Greek society has been deeply shocked by the deadly train collision at Tempi on the evening of 28 February that killed at least 57 mostly young people. The grief has turned to anger against a government that is trying to deflect from its own culpability and that of the capitalist class. The working class burst onto the scene with a general strike on 8 March. We publish below the English translation of the leaflet distributed by the comrades of the Greek section of the IMT at that strike.
This government of hypocrites, that feigns grief, is falsely promoting the myth of collective responsibility. They, along with the state and their system, are the parties that bear sole responsibility for the crime committed at Tempi.
Down with the government and this criminal system crushing the people!
For immediate escalation of the fight and a 48-hour general strike!
The strike action of 8 March – astonishing in its size, extent and militancy, that saw 100-150,000 demonstrators march in Athens despite the closure of the metro stations by the police and further the mass gatherings in over 80 other cities – marked the rapid entry of the working people and the youth into the political scene. The shock to consciousness following the crime committed by the government, the state and the capitalists at Tempi has lit the fuse for an explosion of accumulated popular anger. This anger has accumulated as a result of the onslaught over years on the living standards and rights of workers and young people by capitalism and the governments that managed it – most prominently, the New Democracy (ND) government.
The government of Mitsotakis – and the ruling class that is its only support – now have their backs up against the wall. Mitsotakis and his ministers, after their colossal failure to cover up their own responsibility with this tale of “human error”, and being one step away from being kicked out of power, posture as though they are saddened and play their last card through the mass media: the shameless narrative of collective responsibility.
But they convince very few with this. The working people, led by the youth, are not only suspicious of them, but they are now mobilising on the streets. More or less consciously, they are demanding the government’s overthrow, such that all those responsible for the crime at Tempie are punished, and a political solution can be implemented that will prevent such crimes from ever happening again.
However, repeated rallies and fragmented one day strikes are not enough to realise these demands. The rudiments of organisation of the workers and mobilised youth, the unifying and united leadership, escalation in the methods of struggle and a clear political goal are urgently needed.
With this in mind, the tasks of all the mass trade unions and political organisations that have publicly stood for the mass movement against this crime, are of decisive importance. Either they will organise the mass movement to win, or they will contribute to its being led into a stalemate, from which only the government and the ruling class will benefit. To represent the collective will of the working people is, after all, the main reason for their existence, and not to hold parliamentary seats, deliver well-written speeches and organise trade union conferences.
- The 8 March strike was the first major step in the struggle. But isolated 24-hour strikes are not enough to win. We need an immediate escalation of the struggle with a 48-hour general strike, and the core slogan, “"Down with the criminal, anti-people government!” Joint action between the labour movement and university and school student councils, and unions of small shopkeepers, peasants and professionals.
- No trust in the government-state ‘investigation’ committee and the reactionary judges that are working to cover up the Tempi crime! For an independent inquiry committee from the railway unions, Labor Centers and Labor Federations, in collaboration with dedicated labour movement academics and lawyers, with the aim of publishing a truly objective finding on the full causes, and attribution of specific political, administrative and criminal liability to all those responsible!
- United Front of Struggle of all the mass organisations of the labour movement, the youth and the parties of the Left.
- Struggle Committees in every workplace, in every faculty and school, in every neighbourhood, with an effort for joint nationwide coordination!
- If the government does not resign after the necessary 48-hour general strike, serious and organised preparation must be made for an all out general strike until we overthrow them! For the emergence of a joint anti-capitalist, socialist government of the Left that will nationalise the railways under workers control.
EPANASTASI Newspaper – www.marxismos.com
Communist Tendency, Greek section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT)