Greek authorities use COVID-19 lockdown to crack down on self-managed Vio.Me factory

While the Greek people are placed under quarantine due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Greek authorities continue their agenda against the social movements in the country. The state has found the perfect timing to conduct its new attack on the self-managed Vio.Me. factory in Thessaloniki: early this morning, accompanied by two squads of riot police, employees of the state-owned electric company have cut off the power to the factory.

The Vio.Me. factory has been operated directly by the workers since 2013 and from the beginning it has oriented itself towards ecological production at the cheapest possible price so as to show its solidarity to the crisis-stricken Greek society. As one of the brightest contemporary examples of economic direct democracy, the factory has been attacked by all governments (including the Left SYRIZA), but has persisted due to the strong grassroots support it enjoys.

Now the right-wing New Democracy government has found the perfect setting in which to operate as all Greek citizens have been placed under lockdown, which requires certain paperwork to be filled before one can leave her home, or risk a fine.

There are already several cases of this dirty strategy. On 15 of March, just two days since the lockdown was first introduced, police forces evicted refugees who were sheltered in the historic Politechnic University at the heart of the rebellious Exarcheia neighborhood. A few days later, on 19th March, the authorities arrested 11 Kurdish and Turkish left-wing political refugees.

Everything shows that the State will use the opportunity given to it by the pandemic, not to help the thousands of sick people, but to increase the militarization of Greek cities and to deal with the social struggles that have been paralyzed by the lockdown. Now is the moment to show our solidarity and be vocal about the government’s excesses.

Below is the announcement of Vio.Me. after the power shut-down:

“The vampires of power acting in the dark found the “right” moment to cut off the power of the self-managed factory of Vio.Me. at 6:30 in the morning 30/3/20. They had the crane ready and with the support of 2 SWAT squads, which means a political command, they functioned like the Greek governments of the 50s who executed the fighters in the dark so that the people would not react. We also denounce the PPC “colleagues” who collaborated as executors in the same act.

We demand the immediate reconnection of the power supply.

And all this while we are in the process with the Ministry of Labor for the full legalization of self-managed factory of Vio.Me.

And while they know that we produce personal and home hygiene products, which are of primary importance to society.

In solidarity,
Workers at SE Vio.Me”

Yavor Tarinski


Photo: Popaganda