June 15, 2013 — Save Greek Public Broadcasting
Dear Friends of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy,
Two critically important struggles are taking place today, in countries which have long been hostile to one another: Greece and Turkey. This past weekend saw an extraordinary coming together of the people of these two countries when a protest demonstration led by AKNY Greece Solidarity Movement marched from the Left Forum at Pace University in Manhattan to Zuccotti Park, where Turks, Turkish Americans and their allies were staging a massive rally in support of the people in Taksim Square and across Turkey. At the end of this message there are some wonderful pictures from Saturday's event, taken from the AKNY-Greece Solidarity Movement website, with brief but illuminating captions.
Tomorrow, Saturday, June 15, Greek grassroots activists and their allies will return at noon to Zuccotti to join their Turkish counterparts. In addition to showing solidarity with the struggle in Turkey, the Greeks will be demonstrating in support of the struggle to save Greek public broadcasting. The text below, which provides very useful information and analysis, is taken from the flyer that will be distributed at the event.
SAVE GREEK PUBLIC BROADCASTING
SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013
NOON - ZUCCOTTI PARK - NYC
Last Tuesday, June 10, the Greek cabinet suddenly issued an executive order to shut down the shut down the country's public broadcast service (ERT) and to dismiss nearly 2700 television and radio employees by Wednesday at midnight. The measure was not subject to a vote of parliament and has the support of only one of the governing parties, New Democracy, as well as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.
The government has not announced plans for the relocation and compensation of ERT employees. There was no advance notice or public dialogue preceding Prime Minister Samaras' autocratic decree. Neither parliament nor trade unions were consulted. The move violates the Greek constitution and is authorized only by dubious provisions in the recent austerity "Memorandum" between the Greek government and the "Troika" of European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The response of the Greek people has been immediate. Employees of ERT occupied offices, studios and radio stations. Journalists and performers have continued broadcasting by livestream. Many thousands of supporters have gathered outside these sites. Politically the opposition is highly diverse. The energy and spontaneity of "OCCUPY ERT" is being compared to the Taksim Square uprising in Turkey. There is a danger the protests will be met with a similarly brutal attempt at state repression, something that Greece has seen often in the recent years of crisis. This is also why dozens of solidarity actions are being organized internationally, throughout Europe and the Greek diaspora, and today in both New York and London.
The same people who now are shutting down ERT are the ones who until now manipulated the network for their own political purposes. Their action is an attack on free speech and a free press. The policies of neoliberalism and austerity are inexorably leading the Troika and the Samaras government to dismantle the public sector and to undermine basic democratic rights. The same Memorandum provisions are also being used to justify the closure of 13 hospitals in Greece. What comes next? Public schools? The sale of public spaces to developers as with Gezi Park?
We, as the Greek Diaspora, friends, activists and all democratic-minded people stand by the people of Greece and the journalists and staff of ERT during these difficult times. We call for reopening of ERT. We call for end to austerity in Greece. We urge the people in Greece to fight these measures and to stand up to the government's violations of human rights and attempts to to repress public assembly and protest, and demand immediate elections.
WE STAND in solidarity with the staff of Greek broadcasting service and the people of Greece
WE SUPPORT the general strike in solidarity with ERT workers
WE SAY NO to muzzling the Greek people
WE SAY NO to the Troika and austerity
WE CALL for immediate elections and a government that will respect and defend the democratic rights of people in Greece
SPONSORED BY: AKNY-GREECE SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT • SYRIZA EKM - NEW YORK • CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY • ANTARSYA - NEW YORK
For ongoing updates about the courageous protests in Istanbul and across Turkey, and about the dramatic resistance to the Greek government's attempt to close down the country's public tv station and fire its employees, please follow us on the CPD Facebook page. You will also find on our Facebook page regular updates, alerts and calls to action on subjects ranging from the Bradley Manning trial and Edward Snowden's courageous revelations to Iranian protests calling for the release of political prisoners, the CodePink trip to Yemen, and much more!
In peace and solidarity,
Joanne Landy Thomas Harrison
THE GREEK-TURKISH SOLIDARITY EVENT OF JUNE 8, 2013 IN ZUCCOTTI PARK -- IN PICTURES
When we arrived at Zuccotti, the park erupted in what can only be described as ecstatic pandemonium. The Campaign for Peace and Democracy was proud to be part of the march, and we were delighted that people from Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression, were able to join us.
Photos from the AKNY Greece Solidarity Movement website: http://www.akny.org/2013/06/turkish-greek-solidarity-june-8-ows-zuccotti/
From New York, we hoped to do our modest part in solidarity with the ongoing Turkish struggle. Fifty people gathered at 1:30 last Saturday (6/8) outside Pace University, following one of the Greece Solidarity panel talks at the Left Forum…
Chanting, "Istanbul, Athens, NYC – Resist in every ciiiii-ty," we marched for a few blocks to Zuccotti Park, where 1500 Turkish Americans and Occupiers were rallying all day long.
They greeted our arrival with thunderous applause!
Side by side, the national symbols take on a different meaning.
Unprecedented in recent decades: Greeks and Turks standing together in NYC!
Hundreds of people seated themselves for an assembly.
No one knows what happens next in Turkey. If on Facebook, follow every hour from Istanbul with frontline photographer Jenna Pope:
We hope, despite the dark threats from the Turkish government, that by next Saturday the struggle to save Gezi Park (at least) might be victorious.
We pray for no more bloodshed! We know this is only the beginning of a longer collaboration with our Turkish friends of OccupyGeziParkNYC.