On Sunday March 5 thousands of students and workers marched on Syntagma square in Athens, Greece as part of continuing protests after the horrific train crash February 28 that claimed the lives of at least 57 people, many of them young people coming home from university. The protests are being met with tear gas and other attacks by police.
We looked at the previous mobilizations in Protests and outrage after horrific train disaster in Greece (theleftchapter.com).
The March 5 mobilization was called by unions and Left political parties and organizations to keep up the pressure on the Greek government to launch a full investigation and to reverse the privatization, austerity and liberalization agendas of previous governments that many feel directly led to the disaster.
According to a Communist Party of Greece (KKE) statement:
Tens of thousands of workers, young people and families with their children responded to the call of the trade unions and the unions of university students, the self-employed and women and participated in the rally held on Sunday 5 March as part of the 48-hour strike of railway workers.
Thousands of people demonstrated that the crime in Tempe was the result of criminal policies that treat safety and human life as a cost. It is a political choice over railway operation that has been pursued subsequently over the years by the PASOK, SYRIZA and ND governments. The demonstrators demanded that the real responsibilities and culprits be held accountable and punished immediately!
The mass rally at Syntagma square was attended by a large delegation of the CC of the KKE, led by its GS, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, who made the following statement:
“Crocodile tears and subsequent apologies no longer touch the people. Today, after this unspeakable tragedy in Tempe, which was a crime bound to happen, the mass mobilizations of the Greek working people, mainly of the youth, of school and university students, those great and moving events throughout the country, are perhaps the only ray of hope and optimism. This is the only way to ensure that the responsibilities will not be absolved, that this crime will not be forgotten, that light is shed to the case, so that the enormous responsibilities of the state, of the state apparatus, of all the governments of ND, PASOK, SYRIZA to date, of the private company —this large Italian monopoly— and, of course, of those individually involved in this crime, can be attributed.
We will be here, together with the labour and popular movement, together with the youth, to demand that these responsibilities be attributed, that substantial measures be taken to protect the lives of our fellow human beings and the prosperity of our people. Above all, through our struggle and political choices, we will strive to pave the way so that the people can seize power; because only the people can save the people, on the path of overthrowing this decayed, corrupt system of power.”