L'Humanité in English
Translation of selective papers from the french daily newspaper l'Humanité
decorHome > World > Greek Indignados Demand a Real Democracy

EditorialWorldPoliticsEconomySocietyCultureScience & TechnologySport"Tribune libre"Comment and OpinionTranslators’ CornerLinksBlog of Cynthia McKennonBlog of Tom GillBlog of Hervé FuyetBlog of Kris WischenkamperBlog of Gene ZbikowskiBlog of G. AshaBlog of Joseph M. Cachia Blog of Peggy Cantave Fuyet
About European Union, read also
decorWith the risk of Brexit comes a new European agreement that is harsh for the ordinary worker, but lenient on City workers decorEuropean Union Takes Ukraine and Leaves Ukrainians on Doorstep decorFront National: One hand in the pocket of Europe decorRespect the People decorUkraine : No Diplomatic Solution As Yet On the Table decorSocialist Party Seeks to Close Ranks Behind European Budget Pact decorRomania Refuses to be Considered as a Second-Class European Country decorFrancis Wurtz. Double fault for the first European Council decorAn open letter from Evo Morales to the European Parliament decorBiofuel: a Real Danger to Poor Countries decorThe Truth about the Future European Treaty (Part 2)* decorThe European Constitution: 2007 and the Great Trial of Strength
About Greece, read also
decorOnly the Acropolis Remains Not Yet For Sale decorFrom Lesbos to Idomeni, everyday life for refugees oscillates between solidarity and barbed wire decorGeorges Katrougalos: “We do not have the right to fail in our reforms” decorThe capitalist reality is worse than its caricature... decorAthens’ lesson decorThe future of Greece (and Europe) is not written in stone! decorThe Greek Spectre decorWhen the Greek debt crisis fills German coffers decorGreece – Europe: a real plan B decor"It’s time to wake up", Mr Hollande! decorThe BRICS feel sympathy for Greece, says Jeremy Cronin decorGreece. Solidarity on the march on the continent

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Pour une démocratie réelle: paroles d’indignés grecs

by Fabien Perrier

Greek Indignados Demand a Real Democracy

Translated Monday 20 June 2011, by Isabelle Métral and reviewed by Henry Crapo

At the heart of the massive protest movement on Thursday, June 16th, when Greek unions and Indignados orchestrated a joint action, our special correspondent collected testimonies from several participants.

Sissi Franasou, 40, secondary school teacher (Thessalonica)

I have taken part in the mobilization right from the start; I come every afternoon after my classes. This movement started from a call on Facebook. Since then we have set up an organization, with a secretarial team, a team of stewards to maintain good order, a PR department… We also have special discussion groups on education, culture…We try and visit the popular districts to call people to join us at the tent camp by the White Tower and to take part in the local popular assemblies where decisions are made. We are most active on Sundays, when more people join in.

What incited me to take part in the movement was above all the implementation of the troika’s measures: lower wages, yet more unemployed people, cuts in the social services. Being also a member of the teachers’ union, I encourage my colleagues to join in and encourage the Indignados to visit the schools.

We have three basic claims: one, we mustn’t shoulder a debt that we never ran up; two, those that have led us into this tight corner and to the memorandum must go; and three, real democracy right now. It’s essential for us to reach one or two of those ends in order to prevent the implementation of the memorandum. The two big parties want to implement the memorandum and bring everyone down to the lowest condition. The local resistance here does not raise the issue of what should be done next, but wants to put a stop to the current political course. That’s the most urgent point!”

Alekos Vernardakis, 65, a former union leader.

I support the Indignados’ movement. This is what happens when unions do not fulfil their mission or when division sets in between them. Fragmentation and erosion have followed. It’s always been common practice in Greece in the past for those in office to try and control the unions, but the unions have managed to defeat the attempt.

So I come here nearly every day. I take part in the popular assemblies. We work collectively. The movement needs to be politicized. Any worker who feels there’s not much he can do at his workplace feels free to speak out here.

It goads the unions’ bureaucracies when they see their role challenged. But if the balance of the forces within the union movement stays put, we’ll never make our way out of this deadlock.

I turn up wherever a political event is taking place, whether initiated by the anarchists or by the right - even though I belong to one of the component forces of the communist left.

Because here’s the place today where the proletariat can be organized and we’ve got to be there and talk politics.

Elina, 19, philosophy student.

I myself take part in the unions’ demonstrations and in the Indignados’ movement. There’s no future for me here in Greece. If we win I hope I can get a job. But in order to win, we must stage general strikes, and renew them from day to day, and we must occupy universities.

I come to Syngtama square in the evening with the Indignados. This movement should not replace the unions and the actions at the local workplaces. But it’s important to be here and put our shoulder to the movement. Many of those that come here have never taken part in a demonstration or gone on strike. Some are afraid the parties can highjack the movement. What unites us is anger, indignation at those measures imposed by the government.”

Follow site activity RSS 2.0 | Site Map | Translators’ zone | SPIP