On January the 25th there will be elections in Greece. A left majority and a new government that breaks with the dictate of austerity coming from Berlin and Brussels appear within reach. For millions of people who have lost their jobs, their health care and their income, this gives hope. And that applies not only for Greece but also beyond. Similar processes of self-organization are in progress in Spain, and a broader break with the inquisitional austerity policies now seems possible.
The threats and extortions against the electorate have already begun – especially from Germany, from Berlin and Frankfurt. “Berlin is warning Athens of the consequences of a renunciation of austerity” – the headlines reveal not only an authoritarian and antidemocratic attitude, but also the true purpose of the crisis policy of the Federal Government and the Troika: the strengthening of European competitiveness in the capitalistic world-market, the global competition of location – no matter for what social cost.
In this situation it is the task of all left and emancipatory forces and movements to reject all nationalistic propaganda, and to execute a strong break with the German crisis policy. Blockupy therefore opposes and counters the panic campaign of political leaders and the mainstream media ahead of the election in Greece, and supports the Greek comrades in their struggle against all policies of impoverishment and debt, against nationalism and racism. Together with the movements across Europe we will defend the right of the people to break with the policy of crisis. The election in Greece is a signal of hope.
But the rise of Syriza cannot be understood without recognizing the multifaceted approaches towards self-organization of the common, beyond market and state, and the massive social struggles which have been carried out in Greece over the course of recent years. We are remembering for example the steel workers strike that lasted for months, the takeover and self-management of the Vio.Me-factory, the battle against the closure of the ERT public broadcasting channel. We are also remembering the workers of the electricity plant who prevented people from having their electricity cut off, the solidarity clinics which free of charge treat the many who don´t have health insurance anymore, the “newspaper of editors”, founded by fired journalists, and the (by now over a year old) struggle of 595 cleaning ladies of the Ministry of Finance for their re-hiring.
The possibility of rising up – whatever the election results – comes from the street, from the strength and the autonomy of non-parliament movements and networks, from the initiative of the people, who don´t want to be mere victims of the crisis policies, but want to take their destinies into their own hands. The capitalism of crisis and it´s imposed constraints aren´t easily shaken off. Beyond the simple protest against the Troika´s policy of impoverishment, against the authoritarian and neoliberal restructuring of the EU, it is a matter of strengthening very different relationships. And we have to do everything on our own!
This is a transnational issue, therefore also in Germany. Everybody who has had enough of Hartz IV, benefits at 67 years of age, mini-jobs and low wages, of the diktat of corporations, the Foreigner´s Registration Office or the Job centre, everybody who is fed up with the diktats of overtime, exploitative work and missing daycare facilities we are calling: Become active in these months, together with us construct a statement against the EU policy of crisis, against any form of nationalism and racism.
Most of us cannot vote on the 25th of January in Greece, but nevertheless we will raise our voice: on the 18th of March within the Blockupy-protest in the Streets of Frankfurt. There together we will show: Also in Germany the time of party truce is coming to an end.
Let´s free ourselves, and on March 18th let’s take off and blockade the solemn opening of the new headquarters of the European Central Bank, which as part of the Troika assists in organizing the policies of blackmail and impoverishment, in Greece and all over Europe. Here too as everywhere: You have to do it yourself!