Speech of Nikos Ambatielos, Secretary of the CC of KNE (Communist Youth of Greece) at the 30th Two-Day Anti-Imperialist Camp
July 12, 2021
The video below shows the march to the 30th annual Two-Day KNE Anti-Imperialist Camp:
Dear comrades and friends,
This year, our Two-day Camp completes 30 years of it existence!
Thirty years of glorious moments that have written their own history!
We have journeyed from Prespes Lakes in northwestern Greece to Souda Bay in Crete; from the heroic mountains of Grammos and Vitsi to the unwavering Akronafplia in Nafplio. We have protested against the NATO-US-EU military bases. We have learned about our heroic history, shouted our slogans and sung our songs!
Each and every one here – no matter if it is their first two-day camp or if they have joined us many times before – can see, listen and feel that all this willingness to offer oneself comes from within: when the mind and heart are burning with revolutionary ideals, when we realize that individual action can achieve impressive results once oriented towards collective causes through organization.
This is what we have experienced first-hand over these past hours with the thousands of members and friends of KNE, who have travelled from all over Greece to take part in this special Anti-imperialist Two-Day Camp of KNE.
All that is the result produced by all those working tirelessly in the previous days, so that the beautiful city of Mytilene could host this year the great Pan-Hellenic meeting of the youth.
We warmly shake the hand of the members and friends of KNE, our Party, all the people who contributed to the preparations and clearly proved once again that our organization can carry out such major events with absolute safety under the special conditions of the pandemic.
We would like to thank all entities and their employees that have contributed to the events taking place in this exceptional place.
Dear comrades and friends,
We are very happy that in this Two-Day Camp we are not alone…
Here, on the beautiful island of Lesvos, we would like to warmly welcome our comrades from the Communist Party of Turkey and the Communist Youth of Turkey, who are with us this year!
In order to ensure the participation of the comrades from the other side of the Aegean Sea, the difficulties to be overcome were neither few nor small.
But the determination on both sides of the Aegean proved to be greater, and that is why we have succeeded!
Comrades, with your presence here, we convey a powerful message, a message of the common struggle of our peoples against the system of wars, exploitation, forced migration, the sacrifice of human life to the profits of the monopoly groups.
We promote the idea, the “image,” of the peoples fighting alongside each other to live peacefully, for their own future, against the capitalist system!
Because, there is a common enemy both in Greece and Turkey: the capitalist system, the bourgeois governments, the imperialist supranational organizations such as NATO and the EU!
Yes, the peoples of Greece and Turkey, have a common future: The victory of our people, Socialism!
And we have never stopped believing this, even in the distant 1992 when our Two-Day camp was beginning its journey, having to face the enormous difficulties brought by the counter-revolutionary overthrows in the Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, difficulties that, unfortunately, still remain.
This year’s destination constitutes a significant political intervention in the heart of the developments, in the heart of the sharpening of the contradictions between the Greek and the Turkish bourgeoisie, strong imperialist forces, posing serious threats to both peoples.
We are here to trumpet that there is nothing dividing the Greek and the Turkish people.
On the contrary, there are there are many things that unite us in the struggle we wage daily against the consequences of barbaric capitalist power. After all, the Turkish workers are the first to suffer from the authoritarian regime of Erdoğan, experience political discrimination and oppression, and of course, capitalist exploitation.
At the same time, our Two-Day camp is a true act of solidarity with refugees and immigrants, the thousands who have suffered from the imperialist wars and are entrapped in our country, in the Aegean Islands, here in Lesvos.
Thousands of people who saw the harsh face of capitalism came to this island; people who were uprooted from their countries, which were wrecked by the fatal weapons of the imperialists; people tormented by poverty and hunger, buried under the ashes and the ruins of their homes.
Thousands of empty lifejackets have been washed up on the shores of this island, symbolizing people’s lost dreams for a dignified life that were wrecked along with the boats carrying them. Anyone who managed to survive ended up in overcrowded concentration camps, under the miserable conditions of ghettoization, in dump sites, lacking even the slightest hygiene conditions, with people inside containers or tents, thus leaving them exposed to the weather, and so forth.
We will never forget the horrible images of the winter of 2017, coming from Moria refugee camp, showing refugee tents covered with snow and with people left freezing in the snowstorm.
We will never forget the shocking sights of mothers, refugees and locals, to wrap infants with blankets in their arms to protect them from the cold.
We will always reach our hand out to the ones on the run, to the weak of this world. We will always stand aside the weak and the victims of this inhuman system…
Here and now we reaffirm that we will continue to fight against the anti-refugee, anti-people policy of the EU, which is responsible for the inhuman and unacceptable situation that the immigrants, the refugees and the locals are facing.
The Greek governments, along with the EU, bear the responsibility, since the Dublin Treaty and the EU-Turkey agreement have turned our country into a vast immigrant and refugee prison and the islands of the Aegean into vast graveyards of souls.
This policy, while bearing the mark of SYRIZA, ND and the other parties, constitutes the breeding ground for racism and xenophobia.
It constitutes the greatest sponsor of the ring that exploits immigrants and refugees through a wide network of underground and non-underground mechanisms and sinful NGOs. Many times before, the people of Lesvos rejected the government plans for closed centres/prisons and faced the government’s barbaric repression in return.
Along with the people of Lesvos, we demand:
- No detention centres/prisons, neither closed nor open ones.
- We support the right of immigrants and refugees to immediately proceed to their destination countries.
- We fight for their double entrapment to end; we fight against their miserable living conditions that have already led to tragedies.
Comrades and friends,
The bourgeois bureaucracy of the EU and NATO are doing everything in their power to convince the people and the youth that the participation of the country in NATO is for our sake!
That they’re doing God’s work around the globe…
- What if the murderous mechanism of NATO organises “educational fieldtrips” for schools at its premises around the country, like it recently did for schools at Crete and Thessaloniki.
- What if it lavishly funds Greek universities for research in favor of its criminal goals.
- What if the Greek governments, one after the other, both the current government of ND and especially the government of SYRIZA, along with the other bourgeois parties, present NATO as “an international organisation for the maintenance of world peace and security”, as the protector and guarantor of sovereign rights…
The very experience of the people and the dangerous developments in our region say otherwise!
According to a recent survey of a US institute, 57% of the Greek people responded that they have a negative view of NATO.
This is the highest percentage of negative views amongst all countries in which the survey was conducted!
Surely, this percentage doesn’t stand against NATO for the same reasons.
However, we can’t help but be proud of the fact that the anti-imperialist and anti-NATO activity of KNE and the KKE has contributed to help the people and the youth not to be convinced to love this murderous, imperialist organisation; we can’t help but keep on even more decisively!
The government witnesses all these along with its mouthpieces and halts…
They say, “How can this be true, after all this money spent…”
For the first time, our country ranks first in NATO’s military expenditures as a share of GDP, surpassing even the USA! Greece is expected to spend approximately 6.6 billion euros on NATO armaments, compared to last year’s 4.4 billion euros!
Of course, all the above don’t come as a bolt from the blue…
It is no coincidence that the prime minister, on the occasion of the completion of two years since the 2019 elections, indicated that he wants to be judged on, among other things, the geopolitical enhancement of the country…
Given that the Greek bourgeoisie aims at enhancing its position in the Balkans and the Southeast Mediterranean.
It aims at making the country energy, economic and military hub to support the Euro-Atlantic plans for the region.
This task exactly was served by all governments to this day, ND, PASOK and SYRIZA. All of them aim at hiding the fact that the enhancement of the ruling class of the country means the enhancement of the dangers for the Greek people.
This is the reason why the aggression of the Greek bourgeoisie and the parties that serve its interests is escalating…
Because, yes, elements of aggression are:
- The participation of the Army Forces in missions outside the borders.
- The air border surveillance of Balkan states.
- The participation in exercises in the Balkans and the Black Sea.
- The participation in war patrols in the Persian Gulf.
- The deployment of Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia.
- The new military agreement with the USA.
- The political, and mostly military, cooperation with Israel.
- The deployment of troops to Mali.
- The willingness of the government to deploy military forces to the Sahel region.
- The use of dozens of American bases for hostile missions against the neighbouring peoples.
- The participation in encircling Russia.
Surely, the engagement of Greece in NATO-EU and the strengthening of the relations with the USA constitute a strategic choice of all the parties of the system. This concerns ND, SYRIZA, KINAL, but also the party MERA25.
The government of SYRIZA cannot play the innocent, since it bowed down to the American imperialism, that would walk on water for the American ambassador and the “devilishly” good Trump, that offered land and water, ports and airports to NATO, increased the numbers of bases and the presence of NATO forces.
The government of ND follows the same steps by even supporting other unsung heroes, so-called leftists, such as the Party of Varoufakis, who was drooling over the USA and NATO in a recent interview.
It is well known that Varoufakis can’t hide his pro-USA sentiments…
On the occasion of the question regarding his friendly stance on the USA, while serving as Finance Minister of SYRIZA, he admitted that it was his choice to avoid any conflicts with the “transatlantic pole”, since, in its own words, “a country like Greece must have priorities and a progressive government that should not bring up the military bases and the withdrawal from NATO!”
Varoufakis’ dangerous claims are confirmed by the very strengthening of the Greece-USA strategic alliance during the SYRIZA governance, which is carried on by the government of ND.
This cynical confession is a red flag for any leftist-progressive person, who shudders with the horrors, the coups, the wars, the tortures, namely everything that defines NATO, everything that NATO really is…
For the people, however, it is a matter of life and death to escalate their struggle for the disentanglement of Greece from the imperialist plans and wars, for the abolition of the Greece-USA Defense Agreement on NATO military bases, for the closure of the base in Souda and the rest of the bases, for not deploying any nuclear weapons.
To strengthen the struggle against any borders changing and the treaties in which they are defined; so that the Greek officers and soldiers return from the imperialist missions, and the decision on the military service extension for the army is revoked.
It has been two years since ND came into power. During such a short period of time, ND has managed to deploy its entire anti-people arsenal.ts
The employers and the capitalists can certainly feel satisfied, since ND serves them so willingly.
And how could they not be satisfied with the management of the Covid-19 pandemic based now and then on the protocols of the EU and the big monopoly groups, with the entrepreneurs of health sector still making profits from the agony of thousands of people?
How could they not be satisfied with the reforms at State level and the labor reforms, which strengthen the employers, legitimize the law of the jungle in labour relations and lead the young generation to the modern slavery, i.e. “living in order to work”?
How could they not be satisfied with the participation of Greece in the evolving bargaining that aimed at the NATO-inspired co-exploitation in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Sea?
How could they not be satisfied with the legislative work of the government for such an education that further strengthens the class barriers for young men and women, through the categorization of schools?
And also, how could they not be satisfied with the intensification of state repression, which does not only reflect on the restriction of the demonstrations but on a variety of aspects, from the blow to the right to strike and the trade union rights to the extension of the provisions of the anti-terrorism law… After all, the memories of the voting for the anti-terrorism law in the arts are fresh.
However, comrades, the ND government has also some allies in its anti-people work. And we are not only referring to the big capital, whose demands become laws anyway. We refer to the common understanding of the priorities of the capital among the ND government, SYRIZA and the other system parties, highlighted and recognized by the Federation of Industries Association itself.
Anyone could understand why SYRIZA needs that so-called “slight victory even with just one vote”: To implement whatever could not be achieved by the anti-people ND government, in order for the anti-people relay race to go on.
When SYRIZA declares that it can achieve the goals of the ruling class by ensuring social cohesion, it means that it can implement the demands of the minority with no popular resistance and protests.
The slight victory even with just one vote –according to SYRIZA itself– will be used again to launder the dirty alliances of the ruling class of the country with the USA, the European Commission, and the state of Israel.
It wants that slight victory in order to justify its stance during the last two years of the ND’s governance.
What did SYRIZA do without the threat of the creditors and the other misleading arguments used by its leadership to at least convince some unwitting people that next time it will be different?
- It voted for half of the anti-people bills submitted by the “worst government ever”, as SYRIZA calls it.
- It provided precious assistance to Mitsotakis’ government when it was under pressure – how else could anyone explain that SYRIZA voted for half of the articles of Hatzidakis’ law -, and that way promoted fatalism and defeatism just before the largest strike battle of the recent years in our countr
- It suggested to the “worst government ever” to agree on a Minister of Health of common acceptance and of course to set up a joint committee for managing the recovery fund resources.
SYRIZA wants this slight victory, to deceive the people once again with the notion that it is possible for the machines of the capitalist profit to work to their fullest while the social, labor and educational rights of the new generation would be guaranteed, as if the unjust capitalist development can work in favour of the people. And the deception goes on…
The lies go on; the same way we experienced them in our country with the SYRIZA government whose policy released the wildest instincts of the pro-capitalist veterans of ND and PASOK. Or at least the ones who did not join SYRIZA.
Let SYRIZA enjoy such progress…
The next time it will be different indeed. Since SYRIZA won the elections the first time with the abolition of the memoranda as its slogan and ended up voting for a third and even worse memorandum along with ND and PASOK, now that it does not even make these smallest declarations, anyone can imagine what it will end up doing.
We are very proud that during all this time our Party has been the real opposition of the people against the policy of the government, whilst all bourgeois parties headed by SYRIZA – the loyal opposition – were repeating in every possible way their support.
It was at the forefront of mass collective fights and fierce class struggles so that the people wouldn’t be just spectators of the developments and their voice would be raised, even under the masks; so that the youth would fiercely condemn regression and authoritarianism and the working class would decry the anti-people policy and the attempt of the government to shift the responsibility onto them.
We did not stop living, discussing, thinking, studying and searching for the truth they want to hide from us when presenting the horrible conditions of the healthcare systems in the whole capitalist world as a natural phenomenon, the capitalist crisis as a result of the virus, and also when constantly invoking “individual responsibility”.
The most degenerate and hideous aspect of that logic was the “gifts” given to the young people and the logic of recompense, whilst such an important matter as the vaccination, which has to do with public health and the whole society, is at stake.
The government has the primary and sole responsibility for all the backpedalling on substantially informing the people; the contradictions in the pandemic management; the lack of the necessary protection measures, and also the total surrender of the vaccination process to the competition of the big pharmaceutical companies and the EU policy. In other words, the responsibility for everything that the government and the rest of the system parties consider almost a normality of the so-called “freedom of the capitalist market”.
The stance of the KKE and KNE during all this time is a huge consignment for the future. It brought hope, was heard by even more people, and challenged stereotypes.
Now, it is high time for all the young people, who saw that the action of the communists is the only beacon of hope, to take a step forward.
It is high time to reflect upon the fact that none of this would be possible without organization.
That it is not the time to sit idly and watch the developments, to applaud, or even just help without being organized. It is high time for more cells of volunteers, vanguard young revolutionists to be created at every school, university, every big workplace and neighbourhood.
This is the only thing that can scare the opponent!
We moved forward! Despite the prohibitions and the difficulties, we succeeded in a huge task: the completion of our Party’s 21st Congress and our entire pre-Congress procedures that lasted for 5 whole months.
The KKE is not like the other parties that search for alibis to postpone their superficial procedures.
The lively participation, the action, the organization and solidarity are virtues that the system, its parties and its various mechanisms are trying to defame and eliminate from the lives of the people, by convincing them that they are outdated and old-fashioned.
They seek to replace them with a supposedly digital democracy (e.g. SYRIZA or the electronic elections, etc.), aiming at keeping the workers and the young people away from the active participation and action, by convincing them to only be “followers” expressing their opinions through “likes”. Thus having the illusion of participation, but in reality their role will be purely formal for predetermined decisions to get confirmed.
The Congress of the KKE conveys the message that now is time to grow in numbers and become even more capable, more prepared to play our role as the mind-heart-organizer of the workers’-people’s struggle for socialism.
With new forces and full of energy we will get together on Monday with all the people we had met the previous months, after adding new weapons in our arsenal: first and foremost, the Political Resolution of our Party Congress but also these beautiful experiences that we have gained in this year’s two-day camp.
This year’s slogan: “Live, dare, move forward! For the society of true freedom, socialism!” that has just started its journey throughout Greece expresses the drive with which we acted all that time, the motivation we get from it to continue fighting, but also the certainty that this world can and must change and we will be the ones to change it!
The Proposal of the KKE is the only proposal outside the limits of the system, able to inspire even the ones that might believe that the situation is at a standstill; that things cannot change at least for the better.
They just need to get to know this Proposal and we will see to it. That way, they can find a true way-out and the potential of our era that can satisfy our needs shall be revealed to them.
The major achievements of science, green and digital technology can serve the workers only if they are aligned with innovative relations of production; only if they get integrated into the scientific central planning within the framework of the socialized property and the working-class power.
Because this is what progress means: The social relation allowing the use of means of production and the growth and distribution of the labour force according to the scientifically elaborated goals for people’s prosperity.
Hope lies in the struggle of the peoples!
Long live Marxism-Leninism and Proletariat Internationalism!
Socialism is the Future!