(freespeechtv) Former Black Panther and Critical Resistance Organizer, Ashanti Alston discusses his work with the Black Liberation struggles and compares them to contemporary work of the Zapatistas.
(from Ross Domoney@vimeo) Dr Dimitris Dalakoglou explains the social meltdown which took place in Greece between May 2010 & June 2012 that is on going. This film contains videos and photos shot on the streets, often containing violence and paints a portrait of widespread economic hardship endured by a cities inhabitants. This film is part of an ongoing research project, which looks at the rapid structural changes which Greece is undergoing. This work in progress can be viewed here:
Produced & Directed by Ross Domoney
Interview: Dimitris Dalakoglou
Filmed, Photographed & Edited by Ross Domoney
(squat.net) On the 19th January 2013, homeless activists and their allies squatted an empty building in the 7th district of Budapest. The squatters demanded the institutionalization of a right to housing and an extensive system of social housing instead of punitive measures and overcrowded shelters. The activists were arrested and now face misdemeanor charges because of disobeying police instructions.
“We do not leave until the government and local authorities do not take seriously mass homelessness and housing poverty” – said Jenő Keresztes, one of the homeless squatters. “We are here to raise awareness about the tens of thousands of empty buildings, where homeless people could find their home. The majority of these empty buildings are in private hands, but local authorities also have great responsibility in leaving buildings such as this one unused for years. Instead of taking care of them, they leave them to dilapidate. This building alone could serve as a home for at least 10 families – said Jutka Lakatosné, another homeless activist.
The squatters were supported by dozens of young activists forming a living chain at the entrance of the building as well as an ever-growing group of protesters on the other side of the street. The supporters were chanting slogans such as “Housing, not jails” and “Right to housing for all!”. The head of the local authority’s real estate office agency visited the house and told the protestors that the local authority has no responsibility whatsoever either about homelessness or about the abandonment of the house. Five hours later the police arrived in great numbers and arrested one by one the activists blocking the entrance of the building. The activists did not cooperate and therefore were carried by the police to the police cars. The supporting protesters first were chanting “We are with you” right by the activists. Later, the police pushed them back where they could not see the arrests anymore – but they stayed until the last one of the activists were taken away from the location and supported them with loud drumming and chanting.
“I do not have housing worthy of human dignity either, I am just temporarily allowed to stay in an otherwise empty building which does not have heating. Nonetheless I do not fight for myself alone: we would like everyone to have access to decent, affordable and healthy housing, and we want the government and the local authorities to take responsibility for this” – said László Dombovári homeless activist. In Hungary there are currently millions of people suffering from various forms of housing poverty. 10 thousand of them are living in the public spaces or shelters of Budapest. Around half million families has arrears that threaten their housing, and every fifth household gets behind with their mortgage payments due to lack of resources.
The City is for All supports the demands of the homeless activists. We have organized several marches to raise awareness about empty buildings and demand their utilization, spelled out our related policy recommendations, and protested for the codification of a right to housing and the establishment of an extensive system of social housing. According to The City is for All, the implementation of a right to housing should include a ban on evictions without the provision of acceptable housing alternative as well as housing policies that ensure access to decent housing for everyone. Right to housing would not mean the provision of free housing by the state, but that the state establishes and maintains a system of housing policies that ensure fair access to housing for all members of the society.
(wikipedia) Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children’s songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is “This Land Is Your Land.” Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Guthrie
“You can’t? We can!” Workers at Mining Industry factory in Northern Greece vote for and prepare for self-management of their factory – victory to the workers!
Concerning the struggle at VIOMIHANIKI METALLEYTIKI (Mining Industry) in Thessaloniki
The administration of VIOMIHANIKI METALLEYTIKI, a subsidiary of Filkeram-Johnson, has abandoned the factory since May 2011, along with its workers. In response, the workers of the factory abstain from work (epishesi ergasias: the legal right of workers to abstain from work should their employer delay their payment) since September 2011. The Workers Union at Viomihaniki Metalleutiki has organised 40 workers all of which are, to date (one year after the closure of the factory) active, taking shifts at the factory to ensure that no equipment is removed by the administration or stolen. All the workers also participate in the General Assemblies.
The proposal of the Union in order to escape this dead end – as the Administration has stated the factory will not reopen, due to the lack of funds – is for the factory to go into workers control, a proposal voted by 98% of the workers at the General Assembly. More specifically they ask for the factory to be passed on to the workers and for all the members of the Administration and workers sitting in the administrative council to resign, with no claims from the future workers’ self-management of the factory.
In regard to the initial capital, which is necessary for the operation of the factory, the proposal of the workers is for the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) to pay them in advance the sums they are already entitled to after becoming redundant.
Finally, the workers at Viomihaniki Metalleutiki demand the introduction of legal status for co-operative enterprises, in order for their own and for future initiatives to be legally covered.
In the struggle of the workers of Viomihaniki Metalleutiki, apart from the self-evident value that we see in every workers’ struggle and every workers’ demand, we also recognise an additional value, which comprises exactly of this proposal of self-management. We believe that the occupation and the re-operation of factories and corporations by their workers is the only realistic alternative proposal in face of the ever-increasing exploitation of the working class. The self-organisation of factories that close down is the only proposal that has the force to mobilise the working class – which, living under the constant threat of unemployment, cannot see ways in which it can resist.
We know that the difficulties we shall face in the struggle for the self-management of the factory are many, since state and capital will fiercely stand against it – as a possible victory shall create a precedent and and example for any other struggle in the country. Yet the question of whose hands the production lies in becomes a question of life and death for a working class pushed into degradation. For this reason, the workers’ struggles orientated in this direction and the forces standing in solidarity to these struggles should be prepared to clash with state and the administration in order to materialise the occupation of the means of production and the workers’ self-management.
We call for every union, organisation and worker to stand in solidarity to the struggle of the workers of VIOMIHANIKI METALLEYTIKI and to actively support the workers both financially and politically.
6pm at the Labour Centre of Thessaloniki.
Movement for Workers’ Emancipation and Self-Organisation
200.000 people welcome Asturian miners in Puerta Del Sol: