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Solidarity for All – Greece

photo of Kevin Flanagan

Kevin Flanagan
24th August 2013


Solidarity for all is Greek project to identify and support the manyfold “social solidarity” initiatives unfolding in Greece.
http://solidarity4all.gr/

“The situation (in Greece) is explosive and this is why the campaign “Solidarity for All” tries to intervene by facilitating and organising, hopefully, the solidarity networks in a more effective way, and by urging the large human capital that has approached our party to participate and organise such structures in the localities.

In Greece of crisis and of misery, another Greece is being created in a fast pace, of people who get self organised for survival and also for resistance. Our experience from the multifaced solidarity structures shows us that they play a catalytic role in the increase of self-confidence of our co-citizens, assisting them at the same time to avoid the total depression and collapse. At the same time, these victims of the crisis they enrich their knowledge and talents and thus become able to take life in their hands. Resourcefullness of the people and the radically innovative solutions they apply, provide often a pleasant surprise.


We will cite here only three of the dozens of initiatives that are unfolding on a national level..

In Kavala, a port-city in the north of the country, they have institutionalised the “participative table”, rejecting the broadly used term “collective kitchen”. And this because participation of everyone is not limited to bringing food, but also in bringing the plate and glass (note: they reject to use plastic, so everyone bgings one’s own utensils), one tablecloth, one flower, anything they have in their own homes… It can be easily understood that in this way they annul the distance between those who have and those who have been marginalised because they no longer have.

In North Psychiko, a northern urban suburb of Athens, three people make a photography competition on the issue of the devalued people’s open market of their area. They come into agreemet with the presidents of the sales people and they will make an “advertisement” of the open market, through photography exhibition (using the closed, since many months, shops of their area) and they will be “rewarded” with the offer of vegetables and other foodstuff from the market salers for all those in need.

In our recent meeting in Perama, the devastated ship building zone of Athens, the assembly put forward a wonderful idea: the next two months we have the crop of olives, so we can ask from oil producers to leave in the oil processing companies one bottle of oil each for the solidarity, and the oil that will be collected will be promoted to homes in the urban centres. We accepted the proposal and started to work in this direction.”

Call for Peered “Adoptions”

“The words are certainly poor to transmit the fight given by the people in the south of Europe, but we are all proud for it, and thus we wanted to communicate it, even in fragmented form.Beyond of the humanitarian crisis and the sharp needs which we are called upon to comfort, we can slowly discern something new taking shape in our country, which even ourselves find it diffucult to excactly define. We are integral part of what is slowly being built and we ask to build it with you also.

We don’t ask for economic assistance in general, even though we are in great need of it. We ask you to “adopt” collectives, initiatives, efforts of many simple, everyday people. We want you to get to know them, to visit them and even, why not, to act at their side.

At this point we want to note something more. We know that many of you come from countries of the South or the East of Europe, and we are faced with relevant problems. Let’s face them all together and let’s build our common future on basis of solidarity and feedback.

“Solidarity for all”, despite the urgent existing needs, has concluded that we cannot follow an economic policy of benefits (e.g. by paying the rent of the social places we use), which will soon exhaust the existing resources, but that we will channel the resources to infrastructure and equipment. We urge our members to find resourceful solutions for funding of the permanent needs of our infrastructure, which they will largely do. But here we must note that self-financing (with contributions, concerts, offer of spaces by local government etc.) will soon exhaust its limits.

We therefore dare to propose the “adoption” of specific structures, which we can propose to you, by covering the permanent economic needs for a concrete time limit. Such a solution could relax the anxiety for finding the necessary resources each month, and thus channel the militancy of the people to more productive actions.

Another crucial sector is the medicines. We mentioned above that there are great shortages on the one hand, and that many of our co-citizens are unable to have access due to lack of insurance stamps that makes them non eligible. Quite a few from the solidarity social infrastructure in the country have proceeded to finding vaccines for children, whose families have no longer access to the National Health System and they do not vaccinate them. We are in communication with the social clinics and social pharmacies in the country, in order to formulate a list of the absolutely necesary medicines and vaccines, of which the purchase will be certainly cheaper in your country. We will soon be in a position to publicise this list and also the way of transport of medicines in our country.

The social solidarity structures in Greece are active in a variety of sectors, from food, the health, education up to solidarity economy, culture but also legal aid of our co-citizens (extraordinary taxes, overindebted households, evictions from homes). The initiatives taken are so varied that they will certainly be other sectors but also ways that the peoples of Europe will find, in order to stand in solidarity with each other.

We mostly want to maintain our dignity and by this letter we invite you to a common experiment, to taking together a road which may take us somewhere with more light.”

Solidarity for All by kev.flanagan

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