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Solidarity for All

Solidarity for All

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Published by P2P Foundation
Solidarity for All - Movements Greece
Solidarity for All - Movements Greece

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Published by: P2P Foundation on Aug 06, 2013
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05/27/2014

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This is a bleak picture: over 1.5m Greeks are of-
cially registered unemployed. Youth unemploy-ment is currently in excess of 55%, whereas whenit comes to young women this
gure is closerto 60%. In the last three years, half of Greece’spopulation saw its income decrease by 40-50%.This situation is further exacerbated by steepincreases in the prices of basic goods and dis-proportionate steep increases in taxation of thelower-income groups. In short, over 1.5m Greek men and women as well as immigrants live be-low poverty levels.Thousands of shops and small businesses (SMEs)have already closed, whilst thousands of low-in-come or unemployed people run the risk of los-ing their home because they can no longer meettheir home-loan instalments. Millions of unin-sured workers, and even policy holders no longerable to meet their insurance contributions, havelost access to primary care and essential medi-cation. Many hospitals and clinics that have re-cently merged lack basic materials, equipmentand medicines.Hundreds of schools and crèches have alreadyclosed, whilst innumerable Greek schools do nothave the resources to provide heating as we’reheading for winter.At the same time, whole regions are literally facedwith the prospect of social devastation: aban-doned by the young, succumbed to violence andracism, riddled with alcoholism, depression andsuicide.It is now obvious that this unprecedented plightis down to neither a “Greek misfortune” nor the
solidarity:people’s power
toward an internationalcampaign of solidarity to the Greek people
Greece:a country on the brink of a humanitarian crisis
 
“debt crisis” as such; rather, it constitutes a “dress re-hearsal” of the assault that the IMF and the big busi-ness interests, foreign and domestic, wish to actuateagainst the rights of workers and peoples of Europe.How else can we explain the privatization of all socialgoods, even of water supply, the surge of redundan-cies even in pro
table businesses, and the drastic re-ductions of minimum pensions?
But there is another Greece:that of resistance, solidarityand self-organization
It is quite well known that a mass movement of re-sistance has developed in Greece, against the IMF, theEU and the Greek government. Some characteristic“events” of this movement may be said to be the 15general strikes, the dozens of trade unions, the hun-dreds of occupations (some of which have been long-term) of workplaces, ministries, town halls and othercivic buildings, not to mention the “public square” ral-lies of spring/summer 2011, which brought togethermillions of people.Even though this movement failed to prevent theadoption of three successive austerity packages(Memos/Mnemonia), it undoubtedly played a centralrole in inhibiting the implementation of many meas-ures contained therein; it has also contributed to themassive decrease in the popularity of pre-austerityparties, and to the increasing instability of their coali-tion which currently governs Greece. Above all, how-ever, it precipitated the radicalisation of broad popu-lar movements, especially of the young. Probably themost important manifestation of people’s radicalisa-tion is the sharp rise of the Left in both the May andJune 2012 general elections.
“solidarity for all”
Alongside the overall resistant moodwhich marks large swathes of Greek people and migrants who live andwork in Greece, unprecedented move-ments and networks of practical/ac-tive solidarity have developed. Thesemovements/networks have a dual aim:
rstly, they aim to provide practical,immediate help to people, foreign anddomestic, who face problems of sur-vival; secondly, they aim to organizethose in need in order to satisfy theirown needs.Across Greece, from Crete in the southto Evros in the north, hundreds of so-cial clinics, pharmacies, doctors, sup-port networks, educational courses,social gatherings, centres of alternativeentertainment, co-operatives, collec-tive kitchens, collaborative structuresand legal aid centres, provide care forthe people, irrespective of nationalityor ethnic origin.This multifaceted social front bringstogether thousands of people nation-wide; without seeking to replace the
 
near-demolished “welfare state”, it is an excellentway to promote practical solidarity, popular par-ticipation, collective will and
ghting spirit.The “solidarity for all” initiative is a collectivewhich seeks to: coordinate and communicatewith networks and structures of practical socialsolidarity; foster the creation of new ones andfacilitate people’s access to these structures;strengthen the unity between workers and theunemployed, healthcare workers and patients,teachers and students and so on, and promoteinternational solidarity to the people of thiscountry, natives and/or immigrants.
International solidarity
In addition to serving a humanitarian objective,we believe that international solidarity to peopleliving in Greece, foreign and domestic, is impor-tant for many other reasons. Some of them are:Because it bolsters the coordination of Euro-pean movements and the sense of communityamong the peoples of Europe, thereby puttingforward a credible socio-economic alternative. Because it reinforces the notion that, notwith-standing the di
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erentialspeed of the neo-liberal attack against each European nation,the problems facing Europe are, by and large,common. Therefore, countering them ought tocomprise coordinated and integrated popularmovements of resistance, eschewing national-ist and racist stereotypes.• Because it familiarises broader segments of the European social movement, including theone(s) in Greece, with practical politics; thatis to say, with the kind of political action thatseeks concrete results today whilst envision-ing the kind or society(-ies) we want for ourfuture.At this juncture we would like to clarify that wedo not believe that the kind of political action wepropose ought to be centred exclusively in, or on,Greece; in fact, Greek factions of resistance are in-volved in solidarity campaigns in other Europeancountries and in the wider Mediterranean region.We just believe that for international solidarity tobe as e
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ective and penetrative as possible, its ac-tions must be coordinated, targeted and capableof synthesising the political, social and economiccapital of the people.

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