Received on 22.07.17:
NO TOLERANCE FOR THOSE WHO BARGAIN WITH OUR LIVES
We claim responsibility for the attempted bombing of the Ministry of Labour on 12/12/16 and for the bombing of the office of Eurobank on Sadaroza St on 19/4/17. This particular Eurobank building houses the arrears sector by which lenders threaten to seize those they have on the black list.
So now what do you expect?
That the deaf will let you talk?
And that the bad guys are going to give you something?
That wolves will let you eat and will not swallow you?
That the feeling of friendship is moving the tigers
Will they lend you teeth to take us out?
For what are you waiting from me? Do you expect such of me?
(Brecht: For those who feed on hope)
During the last months the monotone farce of the ‘negotiations’ has been repeated, with the coalition government of SYRIZA-ANEL playing their usual role, that of the representative and servant of the local bourgeoisie and the permanent stooge of the imperialist lenders. The new agreement, as with all the memoranda which have been signed by previous governments, aims at an even greater tearing of labour and popular interests, to shield the capitalist recovery with the backs of the people. The complete package of measures and “anti-measures” which was agreed put even more of the burden on their backs, onto the workers and unemployed, the youth and the pensioners. The new measures will add cumulatively to the memoranda and will burden even further people’s income. It is enough to think about the pensioners, according to the data released by the Unified Pensioners Network, who count 23 consecutive cuts to their pensions, with the total losses of the memorandum years reaching €50bn. The second review closes with a package of measures adding up to €4.5bn, which increases further the anti-popular attack (Reductions in primary and supplementary pensions, allowance cuts, tax-free reduction to €5630, abolition of duty-free medical expenses, electronic auctions platform and automated seizure process, acceleration of the sale of public property, abolition of the Sunday holiday, limitation of trade union rights, Facilitating collective redundancies, etc). There is every reason for the SEV[Employers Association] and the other employers’ associations to celebrate the performance of their representatives in “negotiations”, as the road of capitalist recovery and the “exit to the markets” is laid upon the broken rights of the people who toil and labour.
Passing through the eighth year of the memorandum wherever we look we see ashes. We do not need to make a journalistic description of the measures which are being implemented nor those that will come with the second review, since the poor workers and popular classes, the youth, the unemployed, the pensioners and the self-employed will experience themselves the results of these barbaric policies. They will experience themselves the colossal redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top. Wages are reduced continuously and labour relations are broken (formally or informally), in order to strengthen the strongest part of capital at the expense of the workers. Social welfare spending is shrinking year by year, and health and education systems are literally dismantled at the same time that Greece is part of the frenzied NATO arms race at the suggestion of the USA. Thousands of people desperately kill themselves, while one and a half million fellow human beings live in extreme poverty. Real unemployment has exceeded 30%, while ELSTAT’s “creative statistics” are trying to conceal its true dimensions because it considers “employed” anyone who is working for at least one hour during the week of the so-called “Labor Force Survey”. And out of all this crowd of unemployed, only 10% get the poor OAED benefit. And while half the young people in this place are unemployed, and those who work are in galley conditions (sub-standard salary, flexible working relationships, unpaid work through “apprenticeship”, etc.), the political reality of coalition government is revealed from the mouth of the far-right MP Dimitris Kammenos: “from the grandfather’s pension the grandson takes part, to drink frappe and play backgammon, I prefer that I take it like the state, I’m serious, to make the employer’s contribution, to go and find a job for the child so he doesn’t sit around drinking frappe” This then is the “moral advantage” of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, which sells cheap anti-German sentiment to throw ashes into the eyes of the people: “We have claimed and succeeded in getting 20 euros a month from our grandparents and giving them to an employer to find our grandchildren work rather than give it to Mr Schueble where it goes into the black hole of debt”. Really, where will the money from the sale of public property go from the neo-colonialist “superfunds”? Where will the money go from the high surplus (3.5%) in the coming years? Where will the money go from the continuing tax evasion? Where it has gone for so many years: into the black hole of debt! A debt that others have created, that others have gained from inflating it and today they call on the people to pay. A debt that, after 8 years of sacrificing the people, remains at a disproportionate level of 315 billion euros (179% of GDP). How ever much cheap anti-German sentiment is sold by Kammenos, and each Kammenos of the government, it is clear that the policy they practice faithfully serves the class interests of imperialist lenders and the local bourgeoisie. It is clear that the place and its people are tightly bound by the chains of debt which is transformed into a weapon of colonialism and coordinated oppression. Moreover, it is clear that after the referendum of July 2015 and the coup which overturned the popular decision against every memorandum, the policy pursued by the government has no social and moral legitimacy.
The new measures, therefore, will come into an already overburdened environment with a people made to kneel by the constant austerity and disoriented by the repeated blows. They will be added cumulatively to the number of measures imposed by the three previous memoranda, making permanent the regime of exceptional economic necessity and the imperialist commission that has been imposed in place since 2010. The coalition is trying to sugar the pill of the new measures(which will automatically apply from 2019!), sold to the naive as a modern “waters of Kamaterou”, which they call countermeasures. As Minister of Labour Efi Achtsioglu said in an interview: “The IMF insisted on extra austerity measures of 4.5 billion euros, while the European forces considered it necessary that the IMF be part of the Greek program. What the Greek side has done is to have an agreement which provides for the adoption of measures for the years 2019 and 2020, but also provides that these measures will have no budgetary impact. It will thus preempt positive social measures of 2% of GDP.”. In reality, however, the so-called countermeasures are translated into a wealth of money for capital in the name of the recovery of the economy and crumbs for the poorest social strata. With such cheap tricks, the Tsipras government tries to deceive society. Having robbed 10 billion euros from pensioners in the four-year period 2016-2020 (with the law of Katroukalos and the abolition of personal litigation), it will come to legislate for “positive measures”, which are nothing but an aspirin for cancer. The people have a proverb for this political scam: Να σε κάψω Γιάννη μου να σ΄ αλείψω μέλι…[be cruel to be kind].
We also remember the most recent past which led to these government “benefits”: the humiliating statement of Tsakalotos’ repentance to the “institutions”. This monument of obedience and servility is highly indicative of the degree of dependency of the country on the imperialist lenders. The Tspiras goverment can not take a step without getting the approval of its patrons. Even so, these crumbs that were given to retired people came from the highly publicized “overperforming of the Greek economy”. The spectacular exceedance of the primary surplus target of 0.5% in 2016 (which eventually stood at 3.3% according to the IMF, at 3.9% according to ELSTAT and 4.2% according to the government and the Commission) has specific causes: first of all reducing government spending by €9 billion for 2016 and then raising revenue by €2.7 billion. This rapid increase in government revenue was based on the ongoing class bleeding and the extinction of the poorer social strata. As the government newspaper Avgi admits, 70% of tax revenue comes from wages and pensions. For these bloody surpluses the social democrats and liberals of society are celebrating.
The coalition is trying to convince us that faithful implementing of anti-popular measures and debt restructuring will bring an exit from the memorandum and economic recovery. We are told without a trace of shame that the new agreement is “the discharge from the memorandums and humiliating guardianship and the ticket to the settlement of the debt and the inclusion in the program of quantitative easing”. The truth, however, is that anti-popular policy is fixed as a basic prerequisite for capitalist recovery, while debt restructuring, whatever form it may take, will be accompanied by additional anti-popular measures. A basic requirement for the debt to be made sustainable is to make the lives of the working people unbearable. This was clearly demonstrated with the PSI of the Papademos government. Even the much advertised quantitative easing program only concerns the access of capitalists to cheap money and is part of a generalized bottom-up redistribution policy. As for the notorious end of the memorandums (through their faithful application!), ESM chief Klaus Regling clearly implied their perpetuation, stating to Bloomberg that by 2060, with the last repayment installment of the Greek debt to ESM: “A lot can happen”.
Government celebrations for the anemic growth to come should not muddy the waters. Capitalist growth will rest precisely upon the definitive smashing of working people, on the establishment of the memorandum policy, on the restructuring of labor relations at the expense of the world of labor, on the sale of public property, on enduring taxation. Development for bosses is generated through our sweat and blood. Development for capital means intensification of the exploitation for the workers. So we have no “common national interest” with those who earn from the devaluation of our working force, those who sell out this place, those who crush us daily, those who crash the dreams of a whole generation. We will not surrender. We will resist by any means, as the fighter Demetris Christoulas advised before breathing his last breath in Syntagma Square: young people without a future pick up weapons and hang the traitors, like the Italian partisans hung Mussolini!
On the need for the armed class struggle
Come out comrade! Risk
the penny, which is no longer a penny
The place of sleep upon which the rain falls
And the work place you will miss tomorrow!
Forward, out on the street! Fight!
I help you by helping us:
Come out comrade, confronted with weapons
And claim your wages!
If you know you have nothing to lose
The police do not have enough weapons!
Forward, oout on the streets! Fight!
Waiting no longer, it’s too late!
I help you by helping us:
The workers have accumulated years of experience, having been fed all sorts of neo-liberal or social-democratic “anti-memorandum” managers of their misery, from Samaras’ Zappio speeches to Tsipras with the memory of the “Thessaloniki program”. They are well aware that the new impoverishment agreements further plunge them into lives of poverty. It would be an inadmissible mistake to show tolerance to this new massacre. Whatever temporary moment of imbalance between the intra-imperialist competitors (especially in the tug of war between the USA and Germany over the way to manage the debt) workers must learn from their own experience, to show no tolerance, to not give life to the bankrupt servants of capital.
So no trust can be put by the workers in the bourgeois political representatives, whether they wear a social-democratic mantle or a (neo)liberal one. They must have confidence in their own forces. The words of the founding proclamation of the Workers International are still relevant: “The emancipation of the working class must be achieved by the working class itself. The struggle for its emancipation is not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies but for equal rights and obligations, and for the abolition of all class sovereignty.” Then as now, the oppressed must sharpen the weapon of criticism and critique of weapons, and dare yet another proletarian raid on the sky, overthrow the barbarous antisocial policy that turns Greece into a neo-liberal experimental workshop and a generalized Special Economic Zone of mutilated labour rights and permanent employer arbitrariness.
While the cracks caused by the anti-worker memorandum policy deepen, the fragmentation of resistance forces and the lack of a clear and planned revolutionary strategy allows for the management of popular dissatisfaction within the context of social-democratic assimilation. The aggravation of class struggle in recent years, with a prominent example the anti-memorandum conflicts of 2010-12 which left an important social and political legacy, came at a time when the ideological and political disarmament of the movement was already established by bourgeois postmodernism and the historic betrayal of the left-wing regime. So these historic struggles, unfortunately, in the absence of a coherent revolutionary plan, have not been able to go farther. The turmoil that arose with the capitalist crisis was not enough (nor could it be enough) for a mechanistic movement of practice to challenge the very core of the crisis, the exploitative mode of production and the contradiction between the social character of production and its individual appropriation of the generated wealth. No exit from the crisis for the benefit of the people will exist if we do not raise the issue of ownership of the means of production and the way of organizing economic and social life in order to serve the real popular needs rather than capitalist profitability.
The clearing of the landscape from the idealistic fog produced by the dominant ideology is perhaps the most imperative task of the pioneering forces of the popular movement, especially in times of confusion, constant turmoil and recurring shocks. If we fail in this task, the road opens for the social democratic or far-right assimilation of popular discontent. Something that we tragically experienced in Greece with the election of SYRIZA and in the rest of Europe with the rise of bourgeois and reactionary Euro-skepticism. That is why we do not celebrate the British referendum and BREXIT: although it is a clear defeat of the European Union establishment, it is not at all a victory for the workers’ and the popular movement. BREXIT, like the rapid rise of the far-right in Europe, is the practical implementation of the old speech of Antonio Grassi: the old world is dying and the new one cannot be born. We live within the era of the monsters…
Our own inadequacy has allowed the gradual de-escalation of class struggle, leading decisively to manipulation, fatalism, and the stiffling of popular dissatisfaction. When revolutionary and radical forces are unable to show practical ways out of the crisis, then the leading bourgeois ideology will come out doubly strenghtened, having assimilated class outbursts within it. We live in conditions of class defeat and retreat, but that does not mean that the situation is irreversible. It is our historical duty to overthrow this negative link, with a task that is difficult, long-lasting and stubborn. With a conflictual strategy, based on voluntary and comradary discipline, away from adventurism and petty bourgeois impatience. With a strategy of social guerrilla and proletarian disobedience that will give shape and form to spontaneous popular dissatisfaction and will remove it from the swamps of bourgeois politics. The basic node of this strategy can not be anything but the armed class struggle. But the danger of a Blanquist caricature always lurks. No minority group, as well organized as it may be, as thorough and as deep as possible in its analysis and practice, can substitute for the historical role of the proletariat. Only the people with the gun in hand create historical cracks, they realize revolutionary visions.
Today the capitalist crisis and the vicious circle of recession and anemic growth are deepening ever more. Today, capital is trying to overcome its own crisis and open a new cycle of accumulation through the raging assault on the working class. Today, the imperialists and their local associates have ravaged the place. Today, all the social-democratic illusions that the steering wheel of the EU can, by a miracle, be turned in a pro-Greek direction have been uncovered. Today, therefore, the armed class struggle is as timely as ever. It is the only hope of the struggling social strata to overcome the crisis on its own behalf, crushing the bourgeois state machine and building a new future. The working people only with just popular counter-violence and the mass social guerrilla can respond to the brutal violence they receive from their extortioners. Only the class organization and the actual denial of the state monopoly in violence can stand as a real defence against the attack of local and international capital, imperialists and their servants. That is why the key word for the proletarian counter-attack is one: ORGANIZATION! Organization at places of work, neighborhoods and schools. The only hope lies in the struggle, in the struggle for a human life, without exploitation and injustice.
Organize the workers’ and popular counter-attack before we are crushed under the iron heel of Capital, before we are drawn like cowards, fated and unworthy to the new world slaughter that is being prepared by imperialism!
Group of Popular Fighters
Ομάδα Λαϊκών Αγωνιστών
P.S 1: Since April 17 for 40 days, more than 2,000 Palestinian political prisoners have been on mass hunger strike against the barbaric conditions of their capture in the Zionist dungeons. We want to send a signal of solidarity to the tried Palestinian people. The Greek people stand by your side, unlike the government that has become the most loyal partner of the Zionist terrorist state in the region. We are confident that your sacrifices are not in vain. The spilled blood of the martyrs will become a fertilizer for the liberation of Palestine to flourish. We raise a fist in the direction of the unsubdued Palestine and shout with you: Victory to the arms of Palestinian resistance! Liberty in Palestine!
P.S 2: On May 15, 32 years of armed conflict between members of the Anti-State struggle Organization and guard dogs of the PASOK regime were completed. During this fight, the rebel Christos Tsoutsouvis and his three persecutors were killed. On March 10, 2010 during a preparatory action of Revolutionary Struggle, after a battle with the cops, the anarchist urban guerrilla, Lambros Foundas, was killed.
To trace the paths connecting the two revolutionary fighters to the past, present and future of the revolutionary processes, we will look at a quote from a political text of ELAS ‘Captain-Anesti’, which in our opinion remains topical. Although published several years ago, his insightful eye continues to accompany our struggles:
“The total memory, the overall image of which we can have, should not be displayed as a spectacle of any type of art and technique. It does not allow us to make him a hero. There are no heroes. They are manufactured. But not by us. The honour of Tsoutsouvis is not a poster, an inscription on the walls. It is not a slogan.
If you are obliged to honour him you should raise the problems of the movement you are living and to give yourself to a complete, steady, consistent and mindful realization, in the struggle where you implement your choices.Only so we honor his memory. ”
P.S 3: We call for the revolutionary movements to strengthen resistance against European integration by engaging in militant mobilizations against the G-20 Summit to be held in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July in Germany.