Tuesday, December 01, 2009

2009 salutes the Greek student youth’s grand spontaneous uprising that shows the way of struggle

1st Anniversary


The year 2008 came to a close with the student youth’s grand spontaneous uprising, a pivotal event that the new year 2009 welcomes and salutes as the spark that will trigger successive outbreaks of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in a period of a continuously deepening economic crisis, of intensified exploitation and oppression, of increased unemployment, of grave poverty and misery; in a period of escalating police rule, fascist terror and the fascist transformation of social life.

The student youth’s uprising in Greece – despite its spontaneous and unorganized character – is the spotlight that shows the path for the future struggle battles of the workers and peasants in our country and elsewhere.

Contrary to the Kruschevite revisionist leaders of “K”KE, the revolutionary Marxists, i.e. the Leninists-Stalinists, the old communist partisans of ELAS and DAG, as well as the young communists, unreservedly welcomed the spontaneous, militant uprising of the student youth because they saw it as an important link in the chain of workers’ and peasants’ struggles against fascist oppression, unemployment and misery.
The student youth’s spontaneous and militant uprising shook the entire country and caused panic to the youth’s murderer, the reactionary government of the “New Democracy” (ND) party, and also, the Kruschevite revisionist leaders of “K”KE who found themselves in the same reactionary camp with the former. All of the reactionaries, in a state of horror, tried in vain to discover the “instigators” of the uprising in “foreign circles” and present the youth as “hooded thugs” who adopt “blind violence” without goals and demands. Moreover, the news of the uprising alarmed the leaders of the imperialist EU and reverberated across the world reaching Latin America, from Mexico and Argentina to Brazil.

The events

The riots started on 6 December 2008, when Alexandros “Alexis” Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old student, was shot and killed in cold blood by a police officer in the Exarchia district of central Athens.

The cold blooded murder committed by the police of the Karamanlis government sparked an unprecedented, in its scale and militancy, youth uprising and lighted the fire of struggle against the murderous police terror and the fascist transformation of social life all over the country. This murder was the result and pinnacle of the reactionary course that began with the re-establishment of the royal-fascist, right-wing state, continued with the tortures of immigrant workers in police precincts, the arbitrary arrests and the bashing of civilians on the street, went as far as the stripping of a female lawyer in the Omonia square police precinct on August 2008 and culminated in the murder of the 15-year old student in the centre of Athens.

The news of Alexis’ murder caused a burst of outrage throughout the country. On Sunday and Monday thousands of people passionately protested in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra, Heraklion and other cities against the government of blood and violence. In many cases, the demonstrators clashed with the police and in Athens the riots continued until late on Sunday evening.

The seriousness of the riots is indicative by the following. The Fire Brigade, in a bulletin issued on Monday morning, announced that the damage caused in the rioting, up until midnight Sunday, included: in Athens, the burning of 24 banks, 35 shops, 22 cars, 12 homes, 63 trash receptacles, 7 bus stops and a ruling New Democracy local organisation office; in Patras, a bank, a police patrol car, four cars, a vehicle belonging to the Achaia prefectural authority, 14 dumpsters and a police parking log; in Thessaloniki, 9 banks, the Macedonia-Thrace ministry's press office, 7 cars, 40 dumpsters, the Aristotelion University's canteen, an ND local organisation office, and three Metro construction sites; in Heraklion, Crete, two banks and four trash bins; in Chania, a prefectural car and 8 dumpsters; in Kavala, an ND local office, a trash receptacle and the passport office at the police directorate; and in Chryssoupolis, a border guard post. The Fire Brigade clarified that the above damages were incurred chiefly by molotov cocktails, and the damage listed did not include destruction caused by rocks, wood, marble and other items thrown at targets during the riots.

As the revolutionary Marxists pointed out from the start, the revolt singled out two “important and symbolic targets: police precincts and banks. The former as symbols of fascist oppression and police terror and the latter as symbols of exploitation, props of capital that are responsible for massive unemployment, poverty and misery of large masses” (9/12/2008).

The attacks-sieges of the youth against police precincts were more than 30 throughout the country – Greece hasn’t experienced such attacks since December of 1944, although then, they were more organized and launched not only by the youth. At the same time, many were the attacks against the strongholds of the large capital, the banks. The damages to shops was the work of an army of police agents and they were part of the government’s provocative plan to, first, terrorize small proprietors and come, then, to their rescue offering them “peace, order and security”. The implementation of this plan has already started with police assaults of unprecedented barbarity directed not only against students and teachers but also against journalists and lawyers.

Occupations in University departments and schools (more than 1,000 in total) lasted for more than 3 weeks.


The great uprising of the student youth – despite its spontaneous character – was the most important in the history of the youth movement since 1974 as far as the scale, the militancy, and the content of the struggle’s demands is concerned: a) struggle against police violence and murderous terror in particular and against fascist transformation of society in general, b) struggle against exploitation, unemployment, poverty and misery of the working people. This uprising was not “opposed to the working class movement” and to the “working class” as the revisionist leaders Papariga et al claim in their reactionary attempt to undermine the working class-youth unity. On the contrary, the student youth did not, and objectively could not, find itself in opposition to the working class because: 1) as far as its class origin is concerned the overwhelming majority of student youth are children of workers and peasants 2) as far as the content of the struggle is concerned, both a) the struggle against bourgeois state and the fascist transformation and b) the struggle against unemployment, poverty and misery are inseparable parts of the struggle of the proletariat and the wide working masses. Therefore, the student youth through its spontaneous uprising found itself in the same trench together with the workers, the peasants and wide working masses in general.

The contribution of the youth's uprising – whose spontaneous character did not reduce its importance, although the lack of organization was its weak spot – to the struggle of the working class and the people of Greece in this period of the continuous worsening in every aspect of life (a worsening that will grow the following years due to the deep economic crisis) consists in the following:

Firstly, it disturbed violently the stagnant waters and shook the rotten and corrupted capitalistic society, while it terrified and threw into panic the reactionary bourgeoisie and its parties which are (mainly the reactionary government of Karamanlis) and the social-democrat leaders of “K”KE who are the servants of the great capital.

Secondly, it initiated militantly and massively the beginning of the struggle of the working class and the people against the extreme fascist transformation of the bourgeoisie state, the police terror, the fascist violence and generally the struggle against fascist transformation of the social life of Greece.

Thirdly, it initiated militantly-massively the struggle of the working people against unemployment, poverty and wretchedness which will rise sharply during the crisis period.

Fourthly, it sharpened the class struggle and broke the stagnation, the passiveness and the disappointment of the broad popular masses which was the result of the treacherous policy of class collaboration that is promoted by the reformist leaders of GSEE (the General Confederation of Greek Workers) -ADEDY (the Civil Servants' Confederation).

Fifthly, it showed the way towards the future class struggles against the capital, in contrast with the way of obedience and cooperation with the capitalists that follows the social-democrat leadership of “K”KE and the reformists of PAME (the workers’ platform of “K”KE).

Sixthly, it forced the bourgeois social-democratic “K”KE a) not just openly enter the camp of the forces of capital, but moreover b) to join the avant-guard of the the ultra-reactionary monarch-fascist (ND) and nazi-fascist (LAOS, “Golden Dawn”, etc.) reactionary forces.

The enraged uprising of the student youth threw into panic not only the representatives and the servants of the local capital but also the representatives of the imperialistic EU which withdrew the planned unpopular measures or did not materialize them (in the case of Sarkozy in France) fearing that there will be uprisings in their own countries (the representatives of European capital claimed: “there is great danger for the uprising in Greece to be spread all over Europe”). Furthermore, the uprising won the solidarity and the admiration of the youth in the west-European countries. A similar reaction was displayed by the youth in many Latin American countries (“viva la rebelion en Grecia”, Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Subcomadante Marcos in Mexico: “Espero no haber dicho una groser a, lo que quise decir fue Companera, companero, Grecia rebelde. Nosotros, los mas pequenos, desde este rincon del mundo te saludamos. Recibe nuestro respeto y admiracion por lo que piensas y haces. Desde lejos aprendemos de ti. Gracias.”

The stance of the reformists

The youth’s uprising didn’t cause alarm only to the ruling bourgeois class but also to the Khruschevite social democratic leadership of “K”KE which was trying for a month to exorcise the ghost of the youth’s revolt.

From the very first moment, “K”KE sided with the reactionary Karamanlis government against the uprising of the youth, The “K”KE secretary Papariga together with the Karamanlis government, the ultra-reactionary LAOS party and the fascist press presented slanderously the uprising of the youth as a movement of “hooded thugs” “instigated” by foreign imperialist circles (Papariga’s statements, “Real News” 21/12/2008, p. 1).

Moreover, in a press conference, shortly after her meeting with the prime minister, Papariga instead of denouncing the murderous police violence and the Karamanlis government as the murderer of the youth, she blamed SYN (the euro-“communist” branch of Kruschevite revisionism) for supporting the revolt: “We ask the leadership of SYN to stop flattering the hooded thugs (“Rizospastis”, 10/12/2008)”. Naturally, this reactionary statement was welcomed by various fascist newspapers: “Only KKE dared to conflict with the petty agents who carry out the dirty plan of destabilization”. (“Avriani”, 15/12/2008)

The current pro-fascist attitude of the “K”KE leaders has embarrassed the members and the friends of this social democratic party – losing, thus, not only its anti-nationalist and anti-imperialist but also its anti-fascist character – to such an extent that the fascist press openly invites them to assume the role of the police and the fascist “shock group” that will come to the rescue of the reactionary bourgeois regime! For example, the tabloid Avriani headlines read: “If the police are incapable, let the citizens or KKE undertake the restoration of order (“Avriani”, 19/12/2008).

Finally, by saying incredible – but totally reactionary – things that do not make the least historical or logical sense, the “K”KE leaders proclaimed that “the youth’s uprising ridicules and vulgarizes the popular uprising”, because, allegedly, “in a real popular uprising there will not be a single window broken” (“Rizospastis”, 23/12/2008). They go as far as to urge others not to talk about “popular uprising” or even “youth’s uprising”. Once again, by so eagerly defending the peaceful parliamentary road, the “K”KE leaders proved to be worthy disciples of Bernstein-Kautsky.


The teaching of the Greek student youth’s is great. It helped young people and the working class to realise the role of the urban and revisionist parties. The whole capitalism system was taken under doubt and at the same time the unrest helped people to realise their capability to do things. On the other hand, the struggle reached a certain limit. This is due to the absence of a real revolutionary-communist party in Greece which will help the masses to their struggle, a party which will inspire people and lead the struggle and transform it to a struggle against the whole capitalism system and not only against its consciences, a party based on the principals of Marxism-Leninism and this is our duty to create this party.

Movement for the Reorganisation of the KKE 1918-55

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