Socialist Worker

Greek trade unionist: "We’ll not accept this law. We are strong and determined".

by Patrick Ward
Issue No. 2258

Tens of thousands took to the streets of Greece today on the second day of a 48-hour strike against austerity.

The Greek government voted through a vicious law pushed on them by other European governments and the International Monetary Fund, despite the huge protests and opposition.

Vassilis Sylaides, a trade unionist at Intracom Electronics, spoke to Socialist Worker from Syntagma Square in Athens today.

“We’ll fight back every single measure they passed today.

The feeling of the tens of thousands on the streets was that this not the end—it’s just the end of the beginning.

Today was a very heavy atmosphere. The police used tear gas and stun grenades indiscriminately to remove the crowds. Their assault on us was without precedent.

Police started to attack the gathering workers before noon.

Today there was a transport strike, which stopped some people reaching the square. But a huge motorcade surrounded the area.

The Syntagma Square was full of people, and so were the roads around it. The only clearings were where the tear gas became too intense.

The teargas was so intense that the Metro station at Syntagma Square filled with thousands of people. We had to go there to breathe.

The Metro workers’ union set up a medical point, staffed by Red Cross volunteers.

There is anger across all of Greece.

Tomorrow we’ll have a meeting in Syntagma Square over what we have to do next, how to take the struggle forward.

We’ll not accept this law. We are strong and determined.”

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