Resistanbul: Yes, Greece is with you!
(First published in egainst.com at http://eagainst.com/articles/resistanbul-yes-greece-is-with-you/)
For seven days now, the praised by the IMF Turkish state, has unleashed a brutal attack against civilians, who first protested against the destruction of nature in Taksim Square and then left their blood on the streets demanding the resignation of the Sultanic regime that has deprived their freedoms. These are the largest demonstrations in the history of the country, which came as a shock for politicians and financial analysts; who, as in the case of Tunisia, are unable to explain why their ‘infallible’ statistics and development programmes have been proven unsuccessful, and their economic model that whilst for years was propagated as the only one that guarantees well-being – given that the Turkish economy shows marginal growth (2.2% in 2012) – failed to ensure social peace and stability. Of course, for them, the explosive and uncontrollable power of spontaneity, the revolutionary pathways that the imagination of young people has opened once they decided to turn against their oppressors, is utterly incomprehensible. Instead they find all kinds of cheap excuses revealing their elitistic ostrichism; the protesters are a “handful of looters’ and mindless yobs who have no political motivation apart from wanting “everything for nothing”. The lies and vulgar inaccuracies of all the fat cats and golden boys who seek to obscure the truth behind the Turkish uprising has been largely refuted by the practical solidarity in the streets of Turkish cities, the militancy and self-sacrifice of the young protesters, the red and black flags, the slogans and symbols of freedom on walls and banners.
But this specific uprising should not exclusively be understood as a Turkish phenomenon. It cannot be interpreted strictly as an isolated example, neither as a predictable event. We acknowledge that the situation at the moment is solely in the hands of (indeed heterogeneous) Turkish society. We cannot predict whether it will fade out, leaving an important legacy for the future, although it will cause serious social and political upheavals within the country or whether it will fuel a genuine revolutionary movement able to spread to the rest of Europe, especially the neighbouring Greek territory. Whatever happens, however, this revolt (such like every revolt) marks the beginning of a new (probably long) process, whilst the new reality born in the streets is a key element that points out the solidarity among the people against the everyday normality where competition against each other takes place. This cannot easily be erased no matter if the demagogic ‘political’ bureaucracies attempt to hijack the movement, directing it in favour of their own interests. Nonetheless, the time where this kind of solidarity has to overcome national borders and spread all across Europe (and the rest of the world) has arrived.
Demagogues, hate preachers, fundamentalists, self-called prophets, historians of parody and propagandists have for years attempted to convince us that the two peoples (Greece and Turkey) are enemies to each other, that they have nothing in common except the sword. That we should be always available to give our lives in the “upcoming war against our bad neighbours” looking for the revival of past glories. It is undeniable that the geopolitical rivalry between us has fed hatred and tensions for centuries. Not only, however, do we refuse to look at history, but we believe it is time to review it and at the same time rethink about this rivalry contracted from above. Now the old-fashioned empires have collapsed but the new “pashas” and “kings” who have profit and the markets as their weapons continue to exploit people, promoting the interests of the oligarchies, while the ordinary citizen experiences the same oppression, impoverishment and humiliation in order to raise the interests of the market and those who derive profit from this predatory system called capitalism. Under these conditions where the entire globe has turned into a financial casino, will we continue to idealize the past closing our eyes to unacceptable working conditions, to the destruction of our natural environment and transformation of our cities into modern prisons of consuming masses which only bow their heads passively to the commands of the bosses? The time to get closer with one another and leave behind the ghosts of the past is here. Only the unity and brotherhood could get us out of this impasse. After all, not only have we nothing to divide us, but instead we have more cultural similarities than differences (contrary to what we have been told).
The majority of Greek society, which experiences the same attack that led the Turkish people to despair, a multi-faceted attack that the economic-oligarchies have unleashed, and the constant hardening stance of the repressive state, stands in solidarity with the Turkish people, and expresses its support by organizing demonstrations in front of Turkish embassies and consulates, carrying banners, shouting slogans and distributing leaflets, from Athens to the most isolated island. Certainly there are sad exceptions in both cases! There are individuals who refuse to look ahead, trapped in hysterical nationalistic populism, but they are neither the majority nor at such a critical moment will succeed in dividing us again. Speculative arms dealers with political interests and profiteers will continue to cultivate and breed hatred between the two peoples that have so much in common. But they will confront the strong opposition of the citizens who struggle for social and international solidarity, equality and justice, rejecting every form of nationalist or religious isolationism. Protesters in Turkey should understand that next to them friends and trustful comrades exist, living with (and for) the same passion for freedom.
“I am not an Athenian or a Greek citizen, but a citizen of the world.” (Socrates)
Athens, Solidarity march (Slogan: In Greece, Turkey and Sweden, struggle for equality and freedom)
Athens, solidarity march
Thessaloniki, solidarity march
Ioannina, solidarity march (Slogan: in Greece, Turkey and Albania, the enemy is in the banks and ministries)
Veroia (Slogan: Revolt is the rage of the oppressed)
Peristeri (Athens), solidarity banner from Fentagin