Our comrades from Αντιεξουσιαστική Κίνηση Θεσσαλονίκης(Antiauthoritarian Movement) and Micropolis social space for freedom are building up the mutual aid network Covid-19: Αλληλεγγύη Θεσσαλονίκηςin Thessaloniki, Greece, along with other organisations and residents of the city. We will be getting more feedback in the next months regarding the situation in Greece and the social structures from below.
You can read their first text setting the framework for this effort here:
Direct action for health and dignity
The coronavirus pandemic, which is dominating the global agenda, is very likely to determine and alter the dominant political strategies, as well as the overall discourse, both dominant and divergent. The states are trying to use communication tactics, authoritarianism and the tenet of “personal responsibility” to cover the long-term lack of funding in public health and social services. The poor, the exploited, the people, are making an effort to move forward in the discourse on the concepts of humanity and solidarity, on the need for coexistence and the organization of mutual aid.
The coronavirus pandemic in Greece is evolving with the public health system totally discredited, underfunded and understaffed, after years of austerity and TINA neoliberalism. Today, we will not let the politics that discredited the system of public health be forgotten. The huge responsibilities of those who until yesterday openly discussed cutbacks and layoffs of doctors, will not now be covered by their applause.
In this situation, measures of self-restraint are important to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to protect the vulnerable. Under no circumstances, though, do they legitimize the state’s authoritarianism, which we expect to escalate and expand, using this situation as an excuse, for instance by banning protests etc. We know fully well that those in power will cynically use the pandemic to impose prohibitions, abolishment of rights and even worse labor relations and wages.
During this difficult period, we are called to bear the burden of responsibility in order to protect ourselves and the people around us, by creating our own social structures and networks of solidarity and mutual aid. These networks and social structures must be turned into living entities of resistance, by first taking the health system in our hands as a conscious choice for achieving mutual care, and by supporting health services along with psychiatric health and social support. From cleaners to doctors, supporting all who struggle to save the dilapidated national health care system.
At the same time, we rise in dignity and face the immediate social needs that arise from the pandemic, which affect everyone, but most importantly those that were already in need. No state and no market can substitute social solidarity and mutual aid and that is the root of the war that takes place in front of our eyes.
The fear, cultivated by the government’s military decrees, and the sudden increase in the prices of personal hygiene products by the capitalist market, can be overcome with solidarity and small, kind actions, to support those in need.
The following teams are already in operation:
-Immediate action of solidarity for the vulnerable (Food & Medicine)
-Campaign and technical support
-Legal assistance (Labor and renting)
-Psychological support and counseling services
-Team of Journalism and Translations
Covid-19: Thessaloniki Solidarity