rn: We are not alone-Greek anti-fascists are with us!


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,

I find this item an exciting read; I had no idea of how Greeks view NATO...
maybe there is hope of disbanding NATO after all!

all the best, Jan

From: "macha mackay" <•••@••.•••>
Subject:  Eyewitness report from Greece: Clinton protests
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 12:02:04 GMT

I Thought you might find this report interesting...It is long, but not the 
type we have heard about Clinton`s successful trip!! An indication of how 
our news is distorted. Greetings to all...Macha

>From: •••@••.••• (by way of Rycroft & Pringle 
>To: •••@••.•••
>Subject: Peace/Justice Int'l-- Eyewitness report from Greece: Clinton  
>Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 19:35:39 -0800
>reporting from ATHENS, GREECE
>ATHENS, Greece--Bill Clinton arrived in Greece Nov. 19 like a thief
>in the night. His motorcade moved down darkened boulevards
>carefully cleared of people. Armies of police guarded him against any
>contact with ordinary Greeks. But the voice of the people could not
>be silenced.
>While the U.S. president wined and dined with Greek Prime Minister
>Costas Simitis, police loosed barrages of tear gas against thousands of
>workers, students and retirees trying to march to the U.S. Embassy.
>Among those gassed were elderly veterans of the Greek anti-Nazi
>resistance in World War II.
>Despite the gas and repeated police attacks, protesters regrouped
>again and again and marched through downtown Athens to the city's
>central Omonia Square. Over 80 people were arrested, many of them
>at pharmacies where they had gone for medical aid. As of this writing,
>they are still being held.
>In the aftermath of the protest, the Greek government has mounted a
>violence-baiting campaign against the Greek Committee for Peace and
>the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which was a major force in
>the demonstration. But it was the state and its heavily armed police
>that unleashed the violence that night.
>The media have played up Clinton's carefully scripted comment about
>the "right to protest as long as it's peaceful." But at every stop on his
>Balkan tour, protests have been met with fascist-like violence.
>While he was in Turkey, police beat and arrested hundreds of
>protesters in Ankara, the capital. They had not been released as of
>Nov. 22.
>In Sofia, Bulgaria, where Clinton went after leaving Athens, protests
>were also banned and over 100 people arrested. Blagoesta
>Doncheva, a former anti-communist "dissident" who has written
>eloquently about the Bulgarian people's suffering under the new
>capitalist regime, including a recent op-ed piece for the New York
>Times, was thrown into a mental ward.
>Clinton will also visit the NATO-occupied Yugoslav province of
>Kosovo. There, Serbs, Roma people, Turks and other minorities are
>being systematically murdered and driven from their homes by NATO-
>sponsored gangs, even as the imperialist occupiers claim to be
>combating national oppression.
>In Greece, too, the regime tried to stifle protest. In the week before
>Clinton's arrival, a masked gang attacked a Communist Party
>neighborhood office in Athens, beating three people. Another KKE
>office was firebombed. Officials and the media also created a climate
>of fear with constant warnings about violence. But their efforts at
>intimidation failed.
>The Greek people hate NATO. Nearly 700,000 Greeks were
>murdered by Nazi occupiers during World War II. When the
>Communist-led Greek resistance, in alliance with Yugoslav and
>Albanian partisans, succeeded in driving Hitler's armies out of the
>Balkans, the imperialists feared a revolution and sent British troops to
>occupy the country.
>Britain, a supposed ally, imposed on Greece a regime of Nazi
>collaborators headed by a hated royal family that had spent the war
>under British protection. In 1948 and 1949, tens of thousands of
>Greek anti-Nazi fighters were murdered, imprisoned or driven into
>exile by mercenary forces armed, trained and financed by the U.S.
>and British imperialist governments.
>The Truman administration created NATO in conjunction with this
>war against Greece. The U.S. military's first use of napalm bombs was
>against Greek villages. U.S. planes also bombed Yugoslavia in this
>period. Over 100,000 anti-Nazi fighters were held in concentration
>camps for the next 20 years.
>In 1967, when the Greek left had regained its strength, Greece's
>NATO military carried out a coup. Col. George Papadopoulos,
>leader of the fascist junta that would rule the country for the next
>seven years, was on the direct payroll of the CIA. This was finally
>revealed by the New York Times in 1976.
>Fascist terror did not crush the people's resistance. On Nov. 17,
>1973, tens of thousands of university students defied tanks and guns
>to challenge the junta, which fell the following year.
>That same spirit was very much alive in the streets of Athens and other
>Greek cities before and during Clinton's visit.
>On Nov. 8, 10,000 people had stood in the rain in Athens's
>Constitution Square for a mass trial of the U.S. president and other
>NATO leaders. The judges were 20 justices of the Council of State--
>the Greek Supreme Court. Famous entertainers served as other
>officers of the court.
>Clinton had ignored a subpoena delivered to the U.S. Embassy a
>week earlier by a march of several thousand people.
>After hours of eyewitness testimony about the U.S. bombing of
>Yugoslavia, the presiding judge asked if Clinton were guilty of war
>crimes. The entire crowd responded "Guilty!"
>On Nov. 17, the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising, tens of
>thousands of marchers, mostly youth, filed past the U.S. Embassy.
>They loudly denounced Clinton as the butcher of the Balkans, called
>for an end to NATO and demanded that the U.S. military get its bases
>out of Greece and its troops out of Yugoslavia. The march was
>organized by the communists, but even youth from PASOK, the
>social-democratic governing party, felt compelled to join.
>And then on Nov. 19, the night of Clinton's arrival, tens of thousands
>of protesters, many waving red flags, gathered in three squares in
>downtown Athens in defiance of a police ban.
>The main rally, in Constitution Square, was opened by Bill Doares of
>the International Action Center. Doares saluted the Greek people's
>history of resistance to fascism and war and their solidarity with the
>people of Yugoslavia.
>"The profits of Wall Street depend on wars of destruction," he said,
>"and only mass action can stop the Pentagon's drive toward new and
>bigger wars. In this great task, the Greek people are leading the way."
>Doares also condemned Clinton's hypocrisy in preaching about
>"human rights" when the "U.S. has more people in prison than any
>other country--70 percent are Black and Latin--and the biggest
>companies profit off their slave labor." He drew loud applause when
>he called for international action to stop the execution of U.S. political
>prisoner Mumia Abu- Jamal. Pictures of Mumia dotted the crowd.
>The main speaker was Athanasios Pafilis, General Secretary of the
>Greek Committee for International Peace. Pafilis condemned the
>"stability pact" signed at the conference of the Organization for
>Security and Cooperation in Europe in Istanbul. The pact asserts the
>"right" of the U.S. and NATO to intervene in any country where they
>deem there are "human rights violations."
>Pafilis spoke of the long and bloody history of U.S. intervention in
>Greece and honored some of the country's anti-fascist martyrs,
>including Grigoris Lambrakis, a vice president of the Peace
>Committee, who was assassinated in 1963.
>Pafilis asserted that the police had no right to stop the people of
>Greece from marching in protest down their own streets.
>At 6:30 p.m., the moment Clinton's plane touched down, the minister
>of public order still refused to allow a march. The lead contingent of
>the demonstration, made up of construction workers and shipbuilders,
>then forced its way through police lines. The authorities responded
>with volleys of gas bombs.
>Despite the police attack and arrests, the Greek people's opposition
>to NATO and the Pentagon's war plans was heard around the world.
>[Note: The U.S. media have minimized this extremely important
>political development, but the demonstrations were top news in
>Clinton came to Greece from Turkey, where he had dominated the
>conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
>Europe. Why the United States, which is not part of Europe, should
>have been there at all the president did not explain. But the reason is
>clearly that the continent is under U.S. military occupation. NATO is
>the justification for this relationship.
>At a press conference, Clinton appealed to Greece's elite with visions
>of a partnership with U.S. corporations in robbing the rest of the
>Balkans. But for the Greek people, U.S. military and economic
>domination has meant high prices and a 13-percent unemployment
>It also means a $2-billion military budget, much of which is spent on
>U.S. arms. The Nov. 21 International Herald Tribune admitted that
>military spending "exacts a heavy toll" on the Greek economy.
>Clinton admitted that 94 percent of the Greek people opposed
>NATO and the war against Yugoslavia. He said that was "an example
>of democracy." He didn't explain why it was democratic for the U.S.
>to impose its war policies on Greece despite this overwhelming
>Clinton also made the amazing statement that "southeast Europe is
>undivided and at peace for the first time in 50 years." Only a few
>months ago the U.S. launched the first war this region has seen since
>Washington's 1948 intervention in Greece.
>Filip Karamalis, a young worker who took part in the Nov. 19
>protests, told this writer, "U.S. imperialism will not pass. We shall
>stand fighting. All the Greek people are against NATO, against the
>European Union and U.S. policy. Clinton is trying to act like Hitler.
>But Hitler could not conquer the Balkans and neither will NATO."
>International Action Center
>39 West 14th Street, Room 206
>New York, NY 10011
>email: •••@••.•••
>phone: 212 633-6646
>fax:   212 633-2889