This “No” was only the beginning!
Wednesday 8 July 2015, by OKDE-Spartakos
This statement was made by OKDE-Spartakos, Greek section of the Fourth International and member of Antarsya, the Anti-capitalist Left Coalition, on 5 July 2015.
The "NO" answer in the 5th of July’s referendum was a painful slap against the traditional parties of the capital, the bourgeoisie, the systemic media. At the short period before the referendum, this disputatious alliance had extorted and terrorized the people, using all means available: Via television, through newspapers, into the work places. They only managed to make fool of themselves and to increase the class hate even more.
The referendum turned into a pure class fight, regardless of Syriza’s intentions. The working class voted NO and rejected the settlement massively, despite the historical betrayal of the General Working Union’s bureaucracy, which sided openly with the "YES" and with the capitalists. The bourgeoisie fought hard in favor of YES, even its parts which weren’t hostile to Syriza. The majority of the middle class, having almost nothing to loose anymore, formed into line with the working class and voted NO. In contrary to those who called for national unity and amity, it became clear to everyone that two, totally different "societies" exist in the country: The exploiters and the exploited. The escalation of the class consciousness of a large part of the working class creates a vast amount of fear to those who are afraid of a clear expression of the class and choose the national unity as their main slogan, in order to promote the complacency and the social peace.
Those who tried to avoid a clear state in this class fight, naturally found themselves in the fringe. Especially the Communist Party (KKE), promoting abstention in the referendum, served the working class poorly and, like its position in December 2008, once again conformed to middle class fears and to the bourgeoisie.
This class struggle wasn’t just limited to the vote. This fight actualized in the streets, in the working places, inside the universities, in the neighborhoods. Without the huge demonstrations and marches, the fear would have prevailed and the outcome of the election would have probably been different.
The anticapitalist Left and the revolutionary organizations played the lead role at the No movement and forced pressure to Syriza not to sign the agreement initially. In particular ANTARSYA, despite the partial mistakes, became the stronger feature of the most dynamic and decisive part of the movement. The anticapitalist Left is a social and political reality in the streets and in the working places. Syriza has no right to think that this movement and this NO is its property.
The confidence this NO victory gives us should not become complacency. The next day should be a day of even harder battles. Without any doubt, Syriza will return to the negotiation table in order to discuss austerity measures regarding the workers, with the hope that the institutions will be lenient. Also, without any doubt too, the bourgeoisies of Greece and Europe, along with the bureaucrats of E.U., will try to take revenge. We should not let the NO to be defeated, neither be “stolen”, nor to degenerate to a negotiation paper.
The class front, which struggled in the favor of NO, should reject any new agreement and any new measures. It must demand wage increases and collective working contracts. It must impose the split with the IMF and the EU. It must claim for the banks and big corporations’ nationalization under the workers’ control, as the only solution against the banks’ extortions and the bosses’ sabotage. It must disarm the police, which even under the Syriza government, protected the YES and suppressed the NO demonstrations. It must completely crack the Nazis of Golden Dawn, which is going to exploit a part of the NO, a NO which they supported with false pretences, for political survival purposes. We do not have the slightest delusion that the Syriza-ANEL government will pursue such measures. We are confident that the power of the workers can achieve them.
The working class showed indeed its power against the alliance of the main parties of the capital, against the bosses’ terrorism, the bureaucracy and the mechanisms of the "deep" state. With massive and tenacious struggles and long-term strikes, we must enlarge the gap which has opened inside the stability of the system and never let it close again. In this battle, the role of a strong anticapitalistic Left, independent of the reformism and the government, is crucial.