From the TUC

Greek unions’ silent protest against racism

14 Dec 2012, By

One of the ugliest by-products of austerity and the extreme poverty it is causing in Greece is the rise of far right racists, neo-nazis and anti-semites – such as the New Dawn party. The resurgence of the far right, together with scapegoating and physical attacks on immigrants and ethnic minorities is an all-too predictable result of the extreme measures being taken by Greek governments at the behest of the Troika (IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank.)

But on Saturday, the Greek trade union movement will be staging a silent march in Athens from the Parliament to the Acropolis against these symptoms of a collapsing social and economic order, under the banner of the European Grassroots Anti-racist Movement (EGAM), which has developed out of the much older SOS Racisme in France. In a letter of solidarity to GSEE President Yannis Panagopoulos, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written:

“No good ever comes of dividing working people along racial lines and the trade union movement has a proud tradition around the world in fighting racism and its causes, and defending the victims of racial violence. We know well that, having failed to solve any of society’s problems by scapegoating ethnic minorities, the far right and neo-nazis will swiftly move on to attacking trade unions themselves and, ultimately, democracy itself.”

The call for the protest, signed by a number of leading Greek intellectuals (as well as Italian Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo), says:

“In Greece like elsewhere in Europe, racism, antisemitism and neo-Nazism are expanding, without any strong and determined mobilization from the democrats. Racist, antisemitic and denying holocaust speeches as well as the increasing number of violent behaviours in Greece jeopardize the fundamental values of democracy, in the very country where it was born.”

The GSEE have added:

“GSEE together with EGAM urgently appeals to every citizen who believes in the values of Justice, Freedom, and Equality to express unequivocal commitment to Democracy and urges citizens to protest against actions of violence and discrimination and reject phenomena of racism, xenophobia and neo-Nazism.”

One Response to Greek unions’ silent protest against racism

  1. David Carrier
    Dec 18th 2012, 7:47 pm

    Twas ever thus. Austerity and it’s resulting poverty have always created the grounds for racism and xenophobia. Right wing governments blame immigrants for the lack of work and failure of the economy. Resentment and hate multiply and foreigners become the scapegoat for everything. Cf Hitler and the Jews.
    But we don’t need a history lesson to know that no good will come of austerity, a plan which deliberately sets out to make people poor……