Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/446/5315

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 June 2006

Greek students' protests ignite solidarity action

SEVEN WEEKS after the uprising of the Greek university students began in the first week of May, 415 out of 456 colleges over the whole of Greece are under occupation.

Andros Payiatsos, Athens

The student explosion has taken the government by complete surprise. It has stirred the working-class movement and caused solidarity strikes. Last Thursday, 22 June, the Greek public employees confederation (ADEDY) called a 24-hour strike to support the student movement and take part in the student demo. GSEE, the private sector and public utilities union confederation, called a three-hour strike in support of the students.

Government attacks

The issue that brought the students out on the streets has been a new bill by the government which provided among other things that students would have to pay for their books (up until now they are given one basic book per subject, free), further cuts on subsidised food in university canteens and an expulsion of any student who did not finish her or his studies two years after the normal duration of the studies.

These measures represented another attack on students from working-class backgrounds. Greek students have no grants (or even cheap student loans). The family has to bear the full cost of the studies, in the so-called free higher (university) education. University accommodation is virtually non existent so students who don't study in the same town as their parents have to pay rent.

As a result, a huge percentage of students are forced to work at the same time as studying, thereby making it almost impossible to finish on time or even two years after the normal duration of the studies.

Xekinima, the Greek section of the CWI, campaigned from the beginning for the student movement to call for the support of the working class. We set a specific date, 22 June, and campaigned for the calling of a 24-hour general strike by the two workers' confederations, GSEE and ADEDY.

This call was adopted by some other activists too, then by a number of occupied colleges and gradually it spread, finally adopted by the Athens co-ordinating committee.

In the end, strikes were called on the 22nd by both confederations, though badly organised.

Around the middle of June the government announced that it would delay the bill through parliament in the summer. This was the first retreat. It did not, however, stop the massive demos and the further expansion of the occupations. So one week later (21 June) it announced further retreats, promising that the books would continue to be free and that conditions for expelling a student would not be as strict as initially planned.

On the basis of the above, the government invited the students for a "dialogue". However it is not taking back the bill as a whole. The student movement replied that it refuses to discuss on the basis of the government's proposals, demanding that the bill, as a whole, be withdrawn.

The government's retreats are important successes for the student movement but the battle is not yet over.

Xekinima is arguing that the student movement should pause in an organised way and come back in the autumn, start the semester with general meetings in the amphitheatres and reoccupy the colleges.

The student movement has to provide its own proposals about what kind of education society needs, invite a general dialogue, and ask the working class for its support.

Xekinima intends to take up the new law and answer the points that it raises and also make concrete proposals about the demands that should be raised by students and workers.

On this basis it is possible that the movement can take off again in September, and, what is more important, it could then unite with the school students and the teachers in primary and secondary education.

They are openly talking about taking strike action immediately as the new school year begins next September.

It is possible to have a real movement engulfing education as a whole, next autumn. If achieved it can mean a real breakthrough for the Greek youth and the Greek workers' movement.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 29 June 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS SOS

Manchester marches to defend the NHS

Save our baby unit!

Take over the drugs giants

What the Socialist Party says:


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people - fight for your rights!


Socialist Party feature

SWP / Respect conference: Flawed perspectives


International socialist news and analysis

Greek students' protests ignite solidarity action

New regime in Somalia a setback for US imperialism


Socialist Party campaigns

G8 leaders fail to make poverty history

Police and fascists attack Moscow Pride

Fight back against homophobic bullying


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Hands off civil servants' pension rights

Support striking Asda workers

Anger at leadership's tactics

Not just: " Lie back and Think of England"

General Motors meets workers' resistance


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 June 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Greece:

triangleSolidarity with Athens bus cleaners!

triangleFight for a socialist Brexit

triangleHigh Court bombshell on Brexit decision

triangleThe Corbyn insurgency 2.0: Now let's finish the job

triangleUK wage drop as bad as Greece

Students:

triangleOpen University facing huge cuts

triangleSouthampton Socialist Students: The election result and what comes next

triangleStudent occupation at Chelsea College of Arts

triangleFighting Tory cuts to the schools budget

Solidarity:

trianglePhotos of Friday's demonstrations, protests and solidarity

triangleYorkshire meeting in solidarity with the #JobstownNotGuilty campaign

Education:

triangleWelsh college strike against crippling workload

University:

triangleCorbyn's pledge: free education - May's plan: hike fees

Strike:

triangleCabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations

International

International

21/6/17

Elections

French elections: Macron's win

21/6/17

France

French elections: time to build a fighting left alternative

14/6/17

France

France - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

14/6/17

CWI

International news in brief

31/5/17

Catalonia

Heroic socialist fighters who sang as ship went down - new memorial

31/5/17

South Africa

South Africa: burning anger

24/5/17

CWI

International news in brief

24/5/17

US

Trump regime faces deepening crisis

17/5/17

Israel

Palestinian prisoners on mass hunger strike protest

17/5/17

Brazil

Brazil: General strike against Temer regime

10/5/17

Jobstown

Jobstown Not Guilty trial round-up

10/5/17

Sport

US: women ice hockey players' strike threat wins living wage

10/5/17

France

France: Macron won't solve economic & social crises

3/5/17

Ireland

Packed court laughs down cutter Joan Burton's comparison

3/5/17

Trump

Trump's policies hit a wall

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle21 Jun Justice for Grenfell and safety for all

triangle21 Jun Cabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations

triangle21 Jun Anger and grief on moving Grenfell marches

triangle21 Jun The Queen's Speech; and defending the right to protest

triangle20 Jun Whole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

triangle20 Jun Tories and May stagger on amid crisis - get them out!

triangle19 Jun Finsbury Park attack: No to terror, racism, war and austerity!

More ...

triangle24 Jun Tamil Solidarity Day

triangle25 Jun East Midlands Socialist Party: Rebellion - Then and Now

triangle1 Jul London: Tories Out national demonstration

triangle3 Jul West Cheshire Socialist Party: Prepare for the next steps towards JC4PM

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice