Reports from outside the UK

Rushes from Greece — Making Patients Pay

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While we’re struggling in Britain to fake oakleys save the NHS, the people in Greece are already experiencing what it means to have their health care system privatised. This will be part of a documentary about the drastic cuts to the Greek health care system, won by the people as recently as 1985.

To help us make this and a series of other documentaries on Greece, take out a subscription or make a donation. Also keep a look out for the Reel News Supporter scheme J which nba jerseys sales we will be launching shortly.

On the State of Press Freedom in Greece

On Thursday, 5th April 2012, Marios Lolos, a photojournalist, was hit on the head by a police truncheon while covering a peaceful protest in response to the recent suicide of a 77 year-old  man in protest to austerity measures. Marios Lolos sustained a brain injury and had to have best surgery yesterday. We extend our best wishes to him and everyone else who has been injured and wish them the best for their recovery. Read more about the incident on Keep Talking Greece.

Update (9.4.12): A call for eyewitnesses and photo or video evidence of the attack has been published. You can also get in touch with us and we will pass on your info.

Reporters Without Borders had already issued an alarm last autumn, criticising the violence faced by journalists in Greece. cheap jordans online In a recent article they also address thinly veiled threats of sexual violence made by police officers against Anthee Carassava, when she attempted to identify officers who had attacked her earlier, in order to be able to report the incident during the Independence Day Parades on 25th March 2012.

<img Cheap Jerseys class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-1167″ title=”Harrassment of Journalists on Independence Day in Athens 25-3-12 Greek riot Police are seen targetting an accredited Greek photographer and preventing British journalists from filming the incident.” src=”” alt=”by Guy Smallman” width=”708″ height=”244″ srcset=” 708w,×103.jpg 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 708px) 100vw, 708px” />

On the same day, we witnessed journalist Nectarios Dargakis being arrested twice. The first time, town councilor Petros Kostantinou was also arrested, and both were released after he called a government minister from inside the police van. The second time, Nectarios Dargakis did get arrested. In both incidents officers tried to stop us from filming.

Marios Lolos is the president of the union of photojournalists in Greece, EFE issued a statement following the attacks on him and other journalists (see English version). The London Photographers branch of the NUJ has published a letter of support.


Rushes from Greece — ALANYA close motorway toll collection

Members of the Solidarity, Disobedience and Resistance movement (ALANYA) carry out an action at the hated Cheap Jordans Athens motorway toll. The toll was introduced to pay for the road. The activists argued that the toll NFL Jerseys Cheap was illegal as the road had been paid for many times over. So they regularly close several lanes and then wave traffic through the remaining open ones without paying. The actions usually go unchallenged by the authorities and are extremely popular with motorists.

See slideshow.

March 29: Toll road action, inside the hospitals, vicious racism from the Greek state

A busy day started at 7:30am with Alanya (“Solidarity, disobedience,resistance”) opening up the toll booths on one of the major roads into Athens. The road they chose is in private hands, sold off after the Greek people had already paid for it.

The day before, the government announced plans to imprison people for three to six months if they open the toll booths. The group said that they would continue the actions when the bill becomes law, and are prepared to go to prison to stop the rich making profits out of what should be public services. They also said that the government’s response shows how effective actions like this are- in the past year, 50 million euros worth of toll charges has gone uncollected .

Alanya then took me to visit one of the local street markets where one of them had a stall selling shoes. Before the crisis this was a busy bustling market; now it is practically deserted, as most people can no longer afford to shop, even at cheap places like this. When I asked the street traders what they thought the solution was, three out of the four said simply: “revolution”.

Then on to Nikea-Piraeus hospital, the busiest hospital in the country where doctors were having a rank and file union meeting. Unlike Britain, doctors here have always come from working class or lower middle class backgrounds, and their pay is much lower. Doctors earn 1500 euros a month; junior doctors only 500 euros a month at the moment. Cheap Jerseys However, even these small salaries have not been paid at all since December, with many people receiving less than 20 euros a month.

Strike action by junior doctors, organised on a rank and file basis through weekly assemblies at the 35 hospitals in Athens, today finally won them the money they were owed in December. They voted to continue strike action, not only to get the wages they are owed for this year, but to get improvements in health care for the people of Athens.

Dr. Olga Kosmopolou then showed me round the hospital to see the terrible conditions. Wards have beds and patients crammed together, there are severe shortages ray ban sale of equipment and supplies, and patients are now forced to pay for treatment and medicines. Direct action by doctors has ensured that at least people don’t have to pay the 5 euro charge just for visiting the hospital, but medicine is a real problem. Cancer patients are being told to pay literally thousands of euros for essential medication, which means many will die over the next few years. There is now an hiv epidemic too – because there is no money for drug rehabilitation, and no supply of syringes, drug users turn to used syringes. Those who become hiv positive often turn to prostitution to buy the medication they need to survive, which is Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses accelerating the epidemic. Cheap Jerseys From China Meanwhile the drug companies are making a fortune.

Olga made an appeal to all workers across the continent. “We ask all our European colleagues: We have to fight together, because our present is your future.”

Finally, a nasty reminder of the darkness that could come if we don’t all fight together.  In the afternoon, police started rounding up refugees and asylum seekers to be transported to huge detention centres in the North of Greece – essentially concentration camps with no access to lawyers, no indication of how long people will be kept there, and with reports already of maltreatment and torture by police.

Most asylum seekers are here because of a European directive that returns deported asylum seekers to the country they first pass through in Europe – which is normally Greece. Obviously they don’t want to be in a country where they have no support, no chance of a job and Serrano are scared to walk the streets, but the governments of Europe, including our own, are collaborating to force everyone into these Greek concentration camps.

I talked to a worker at a refugee advice centre, who was visibly shaken today, telling me that police were trying to arrest anybody who wasn’t white, including many who either had legal status or who had actually lived in Greece for many years. Members of the openly neo-nazi Golden Dawn attacked students in universities who were attempting to give people a safe refuge – the police aren’t allowed onto university campuses, and apparently there is proof that the police and the nazis are working together.

These are the desperate actions of a government  (backed up by the European union, who have provided the money for the detention centres) trying to divert people’s anger over the austerity cuts by blaming refugees. It won’t work. The growth of the nazis is nothing compared to the huge shift to the left that is happening in Greek society. As Oil rig ray ban outlet worker and Alanya member Jake put it, “The people aren’t afraid of the government any more. But the government are very afraid of the people.”


Help us continue publicising the growing resistance!



Greece update: Peristeri neighbourhood committee

Meeting with representatives of the neighbourhood committee in the huge working class district of Peristeri last night, one of over 40 similar committees throughout Athens. Similar to the neighbourhood assemblies that sprung up in Argentina ten years ago, this one was formed in 2000 but has Home grown massively since the Cheap Oakleys start of the crisis in Greece, accelerated by cheap ray bans the opposition to the extra tax on electricity.

They Wholesale NFL Jerseys told me (only one of us left in Greece now!) how people are starting to organise themselves, including, crucially, at a rank and file union level in the workplaces. They’ll be showing me a lot of this this week, particularly in hospitals and schools, and taking me to another strong committee in the working class community of Nea Smyrni.

Athens ALANYA motorway toll action<!–

Members of the Solidarity, Disobedience and Resistance movement (ALANYA) carry out an action at the hated Athens motorway toll. The toll was introduced to pay for the road. The activists argued that the toll Fake Oakleys was illegal as the road had been paid for many times over. So they regularly close several lanes and then wave traffic through the cheap nhl jerseys remaining cheap nba jerseys open ones without paying. The actions usually go unchallenged by the authorities and are extremely popular with motorists.

Photos by Guy Smallman

Elliniki Halivourgia steel works occupation in Athens<!–

The strike and occupation is now Cheap Oakleys Sunglasses in its fourth month. Money and messages of support are coming in from all over the world. Short film by Reel News coming soon.

Photos by Guy Cheap Jordan Shoes Smallman

Assembly of striking Eleftherotypia workers<!–

The journalists Cheap Jordan Shoes and other workers on the news paper have not been paid for a year and have been on strike for many months. After the assembly, which voted on several key issues around their strike, they collected ray ban outlet food parcels organised oakley womens sunglasses by their union.

Photos by Guy Cheap Oakleys Smallman

Round up 2: Reel New in Athens

Since the last update, we have visited the occupied TV channel Alter TV, the journalists Fake Ray Bans of the newspaper Eleftherotypia, who have been on strike since December and the pickets at the steel factory Elliniki Halivourgia, with workers out on strike for four months now.

We have met actors from a radical theater company performing in squatted venues, an experimental post-punk act, and a dubstep artist.

Photo by Guy Smallman

We covered a demo and Galerie rally of hospital workers out on strike (slideshow and video rushes), and activists from Al.Any.A. (roughly translated the acronym means “little rascals” – the full name is Solidarity, Disobedience, Resistance), who blocked the toll collection on the motor way leaving Athens – eliciting huge smiles from drivers, blowing their horns in support of the action.

Today we spoke to young immigrants about the issues they face, and went down to the students parades that take place on the day before the Independence Day Parades, which is where we will go tomorrow.