Greece: the February 15 antiwar demonstration in Athens was the biggest in the last twenty years

On February 15th millions marched around the world against the imperialist war in Iraq. Athens was no exception, it seeing its biggest mass demonstration in two decades.

On February 15, on a day with a lovely winter sun, the centre of Athens overflowed with hundreds of thousands of people on the biggest demonstration of the last 20 years. Around 300,000 people gathered and marched to the American Embassy in a never-ending procession which lasted for more than four hours.

Unfortunately the demonstration was not united because the Communist Party had called a separate rally in a different place. The NAR group had done the same. But because their rallies were quite near to the main one, and thanks to the huge number of people present, the three demonstrations just flowed together into one single mass.

The main demonstration, which gathered in Sindagma square, was called by the trade union federations, Γ.Σ.Ε.Ε - ΑΔΕΔΥ and the Greek Social Forum. It was peaceful apart from the usual anarchist provocations, which were in any case very limited.

The private mass media played a disgraceful role. Their first item of news concentrated for more than 20 minutes on the visit of the ex king of Greece (who has been living in London for the last 35 years) instead of the magnificent demos that had taken place on that day in Greece and throughout the world. When they eventually gave some news on the demo they concentrated on the marginal activities of the so-called anarchists, and not on the huge crowd itself.

This was a deliberate act on the part of the ruling class because they were terrified by this historically unprecedented phenomenon of one united gigantic co-ordination of demonstrations of tens of millions of millions of people in more than 600 cities all over the world.

In Greece, apart from the demo in Athens, there was also another big rally in Thessaloniki and several others in more than 30 main cities.

We found there was a great interest in Marxist ideas. We sold hundreds of copies of our journal, Sosialistiki Ekfrasi and many people asked to be contacted for further discussions. The morale of our supporters was very high, thanks to this successful intervention and also because of the mood of enormous enthusiasm that permeated the whole demonstration.