New and Bigger Greek General Strike on the 18th of October
October 17, 2012 • 8:22AM

Another huge demonstration is expected to take place in Greece tomorrow to protest the government's Troika-dictated austerity policies. The private sector union federation, GSEE, and the civil servants union, ADEDY, will also hold a protest rally. It will be the second general strike this month.

The strike and rally will be the focal point of other groups' protest actions as well. A number of professionals will walk off the job already on Oct. 17, including lawyers, judges, and notaries, to protest the merging of their health-care funds into the nationwide provider, EOPYY. There will also be a media blackout on Wednesday, because the journalists' union has called for a 24-hour stoppage in support of Thursday's general strike.

State hospital doctors will begin a 48-hour protest on Wednesday, apart from those in Athens, who will hold a work stoppage from noon until 3 p.m. Dentists will hold a 48-hour strike from Wednesday. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, notaries, and engineers are due to take part in a protest march in central Athens on Wednesday. They are due to meet in front of the Athens Bar Association at 1 p.m. ahead of a march toward the Finance Ministry.

Trolley bus drivers will strike on Thursday, and employees at the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) have already decided to join Thursday's strike. Taxi owners have said they will also withdraw their vehicles from service between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday. Even kiosk owners and tobacconists will join the strike and demo.

More than 150 Greek craftsmen from Volos started to walk the 340 kilometers to Athens to protest the bailout agreements that pushed them into "deep impoverishment," as they said. They departed Volos early on Oct. 13 and are expected to reach Greece's capital on Oct. 23rd to hold a demonstration in Syntagma Square, where they plan to hand over to Parliament a resolution with their demands and spend the night in the square. They will follow their protest march with a hunger strike.

The action was organized by the local "Movement of Hope for the Society," who have called on the jobless, farmers, pensioners, and vulnerable social groups to join the march. Their statement reads: "We march to Athens in order to express our total indignation and strongly protest the implemented policy. We do not give away the future of our children, our businesses and the right to work. Having no hope for the improvement of our survival, we are forced to fight in order not to lose all the rights we acquired with great effort and struggle. Is it possible to pay our insurance contributions for so many years in order to secure a basic pension and medical care, and when we retire to end up with a hunger pension? Ethos, pride, dignity, collegiality are neither bought nor sold in any state system."