Greece: Riot Police Raid Hellenic Halyvourgias Steel Mill

By ,, July 21, 2012

Greek riot police guard the entrance of the Halyvourgia steelworks factory during a protest, in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, on Friday

After a heroic nine-month strike that effectively shut down the Hellenic Halyvourgias Steel Mill in Aspropyrgos, the fascist regime in Athens decided it was time to attack the steel mill strikers.

At 5:30am on Friday, 20 July, public prosecutors and rioting police raided the plant, wielding chemical weapons and their trademark brutality, against the strikers. The police evicted ALL of the steelworkers who have been on strike for 9 months, forcing them out of the building. Six people were detained and later arrested. Several casualties have also been reported.

As it stand now, the municipal police are guarding the factory for a private company!

According to a report by ekathimerini:

The police intervention reportedly came at the behest of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday night after talks between Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, unionists and the Halyvourgia management broke down. According to sources, Samaras stressed the importance of upholding the law and protecting citizens’ right to work, as well as to strike. “The right to work is sacred and the government will do everything to protect it,” Samaras is quoted as saying.

Friday’s intervention followed a court order issued a month and a half ago which deemed the strike by Halyvourgia workers illegal. The plant had been closed since October 31, when employees refused to accept a reduced salary and working week. Since then Halyvourgia’s management has fired at least 50 of its 400 workers and is reportedly planning to transfer the Aspropyrgos operations to Volos, in central Greece.

Alexis Tsipras, the leader of SYRIZA, condemned the police action as “a raw, unprovoked, military-style intervention.”

Following the brutal attack, an immediate call went out for all people to come to the steel mill to stand in solidarity with the strikers. The police responded by deliberately blocking all roads leading to the mill to prevent people from accessing the plant. The Halyvourgias Steel Mill in Aspropyrgos is located 20k from the center of Athens in western Attica, yet it took StopCartel 4 hours to travel to there. By purposely creating a horrific situation for drivers, who were forced to sit in their cars for hours in the sweltering heat, the police also hoped to garner adverse feelings towards the strikers.

It must be noted repeatedly that the taxpayers foot the bill for the rioting police, who clearly work for the industrialists and the troika. They are a disgrace and an example of the toxic nature of Greek society.

The curtain has been pulled back and now the regime stands exposed. They are playing the role of political tools and clerks to the big industrialist and bankers who are trying to enslave our lives in Greece, Europe and the rest of the world. Every action, every policy goes against the best interests of the people.

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