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Greece: New Resistance Movement

Sunday 12 February 2012, by siawi3

Greek Left’s Veterans Theodorakis and Glezos Head Up

By Nicolas Mottas

Source: Spectrezine, February 10, 2012
- http://www.spectrezine.org/greek-lefts-veterans-theodorakis-and-glezos-head-new-resistance-movement

While crisis-hit Greece faces a new round of neoliberal
austerity madness, two legendary personalities call for
civil disobedience.

While the negotiations between the Greek government,
IMF and the EU over debt swap with private creditors
continue, new anti-austerity resistance movements are
being born. This time the initiative belongs to
prominent personalities of the Greek left who yesterday
declared the creation of the ’United Popular Democratic
Resistance’ — E.LA.DA. in Greek, an acronym which
literally means “Greece”. The idea belongs to two
legendary figures of the country’s modern history: the
internationally renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis and
Manolis Glezos, a Second World War resistance hero.
Speaking to an audience at Athens’s Michael Cacoyannis
Foundation, they both declared that the establishment
of a nationwide resistance movement against the
economic austerity and policies consstitutes a
“national need”, as long as Greece is passing through a
“national tragedy”.

Theodorakis mentioned that today the Greeks live under
“a status-quo of (economic) violence”, adding that the
only answer to the blackmail of the financial elites is
“resistance and solidarity”.

“We shall unite our hearts and thoughts” the 86 years-
old composer said, adding humorously that he and Glezos
are “kids who never give up”.

From his side, Manolis Glezos — the man who, in 1941,
along with the late Apostolos Santas climbed on the
Acropolis and tore down the Nazi flag — noted that the
newly formed ’United Popular Democratic Resistance’ is
not a political party aiming to participate in
elections but an effort to “unite the Greeks”.
Furthermore, he added that the movement is open to
“everyone who wants to participate”, without any
“patronization from political parties” .

Apart from Theodorakis and Glezos, the leading panel of
speakers included Giorgos Kasimatis, an emeritus
Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of
Athens. During his speech, Kasimatis argued that the
new movement aims at "creating new political powers
against the economic oppression" and referred to what
Greece should do regarding the crisis: "When people are
impoverished the government is obliged to refuse paying
the debt.“Professor Kasimatis said, adding that”when
the loan agreements are (constitutionally) illegal and
the debt is outrageously big, then part of the debt can
be rejected as odious and illegal" .

This is not the first time Mikis Theodorakis has come
at the forefront of anti-austerity, anti-neoliberal
movements. A year ago, the famous composer established
an independent socio-political organisation called
"Spitha’ (Spark) thus initiating his struggle against
IMF and the Greek government. But this time his reunion
with Glezos — also a historical member of the Greek
left — constitutes the first serious attempt to create
a broad united front against the catastrophic
neoliberal policies applied in Greece. It should be
noted that, despite the non-party character of the new
movement, both Theodorakis and Glezos have significant
influence in broad parts of the Greek public, primarily
within the Left, while they remain respected figures by
the majority of the population. After all, their
background is rich in pro-democratic struggles against
Nazi forces in the 1940s but also during the years of
the military Junta in the 1970s.

According to the Greek daily "Avgi’, the founding event
of the ?United Resistance’ was attended by members of
the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) as well as
by prominent artists and academics. It is expected that
the new movement will attract the interest of the major
parties which oppose the current coalition government,
but nobody can predict the success or failure of the
initiative.

What can be said with certainty is that such actions by
people like Theodorakis and Glezos give hope to a
nation which struggles to maintain its dignity under
especially difficult circumstances. While the
leadership of the country succumbs to the pressure of
the IMF, the EU and the Capitalist financial elites,
the need for unity, anti-austerity movements is greater
than ever. Towards this direction, the decision of the
two octogenarian prominent Greeks certainly constitutes
a positive message.


Born in Salonika, Greece in 1984, Nicolas Mottas is a
graduate of Political Science, Diplomatic Studies,
Conflict Resolution, a political research student (PhD)
and a freelance article-writer. He has been a
collaborator for the Greek newspaper ’Macedonia’ and
the Greek-Australian weekly ’Neos Kosmos’. Mottas has
founded the Greek website Guevaristas devoted to the
Argentine Marxist revolutionary Ernesto ’Che’ Guevara.