε περιοχές των ΗΠΑ.
Η συνάντηση θα γίνει στα αγγλικά αλλά θα υπάρχει δυνατότητα μετάφρασης.

ΤΕΛΟΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗ ΤΗΣ ΛΙΤΟΤΗΤΑΣ.
ΑΠΟΚΑΤΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΗΣ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑΣ ΤΩΡΑ

ΔΙΟΡΓΑΝΩΣΗ:
ΑΚΝΥ- Κίνημα Ελληνικής Αλληλεγγύης (www.AKNY.org)
ΣΥΡΙΖΑ- Τομέας Νέας Υόρκης (www.syriza-ny.org)
ΑΝΤΑΡΣΥΑ ΝΥ
Campaign for Peace and Democracy (www.cpdweb.org)
Occupy Astoria LIC (www.OccupyAstoriaLIC.org)
Queens College Socialist Club

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Astoria: Politics & Crisis In Greece After the Crackdown on ‘Golden Dawn’

WHAT IS THE LEFT ALTERNATIVE?

Public Meeting in Astoria – 5pm Sat, Oct 12, 2013

[ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ] — [ PDF στα Eλληνικά – FLYERPOSTER ]

[ FACEBOOK ] — [ FLYER IN ENGLISH ] — [ POSTER ] — [ CONTACT ]

LOCATION: Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent Street, Corner of Crescent & 30th Road. N/Q Train to 30th Avenue in Astoria. Church of the Redeemer is the venue, not an endorser.

LOCATION: Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent Street, Corner of Crescent & 30th Road.
N/Q Train to 30th Avenue in Astoria. Church of the Redeemer is the venue, not an endorser.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On September 18, Pavlos Fyssas, an internationally known hip-hop artist, anti-fascist and left activist, was assassinated by members of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn (G.D.). Fyssas and six friends were assaulted by 30-40 members of a G.D. “attack battalion.” Fyssas was stabbed to death in what the coroner attested was not an amateur hit. In response to the assassination, hundreds of thousands of outraged people took to the streets in Greece, with solidarity protests in a dozen European cities as well as New York and Tokyo.

After years of failing to prosecute acts of violence attributed to Golden Dawn, the Greek government of New Democracy and PASOK finally struck against the neo-Nazis on Sept. 28. About 40 G.D. leaders, parliamentarians and party members have been arrested. They are charged with running a criminal organization responsible for 32 cases of violence, including 10 alleged murders and attempted murders.

We are forced to ask: Why were the first nine cases not enough to prompt action?

For years, Greek authorities tolerated and even protected G.D.’s violence against immigrants, gays, leftists, anarchists, artists and others. In the week after Fyssas’ murder two top police officials with alleged G.D. links resigned suddenly for “personal reasons.” Many examples show G.D.’s violence worked in the service of avoiding change, eliminating dissent, and defending dominant economic interests and social structures. A week before the murder, the G.D. “attack battalion” assaulted and injured Communist Party (KKE) members, apparently because they were organizing shipyard workers against wage cuts.

G.D.’s violence, we submit, serves the same functions as the violence of the Greek government. In both cases, those who demand social change are seen as enemies. The government suppresses peaceful protest with tear gas and mass arrests. Central Athens is shut down by thousands of police troops whenever EU officials visit to oversee the Greek austerity program. When transit workers and then teachers tried to strike, the government declared martial law, issuing conscription orders to strikers and threatening to charge them with treason and imprison them. Thus, the austerity policies have not only created social conditions that allowed anti-immigrant sentiment and neo-Nazi sects to flourish. They have also gone hand-in-hand with ever-more authoritarian attempts to eliminate political challenges and social protest. To frighten voters into accepting authoritarian measures, the government presents a “narrative of the two extremes,” attempting to equate left opposition parties with Nazis.

Two-thirds of people under 30 are unemployed, pensions and wages for most have been cut by 30-50 percent or more. But the resulting popular discontent and anger fails to register with the political machinery. Two weeks ago, the University of Athens was forced to shut down altogether due to budget cuts!

In the face of immense failures, the government bizarrely declares success after success, and expects everyone to play along with its charade.

Even during Prime Minister Samaras’ visit to New York, he presented a false picture of unity behind his government’s policies. On October 12, the Greek left of New York will present a radically different picture. We will discuss and debate alternatives the left in Greece offers for moving past the country’s crises. We invite the Greek-American community to take part and we also invite all New Yorkers. (The main language of the meeting will be English, but people are also welcome to speak in Greek; translations from Greek will be provided.)

Developments in Greece are part of a global crisis that also affects the United States. Greece has become capitalism’s testing ground to see how much pain a people can take. The lessons learned in Greece are already being applied in other countries, including in parts of the United States.

End the Politics of Austerity.
Restore Democracy Now!

With

KOSTIS KARPOZILOS
Historian, Columbia University
Writer of the documentary film “Greek American Radicals
DESPINA LALAKI
Sociologist, NYU
AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement
PETER BRATSIS
Asst. Professor of Political Science, CUNY
Member, SYRIZA NY
IANNIS DELATOLAS
Anti-fascist, activist
Member, Antarsya

SPONSORED BY
• AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement (www.AKNY.org)
• Syriza-New York (www.syriza-ny.org)
• ANTARSYA NY
• Campaign for Peace and Democracy (www.cpdweb.org)
• Occupy Astoria LIC (www.OccupyAstoriaLIC.org)
• Queens College Socialist Club

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Photos: NYC, Berlin, Cophenhagen – Against Fascism and Austerity in Greece

Protest Greek Government at United Nations

Friday, 9/27 – Videos by Stanley Heller
Part 1 (Rally & D. Lalaki) – Part 2 (N. Levis)


Part 3: Sia performs “Lysistrata Lyceum


Part 4: Peter Bratsis on the functions of violence
Ten video segments from 9/27 by SH/The Struggle

New_York_UN_9-27-13Photos from Friday 9/27 in New York by Greek Photog, Michelle Equality Kaplan, Jerry Levy, Chiu Ng Photography and Mickey Z-vegan.

From Ethnikos Kirikas/National Herald, New York, Sept. 30: "Under the aegis of Aristeri Kinisi, New York and SYRIZA, New York, a protest was organized across from the United Nations building in New York against austerity and fascism."

From Ethnikos Kirikas (National Herald), New York, 9/30:
“Under the aegis of Aristeri Kinisisi, New York and SYRIZA,
New York, a protest was organized across from the United
Nations against austerity and fascism.”

Additional video by Carlos Sabater


Friday 9/27: Also in Berlin…

Berlin_9-27_antifa

And Copenhagen – At Greek Embassy

Copenhagen_9-27_FyssasMarch[ Berlin photo album ] — [ Copenhagen report ]


Breaking Sat. 9/28: Golden Dawn Leadership,
“Attack Battalion” Members Arrested in Athens

Michaloliakos_ArrestedLive Blogging:
Greece’s Golden Dawn Leader Michaloliakos, several MPs arrested
Report:
Golden Dawn head, MPs arrested in unprecedented Greek crackdown

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VIDEO: “CRISIS AND THE EUROPEAN LEFT”


AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement presented an all-star panel on “Crisis and The Left in Europe: Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy” last Sunday at the Left Forum 2013 in New York. With Peter Bratsis, Despina Lalaki, Carlos Frade, Marcus Graetsch and Bruno Gelli. Thanks to New Jersey Video Collective and FanSmiles channel.

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TURKISH-GREEK SOLIDARITY JUNE 8 @ OWS ZUCCOTTI

Video & Photos – #ResistIstanbulAthensNYC

From New York, we hoped to do our modest part in solidarity with the ongoing Turkish struggle. Fifty people gathered at 1:30 last Saturday (6/8) outside Pace University, following one of the Greece Solidarity panel talks at the Left Forum…

Greeks Gather at Pace University July 8, 2013

Photo: Resa Sunshine

Chanting, “Istanbul, Athens, NYC – Resist in every ciiiii-ty,” we marched for a few blocks to Zuccotti Park, where 1500 Turkish Americans and Occupiers were rallying all day long.

Solidarity With Turkish Struggle Zuccotti Park

Photo: AKNY.org

They greeted our arrival with thunderous applause!

Greek Contingent Arrives at Zuccotti Park Turkish Rally

Photo: Mickey Z-vegan

Side by side, the national symbols take on a different meaning.

Greeks and Turks Together at Zuccotti Park

Photo: AKNY.org

Unprecedented in recent decades: Greeks and Turks standing together in NYC!

Turks and Greeks Stand Together Zuccotti, June 8

Photo: AKNY.org

Hundreds of people seated themselves for an assembly.

Turkish-Greek Solidarity Zuccotti: Assembly

Photo: AKNY.org


Asli Bulbul read the Taksim Square declaration of demands.

Video: Stacey Mazurek (youtube)

Despina Lalaki delivered a statement for AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement.

Video: nothingofficial (youtube)

No one knows what happens next in Turkey. If on Facebook, follow every hour from Istanbul with frontline photographer Jenna Pope:

Gezi Park, Istanbul, June 5. Photo: Jenna Pope.

Gezi Park, Istanbul, June 5. Photo: Jenna Pope.

We hope, despite the dark threats from the Turkish government, that by next Saturday the struggle to save Gezi Park (at least) might be victorious. We pray for no more bloodshed!

We know this is only the beginning of a longer collaboration with our Turkish friends of OccupyGeziParkNYC.

Asli Bulbul. Photo: King Newyorkhacks

Asli Bulbul. Photo: King Newyorkhacks

Report: Nikos Levis
AKNY on Youtube

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AKNY Invites: Friday to Sunday, June 7-9, Pace University, NYC

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.


SATURDAY

“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


SUNDAY

“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)
[Official Link]

“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)
[Official Link]

Cosponsored by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (cpdweb.org).

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HISTORICAL MATERIALISM NY 2013 – AKNY PANEL

Syriza and the Strategic Challenges of the Greek Left

AKNY panel with Costas Panayotakis, Despina Lalaki, Iannis Delatolas and Peter Bratsis, moderated by Aaron Amaral. At Historical Materialism 2013 Conference, New York, April 27, 2013.

Audio with Q&A

PAPERS

Costas Panayotakis
“Syriza’s Dilemmas: The Challenges of Political Realignment at a Time of Economic Crisis”

Despina Lalaki
“The Crisis in Greece and the Left Response. Successes, Failures and High Expectations”

Iannis Delatolas
“Anti-Capitalist Answers to the Crisis: The Antarsya Perspective”

Peter Bratsis
“The Impossibility of Reform: Revolution or Servitude?”
(Paper unavailable)

Chair
Aaron Amaral

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Εθνικός Κήρυκας: Archive of Pro-Junta Ad Scandal

The National Herald: No Choice
But To Promote Dictatorship?

REPORT AND ARCHIVE
By Nikos Evangelos

The sole daily Greek-language newspaper of New York, Ethnikos Kirikas (The National Herald), ran the following advertisement in its print edition on Sunday, April 21, 2013. On the 46th anniversary of the 1967 military coup d’etat in Greece, the ad extols the virtues of the CIA-backed dictatorship that held power from 1967 to 1974, and suggests that a return to such a regime would be a good thing:

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GREECE & GLOBAL CRISIS IN POLITICS & CAPITALISM

“Beyond Scapegoats and Moralism”

March 2nd, 2013 panel with Alan Akrivos, Nikos Alexiou, Peter Bratsis, Despina Lalaki and a very lively, far-ranging discussion with the audience. Hosted by Syriza New York.

Part One

Part Two

Video by Joe Friendly

A panel discussion with a small delay, March 2, 2013

Report by Nikos Levis

Syriza New York is a support group for the “party of the radical left” and current main parliamentary opposition in Greece. Syriza NY invited a panel of scholars, action and labor people to speak in Astoria on March 2nd, 2013, on the subject of “Greece and the Global Crisis in Politics and Capitalism.” The event was announced a month in advance. The literature called on everyone to go “Beyond Scapegoats and Moralism.”

March 2 AnnouncementIf only!

By now everyone has heard that Astoria recently acquired a handful of Greek or Greek-American neo-Nazis or Nazi wannabes. However, as these things tend to go, no one expected that a small, unknown group who seem to fit that description would show up at the venue hosting the Syriza event – a private building – after midnight before the day of the event. Whoever they were, they made intimidating noises to the residents, who remained inside the building. Before dispersing, the unknown group used heavy tape to plaster the front of the building with “Golden Dawn” leaflets. These accused the venue of hosting a meeting of “anti-Greek terrorists.” That night, in addition, threatening anonymous phone calls were made to parties responsible for the Syriza event and the Astoria venue. The venue felt compelled to cancel.

(For the full story see “Fascism Comes To Queens,” in The North Star; also, coverage in the New York Greek-language press; also, the AKNY statement on the affair. In addition, in a possible clue, the anonymous wordpress.com blogger who presents himself as the voice of “Golden Dawn” in New York celebrated this atrocious behavior as a glorious victory for Hellenitude.)

But seriously: Nazis. Is this still New York City?

With only hours left before the announced start of the Syriza panel, a replacement location was just found in time, in Manhattan. Word about the incident got around. Turnout was strong and energetic. Many people traveled in from Astoria. The apparently dangerous discussion went ahead, on the original themes as planned.

Now, thanks to tireless videographer Joe Friendly, here’s your chance to listen to ideas about Greece and the crisis of world capitalism; ideas that narrow minds would silence with terror, if they could.

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