clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘KKE’

Update on the continuing tension in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 28 July 2009

source

Double fascist attack against squats in Salonica in midst of continuing tension

Fascists attack two Salonica squats while struggle against anti-immigration policies intensifies

During the past week both Radio Revolt, a pirate anarchist radio station housed in an abandoned train wagon within premises of the Aristotelian University of Salonica, and Europe’s largest squat, Fabrica Yfanet, came under fascist arson attack.
The train wagon of Radio Revolt, was attacked with three Molotov cocktails in the night of Tuesday 21/07 by parastate fascist elements publicly condoned by the Ministry of Public Order currently run by an ex-junta persecutor. Radio Revolt continued to broadcast with only 3 hours stoppage. On Saturday 25/07 Fabrica Yfanet’s main gate was attacked by a gas-canister device. The fire was extinguished by member soft hw squat as well as neighbours, while police forces that unusually arrived to the scene only minutes after the attack engaged squatters and neighbours in fascist verbal abuse clearly sympathising with the attack. Fabrica Yfanet is a centre of manifold political activities and receives widespread support amongst the city’s youth and progressives.

Meanwhile in Athens, on the early morning of Tuesday 28/7, a squad of Golden Dawn members marched from the offices of the neonazi party near Omonoia square down Menandrou street in military formation, attacked black men and women uninhibited by the strong police presence in the area. The nazi scum chanted “today niggers die” while returning to their Agios Panteleimonas lair.

Arson attacks against anarchist antiauthoritarian and libertarian squats have been a repeated pattern in the last year, and is considered to be part of the Greek state’s massive counterinsurgency efforts to quench the rising social movement against the more and more dictatorial rule of the government which has been manning its civil service with ever more junta-related individuals. Parastate elements’ anti-squat activity has repeatedly led to massive solidarity marches, rendering the strategy rather counterintuitive, proving once again the readiness of the Greek state to exercise brute force, and its inability to reason even to its own interest.

Characteristic of the new blind fascism of the Greek state is the unprecedented act of censorship exercised against a short animated film by the well known leftist director Costa-Gavras, who is a nail in the eye of the Greek PM for having filmed “Z”, the story of the assassination of left-wing MP Grigoris Lambrakis by parastate thugs under orders of the PM’s uncle in the mid 1960s. Gavras’ animation commissioned by the Ministry of Culture was meant to play at the new Acropolis museum, until the Ministry obliged to curtail scenes portraying Greek Orthodox priests vandalising the Parthenon after orders by the Church. Costa-Gavras has condemned the act as a return to the darkest days of the country. The Greek Orthodox Church remains the largest land-owner in the country and an integral part of the State mechanism, waging considerable control in many policies, particularly relating to education.

Despite the rising white-terror and the mid-summer vacations, the social antagonistic movement is stepping up its response to the state-fascist collaboration and racist bigotry.

Since Friday 24/07/09 a series of blockades of boats transferring immigrants to detention camps in the Greek province of Macedonia have erupted in battles between antiracist protesters and the police.

On Friday 24/07 at midnight protesters cancelled the transfer of 60 so-called illegal immigrants on the boat Theofilos from the port of Mytilini, Lesbos Island, to the mainland city of Kavala. The protesters occupied the main entrance of the ferry boat refusing to allow the police to load the arrested immigrants of Pakistani Afghan and Somalian descent. An unverified number of detained immigrants at the Panagi camp of Lasbos have started a hunger strike against the transfers, demanding their immediate release.

On Sunday 26/07 protesters of PAME, the umbrella union controlled by the Communist Party (KKE), and of the Chios Immigrant Solidarity Committee clashed with the police and fascist civilian auxiliaries at the port of Chios Island when they tried to blockade the entry of two busloads of detained immigrants on the aforementioned boat bound for Thessaloniki. After the police beat the protesters back with use of brutal force, a member of the KKE partaking in the blockade fell into to sea between the pier and the ferry, disallowing the departure of the boat for another hour. The involvement of the KKE in the protests marks an interesting if controversial shift in its long-standing policy of verbalism and practical apathy to the plight of immigrant workers. During the clashes many protesters were injured, while according to the Solidarity Committee, the criminal and dehumanising attitude of the Chios authorities towards immigrants reached its apex in the separation of a 15 year old boy from Somalia from his mother who remains detained in the island. The detained immigrants were transferred to the mainland chained and locked in the boat’s basement inside the buses, thus directly endangering their lives.

The authorities claim the reason for the transfers is the overpopulation of the islands’ camps. In Chios, the Mersinidi camp has a capacity of 120 while detaining 220, whereas the Panagi camp in Lesbos has a capacity of 250 persons while detaining 400. Protesters however argue that the transfers are a first step of “pushing” immigrants illegally though the minefields of Evros River towards Turkey. Claiming that the camps are dehumanising and that the transfers comprise punishing measures for people who have never been convicted for anything other than not having papers, the protesters demand that the detainees are held in hotels, after releasing all underage individuals.

In the diffuse-guerrilla front, a bomb device targeting the Chilean Consulate was dismantled last week by the police, while Tuesday night saw within 30 minutes a barrage of low intensity attacks on State targets, with some 7 local offices of anti-immigration parliamentary parties (New Democracy, PASOK, and LAOS) bombed with gas-canister devices across Athens. Responsibility for the attacks has been claimed by the Shining Paths of Solidarity in response to the “nazification” of the State and nazi-police collaboration. The offices of a LAOS MP were also attacked, causing no human injuries.

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Immigrant workers degradation practices in Nea Manolada: farm owners brutally abuse immigrants “to set an example”.

Posted by clandestina on 19 June 2009

Immigrant abuse in Nea Manolada

Unspeakable violence in Nea Manolada, Ileia, Peloponnese.   Farmers in the area “took the law into their own hands” and decided to punish in their own cruel way economic migrants living and working in the area.

Two farmers had set a guard on their farm to watch for the people who had been allegedly stealing sheep.  Having identified some Bangladeshi immigrants as those attempting to steal and made them flee during the night, the morning after the farmers visited the alleged thieves houses.

They punched and kicked them and hit them with clubs while on the ground.  The farmers then tied the immigrants on a motorcycle and dragged them around in the center of the village to set an example for others.

The thefts had never been reported to the police … The intervention of the police  informed of the tragedy by witnesses rescued the immigrants.   Two farmers and two immigrants were arrested.

Translation of excertpts from tvxs article. What follows are articles on the recent history of the strawberry fields of the area.

Greece’s strawberry war ends in uneasy truceFacebook Stumbleupon

by Teacher Dude | April 22, 2008 at 02:19 am

In scenes reminiscent of Steinbeck’s 1930’s classic, the Grapes of Wrath, immigrant and minority workers have clashed with what Greek newspapers called “hired thugs’ over pay and conditions. Amidst sometimes violent clashes agricultural workers in the Greek town of Nea Manolada, home to 90% of Greece’s strawberry production took part in a four day stoppage aimed at getting a pay rise of 3.5 euros a day.

As of Sunday strawberry producers have agreed to rise pay from 22.5 to 28 euros for farm labourers.However, the figure of 28 euros only applies to European workers, non-Europeans will receive only 25 euros according to the Greek newspaper, Kathimerini. Fears still remain that the producers will fail to honour even this agreement, due to be take effect in Autumn, once media attention has died down. The local council sets the minimum wage for untrained labourers at 30.4 euros a day.

It should be noted that strawberries, sometimes called “red gold” by local producers, retail at 1.5 to 3 euros a kilo on the Greek market

The newspaper also brought to light several cases in which the police force and members of the local authorities, which turned a blind eye this week to attacks on union and political activists by landowners, are also involved with various scams involving the sale of fake residence permits for immigrant workers.

Miltos Paulou, head of the European Union Agency for Fundemental Rights (FRA) stated that 70% of those working in intensive agriculture in Greece are illegal immigrants and that Greek law limits foreign workers ability to change jobs so allowing the kind of exploitation seen in Nea Manolada and many other areas.

source of the above.

Migrant workers in Greece wage historic strike

Author: Laura Petricola

People’s Weekly World Newspaper, 05/28/08 08:28

ATHENS — Migrant workers laboring in the strawberry fields of Nea Manolada, in Greece’s southern Peloponnese region, where 90 percent of the country’s strawberry production is concentrated, waged a historic strike last month that will pave the way for immigrant workers in the country to battle for their rights, side by side with Greek workers.
After a three-day strike April 18-20, the field laborers returned to work with a wage increase to 25-26 euros per day. Their wages had been 22-23 euros for a full workday. The strikers have vowed to continue their fight for a daily wage of 30 euros.

Though over 2,000 of the 2,500 agricultural laborers in Nea Manolada are undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania and other countries, they fought back against police terror and the vicious attacks of the large producers, demanding better working and living conditions as well as a higher wage.
The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) has been in Manolada for the past year aiding migrant laborers to organize their struggle and to link these issues to wider workers’ struggles throughout Greece.

On May 11, PAME forces from all over Peloponnese and nearby islands mobilized in Manolada in a mass show of support for the field laborers. The rally’s theme was “Greek and Immigrant Workers United in Struggle!” Large landowners made determined efforts to turn Greek farmers against PAME and the strikers, claiming that immigrant labor costs Greeks their jobs.

Migrant agricultural laborers in Nea Manolada live and work in squalid conditions. They are forced to work every day, including Sunday. Lost days mean lost wages and the threat of firing. They harvest strawberries in greenhouses in 113 degrees Fahrenheit. There are no toilets at the work site; workers must use the fields. The only water supply comes from the pipes used to water the strawberries.

Many workers live in the greenhouses because they cannot afford rent elsewhere. They cover their makeshift beds of wood pallets with newspapers and rags. No running water, electricity or toilets are available. Those “lucky” enough to have housing live with 25 people or more sharing one toilet in abandoned village houses or warehouses where they pay up to 50 euro per month per person.

Workers must pay out of pocket for all medical care, to a government that refuses to grant free medical care to undocumented permanent immigrants. Yet they have many medical problems because of the exhausting work and the excessive use of pesticides and fungicides without protective equipment. Many workers are raising young children under such foul and desperate conditions.

The government refuses to guarantee the workers’ basic rights but instead does all it can to support the “right” of large landowners to extract the greatest maximum profit from them. Just half an hour of work represents the actual cost of labor on a given day; the other six and a half hours line the pockets of the boss. In clearer terms, on average a strawberry worker fills five crates per hour, with 10 boxes per crate. Each box is sold for roughly 3 euros. Do the math!

Given the profits involved, it is clear why strikers and members of PAME were under attack. From the very first day, strikers were terrorized by the bosses. During the strike’s second day, three of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) members present for support were attacked and wounded, while armed groups stormed the workers’ shanties. Threats and provocations continued into the third day while the police looked on.

On the third day, landowners agreed to increase wages and strikers agreed to go back to work, vowing to continue their struggle for a 30 euro daily wage. KKE is demanding that the Ministries of Labor and the Interior intervene, with no results as yet.

The strike shows migrants have power when that power is channeled into mass collective action. KKE proposes a framework of organization and struggle for the needs of migrants and their families including immediate legalization and equal rights in work, health care, education and social security.

source of the above

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