Fifteen power workers in Greece were arrested last week after occupying their workplace.
They are charged with “obstructing public office”, and one for resisting arrest.
They occupied to stop the government from cutting electricity to poor people.
A new tax has also been introduced, paid alongside power bills. If either is unpaid, the government wanted to cut their power.
The leader of the power workers’ union federation, Nikos Fotopoulos, is among those arrested.
The occupiers were set to go before court on Wednesday—the day before another general strike, the first against Greece’s new government.
Of the 15 arrested, ten are members of Genop-deh, the power workers’ union federation.
Three work at other government offices, another is unemployed and one is a pensioner.
The occupation lasted for four days. Riot police stormed it last Thursday. But the workers were defiant.
Their banner outside the occupation read, “We will not let them cut electricity to the poor even if we go to jail.”
Nikos Fotopoulos made a statement after his arrest. He said, “Even if they come after us with 100 prosecutors and 100 riot police squads, we will not kneel, we will not bend our heads.
“If our crime is not letting the electricity be cut to the unemployed, hard working people and pensioners, it’s 1,000 times better to be illegal.”
Many people supported the action.
IT workers at the power company began a 48-hour strike in response to the arrests. And all members of the union struck for four hours. We will probably have more strikes next week.
The action by the union was very important. People are now seeing the union and working class as agents to defeat austerity.
Send messages of support to the arrested workers via firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikos Loudos is a journalist for Workers Solidarity, Socialist Worker's sister paper