Greece: “the so-called “Communist Party” is no more than a barrier against the attempt to bury the parliamentary corpse”

From Kasama Project:

For months, people have been besieging the Greek parliament building and occupying the main square in Athens– refusing to accept the life-crushing austerity being demanded by global banks and the European Union.

Among them have been the communist militants of the KOE, the influential Greek communist organization that supports preparations for a revolution.

One of the main left  parties has been physically protecting the parliament building — openly defending the state within a growing crisis that seems pregnant with the possibility of revolution.

This open and rather shameless defense of the state has intensified the political conflict — amid a generally heightened and unresolved crisis. Different forces are picking sides, and it is unclear where events will go. A revolutionary crisis is not out of the question.

As the KKE  reportedly surrounded parliament to defend it and allow the hated politicians continue their work of austerity, they  were then attacked with Molotov cocktails by an unknown group.

We have received a statement by the KOE — the Communist Organization of Greece, whose militants have been extremely active in the Athens occupation. They write (and please forgive any errors in our translation from Greek):

“It is necessary to increase the possible unity of all those who want to fight against the government and the Troika. [ The Troika is the three legs of ruling class domination in Greece: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU) and the  European Central Bank (ECB).]

“The movement of the square, the rebellious and discontent people, all leftist organizations and parties, all federations and unions, all student clubs — everyone must unite against the current state of misery and bankruptcy. Nothing can be allowed to work against this necessity — including the recent clashes in front of Parliament.

“PAME (the KKE organization within the trade union movement) came under to a murderous attack by groups that have nothing to do with any militant ideology and perception. We saw stones, slingshot ammo and Molotov cocktails hurled into the bodies and heads of strikers and protesters.

“These actions are characteristic of para-military rightists and fascists. The KKE leadership has been guilty of politically unacceptable stands — defending the parliament building, keeping radical protesters away from union forces and excluding them from political spaces — but such actions do not justify fascist-inspired assassination attempts. The day before this, teachers were also sent to the hospital with their heads split open from this kind of violent attack…

“Mass political confrontation is an approach tied to a particular class outlook. Murderous attack and apolitical hooliganism is a quite different class outlook. These groups and their actions receive the support of the government counterinsurgency because they help the government’s counterinsurgency.”

From Occupied London:

Resolution by the Popular Assembly of Syntagma Square, 21/10/2011

After Varkiza [1], the Polytechnic [2], the Chemistry School (1979) [3], December [2008] [4] and a number of other instances, reality once again came to reveal the role of the Party that systematically betrays popular struggles. And if up to this point they strangled, with their political offices any generalised and determined strike during all these years, if they smeared all revolts as a “provocation”, henceforth history shows this was not “mere political errors” but a co-oordinated and conscious stance defending parliamentary dictatorship and the capitalist financial and social relationships. This is what they did yesterday (20/10), too, even if up to that point they would call the people to demonstrations for the overthrowing of the government. They guarded the smooth operation of parliament and instead of surrounding it they acted even more barbarously than the police, cracking sculls open and handing over demonstrators to the forces of repression. The worst from all that they did was that they legitimised the state, which murdered one of their comrades, blaming the murder to some parastatist violence.From yesterday on, definitively and irreversibly, the so-called “Communist Party” is no more than a barrier against the attempt to bury the parliamentary corpse. Any free human struggling for their dignity in these crucial days must politically target it [in return]. This proposition should not be read as a split in the movement. We might have common problems and common targets with the plain voters of the “Communist Party”, but the politics and the practice of the leadership to which they are glued follows by word the orders of the government and the envoys of the IMF, EU and the ECB. We never marched side-by-side with them, there will never be with us. We must all keep in mind that the “Communist Party” will act as a fifth column of the dictatorial regime, hoping once again to grab some crumbs off the parliamentary table, just like it did in 1990 [5].

The stance of all political groupings, whether parliamentary or not, which supported the acts of the “Communist Party”, either indirectly with their silence, or directly with their statements, is equally condemnable. For as long as these parties remain within a parliament comprising of order-recipients of the TROIKA and continue to receive their fat salaries, they are entirely co-responsible for what has happened so far and what is to come. Their negative votes to the memorandums and combined laws reveal precisely their role in the dictatorship: they provide the alibi of polyphony and democracy, in this entirely set-up parliament of representatives, in order for the impoverished people to continue counting the ballots in each fixed and predetermined voting of laws that abolish their future – while at the same time being fed with the illusion that someone speaks on their behalf and their interest. So, they leave opposition to the professionals of politics, and do not feel the need to react immediately and by person. Any vote, even to extra-parliamentary parties of the “far left” in national and local elections is nothing more than oil in the clogs [of the machine] and a legitimisation of the “correctness” of the current parliamentary dictatorship.From May 25th, when we first gathered at the square, we revealed direct democracy as the capacity of each one of us to participate, to consult, one another, to shape ideas together autonomously, away from ideological or parliamentary labels. We shall remain here, against their bankrupt parliamentarism and their bureaucracy.

WE ARE TAKING OUR LIVES INTO OUR OWN HANDSDIRECT DEMOCRACY NOW

Popular Assembly of Syntagma Square, 21/10/2011

1. Reference to the 1945 Treaty of Varkiza, where the Communist Party betrayed armed struggle and thousands of fighters of the Civil War in exchange for its legality in the new regime

2. Reference to the Communist Party’s original stance against the Polytechnic Uprising of 1973, calling participants “police provocateurs” 

3. Reference to the incidents of 1979 at the Chemistry School in Athens, where members of the Communist Party broke the school’s occupation, directly co-operating with the police

4. A reference, of course, to the most recent condemning of the revolt of December 2008

5. Reference to the Communist Party’s share of power with the two main parliamentary parties, ND and PASOK, in 1990

From Vice Magazine:

PEOPLE ARE BURNING ALIVE ON THE STREETS OF ATHENS

By Alex Miller, Henry Langston“Tomorrow? There is no tomorrow!” I knew how that anarchist felt. He was screaming it across a battlefield, the police were in retreat, I was standing between them and I knew why he felt so miserable.Today was mad. Really bad. Yesterday I wrote about the togetherness of the crowd, the way old people and young radicals bonded with people of every political persuasion. But clearly I’m a fantasist moron. We saw the complexities of Greece blow up, quite literally, in our faces.Obviously, today the Greek parliament voted to approve the new austerity bills. What else were they going to do? God knows where they did it, though, because I was stood outside of their building and, for the second day running, it was gory. Men were burning alive.
It all began so well. Thousands of people gathered for the second day in Syntagma Square in the sun and chanted mildly for the death of a regime. We flitted around, secretly underwhelmed after yesterday’s nightmare of rocks and gas, interviewing positive young people galvanised by the good vibes. Frankly, with our blood up, we wanted a mess to report on.Explosions started around 2PM in the middle of the large crowd. Panic spread quickly and in moments that familiar noxious fog was arching over our heads. The anarchists were throwing explosives; the police rushed them and in one dramatic flanking move, the communists charged from the front of Parliament to corner the anarchos. Gas flew, people scattered and in minutes the Red Cross camp in the centre of the square was full and panicked.
So, yesterday I credited the communists with trying to protect the protesters but now I feel like a chump. I’ve been criticised on Twitter for condemning them, but fuck whoever it was who attacked the crowd waving red flags. Twenty minutes after the first brawls, Elektra Kotsoni, Hugo Donkin and I were regrouping at a corner of the square; Elektra – a Greek – overheard the chatter: “the communists are coming”. Round the corner charged god-knows how many young men in helmets. They were holding long, thick wooden staffs and red flags; roaring. They smashed through the crowd – anarchist, democrat, bystander, journalist, whatever; they were swinging at us.Yesterday it seemed as though there was conscience within the crowd. There was safety for those who wanted it. Today, whoever the red flag waving tosspots were with the sticks, they destroyed it. “Now, it’s civil war,” said some friendly passing guy to me. He wasn’t the only one using that term.
I doubt it’s civil war. As I write this, everyone else has gone home to bed, and taking naps never seemed to me like something you’d be able to do in the midst of a civil war. But when an angry gang of communists joined with the police to charge us, it felt like a big fucking deal. Hundreds of us were crushed into one corner. Screaming women, pushing men, etc. Then some prat from the police lobbed a gas grenade into the mess. I broke my goggles. Elektra and I were pushed down a dead end, and it all seemed like it would be a tragic end to two stellar careers before we fought our way out and sat on a church step with a Coke, feeling meek.
The day passed in a series of cat and mouse fights. The commies formed a line in front of Parliament pushing people down the streets. At some point, it seemed to me, they casually swapped their position with the riot police. One man bawled: “It’s the ultimate treachery.”
24 hours ago, I thought Greece looked like one organised mass waiting and fighting out the collapse of an unpopular leader. That’ll teach me to historicise on the spot. Nevertheless, this will happen again, clearly the EU’s cash isn’t going to end this and now there’s a death for someone to avenge.
In 2008, a teenager was killed by Greek police and it lead to a riot that lasted longer than a week. Today, a middle-aged man died. Anarchist rumour has it that the trade unionist, Dimitris Kotsaridis, fell from the glass awnings over Syntagma Square and had a heart attack. The word inside the square was that he was fighting with the authorities. Just rumours, not fact. Nevertheless, that’s what we were hearing, true or not. Either way, rumour is spreading and anger will probably follow.
WORDS: ALEX MILLER
PHOTOS: HENRY LANGSTON

From the KKE (Communist Party of Greece):

[The KKE has denied that their forces are protecting the parliament.  Their Party has always been hostile to militant action, attempting to prevent confrontations with the state and claiming that the revolution in Greece would be accomplished “without breaking a single window.”  An excerpt from their statement is included below. – Ed.]

Certain international bourgeois media sought to present the aforementioned incidents as a conflict between two ideological-political currents inside the people’s movement. This approach has nothing to do with reality since in Greece it is well-known that these groups which appear under the cover of the black colour, the hood, “anarchism” are organized and staffed by the forces of the bourgeois system and include everything from organized hooligans of football teams, to hired thugs from night clubs, members of neo-Nazi organizations and forces of security services. There is a lot of evidence from the recent past (photographs and videos) that show the relations of these groups with the mechanisms of the system. They are murderous groups which serve the bourgeois system and have no relation with the people’s movement. They are unleashed by the system itself in order to organize provocations (like the burning of the bank on 5/5/2010 where three employees died) and provide a pretext to the security forces so as to use the equipment they possess in order to disperse the mass people’s demonstrations.

Even more dangerous and dirty is the slander that PAME protected the parliament from the protesters, an allegation reproduced by bourgeois and opportunist mass media – domestic and international ones. This dirty allegation seeks to portrait PAME as a support of the bourgeois system and the KKE as a “systemic force”, as a party of the bourgeois system. It emanates from those forces which praise the “spontaneous” movement and present it in opposition to the organized class-oriented workers’ movement. It is they who misleadingly identify the revolution and the people’s uprising with the burning of rubbish bins and the breaking of shop windows and not with the organized political struggle of the workers’ movement which has roots in the factories, in workplaces, in people’s neighbourhoods and will dispute the bourgeois power leading to a conflict with the imperialist organizations of NATO and the EU, to the establishment of people’s power. The KKE and PAME do not need any “credentials” for their militancy which the bourgeois media hand over to the hooded provocateurs, to the anarcho-fascist groups. Our history and activity has the appreciation of hundred of thousands of working people who take part in the people’s demonstrations, of millions of workers who appreciate the consistent, unwavering struggle of our party, the firmness of its goals for the overthrow of the capitalist barbarity and the militancy of its members and cadre in the places where they work and live. This slander that PAME allegedly “protected the bourgeois parliament from the rebels” has nothing to do with reality and moreover it seeks to conceal the truth, namely the fact that PAME managed, thanks to its strong vigilance, to defend the demonstration and prevent the plans for its dissolution.

As we say in Greece “lies have short legs”… On Friday morning hundreds of cadre and members of the KKE, numerous forces of the class-oriented movement visited many workplaces informing the working people and preparing new mobilizations. This mass political work among the people which will continue on a daily basis constitutes a decisive response to every kind of anarcho-fascist, to the police informers, to the bourgeois state, to the government and the parties of capital, the opportunist formations.

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