Austerity Protest Posters, Rethymno Crete Greece

Seen here are posters for the Socialist Worker Party (ΣΕΚ), Ε.ΠΑ.Μ ‘Democracy Now’, and the All-Workers Militant Front Trade Union (Πανεργατικό Αγωνιστικό Μέτωπο, Π.Α.ΜΕ/PAME).

The ΠΑΜΕ Trade Union has campaigned against cuts in wages and pensions and tax increases implemented by the Greek government in accordance with the conditions of the EU sponsored bailout which seeks to balance Greece’s deficit.

More information on the Socialist Worker Party (ΣΕΚ) and Ε.ΠΑ.Μ ‘Democracy Now’ can be found in the previous blog post here.

The Π.Α.ΜΕ Trade Union, Socialist Worker Party (ΣΕΚ) and Ε.ΠΑ.Μ ‘Democracy Now’ have all been involved in campaigning against the far right Golden Dawn party, whose involvement in violence against immigrants and the recent murder of Pavlos Fyssas has led to mass protests across Greece and her islands.

Sources:

All-Workers Militant Front (Π.Α.ΜΕ) Home Page

Guardian – ‘Golden Dawn remains defiant amid Greek revulsion at musician’s murder’

 

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Opposition to Austerity: Crete, Greece

Austerity Protest Posters

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Protest Posters, Rethymno Crete Greece

The poster on the right is about the Greek Socialist Worker Party (ΣΕΚ), which calls for solidarity with the Uprising in Turkey. This refers to the protests which found their genesis in Istanbul’s Gezi Park in late May 2013, initially as opposition on ecological grounds to the destruction of the park to make way for a shopping centre. This protest snowballed into an Occupy-style movement challenging the perceived authoritarianism of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, conservative and traditionalist attempts to restrict public behaviour (most notably restrictions on alcohol, and kissing in public), and wider opposition to governments and the Capitalist financial system.

This poster calls for solidarity between Istanbul and Athens, and for protesters to unite in a ‘Common Battle’ (n.b. this is not a call to violence). Featured on the poster are details for a talk by the Greek activist and writer Nikos Lountos, held by a Cultural Student Group of the University of Crete, Rethymno.

Also visible on this photo is a fragment of a poster for the Ε.ΠΑ.Μ ‘Democracy Now’ group, a grassroots movement which campaigns for widespread democratic and institutional reforms in Greece. It opposes the conditions of the ‘Troika’ (EU, IMF, ECB) sanctioned bailouts imposed on the Greek people, and calls for Greece to abandon both the EU and the Euro, and reinstate a national currency.

The increased prominence and rising popularity of groups and parties such as ΣΕΚ and Ε.ΠΑ.Μ comes as a direct response to the harsh conditions faced by the Greek people as their Government imposes cuts to the public sector and services, as well as large tax increases, in an attempt to balance Greece’s deficit. Both ΣΕΚ and Ε.ΠΑ.Μ, and other parties of similiar political affiliation have been extremely vocal in their opposition to the the far-right Golden Dawn group, whose links to violence and the recent murder of Pavlos Fyssas have led to the recent arrest of its leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other central members of the party on 28th September.

(Apologies to any Greek speakers for the quality of my translations, any corrections are welcomed)

Sources:

Guardian – ‘Turkey protests spread after violence in Istanbul over park demolition’

Socialist Worker Party (ΣΕΚ Online) 

Anticapitalist Students (Μαθητές Anti Capitalista)

Democracy Now! – ‘Uprising in Greece: Protests, Riots, Strikes Enter 6th Day Following Fatal Police Shooting of Teen (Interview with Nikos Lountos)’

Ε.ΠΑ.Μ (Ενιαιο Παλλακïο Μετωπο) ‘Democracy Now’ 

Guardian – ‘Golden Dawn remains defiant amid Greek revulsion at musician’s murder’

Guardian – ‘Golden Dawn leader charged with heading a criminal gang’

 

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Opposition to Austerity: Crete, Greece

Protest Posters

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'Fire in the every racist house' χρυσαυγη = Golden Dawn

The graffiti translates as “Fire in the house of Golden Dawn”.

This photo was featured on the cover of the Fall 2013 edition of the Michigan Quarterly Review.

The recent global financial crisis and a mismanagement of state revenue has left Greece saddled with a huge deficit, rendered even worse by the knock-on effects of the Eurozone predicament affecting the Southern European member states. The strict austerity measures imposed on Greece as a condition of the EU and IMF sponsored bailouts have taken their toll on the people of Greece, increasing support for parties at the more extreme ends of the political spectrum. The most dramatic example of this is the far-right group Golden Dawn (χρυσή αυγή), whose popularity has swelled to make it Greece’s third largest political party, holding 18 seats in Greece’s 300 strong parliament. Golden Dawn’s hugely divisive anti-immigrant stance and its links to violence and neo-Nazism have led to powerful opposition against the party and its ideology by vast swathes of the Greek population, particularly members of communist, socialist and solidarity groups. On the 18th September the fatal stabbing of the anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas (stage name Killah P) in Athens by a Golden Dawn sympathiser lead to mass demonstrations against the party both on the Greek mainland and in Chania (where Golden Dawn has an office) and Rethymno. The Greek government has responded by raiding several Golden Dawn offices and implementing legislation that could see the party banned.

Sources:

Guardian – ‘Greece moves to ban far-right Golden Dawn’

New York Times – ‘Police Raid Golden Dawn Offices in Athens After a Killing’

Financial Times – ‘Greeks join in protest against Golden Dawn stabbing’

ZARPA – ‘Protest incident outside Golden Dawn offices in Chania’

 

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Opposition to Austerity: Crete, Greece

Anti-Golden Dawn Graffiti

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Rethymno Street Art

The wonderful winding streets of Rethymno in Crete provide a fantastic opportunity to sample the unique charms of this historic town. The graffiti trend which has become increasingly widespread over the last 5 years would have conservationists up in arms, as the canvases utilised are often Venetian and Ottoman buildings, but it is just another artistic expression of the town’s rich and vibrant youth culture. As Greece’s young people face an uncertain future, while the nation struggles under its mountain of deficit, graffiti provides an outlet for self-expression, solidarity, and even opposition against reactionary far right groups like Golden Dawn.

 

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Opposition to Austerity: Crete, Greece

Rethymno Street Art

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Panormo

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Cretan Life

Panormo

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Rethymno Popcorn

 

 

I love cities at night, they seem to come alive! And nowhere is this more true than the Cretan city of Rethymno. Despite Greece’s deficit woes, it remains a vibrant and exciting place, and the harbour area is home to all manner of bars, clubs and street vendor stalls.

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Cretan Life

Rethymno Popcorn Stall

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