Ryan Griffis on Mon, 22 Dec 2008 16:47:16 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Fwd: Statement on the uprising in Greece

Begin forwarded message:

> What We See, What We Hope:
> Declaration of Solidarity with the Uprising in Greece
> We want first of all to say a collective yes! to the uprising in  
> Greece.  We are artists, writers and teachers who are connected in  
> this moment by common friends and commitments.  We are globally  
> dispersed and are mostly watching, and hoping, from afar.  But some  
> of us are also there, in Athens, and have been on the streets, have  
> felt the rage and the tear gas, and have glimpsed the dancing  
> specter of the other world that is possible.  We claim no special  
> right to speak or be heard.  Still, we have a few things to say.   
> For this is also a global moment for speaking and sharing, for  
> hoping and thinking together...
> No one can doubt that the protest and occupation movement that has  
> spread across Greece since the police murder of Alexis  
> Grigoropoulos in Athens on 6 December is a social uprising whose  
> causes reach far deeper than the obscene event that triggered it.   
> The rage is real, and it is justified.  The filled streets, strikes  
> and walk-outs, and occupied schools, universities, union halls and  
> television stations have refuted early official attempts to dismiss  
> the social explosion as the work of a small number of ?young  
> people? in Exarchia, Athens or elsewhere in Greece.
> What remains to be seen is whether the movement now emerging will  
> become an effective political force ? and, if it does, whether it  
> will be contained within a liberal-reformist horizon or will aim at  
> a more radical social and political transformation.  If the  
> movement takes the liberal-reformist path, then the most to be  
> expected will be the replacement of one corrupt party in power by  
> its corrupt competitor, accompanied by a few token concessions  
> wrapped in the empty rhetoric of democracy.  These would almost  
> certainly be the smoke-screen for a reactionary wave of new  
> repressive powers masquerading as security measures.  Only  
> radically democratic and emancipatory demands, clearly articulated  
> and resolutely struggled for, could prevent this outcome and open  
> the space for a rupture in a destructive global system of  
> domination and exploitation.  As we count ourselves among those who  
> experience this system as the violent negation of human spirit and
>  potential, we could only welcome such a rupture as a reassertion  
> of humanity in the face of a repressive politics of fear.
> Observing events in Greece and the official and corporate media  
> discourse developing in response to them, we note the emergence of  
> what begins to looks like a new elite consensus.  The ?violent  
> unrest? in Greece, we are told with increasing frequency, is the  
> revolt of the ?700-Euro generation? ? that is, of overeducated  
> young people with too few prospects of a decent position and  
> income.  The solution, by this account, is to revitalize Greek  
> society through more structural adjustments to make the economy  
> more dynamic and efficient.  Once all people are convinced they  
> will be welcomed and integrated into consumer reality and rewarded  
> with purchasing power commensurate with their educational  
> investment, then the conditions of this ?revolt? will have been  
> eliminated.  In short: everything will be fine, and everyone happy,  
> once some adjustments have made capitalism in Greece less wasteful  
> of its human resources.
> We have seen this strategy before, in response to the uprisings in  
> the suburbs of Paris and around the CPE ?reforms? in France several  
> years ago.  Indeed, since the 1960s this has been the perennial,  
> preferred strategy of power to all uprisings that show themselves  
> unwilling to disappear immediately.  Its functions are crystal  
> clear:  to channel the movement in a neutralizing liberal-reformist  
> direction and to provoke divisions by means of lures and promises.   
> Those who don?t take the bait are left isolated and can be safely  
> targeted for repression.
> We hope those in the streets and all those who sympathize with and  
> support them in and outside of Greece will see through this  
> strategy and expose and denounce it.  We?re sure that there is much  
> more at stake, and much more to be imagined, hoped and struggled  
> for, than will be on offer in this neo-liberal sleeping pill.  And  
> we hope that, in the space opened up by the real rage and courage  
> of people who have left passivity and hopelessness behind, this  
> social movement will now organize itself into a durable political  
> force capable of scorning such recuperative enticements.
> In light of the above, we declare openly that:
> 1)	We are moved by the courage and humanity of those who have  
> repeatedly filled the streets and are now occupying schools and  
> university campuses in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, and cities  
> across Greece.  Our solidarity with them will not be shaken by  
> official attempts to divide the movement into ?good? protesters and  
> ?bad.?  In the face of the police murder of a 15-year old ? only  
> the most recent in a long series of such murders by state officers  
> ? and in the face of the grinding inhumanity and relentless  
> militarization of everyday life under the capitalist war of all  
> against all, the destruction of private property does not upset  
> us.  To be clear:  We?re not endorsing violence blindly; in fact  
> we?re heartened to see that actions are becoming more selective,  
> more political, with each day.  But we know how divisive fixation  
> on the ?violence? of protesters can be in moments such as these.   
> And so we refuse to go along with attempts to isolate certain groups.  
> Those > who play along with that script allow themselves to be used 
> in a way that delivers others to direct  repression.
> 2)	We call for the immediate liberation and unconditional amnesty  
> for all those arrested for participating in the uprising ? more  
> than 400 people at this writing.
> 3)	We reject all attempts to trivialize this uprising by reducing  
> it to the revolt of an overeducated ?700-Euro generation.?
> 4)	We categorically reject any attempt to smear this uprising with  
> the label of ?terrorism.?  The only terror it is appropriate to  
> speak of here is the ongoing state terror inflicted on the  
> autonomists of Exarchia, on immigrants, on the poor and vulnerable,  
> and on all those who refuse to conform and submit to the bleak and  
> violent givens of capitalist normality.  We condemn any attempt,  
> now or in the future, to apply draconian ?anti-terrorism? laws and  
> measures against those participating in this movement.
> Brett Bloom (Urbana)
> Dimitris Bacharas (Athens)
> Rozalinda Borcila (Chicago)
> Peter Conlin (London)
> Alexandros Efklidis (Thessaloniki)
> Markus Euskirchen (Berlin)
> Nathalie Fixon (Paris)
> Bonnie Fortune (Urbana)
> Kirsten Forkert (London)
> John Fulljames (London)
> Jack Hirschman (San Francisco)
> Antoneta Kotsi (Athens)
> Isabella Kounidou (Nicosia)
> Henrik Lebuhn (San Francisco)
> Ed Marszewski (Chicago)
> Jasmin Mersmann (Berlin)
> Anna Papaeti (Athens)
> Csaba Polony (Oakland)
> Katja Praznik (Ljubljana)
> Gene Ray (Berlin)
> Tamas St. Auby (Budapest)
> Gregory Sholette (New York)
> G.M. Tam?s (Budapest)
> Flora Tsilaga (Athens)

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