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Indymedia Portland

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians and the Anarchists and Anti-Authoritarian Activists in Greece

Media Type: Daily News

Region(s) Covered: Oregon & SW Washington

Contact Information

address:4620 SE Madison
Portland, OR  97215
principal contact:Julia Smedley
email:[email protected]
contact note:Please print the attached information about a day of solidarity with the Palestinians and the Greek Activists that is being planned for January 23, 2009. Thank you.


An International Day of Solidarity is being called for January 23, 2009, for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the Greek Anarchists and other anti-authoritarian activists in Greece. There are many overlaps between these two struggles, and those similarities are explored in the flyers and literature to be passed out during this demonstration. For a more detailed analysis, go to the Portland Indymedia site for the article, which was published on Sunday, Jan. 3. The date of the demonstration is to also commemorate the anniversary of the Riots in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, during the period of Nazi Germany (1943), where 70,000 Jewish people took this city back, and held it for a long time before the Germans took over. The date and the atrocities exposed in this protest and article are highly ironic, given that the Prime Minister of Israel is a survivor of the Holocaust, and he is actively and incessantly committing genocide against the Palestinian people.

On Saturday, December 6, a 15 year old activist in Athens, Greece was shot and killed by the police. He is only one of many other demonstrators that have been killed by the state. In an effort to take back their lives, anarchists and anti-authoritarian activists have been demonstrating in Athens; most notably with the occupation of the Polytechnic Institute. The Economic and Law schools are also being occupied. Banks and poice stations are also reported to be held to some extent by the protesters. Riots have broken out in neighborhoods all over Athens, as well as many other cities in Greece, in an effort to protest the deprivation in the lives of the people of Greece under an unfettered, free-market, Capitalist government.

Greek anarchists and activists are attacking police stations and public offices (even the Parliament) in at least a dozen cities. Using home-made petrol bombs, they are destroying property of the people in power and are being falsely accused of being "violent" as a result. These educated and dedicated organizers are also being misdescribed as "angry youth." There are also strikes being carried out by unions. Ministers have taken hundreds of dollars away from the people while lining their own pockets.

People are struggling in Greece to pay their bills. Youth who can't afford to study abroad get lousy tuition to a Greek University, and few chances of getting a job. Unemployment for graduates is now at 21%, compared to 8% for the population as a whole. That unemployment rate is going to get higher as this "global recession" continues for *all* of us.

Protests are also now happening in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians there are trying to fight back against the "settlers" in Southern Israel, which is is bombing them and has already killed more than 450 Palestinians with air raids, and a "ground offensive" by Israel that just started on Saturday, January 3rd. As usual, the Palestinians are fighting back with whatever small-scale weapons available to them: including home-made "rockets" that have killed no more than 5 Israelis during this entire war perpetuated by Israel against them. Israel is air-bombing towns and cities across the Gaza Strip, and has virtually destroyed its infrastructure, rendering the Gaza Strip depleted of electricity, water and medicine. They are out to destroy the land occupied by the Palestinians.

The United States has supplied Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with the weapons to pull off this genocide against the Palestinians. This is highly ironic, since Olmert is a survivor of the Holocaust. The Israeli soliers have actually been *applauding* when they hear a new airstrike in the Gaza Strip. And now they are using United States manufactured and donated tanks and other weaponry for the "land offensive" against the remaining Palestinians. The home-made "rockets" that have been launched by Hamas and other resistance parties in the Gaza Strip have destroyed almost entirely *property,* not people. They are trying to fight against the violent infringement of their land by the so-called "settlers" from Israel. In this regard, the Palestinians are somewhat similar to the activists and anarchists in Greece right now, who are simply fed up living under circumstances of abject poverty, intimidation, and violence by the state of Greece. They are also ready to take extreme actions to end this, and they are entirely destroying property, not people, in their efforts.

This is *not* to say that Hamas is akin to the Greek anarchists. Hamas is poised to *kill* any Israelis that try to take over the Gaza Strip. There are other Palestinian resistance parties, and Greek anarchists and anti-authoritarians do not have such a violent agenda; they rather seize the property of those in control, who are perpetuating a very oppressive reality for the people in Greece. Because most of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are *not* Hamas, we need to march in Solidarity with both the Greek anarchists and anti-authoritarians and the Palestinians, who have both lived under a terribly controlling and violent regime for so many years. The situation in the Gaza Strip is extremely violent, and keeps getting worse. One of the Palestinian children killed by the Israeli soldiers was *decapitated* by a bomb. And now that the "land offensive" has started, who knows what will happen.

Just as in Greece, protests in the Gaza Strip (hopefully soon to be Palestine) are being broken apart by police brutality, bullets, and arrests. This is, without question, an attempt at *genocide* of the Palestinians. This brings us to the proposed date for this Solidarity March with the Palestinians and the Greek Anarchists and Anti-Authoritarians. January 23rd, 1943, marks an important vicotry by the Jewish people against genocide of the Jews by the Nazis. The Israeli attempt at genocide against the Palestinians is unbelievable given their own history. The people in the Warsaw Ghetto, like the Palestinians in Gaza Strip and the Greek Anarchists and Anti-Authoritarians, were and are incredibly brave, and committed to freedom and democracy for everyone. We should all be inspired and eventually we will also need such bravery to fight our own battles against the ugly realities of imperialism, capitalism, and the global recession, which will leave the majority of people in the world unemployed and in poverty.

This is happening now in the 3rd World, with the rise of structural adjustment programs (the removal of any kind of social welfare), and it will spread to our "service economy" in the first world, where the rich keep getting richer and more powerful, and the increasing number of poor keep getting poorer. Barak Obama has *already* gone back on his word and is appointing neoliberal economists as his "economic advisors." Obama is thinking about creating a "stimulus package" that will be aimed at the *millions* in the US who have already slipped or are about to slip from the middle class into poverty. This package does not address the millions of Americans who are moving from working poverty to desperation. These people are being targeted for programs the neoliberal economic advisors (such as Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk whose been a big backer of NAFTA) describe as "digging holes." These manufactured schemes basically put poor people to work accomplishing "tasks" that are totally unnecessary (unlike the New Deal).

The "free market," capitalist states are using GATT, the World Bank, the G8 and NAFTA to enforce structural adjustment programs on the Third World, who are losing so many social programs that people are actually *starving.* It's going to happen *everywhere* if we allow this to keep happening. So let's follow the lead of the Palestinians, as well as the Greek protesters and anarchists and take to the streets to fight against this nightmare the capitalist regimes are creating for all of us.

These protesters in Greece are actually bold enough to take over banks and they are being met with bullets, tear gas, and beatings. That 15 year old protester who was killed by the police on December 6th was only *one* of several who have died at the hands of a right-wing, pro-capitalist administration.

These brave protesters in both countries have been met with chemical gas, bombs, beatings, and bullets. They continue to revolt in a struggle for freedom that truly affects us all. It may be the Gaza Strip or Greece today, but the economic recession, authoritarian rule by CEOs and their pawns, and the loss of welfare programs and jobs will soon be affecting us all.

-Julia Smedley