Fadi, a Syrian teenager with curly hair and an acne-covered face, has miraculously survived one of the greatest migrant boat disasters in the modern history of the Mediterranean. Only 104 people have been rescued from a boat that carried an estimated 750 refugees after it capsized on June 13 in the open sea near the coastal town of Pylos. Scores of lifeless bodies have been pulled out from the water, and many more have washed ashore. Hundreds are still missing, feared dead, many of whom are women and children, as they huddled on the lower deck of the 30-meter boat. Fadi survived. A heart-rending photo shows the young Syrian sobbing as he met his older brother, Mohammed, who rushed to the port of Kalamata, Greece, to see him.
Protests erupted on Thursday against the Greek Government for failing to rescue hundreds of migrants off the coast of Pylos in a tragic shipwreck on the Peloponnese Coast which took the lives of at least 79 migrants, with hundreds still missing. In response, anti-racist organizations, unions, and other groups demonstrated in cities across the country, including in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Kardista, and Kalamata. Signs included slogans such as “They turned the Mediterranean into a watery grave” and “We will never get used to the slaughter,” condemning both Greek and European migration and refugee policy.
On Feb. 28, 2023, two trains traveling along the same track collided in Greece, killing 57 people—many of them students in their teens and 20s returning home from university in Athens. The deaths of 11 workers in the crash sparked two 24-hour strikes from the railway unions, followed by demonstrations across the country that have lasted for weeks and mobilized tens of thousands of people. Workers blame the crash on a lack of properly functioning safety and communication systems, as well as severe understaffing and underfunding of the railways—all originating from “Troika” (EU, IMF, and ECB) structural adjustment imposed on Greece in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
In 2011, workers at the Vio.Me factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, stopped receiving wages. Management and owners abandoned the facility shortly afterward. Instead of dispersing, the workers of Vio.Me held an assembly and voted to take over management of the factory themselves. Over the past decade, they’ve kept the factory running, jointly determining production decisions through democratic procedures, and sharing in the profits. Although their former bosses and the Greek state have attempted to auction off the land and evict them, the workers have held on with the power of solidarity from their community, and workers across Greece and the wider world.
On Saturday, February 4, communists and other anti-imperialist groups in Greece protested the docking of nuclear-powered American aircraft supercarrier USS George HW Bush (CVN-77) at the port of Piraeus in Athens. Activists from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) marched to Alexandra’s Square in Pasalimani, near the port, protesting the docking of the warship. The protesters demanded that NATO “get out from Greek bases” and called on the conservative New Democracy (ND)-led Greek government to abstain from participating in imperialist interventions led by NATO. Member of European Parliament (MEP) from the KKE Kostas Papadakis, KKE General Secretary Nikos Abatielos, and president of the Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace (EEDYE) Stavros Tassos were among those who participated in the protest march.
Athens, Greece - Workers walked off the job in Greece and Belgium on Wednesday during nationwide strikes against increasing consumer prices, disrupting transportation, forcing flight cancellations and shutting down public services in the latest European protests over the rising cost of living. In Greece, where workers were holding a 24-hour general strike, thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki. Brief clashes broke out at the end of demonstrations in both cities, with small groups of protesters breaking off from the main march to throw Molotov cocktails and rocks at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. The clashes were over within minutes.
On Thursday, September 8, students, teachers and other university workers took out a massive rally in the Constitution Square in Athens protesting the deployment of police on campuses. Activists from the Students Struggle Front (MAS) and Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) were among those who participated in the mobilization. They condemned the conservative New Democracy (ND)-led government’s bid to put the university campuses under police surveillance. The protesters in Athens denounced the deployment of ‘University Police’ at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Athens University of Economics and Business Administration and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Protests and marches were also held in Thessaloniki against the presence of riot police at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) expressed solidarity with the students and condemned the deployment of police in universities.
The Iranian embassy in Athens revealed late on 12 August that the Lana, an Iranian-flagged tanker, is retrieving a cargo of oil that the US tried to steal earlier this year. “The transfer of stolen Iranian oil to the Lana is underway in Greek waters, and the ship will soon leave for our country with the full cargo of oil,” the Iranian embassy tweeted.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been making a virtual world tour with video hookups to parliaments around the globe, as well as to the Grammy Awards and the U.N. Security Council, sometimes with troublesome results. On Thursday a major row erupted when Zelensky brought along a Ukrainian soldier of Greek heritage from the city of Mariupol, who just happened to be a member of the ne0-Nazi Azov Regiment. Greece was under Nazi occupation during World War II and fought a bitter partisan war against Nazism (later to be betrayed by Britain and the United States.)
Workers at TrainOSE, a Greek railroad company, have been refusing to transport U.S. tanks destined for Ukraine from Alexandroupoli, a port in the northern part of the country. After workers there refused, bosses tried to force railroad workers from elsewhere to take on the work. “For about two weeks now,” the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in a statement, “there has been pressure on the employees of the engine room in Thessaloniki to go to Alexandroupoli.” The bosses’ desperate effort to find workers who would move the transport forward was unsuccessful. The argument from employers that they should have no specific interest in what they are transporting came to nothing, even with a threat regarding the workers’ contract, which states, “An employee can be deployed according to the needs of the company.” Further threats of dismissal also proved fruitless.
On the occasion of the first anniversary of the banning of Greek fascist party Golden Dawn, progressive sections organized massive mobilizations across the country on Thursday, October 7, resolving to strengthen the fight against fascism and the system that gives birth to it. The demonstrations, mainly called by student and youth organizations, included concerts and other cultural activities. Trade unionists from the All Workers Militant Front (PAME) and cadre of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) also participated in the mobilization in addition to people from all walks of life. Major mobilizations were witnessed in the capital Athens and cities like Thessaloniki, Patras, Alexandroupolis, Heraklion, Kavala, Chania, Drama, Xanthi and Igoumenitsa.
As part of the international mobilisation to apply pressure on the US government to end the persecution of Julian Assange, MeRA25 invited members of Greece’s Parliament to co-sign the letter below, addressed to President Biden. The letter reminds the US President that, as Obama’s Vice-President, he took the decision not to prosecute Julian. Indeed, the prosecution – and request to the UK authorities that he be extradited to the US – went ahead under President Trump. The letter also reminds Mr Biden that Julian is fading daily in solitary confinement because his Department of Justice chose to appeal a British court’s verdict not to extradite him to the US – and, thus, calls upon him to drop all charges and rescind Julian’s persecution.
The mood in the international working class is strained to the breaking point. As millions of people were demonstrating against the government across India on Thursday, tens of thousands of public sector workers and employees in Greece also went on a nationwide 24-hour general strike. They were protesting against the devastating coronavirus policies and demanded better protective measures, the confiscation of private hospitals, mass hiring of health workers and salary increases. This week, the total number of infections in Greece exceeded the 100,000 mark and the death toll rose to over 2,000.
Golden Dawn is the political organisation that was founded during the early ’90s, started its criminal activity in 1992, gained political clout in 2010 and managed to elect 18 MPs in June 2012. Over this span of three decades, it committed dozens of crimes – for which, mostly, it had never been prosecuted. The political system saw the Neo-Nazi organisation as a marginal group of far-right extremists. They might have loved Hitler, but they were too small to matter. However, when the economic crisis broke out in Greece, the never-ending impoverishment of the people along with...
For many years, a silent war has been waged along Europe’s borders, but this war has left the majority of the continent’s population seemingly untouched. This contrast has become even starker in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which it has become clear that the sensibility to life that is being so widely touted does not extend to everyone; the thousands of migrants amassed on both sides of the European border are, apparently, exempt from it. Those who manage to cross into Europe end up confined in modern-day concentration camps. Subjected to appalling living conditions, they face complete uncertainty about the future and are, moreover, stripped of their most fundamental rights. At the same time, their presence is used by governments to push through policies that galvanize national(ist) unity and broader interstate competition. Policies that are currently implemented as part of the global campaign against COVID-19 treat migrants as collateral damage.