For the right and the commitment to fight, by Thanassis Agapitos

To my students, to their parents and to my colleagues, to my comrades at work and in fight

As a teacher, a thinking man, as much as a politically active citizen for more than 30 years I would like to address you those few words.

On Friday 16/11/2012, at 11:45 pm while my school’s celebration on Polytechneio (107th Primary School – Department of Inclusion of children with special needs) was ending; my abduction-arrest and transport to the General Police Headquarters of Thessaloniki, by 4 men of the State Security Department took place, in a cinematic mode, in front of the eyes of the children.

All those happened on the anniversary of the Polytechneio insurrection’s eve against the junta, leading us in parallelisms about a new junta against the people, today. A restriction on freedom that comes to fill in the economic and social slaughter.

I overcome the accusation against me, as totally groundless till ridiculous. The unprecedented attempt that the trial would be figurative, is included in a general context of terrorization of every fighting person, every resisting voice for life and decency. All those, are part of the abolition of fundamental democratic rights that the global civilization has conquest with blood.

I am not prosecuted for any illegal action. Neither with the measure nor with the law of the regime of permanent “state of emergency”; which they are willing to impose. They cannot even claim it. I am prosecuted, targeted and pre-constructed, for my stand, my ideas and my public social and political activity, which stands in favor of the social majority’s interests. On the day of the 28th October this year, I have been once again arrested. I was on the street, far from any demonstration place. After calling me by name, afterwards they told me to follow them for identification! At least, they should make an effort no to cause ironic laughs…

Today, the right to protest, against the policies of European Union, IMF and government, so that the atrocious measures of the memorandum won’t pass, is being penalized. The measures that make families, schools and hospitals to fall apart; which give birth to millions of unemployed, new emigrants and make the people poorer.

I cannot but to underline it: On the morning of the same day of my arrest the Chancellor of Germany Merkel had appeared to report the “violence in Greece”. So much was the willingness and the servility so that our partners-perpetrators would be pleasured?

Beside our rights and needs, ours and our children’s, for a worthy to live life and a full of promise future, they want to make illegal as well the right to resistance.

They are weak-minded! Especially on these days.

The experience of occupation legalized deeply in the historical memory the RESISTANCE of the people.

The Polytechneio of ’73, legalized the INSURRECTION against of any tyranny and oppression.

They shouldn’t provoke with the hypocrisy on “violence”. Violence is the unemployment, the layoffs, the cuts on salaries and so many others, that they impose to a defendless people. Should we also applause?

But I do not address to you those words simply in order to invoke on my inalienable right, as well as all of you, to participate in commons and to fight for a better education and a better tomorrow.

I am a teacher and a public servant. In these difficult moments, I consider my duty to teach with my stand, my dignity and not fatality. Especially, my students (children with special needs) were always in need to pass by indifference and difficulties. Especially today, that the cannibalistic education of cuts considers their care an excessive luxury.

The mentality of “looking my business and my comfort” under the so called warmth of the certainty of a public service, I never embraced it.

How should it be? There are public servants actors for the common good through collective fight. We have chosen it, from being servants of the troika, as the governors, kneeled in front of her.

Especially today, I believe that defend of public goods (health, education), is a duty and a debt to our children.

The appeal to individual accommodation, to the protocol of a handicap democracy, the indifference on whatever happens around us shortens people.

Especially for us the people of education, out of such a life stand, there is no instruction. Because knowledge needs freedom and critical thinking cannot breathe in fear. History has to traverse proud on the visions for a better tomorrow and not to be cancelled by bowed heads and bent torsos.

Only in this way I can stare to the parents and my pupils in the eyes. To hope that as a teacher I will leave a trace so to find a better world. A world; where they will unfold their dreams.

And the last I want to tell you: With force all of us in front! The people and its right will emerge a winner. The future belongs to those who fight with decency. The oppressors are swallowed by the scorn of history.

Thessaloniki, 17/11/2012

Thanasis Agapitos

Former member of the board of DOE (Greek Federation of Teachers)

Mayor candidate of Thessaloniki with the anticapitalist left

member of the Executive Committee of R/S of ADEDY

member of the Central Council of B’ Assosiation of Teachers of Thessaloniki

Elected member of the Regional Councill of Teachers of East Thessaloniki

member of ANTARSYA and of the Political Committee of New Left Current (ΝΑΡ)

Sign  the Following Petition : 

On November 16th 2012 the police arrested three unionists accusing them for participating in the protests against the German deputy labor minister, Fuchtel, in Thessaloniki the day before. Two of the arrestees are municipal workers and the third one is a primary-school teacher – known figure of the Left and the Labour movement as well as an elected member of the teacher’s Union Board. The teacher was arrested within the premises of his school and in front of his pupils. All three, were sent to court the day after. According to the prosecutor’s decision the process was closed for the public. The solidarity mobilization for the three arrestees was massive and the trial has been postponed for December 19th. One day later, during the demonstrations for the commemoration of the people’s revolt against the dictatorship in 1973, sixteen young people were arrested when the police invaded the University in a brutal way.

This is a petition in support of the three unionists and the sixteen young people, who are prosecuted because of their participation in the mobilizations in Thessaloniki against the visiting German deputy labor minister, Fuchtel, and the demonstration for the commemoration of the people’s revolt against the dictatorship in 1973. The following statement was announced in the three unionists’ trial, on Monday 19 November.
On November 17th 2012, thirty-nine years after the Greek people revolted against the military junta (dictatorship) demanding bread, education, and freedom, the arrest and forced trial of three union activists in Thessaloniki, with the hypocritical and unsubstantiated criminal charges of “illegal violence” as well as the similar treatment of sixteen youth arrested inside the University after the demonstrations for the commemorations of the events in the Polytechnic School in Athens, constitute an insult to our historical memory.
We want to stress the serious responsibility of the government which, in an attempt to implement at all costs its anti-popular politics, assumes the responsibility of an open anti-democratic political assault, targeting those political liberties achieved through struggle and bloodshed. The constant heightening of state repression, police abuse, torture of protesters at the Central Police Headquarters in Athens, employers’ terror in workplaces, racist pogroms, and state support of Nazi and fascist gangs make up the “arsenal” they use against the popular workers movement in an attempt to subjugate them.
People’s right to fight remains non-negotiable, particularly at a time when civil rights, democracy and people’s rule are at gunpoint. The fact that the arrests followed almost immediately after German Chancellor Merkel’s statements about “violence in Greece” is revealing. Was such the eagerness and subservience to please our partners-lenders-prosecutors?
We invite all political forces, unions, organizations and other stakeholders to mobilize immediately towards a common coordinated struggle to subvert the terrorization of workers’ struggles that is reminiscent of the darkest times of this country’s history.

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