[Here are several statements from activists and strikers who came under police attack during the May 11 General Strike; followed by the statement from the Communist Party of Greece (marxist-leninist). — Frontlines ed.]
1. An activist describes the targets of the police attack on the General strikers and activists:
During the General Strike on 11th May 2011 the Communist Party of Greece(marxist-leninist), Class March and the Militant Movement of Students had been the main (but not only) target of the police brutal attack along with another two political groups (EEK Trotskyites and OKDE), two grassroots workers unions (cooks & waiters union and grassroots union of motorbike workers (couriers etc)), an anarchist group and some grassroots groups that are active in specific neighborhoods and areas concerned with mainly local issues.
3. Statements of three of the militants injured during the brutal police attack; (Their photographs where the signs of brutality are very visible can be found at: http://antigeitonies.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_14.html):
“They wanted us dead…”
In one of the most peaceful marches of the last years I was “fortunate” to accept the special “protection” of the riot police, alongside dozens of other demonstrators, young men and women as well as senior citizens, who were protesting against the politics of poverty and misery.
I participate at least 25 years in the popular movement. I have never seen such rage against us by the repressive forces. The strikes were aimed at our heads clearly wanting dead among us! These were their orders. This is democracy at our times of the PASOK government and the EU-IMF-ECB Memorandum. Everybody is entitled to his opinion provided he does not express it. Anyone expressing his opinion will be “protected” like me. It is clear that this government is in the service of our foreign “protectors” and so is unscrupulous and dangerous to the people.
Pharmacist – Tradeunionist
Former chairman of Ikaria Hospital Trade Union
The demonstration in which I participated yesterday was met by brutal and murderous force by the riot police. There was at first a huge amount of tear gas and then the attack. We were lucky we didn’t have dead among us.
This was a show of force against the people who are resisting against the austerity measures. They cannot terrorize us! We will continue on the path of struggle, the only way open for our people! Resistance in order to overthrow the austerity measures!
Chairman of 7th Athens IKA Hospital Trade Union
I was marching with the Class March block chanting slogans against the antipopular politics of the government and its new austerity measures when on Panepistimiou Street we were surrounded on all sides by riot police and attacked without provocation with tear gas and truncheons aimed at our heads. In the ensuing chaos and the stampede I was hit on the head by a policeman. I sensed the blood running on my face. I couldn’t see through the cloud of tear gas and with great difficulty I was helped by others and run to Amerikis Street where I received first aid help and rushed to the hospital along with many others in similar or worse condition.
I think that it was a murderous attack in order to terrorize us so we stop taking the streets and protest against austerity measures. They will not succeed in this. Our struggles will go on because this is the only way.
3. Statement from the Communist Party of Greece (marxist-leninist) on the police attack on the General Strike:
State terrorism will not prevail!
The people’s struggle will win!
Without any provocation or pretext the PASOK government attacked and bloodied the huge demonstration of May the 11th 2011 during the general strike in Athens. The government, scared of the “enemy people’s” rise, initiated an orgy of state violence and terrorism using its praetors, the riot police, against the demonstrators.
Our block, as well as several other blocks, received an unprovoked and maniacal attack by the riot police, who surrounded the demonstration in order to dissolve it, and went on with relentless use of tear gas and savage beatings against workers, unemployed, young people and women. The result was that dozens of demonstrators were transferred to hospital with head injuries. One of them is in Intensive Care fighting for his life after being operated in the head.
The message was clear. The government and their masters, the imperialists of the IMF and the EU, want to stop any popular resistance against the austerity measures. The people must stay in its corner terrified. We “must not” demonstrate, “must not” strike, “must not” fight back. We “must” accept with fatalism the butchering of our rights, our future, our lives and that of our children.
But they cannot rule out the people’s struggle! The cruel reality that the people are forced to live urges them to the road of resistance. The only way to combat state terrorism and repression is to continue more resolutely and massively our resistance against the barbaric policy of an exploitative and unjust system.
PUNISHMENT OF THE MURDEROUS POLICEMEN!
DEMONSTRATIONS FREE OF POLICE!
THE BARBAROUS POLICY OF GOVERNMENT – EU – IMF WILL BE OVERTHROWN WITH MASS STRUGGLES!
May 12, 2011
Communist Party of Greece (marxist-leninist)