Towards the end of July the Greek news channels launched a campaign of slander about the ideology of the terrorist organisation 17N (November 17), claiming that it was a Trotskyist organisation. In this way they are trying to portray all Trotskyists as terrorists. The Greek Marxist paper Sosialistiki Ekfrasi sent a letter of protest to all the newspapers and channels, which was published in two major newspapers. We are publishing this short article on the subject.
For the past twenty-seven years the Greek state had a very good excuse to take violent measures against the democratic rights and the movement of the working class. This excuse was provided by the actions of the terrorist group 17N.
This organisation was founded in 1975 after the collapse of the military dictatorship, its aim being to assassinate the cadres of the military dictatorship. Later on, during the 1980s and 90s, it came to light that the organisation was probably controlled by foreign and domestic secret agents and its official ideological line was similar to Maoism, together with some nationalist features.
Twenty-seven years after its foundation it seems that 17N's lifeline has ended. The Simitis government has become very unpopular lately due to its policies against the working class. The Greek bourgeoisie is doing everything in its power to keep this government in power. It knows that a right-wing government of the New Democracy will provoke a strong workers' movement. The arrest of 17N members is seen as a good remedy for the declining popularity of the Simitis government and a way of shifting attention away from the class struggle and the government's policies, and towards the hunt for the terrorists.
Through the mass media the government and the ruling class, are trying to justify last year's "Anti-Terrorist Law" - which limited democratic rights - as a "necessary" law. That law has paved the way for similar laws in the future. They are now trying to incriminate left-wing, socialist ideas, especially Trotskyist ideas. During the early 1930s the father of the 17N was a significant figure in the Trotskyist movement in Greece. This is being exploited by the media to portray terrorist ideology as being the same as Trotskyism.
The Marxist newspaper Sosialistiki Ekfrasi, that defends the ideas of Trotsky in the Greek labour movement, has sent a letter of protest to several newspapers which was published in two leading papers. In this letter we explained the truth about Trotskyism and how it rejects individual terrorism. There is no need for us to explain it here, as it has been thoroughly analysed on the "In Defence of Marxism" web site, especially after the events of September 11. As Trotskyists, we stand on the fundamental principles of Marx and Engels, i.e. that the liberation of the working class is to be achieved by the working class itself and not by any individual terrorist organisations.
This attack on Trotskyism today is an attack on the working class. It shows how the ruling class understands that the movement of the working class, which started last year with two general strikes, is on the road towards a revolutionary alternative, with its final destination being inevitably the ideas of Trotsky. For this reason they are now attacking Trotskyism.
However, they will not succeed. The ideas of Trotskyism, the authentic revolutionary ideas of Marxism, will be victorious. Never have such reactionary methods been able to stop the labour movement from moving towards these ideas of working class emancipation. We Greek Trotskyists, gathered around the paper Sosialistiki Ekfrasi, will continue to defend genuine Marxism within the Greek labour movement, against the methods of state terrorism.