Dear chancellor Merkel,
We start by saying we address you only as chancellor of Germany. We did not vote for you and do not acknowledge the existence of a chancellor of Europe. We, the subscribers of this open letter, write to you as free citizens. Citizens of a country you wish to visit on the next 12th of November, as well as citizens in solidarity with all the countries attacked by austerity. Due to the character of the announced visit, those who have to struggle daily with the dire economic and social situation in Portugal, must stress that you are not welcome. You should be considered persona non grata in Portuguese territory because you clearly come to interfere with the Portuguese State’s decisions without being democratically mandated by those who live here.
Even so, because our government has of late ceased to obide with the laws of this country and its Republican constitution, we address this letter directly to you. The presence of many great businessman in your entourage is an outrage. Under the guise of “foreign investment”, you will bring a group of people that will come to plunder the ruins in which your policies have left the Portuguese economy, as well as those of Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Your delegation is composed not only by those who have coerced the Portuguese state, with the connivance of its government, to privatize it’s property and most valuable assets, but also by the potential beneficiaries of those properties and assets, bought today at fire-sale prices.
This letter cannot and should not be seen as any sort of nationalist of chauvinist vindication – it’s a direct address to you as the chief promoter of the Neoliberal doctrine which is ruining Europe. We do not address the German people who have all the democratic legitimacy to elect whomever they want for their representative offices. However, in this country where we live, your name was never on any ballot. We did not elect you. As such, we do not recognize you the right to represent us and even less the right to make political decisions on our behalf.
And we are not alone. On the 14th of November, two days after your announced visit, we will rise with several others in a general strike which will include many European countries. It will be a strike against the governments which have betrayed and still betray the trust the citizens deposited on them, a strike against the austerity applied by them. But do not delude yourself, chancellor. It will be a strike against the austerity imposed by the troika and against all those which intend to transform it into an authoritarian regime. It will be a strike against you, Mme. Merkel. And if we salute the people of Greece, Spain, Italy Cyprus and Malta, we also salute the German people who suffer with us. We know very well that the Wirtschaftswunder, Germany’s “economical miracle”, was built on the basis of successive debt pardons by its main creditors. We know that the supposed current German economic thrust is built on a brutal crackdown on wages for over 10 years and the massive promotion of precarious labour, temporary and low-wage work that afflicts a great part of the German people. That also shows the perspective you, chancellor Merkel, have for your own country.
It’s very likely that you won’t reply. And it’s probable that the Portuguese government, subservient, weak and feeble, will receive you with flowers and applause. But the truth, chancellor, is that the majority of the Portuguese population blatantly disapproves of this government and the way in which it is destroying the country, supported by the troika and yourself. Even if you choose a secret route and a private airport to get away from the demonstrations against your visit, you have to know that they will occur all around the country. And they will be protests against you and what you represent. Your entourage may try and ignore us. The European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank may try to ignore the streets. But we are more and more, Mme. Merkel. Here and in all countries. Our protests will be stronger and stronger. We become more aware of reality every day. The stories you have all told us were always awkward and now we know they were full-out lies.
We have awaken, Mme. Merkel. You are an unwelcome guest.
If there was any doubt about the sort of actions these scumbags from the golden dawn are promoting here is the video
The latest public opinion survey gives a lead to left-wing SYRIZA towards Nea Dimocratia, while Antonis Samaras is still considered as “best Prime Minister”. Neo-nazi Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) gets the third place in the respondents’ preference.
Wake up before it’s too late
“In Portugal they’re rioting over one measure when here we’ve been made to accept countless cuts and tax increases. And the worst thing about being ground down is that it breeds extremism,” said the silver-haired leftist. “In the case of Greece it is extremism that is going to the right because [the neo-Nazi party] Golden Dawn has managed to exploit people’s despair. But it won’t just stay here. It will spread, like this economic crisis, to other parts of Europe, too.” Guardian
“We have a major socioeconomic crisis in which several hundred thousand Greeks are losing ground,” said Nikos Demertzis, a professor of political sociology at the University of Athens. “And you have a rising number of immigrants in Greece, many illegal. This is creating a volcanic situation where all the classic parameters for the flourishing of a far-right force like Golden Dawn are present.”
Golden Dawn’s tactics are similar to ones it used before parliamentary elections in June. Preying on fears that immigrants are worsening crime rates and economic hardship, the group has been stepping up attacks against immigrants, many of whom are legal citizens, with the police frequently standing by. It is also trying to expand its reach with the Greek diaspora. New York Times
In Greece, Police decided to ban all forms of gatherings and demonstrations happening tomorrow, October 9th, between 9am and 10pm in downtown Athens for the fat queen’s coming to town. It’s just as saying: I’m sorry, democracy is down for the moment, we’ll be back in a few hours… This is not going to go well with the Greeks. Beware, they bite!
Yesterday, September 26th, in the Streets of Greece during general strike day
Therefore, when contemporary art or contemporary art theory uses terms of contemporary liberal democracy, a meaningless democracy given that the only right surviving today in fact is the right to dominance (I have the right to assert dominance, power), then, in reality, (art) does nothing but preserving the same system that creates it, doubting only on-demand. Such a characteristic example is the recent exhibition organized by the Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, “Art and Nature” by which it actually legalizes – through a much-promoted event with the participation of many artists – the adoption of the General Framework for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development, a text that flagrantly sacrifices natural environment on the altar of capitalist profiteering.(5)
We are not therefore interested in contesting the conditions under which contemporary art approaches the social field. And this is for we believe that art is clearly a part of society (the artist is primarily a social subject); art is based within the body of society, regardless how deeply rooted it is in social reality in any respective historical circumstance, or how much autonomous it becomes as an ideological construct of the bourgeois society. Art echoes society.
We believe that it is perhaps more important to re-state the initial question by keeping similar terms: How can a society in crisis – economic, social, political, value crisis – and turmoil hear the voice of an art, which is usually whispering behind the thick and high walls of the mainly institutionalized spaces (museums, institutes, galleries), inside hallways of television studios or newspapers, or in exhibition spaces where art events are organized with excessive government or private sector sponsorships?
The question is rather rhetorical since its phrasing embraces the answer identifying contemporary art practice (namely, the way art functions within the contemporary society, the institutions surrounding it, the system it is feeding on) with the conservatisation entailed by the practice of the dominant economic and political system (capitalism, neoliberalism) and definitely not with radical social and political demands. Contemporary art practice, many times even from the artist’s workshop to the large domestic and international art events, meets market mentality, and likewise the artistic work meets the value mentality (or surplus value / symbolic value) of the merchandise. Therefore, it meets the same mentality that imposes raw violence (upon the worker, the citizen, the citizen of an opponent state), the same mentality that imposes the relations of subordination, the exploitation and the individualization of our needs to such an extent that they are turned into infinite indifference towards the consciousness of our sociability and the collective demands and common claims.
excerpt from Let’s do politics, (1), by Reconstruction Community. continue reading here
You come home in the evening, tired, you put on tv some stupid show like Cheers or Friends and you just sit and the tv even laughs for you. And, unfortunately, it works
That’s how those in power, the European establishment, want to see – not only Greek people but all of us – just staring at the screen and observe how the others are doing the dreaming, crying and laughing.
“The river that everything drags is known as violent, but nobody calls violent the margins that arrest him.” Bertold Brecht
In a letter obtained by Reuters Friday, the Federation of Greek Police accused the officials of “…blackmail, covertly abolishing or eroding democracy and national sovereignty” and said one target of its warrants would be the IMF’s top official for Greece, Poul Thomsen.
The threat is largely symbolic since legal experts say a judge must first authorize such warrants, but it shows the depth of anger against foreign lenders who have demanded drastic wage and pension cuts in exchange for funds to keep Greece afloat.
“Since you are continuing this destructive policy, we warn you that you cannot make us fight against our brothers. We refuse to stand against our parents, our brothers, our children or any citizen who protests and demands a change of policy,” said the union, which represents more than two-thirds of Greek policemen.
“We warn you that as legal representatives of Greek policemen, we will issue arrest warrants for a series of legal violations … such as blackmail, covertly abolishing or eroding democracy and national sovereignty.”
Policemen have borne the brunt of the anger of massed protesters who frequently march to parliament and clash with police in riot gear. Chants of “Cops, pigs, murderers!” are regularly hurled at policemen or scribbled on walls.
A police union official said the threat to ‘refuse to stand against’ fellow Greeks was a symbolic expression of solidarity and did not mean police would halt their efforts to stop protests getting out of hand.
“The photographs on the left side of the diptychs portray public/State buildings in Athens, Greece. The images on the right are enlarged window details taken from the buildings’ photographs. The juxtapositions of the two images seek to suggest the questionable role of the State and its institutions today in Greece. A role which is seriously disputed under the current crisis.
Public buildings stand as symbols of this crisis: they attract the rage of the protesters, they are being portrayed in photos of crisis related news etc. However, significations of public buildings vary depending on different periods in history, for example, in the past, some of the buildings depicted in the photographs used to stand for solidarity or prosperity. Therefore in this series my aim was that the depiction of the buildings would offer an as much as possible detached and a-historical view. Yet the blown-up, poor quality images of the windows on the right play a disturbing role. They are in a way scrutinizing the rather ‘innocent’ image of the building on the left, in order to find evidence of what or who is to blame. Hinting that the lives of those buildings are not so organized and tidy after all, that they have secrets and obscure operations, which even though more or less everybody share, there is always a vagueness about them, responsible for generating feelings of suspicion, resentment and fear, all of which are met at present in Greece.”
More of Zoe’s work here
Greece: Post #2
“The economic crisis in Greece has sparked riots and violent reactions. Massive protests broke out against severe government spending cuts aimed at saving the country from economic collapse. Thousands of people march through central Athens protesting government plans to impose new spending cuts to save the country from bankruptcy. The protesters chanted in the streets as squads of riot police with stun grenades, tear gas and arrests attempt to enforce discipline.”
More of Angelos’ work here
Greece: Post #1
More of Milos’ work here
© Dimitris Yeros, Untitled, from the series For A Definition Of The Nude
© Dimitris Yeros, Untitled, from the series For A Definition Of The Nude
To see more of Dimitris’ work click here