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We print below a translation of a leaflet issued by the Trotskyist Group of Greece. Our comrades distributed over 1,000 copies at a March 12 rally of tens of thousands headed up by the rail workers union. The protest was called by the Communist Party (KKE), the PAME trade-union organization, unions and student groups.

The Tempe rail crash, which left 57 dead and many injured, is the result of decades of vicious austerity and privatizations dictated by the EU and the U.S. imperialists. After the 2015 defeat [Syriza government’s overturning of the referendum result against more EU austerity], the working class has found itself waging defensive struggles, frustrated and facing one defeat after another. The crime committed at Tempe has brought forth enormous rage among the masses. In the massive strike on March 8, the working people said, “ENOUGH!” and demonstrated their readiness to fight against the consequences of austerity. For the first time since 2015, the working class is on the counterattack, putting the bourgeoisie and the New Democracy (ND) government on the defensive. In contrast to 2012 and 2015, there are far fewer illusions in Syriza. It is clear that ND, PASOK and Syriza are equally responsible for the suffering of the masses. To hell with all of them!

With the anger of the masses at a boiling point and elections approaching, the question is: who will run the country? The needs of the workers are clear: Cancel the debt! Overturn the austerity packages! Out of the EU and NATO! In order to achieve those demands, a general offensive of the working masses is necessary. The main question is who will lead this struggle to victory. Nobody on the left has a clear answer. We call for a workers government of the KKE/PAME!

As Trotskyists, we have no illusions in the Stalinists of the KKE, but we recognize that they lead the vanguard of the proletariat. If the KKE is truly revolutionary, as it claims, then it will lead the working class in the fight to achieve these demands and to take power. The situation is ripe. If the KKE and PAME lead the attack of the working class, they can be victorious. But if, as we believe, they will not do that, then it will demonstrate to the working class the need for a new, revolutionary, leadership.

The entire history of the KKE demonstrates that they will not lead this fight to victory. In the 1940s, the KKE led the national liberation movement to the very cusp of working-class power, only to give it back. This was shown clearly in the December [1944] events when, having taken control of Athens, they surrendered it to the British and the Greek capitalists. In 2015, the KKE refused to vote against the EU austerity package, casting a spoiled ballot. After Syriza’s betrayal, when the task of leading the struggle against the imperialists was posed concretely, the KKE did not lift a finger.

In the 1940s, they collaborated with the bourgeoisie and the “progressive” imperialists in the name of the struggle against fascism. Today, in the name of “class independence,” they refuse to lead the struggle against imperialist subjugation. Both positions are but two sides of the same Stalinist coin, leading to capitulation before both the imperialists and the domestic bourgeoisie. In counterposition to that, a genuinely revolutionary party would link the struggle for national emancipation to class independence in the struggle for socialist revolution.

The rest of the left organizations have essentially the same reformist program as the KKE. At best, they make left criticisms of the KKE in order to pressure it into adopting more radical positions. They are an obstacle to the development of the workers struggle because they do not put forward a revolutionary alternative solution to that of the KKE, thus leaving the leadership of the proletariat in the hands of the reformists. The most that Antarsya has to offer for the crisis today is, in their own words, a “strong workers opposition to whatever government emerges.” This reflects the fact that they cannot show a road toward fulfilling the expectations of the proletariat and leading it to power.

A successful offensive by the Greek proletariat can raise all of Europe in rebellion. The outcome will depend on whether the vanguard of the proletariat will be able to forge a revolutionary party capable of rallying all of the oppressed to its banner.

Unlimited general strikes now to fight for:

  • Trade-union control of health and safety! Full class independence from the state and the bosses!

  • Expropriation of the banks and the strategic sectors of the economy without compensation: ports, shipyards, rail, transport, the shipping industry, the electricity supplier DEI!

  • Decent housing for all through the expropriation of the church’s property and the luxury housing of the bourgeoisie! Take back the homes stolen by the banks!

  • For a reforged Fourth International!

  • For the Soviet United States of Europe, united on a voluntary basis!

For Strike Committees in ports, factories, workplaces, universities, schools and elsewhere.

To organize the struggle and debate the strategy of what must be done.

Enough with the defeats!