Athens, New York… Melbourne

In Athens, on Wednesday December 17, an assortment of groups and individuals — workers, immigrants and the unemployed — occupied the the main offices of the General Confederation of Labour (GSEE). The boss of the GSEE is Yiannis Panagopoulos: “I believe they have chosen the wrong target … The GSEE does not govern this country. So it’s wrong to undermine the labor unions,” GSEE leader Yiannis Panagopoulos said. Some anarchists wrote:

“Mister” Panagopoulos stated on state channel (NET), that “some youngsters occupied the building of GSEE (…) if they were manual workers, they’d be on building sites now (…)”. This unearthy subject, belonging to the managerial staff of National Bank of Greece, that “represents” the workers, where is he himself now, and what does he know about building sites? He has been a technocrat for his entire life, a manager in State Companies (DEKO), a party wrangler and a gravedigger of struggles. This spokesman of PASOK politics within the workers’ movement lives in the northern suburbs, smokes cigars and gets a fat paycheck, from National Bank and GSEE, while administering huge state and European Union funds.

Apparently, following the occupation, 50 bureaucrats attended the occupied building (General Assembly of Insurgent Workers). They were escorted by a number of “heavies”, but both groups disappeared after catching sight of anarchist reinforcements from the occupied University.

In New Yawk, the New School for Social Research is also currently under occupation. The Radical Student Union (SDS, SEAC, UFPJ) has issued a statement explaining its support; Infoshop has photos. At noon on Thursday (December 18) “Police attacked students and supporters at the New School University which has been occupied since last night. The students spread the occupation and were letting more occupiers into the building when the NYPD showed up attacked students and entered the school. One person was arrested but students were able to repel the police, barricading themselves inside the school. Word from the inside is that there are now many more students occupying and they are going strong!”


On Thursday the occupiers of 272-278 Faraday St got served with notice that the University has gone to the supreme court to ‘recover the land’ at 272-278 Faraday St under order 53. The hearing will take place on Monday morning. Please come to a protest out the front of the court from 9.30am and then if you want come into the court for the hearing which will start at 10.30am. Bring banners, placards and colour. Also if the feeling takes you please dress up in drag. SHAC will be seeking an adjournment of this hearing so there is a chance it will be delayed. The protest will go ahead regardless.

Anyways, here’s a declaration from some of the people what cause unrest and occupied the private property of the largest union confederation in Greece:

Since 8 o’clock in the morning the building of GSEE (Patision and Alexandras) is occupied.

We declare the building a Liberated Workers’ Zone.

Open Workers’ Assembly at 18.00.

The Building is open to all workers all day long.


We will either determine our history ourselves or let it be determined without us.

We, manual workers, employees, jobless, temporary workers, local or migrants, are not passive tv-viewers. Since the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos on Saturday night we participate in the demonstrations, the clashes with the police, the occupations of the centre or the neighborhoods. Time and again we had to leave work and our daily obligations to take the streets with the students, the university students and the other proletarians in struggle.


— To turn it into a space of free expression and a meeting point of workers.

— To disperse the media-touted myth that the workers were and are absent from the clashes, and that the rage of these days was an affair of some 500 “mask-bearers”, “hooligans” or some other fairy tale, while on the tv-screens the workers were presented as victims of the clash, while the capitalist crisis in Greece and Worldwide leads to countless layoffs that the media and their managers deal as a “natural phenomenon”.

— To flay and uncover the role of the trade union bureaucracy in the undermining of the insurrection — and not only there. GSEE and the entire trade union mechanism that supports it for decades and decades, undermine the struggles, bargain our labor power for crumblings, perpetuate the system of exploitation and wage slavery. The stance of GSEE last Wednesday is quite telling: GSEE cancelled the programmed strikers’ demonstration, stopping short at the organization of a brief gathering in Syntagma Sq., making simultaneously sure that the people will be dispersed in a hurry from the Square, fearing that they might get infected by the virus of insurrection.

— To open up this space for the first time — as a continuation of the social opening created by the insurrection itself — a space that has been built by our contributions, a space from which we were excluded. For all these years we trusted our fate on saviours of every kind, and we end up losing our dignity. As workers we have to start assuming our responsibilities, and to stop assigning our hopes to wise leaders or “able” representatives. We have to acquire a voice of our own, to meet up, to talk, to decide, and to act. Against the generalized attack we endure. The creation of collective “grassroot” resistances is the only way.

— To propagate the idea of self-organization and solidarity in working places, struggle committees and collective grassroot procedures, abolishing the bureaucrat trade unionists.

All these years we gulp the misery, the pandering, the violence in work. We became accustomed to counting the crippled and our dead- the so-called “labor accidents”. We became accustomed to ignore the migrants — our class brothers — getting killed. We are tired living with the anxiety of securing a wage, revenue stamps, and a pension that now feels like a distant dream.

As we struggle not to abandon our life in the hands of the bosses and the trade union representatives, likewise we will not abandon no arrested insurgent in the hands of the state and the juridical mechanism.


Wednesday, 17 December 2008, 18:00

General Assembly of Insurgent Workers

A weather forecast:


Today, the building of the General Confederation of Labour in Athens was occupied by unions of precarious workers, deliveries, stage etc. who are denouncing the bureaucracy of the unions and demanding general strike for wages, stable employment, social insurance for all, reduction of working hours against unemployment. A general assembly open to all is organised for tonight at 6 p.m.

The students and pupils continue everyday actions and demonstrations, closing of roads everywhere in the country, while a part of the peasants have their own protest with tractors in the North of the country. Demonstrations by progressive citizens in many cities. Many public buildings are occupied (municipal-prefecture mainly) all over the country. More than 500 high schools occupied and more to organise occupations. In the meantime, police everywhere, repression, beatings, arrests. This is the reply of the Rambos of the Police.

Tomorrow Thursday, national day of action, a big rally and march of the education community of all grades in Athens 12 n. Migrants rally in front of Parliament 5 p.m. (organised before the events, for the migrants week). The central news bulletin was interrupted yesterday, for one precious minute, when students entered the studio of public television (peacefully and without any violence) and set a banner in front of the camera, interrupting the transmission of the speech of the Prime Minister. The banner, carried by students, wrote STOP WATCHING – GO OUT IN THE STREETS. The president of public television denounced this “absolute offence against democracy”, while people are satisfied and consider this action to be appropriate and congratulations are coming from all over. (This president of public television, spends his time organising events like Eurovision, with patriotic and kitsch character, spending the money of the Greek taxpayers in expenses like, for example, the dress of this “national singer” Anna Visy last year, for which public television spent 135.000 Euro only for the dress of the singer. Otherwise, he defends “democracy”.)

For Saturday mobilisations are under preparation and the students assemblies mostly will decide about them. In Thessaloniki young people stole baby Jesus from the cot of the huge crib that was placed in the central square with figures of natural size and put a television in the place of Jesus. Christmas holidays may have a totally different colour this year, and the movement will continue.

Most urgent and most important is the solidarity from Europe, tomorrow a Greek youth organisation is calling for European day of action everywhere, in support of the Greek Uprising. We wish events are organised tomorrow. Of course, we have many more days…

See also : LOADSA SEXY PHOTOS of the 2008 Greek riots. | Not-quite-so-sexy-but-still-exciting map of solidarity events around the world.

It’s all Greek to me…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Anarchism, State / Politics, Student movement. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Athens, New York… Melbourne

  1. Jamie R says:

    Eh, that dude doesn’t dance as good as the original. Melbourne has to perform, or be shit. I think shit.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.