A solidarity rally with Syriza, the radical Left party newly-elected as Greece’s government, was held in the Seán Ó Casey Theatre in East Wall, Dublin on Saturday.
The event, hosted by a Greek Solidarity Committee comprised of trade unionists, civil society figures and activists, featured a slate of invited guests from the party: Dr. Kostas Chrysogonos MEP; Dr. Dimitris Sotirpoulos, economist; Ntina Tzouvala, critical legal theorist; and Maria Karagianni, member of SoSte to Nero, anti-water-privatisation campaign in Thessaloniki.
Situated in a working-class community that has been organising resistance to the installation of water meters in recent weeks the event was chaired by Mandate Trade Union leader John Douglas and also included contributions from Irish poet Theo Dorgan and Richard McAleavey, a translator for Spanish radical Left party Podemos.
The meeting discussed the need for solidarity between the Irish and Greek anti-austerity struggles, and the shared conditions workers, poor and the unemployed in the two countries faced. It drew hundreds to the small, community-run venue named for one of Ireland’s most famous socialists and playwrights. The fitting venue was pointed out by McAleavey, who reminded the receptive audience that Seán Ó Casey had pledged to “defend the democracies of all nations” when he wrote the constitution of the Irish Citizen Army just over a century ago.
The event was part of a weekend of support for Syriza organised to coincide with their debt negotiations in Europe this week. It included trips to the heart of the water charges campaign in Edenmore, Dublin north-east, for a breakfast with Communities Against Water Charges and a roundtable on the European debt crisis with Dr. Sotiropoulos in which debt justice NGOs, trade unions and community organisations discussed the way forward for sovereign debt in Ireland and Greece. Also, on Friday, Ntina Tzouvala spoke at the inauguration of the world’s oldest student society, the College Historical Society in Trinity College, about radical politics and state power.
To find out more about the Greek Solidarity Campaign visit its Facebook page: facebook.com/Ireland4Greece
Words: Freelance Journalist Ronan Burtenshaw
Watch the video of the meeting here:
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