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(motherjones.com) JOSEPH BONICIOLI mostly uses the same internet you and I do. He pays a service provider a monthly fee to get him online. But to talk to his friends and neighbors in Athens, Greece, he’s also got something much weirder and more interesting: a private, parallel internet.

He and his fellow Athenians built it. They did so by linking up a set of rooftop wifi antennas to create a “mesh,” a sort of bucket brigade that can pass along data and signals. It’s actually faster than the Net we pay for: Data travels through the mesh at no less than 14 megabits a second, and up to 150 Mbs a second, about 30 times faster than the commercial pipeline I get at home. Bonicioli and the others can send messages, video chat, and trade huge files without ever appearing on the regular internet. And it’s a pretty big group of people: Their Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network has more than 1,000 members, from Athens proper to nearby islands. Anyone can join for free by installing some equipment. “It’s like a whole other web,” Bonicioli told me recently. “It’s our network, but it’s also a playground.”

Indeed, the mesh has become a major social hub. There are blogs, discussion forums, a Craigslist knockoff; they’ve held movie nights where one member streams a flick and hundreds tune in to watch. There’s so much local culture that they even programmed their own mini-Google to help meshers find stuff. “It changes attitudes,” Bonicioli says. “People start sharing a lot. They start getting to know someone next door—they find the same interests; they find someone to go out and talk with.” People have fallen in love after meeting on the mesh.

Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/mesh-internet-privacy-nsa-isp


(from 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:

crisis-scape.net

Produced & Directed by Ross Domoney
Interview: Dimitris Dalakoglou
Filmed, Photographed & Edited by Ross Domoney

“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.

OPEN ASSEMBLY:
Wednesday 11/7/2012,
6pm at the Labour Centre of Thessaloniki.

Movement for Workers’ Emancipation and Self-Organisation

Source: http://federacion-salonica.blogspot.hu/2012/07/workers-at-mining-industry-factory-in.html

(greecesolidarity.org) Tansy Hoskins reports on her experiences on the trade union solidarity delegation to Greece organised by the Coalition of Resistance and the People’s Charter.

Athens is a city of lit fuses. Graffiti covers buildings, pavements and statues like an angry rash. Burnt out and boarded up buildings are dotted around the city. Tension is palpable as people await the next demonstration, the next riot and the elections in April.

However, the crisis in Greece has gone beyond something that an election or a riot can resolve. It runs deeper than the question of who should sit in parliament, of how the debt should be paid off, or if it should be repaid at all. The crisis is now about the very fabric of society, of who should have control and for whose benefit society is run.

The 45,000 homeless people in Athens – many of whom spent a frozen winter sleeping in caves – are testimony to the total failure of capitalism to provide a decent standard of living. The loss of healthcare and unaffordable food prices means people are literally struggling to stay alive.

At the same time Athens still has its luxury shops, hotels and restaurants. There are multi-national corporations feasting on whatever the parliament decides to add to its corrupt garage sale of national assets.

But amongst the chaos and the poverty – and abandoned by traditional power structures – people have been taking control of their lives and communities. They face the huge opposition of international capital and all its manifestations but they have no choice – it is do or die.

It must work. Otherwise the ramifications will be catastrophic both for Greece and for the world. It is because of this that a united campaign of international solidarity is critical. Read More