Hurray for the victorious hunger strike of the 300 immigrant workers (March 2011)

The hunger strike of the 300 immigrant workers was completed victoriously since the hunger strikers considered that some of their demands were satisfied: a) a status of tolerance of unlimited duration and examination of each separate case every six months, b) the possibility of a license permitting them to travel to their countries, c) legalization of all the immigrants who have been living in Greece for over 8 years instead of the 12 years that were required until now, d) reduction of the number of the work stamps (proved worked days) which are necessary for their getting their stay permit from 220 (which were required up to today) to 120 and e) reduction of the necessary work stamps for the authorization of a health booklet from 80 today (soon to become 100).

The heroic struggle of our immigrant fellow workers was successful despite the furiousness, the ferociousness and the deceitfulness of the PASOK government and the troika. At first, the government unleashed its fascist journalists to slander their struggle and mobilized its whole repressive mechanism to throw them out of the Law School. After that, it started to blackmail them while, at the same time, it covered their struggle with an iron veil of silence. It constantly tried to drive away and threaten with heavy penalties all those who showed solidarity to the struggle of the hunger strikers. In the end, it did not hesitate to push the hunger strike, which exceeded human limitations posing serious threats for the health and life of the hunger strikers, to the edge. The ferociousness of the government became obvious during the last days when it literally played with the life of the strikers and it was only by pure lack that we did not mourn the loss of a human life.

The victory of our 300 immigrant fellow workers is a significant one as it was accomplished in a period of rottenness of Greek capitalism. This rottenness and dead end of Greek capitalism are gloriously revealed through its incompetence to accept even 300 immigrant fellow workers and, more than that, they are daily proven through its incompetence to accept the 1,000,000 unemployed or an essential level of life for the inhabitants of this country. This victory becomes even more important because it was achieved in a period of brutal attack on the part of the collaborationist government and the troika, when payments are crashed every day, the working relations are turned to relations of enslavement, schools (university and secondary) are closed, the health system is destroyed, more memorandums –worse than this one- are planned along with the complete sell-out of the public wealth and our own life.

Our 300 immigrant fellow workers took the baton of the struggle from the Arab revolution and the unprecedented strike wave that has been sweeping the country for the past one and a half year. Now the victory of their struggle shows to all of us, Greeks and immigrants, that no struggle is lost beforehand other than the one which is not fought. It also proves that for a struggle to be successful it must: a) break with the defeatist arguments that “there is nothing we can do” or the various illusions that “things will get better in the future”, b) be based on the self-organization of the workers themselves, with all the decisions to be taken by the struggling people themselves, c) adopt radical and militant forms of struggle, d) develop the solidarity of the other working people and the youth.

Ahead of us there is the gigantic work of all immigrants’ legalization, the defense of all the social, political, trade-unionist and democratic rights of all the working people, the overthrow of the rotten capitalist system. For that reason we will have to build the unity of Greek and immigrant working and young people in our country, organize ourselves —Greeks and immigrants— in unions and every other form of self-organization, develop militant, self-organized and decisive struggles against the government and the businessmen.