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.
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…
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.
They greeted our arrival with thunderous applause!
Side by side, the national symbols take on a different meaning.
Unprecedented in recent decades: Greeks and Turks standing together in NYC!
Hundreds of people seated themselves for an assembly.
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:
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.
Report: Nikos Levis
AKNY on Youtube
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
On Greece and the Eurozone
By: Modern Money and Public Purpose Lecture Series
On Thursday, January 24th, Modern Money and Public Purpose hosted an evening at Columbia University with top leadership of SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left), Greece’s leading opposition party, to discuss with a group of independent economists the challenges facing Greece and the Eurozone, and SYRIZA’s vision for economic and financial reform. Moderator: Rohan Grey, J.D. Candidate 2014 & Co-Organizer, Modern Money and Public Purpose Seminar Series.
Alexis Tsipras, MP, Leader of the Opposition in Greek Parliament, Leader of SYRIZA and President of Synaspismós (Ελληνικα – in Greek)
PANEL 1-REDESIGN: STRUCTURAL SOLUTIONS TO EUROZONE CRISIS
• Thomas Ferguson, Director of Research Programs, the Institute for New Economic
• Rena Dourou, Member of Greek Parliament (SYRIZA); Critic of the Opposition for Foreign Affairs and European Issues
• Yiannis Milios, Economic Advisor, SYRIZA; Member of the Political Secretariat of
Synaspismos and Professor of Political Economy, National Technical University of Athens
• Katharina Pistor, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Global Legal Transformation, Columbia Law School
• Mathew Forstater, Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Full Employment and Price Stability, University of Missouri – Kansas City
(Part Two after the jump!)
Successful Meeting Against ‘Golden Dawn’
By Aristeri Kinisi NY
A crowd of over 220 people met at the Church of the Redeemer in Astoria, NY to express their opposition to the recent appearance of the neo-Nazi ‘Golden Dawn’ in New York City. The event, which took place in October 9, 2012, was organized by Occupy Astoria/LIC, NY Aristeri Kinisi (Left Movement), Strike Debt, Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, and the socialist newspaper Justice, among others. The meeting opened with presentations by the moderators of the event, Nicholas Levis (see statement) and Marina Sitrin, who explained people’s outrage and the need to organize against fascism.
A panel of speakers, Costas Panayotakis, Neni Panourgia, Despina Lalaki and Alan Akrivos, covered a number of issues including the relationship between the Greek economic crisis and the rise of ‘Golden Dawn’, the close ties between ‘Golden Dawn’ and the Greek police, the affinity of ‘Golden Dawn’ to the Neo-Nazi ideology, the rise of fascism as a byproduct of the crisis of capitalism, the real problem of immigration and social degradation in Greece as a result of the economic crisis, the rising tide of working class resistance in Greece and internationally and the need for a working class alternative to neoliberalism and capitalism. The speakers emphasized the need to organize here in New York in order to prevent ‘Golden Dawn’ from gaining influence in the Greek American community by posing as a philanthropic organization working in support of those most vulnerable to the crisis in Greece… (continued)
Video: Louis Proyect
“Modern Greece Emerges As
A Symptom of Europe”
Published April 2012. Video from the europeanideas channel.
“If the causes of the crisis are particular to Greece itself, then Greece is a very small country, less than 2 percent of the EU economy. If the crisis were particular to Greece or the causes were only Greece, it would not be a crisis that would impact world capitalism or even the EU and the Eurozone, fundamentally. So I think that’s the first sign that we need to look for causes that are well beyond Greece itself… We need to look for, in Greece, much more universal tendencies that show us why the crisis appears until now to have such a history-making potentiality.”