A total of 400,000 to 500,000 people have demonstrated during the last 3 days in Athens alone. Over 100,000 in Salonica and many tens of thousands in other Greek towns.
Stop the war in Iraq. Greece.
Biggest protests for 25 years
In Athens the rally on Thursday, started soon after the news of the war broke out. It was as big as the 15F rally, at least 150,000 people. The number of school students was stunning – it was basically a school student demo. The TUC had refused to call for a strike or a stoppage, so the number of workers was not particularly big.
The rally on Friday surpassed any other demo over the last 25 years! (with the exception of the election rallies in the 1980s which were of a different character, however). Probably around 250.000, bring to memory the rallies on the anniversary of the Polytechnic revolt in the first years after the fall of the military regime in 1974.
Saturday’s (today’s) rally was much smaller, as was expected, a total of 15-20 thousand between the three different rallies taking place (still there are 4 different anti-war committees in Greece!).
Our main concern in Athens was to have good contingents. We had over 300 on Thursday, about 400 on Friday and close to 300 today. This was excellent, and especially today’s, because the total number of people on the demo was much, much smaller than on the previous days.
We sold a good number of papers and collected a lot of fighting fund. The best thing has been recruiting new members to our party.
Massive protests against the war
Huge anti-war protests took place in Thessaloniki over the last few days. On Wednesday night, even before the war started and without any preparation at all, 2.000 people gathered outside the US embassy. The next day, Thursday, there was a spontaneous demonstration of around 25.000 in the morning, with school students setting the tone. But there were school students gathering in the centre all day. In the afternoon there was another big demonstration of about the same size as in the morning. After this demonstration there were some arrests, so we assembled again to go to the police station but the police attacked us without any reason.
Yesterday, Friday, there was a local general strike against the war and one of the biggest demos ever in Thessaloniki. Around 70.000 people were there, the mood was lively and combative. Almost everybody threw eggs and red paint at the US emabassy and against McDonald’s.
The strike was very successful – nothing worked. The police again arrested some people, but they let them go as they did with the other ones from Thursday’s demo.
The CWI had a very good intervention and we got a very good response in people giving their names and telephone numbers to contact them, and also in paper sales. We participated in the Greek Social Forum contingent, and also in the University Students’ Coordination contingent, which was one of the most lively, large and combative in the demonstration.
Today (Saturday) we expect also a lot of people to be turning out.
Nikos Epanastasiadis, Thessaloniki
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