September 25, 2013

Festival Odigitis calls for struggle, denounces Golden Dawn

International Bureau,
Rebel Youth Magazine

Odigitis is the newspaper of the Communist Youth of Greece, or KNE. Each year, for almost forty years, the newspaper has celebrated a massive festival in Athens.

This year's festival came to an exciting peak of entertainment and politics this past Saturday, with a massive rally at the central area of Tritsis Park, in a working class neighbourhood of Athens.

An all-weather party

In his speech at the rally, the leader of the Communist Party of Greece or KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, spoke about building the KKE at the current point so it can fulfil its "role in all conditions, in any difficulties and changes, and turning points in the struggle, to be an “all-weather” party, rooted in the places of work, education, training, in the popular neighbourhoods, in the countryside which is suffering."

Golden Dawn

Koutsoumpas also addressed the recent murder of a 34 year activist by the Golden Dawn fascist political party, noting that "The recent events with the cold blooded murder of the young person in Keratsini, the murderous attack against members of the KKE in Perama by the Nazi Golden Dawn reveals more widely to the people, in a tragic way, its real character."

Koutsoumpas said the intent is "intimidating the workers and the youth."  Golden Dawn has also been particularly vicious against immigrant and migrant communities in Greece.

The right wing party "has grown bold due to the multifaceted support provided to it by the rotten capitalist system and the big business interests, which created it and nourish it, so that it can attack those who struggle and stand up for their rights," Koutsoumpas added.

We can stop fascism

"We have said it many times, and we will repeat it here today: It is a mafia-style, criminal organization of killers and neo-nazis and they must be dealt with as fascists, neo-nazi criminals by everyone. The people and the youth have the strength to stop the murderous activity of the Nazis," he said.

"There is the criminal legal framework in order to deal with criminal acts of the Nazi Golden Dawn. Such measures should have been taken a long time ago. Fascism is born from the womb of capitalism’s decay. The final and complete eradication of the fascists from the face of the earth will happen through the people’s struggle and alliance aimed at the overthrow of the system that breeds the Nazis. This is the path, this is the direction the struggles of the labour and people’s movement must have," he said.

What way forward

According to a press release about the festival, it was characterized by a rich programme including discussions about the problems of the working class, the youth, multifaceted athletic and cultural activities, concerts with well-known and amateur artists.

Essential goods, food and clothing were also collected to strengthen working class solidarity with other the working class and popular families who are suffering from the major austerity cut backs which have devastated Greece in recent years.

International contribution

Delegations from over twenty international youth organizations joined the festival, presenting stalls and distributing materials about their struggles, and an anti-imperialist discussion was held on the second day of the festival under the theme “Their war kills whatever their peace left standing.”

Discussions also addressed the question of solidarity with socialist Cuba, with the Cuban Ambassador to Greece present. The KNE  received an honorary medal from the Ambassador of Cuba on behalf of the Union of Young Communists of Cuba because of their KNE’s contribution to the promotion of the solidarity of the Greek youth with the island of the revolution.

A video message of solidarity from the FARC-EP of Colombia to KNE and the 39th Festival of KNE and Odigitis was also shown on the Central Screen of the festival.

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