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Greece: Interview with Voula Taki

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  1. Our readers are very interested in the mood of the people in Greece. What is your opinion on the blackmailing by the EU?

In recent weeks we are seeing in progress a “financial coup” in Greece by the EU, ECB and IMF . Especially after the decision of the Greek government to move to a referendum asking the Greek people to vote “NO” or “YES” in the agreement proposed by the troika. Due to this decision the past few days we receive a hard, barbaric and non-negotiable attitudes of capital and EU who believe that they can behave and to order as colonizers (read the declarations of Juncker, Schäuble, Merkel etc). They organized this terrorist attack using of their “servants / guardians’ – the local capital, the dominant economic classes and the media (banks closed, limiting the cash withdrawals in the amount of EUR 60 daily, has started defaulting employer to their employees under the pretext of the referendum, intimidation of people constantly of the private media, organizing counter-demonstrations etc). It’s like a class war.

Against their terrorism attack, the social movements, initiatives (like us) and political parties of SYRIZA and ANTARSYA organize everyday big demonstrations and marches. The dominant slogan are against EU, ECB, IMF, like: “ NO to blackmail EU / ECB / IMF – NO Euro / EU / Debt – NO to new memorandum !!” , “Forward O people not bend head – the only way is resistance and struggle”

and  Some requests:

“- Stop the government now any negotiation with the extortionists – lenders

– Immediate cessation of payments and cancellation of debt

– Unilateral cancellation of laws of memorandum  and fully restore all labor and popular rights

– Nationalization of the banking system and business strategies

– Capital tax measures and wealth rather than employee

– Rupture against the euro and the EU

NO to blackmail – NOT a new memorandum.

Big struggle Now!”

  1. How has the situation of especially the families and women been developing during the last months?

Everyone know what Greek-people have faced at the last five years under the violent attack of an economic crisis. The previous governments of our country under the orders from IMF CEB and the EU was destroying all our rights in one night in the name of debt.

Especially women are hit harder by the austerity measures because we are always:

  • the first ones to be dismissed and the last ones to be hired
  • the ones with the highest percentage of unemployment (in young women it is over 67%)
  • the ones who, due to unequal payment all through the previous years, cannot get a decent pension to get by
  • a big number of women work without insurance.
  • the first victims of street violence, sexual harassment at work, and domestic violence (We know from the SOS line that the last three years they had received  18000 calls about incidents concerning  gender violence)
  • The ones to carry the burden of the destruction of public welfare in healthcare and education (by sustaining the care of the elderly, the sick, the children..)
  • The ones who cannot give birth for free anymore at the public hospitals and whose newborn babies are kept as “mortgage”
  • Those who often do not have food or clothes for our children (according to data provided by the UNISEF in 2011-2012:
  • Doubled child poverty and 322,000 children are deprived of food.)
  • 44% of households indicating weakness for the infant.
  • 32,000 pupils are facing food insecurity (this is how they call officially the hunger)

 

  1. What are the struggles that your initiative/organization are leading against the crisis dictate of the EU?

 

Under this attack of IMF, CEB and the EU  we created at 2011 an Initiative, the “Women’s Initiative against debt and austerity measures”.  Our aim was to form together with other movements a front which will resist the neo-liberal attack on our society.

The WOMEN’S INITIATIVE has developed various actions so far, concerning all the above mentioned matters, as they were “created” by the memorandum policies of our governments and Troica.

We organized events in the neighborhoods of Thessaloniki by showing the documentary   “Debtocracy” concerning the debt.  Our aim was to explain that the debt is not a responsility of the people therefore we should not pay it. We participated in all major demonstrations and marches organized by trade unions. We organized a big campaign against austerity measures which dissolved the public healthcare system. Our slogan was “FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL”. We participated in antiracist and antifascist movement which have been recently developed enormously.

Under these circumstances and as the crisis is getting deeper, we the women, are living in depravation and poverty, not even having the substantial means to live and bring up our children (food, heating, health checks, vaccination, medicines etc.)

In these conditions, WOMEN’S INITIATIVE set up a solidarity venue, a women’s venue, addressing all women and especially single parent families and single women. It is an “open” place where all of us can have our own voice heard, so that via our self-organization we will be able to resist to the changes imposed by the IMF and hope we find answer to our problems in a collective way.  Τhe “Women’s solidarity venue” (it’s like women’s house) it’s open from 10 am to late in the evening, providing:

  • legal advice on matters of domestic violence, health issues etc.
  • evenings of collective cooking and eating
  • classes, talks and discussions, film screenings
  • direct actions concerning upcoming problems we faced by the policies of memorandum of our government ( electricity cuts, house foreclosures,  diminishing or no health care…)

With our slogan ” No woman alone in crisis!” against the anachronistic culture of assault, barbarism, we answer back using another kind of culture, that of SOLIDARITY, SELF-ORGANISATION, COOPERATION, MUTUAL AID and DIRECT ACTION together with other movements (such as helping people to get access to what is left of the public healthcare system, immigrants’ social centers, doctors of the world, citizens’ initiatives etc)

We succeeded as “Women’s solidarity venue” to have small victories!! Specifically: In Greece we have a serious problem with the electricity cuts because people – especially single mothers and unemployed women – can’t pay the extra taxes which the government has lately combined with the electricity bills. So, we invited the initiatives neighborhood groups and organized a protest under the slogan “No house without electricity” at the central office of Electricity. After our meeting with the director we achieved to reconnect the electricity in the houses of two women, to enter the social tariff 28 and we can only pay bills for electricity – no taxes – in several installments  for example 30 euros per month.

Also, we were able to go to public hospitals and demand that women in need be examined without paying.

And lately with our intervention, we succeeded to get the child of a woman who is an immigrant to kindergarten without paying the money and for her to get the necessary documents in order to be legal in our country.

Particularly at this time of the most barbaric attack by capital and the EU we are trying to cultivate the fear of using their “servants / guardians’ and the media, we as “Women’s Solidarity Venue” trying – by staying next to each other – to answer against this terrorism by taking part in large demonstrations and marches that take place every day in Greece.




Greece: Interview with Sofia Tzizkou

Here are my answers to your questions:

Our readers are very interested in the mood of the people in Greece. What is your opinion on the blackmailing by the EU?

1-Greek people realize the blackmail by the Troika and Eurozone leaders, who play an unfair game, believing that  by creating economic  asphyxia among  greek society, the government will collapse.

We should , also, underline their cooperation with the opposition parties ,as they would like to accelerate the end of “the left intermezzo” in Greece!

They  provoked the closure of banks, by stopping currency by the ECB,leading to capital control, fact that makes some people (mostly pensionners  ) to feel insecure due to lack of cash.

In one hand they realize the purpose of such blackmail and are supportive to the government, in the other hand they worry about the “day after”.

They  feel anger rather than  fear for the future.

  1. How has the situation of especially the families and women been developing during the last months?

2-At the end of 5 years recession greek society is no longer the same than it used to be.

40% of the population has no access to public health system and medication. 28% ”                ”     is unemployed, 65% among the young people, 55% among women.

Over 36% of greeks live in poverty or social exclusion.

Due to severe cuts in Public area and  Health, diseases reappeared, such are malaria, tuberculosis, HIV infections etc

Perinatal mortality increased by 40%….

 

The new government speaks loud of the hummanitarian crisis as a visible ,direct outcome of  previous austerity policies.

They took urgent measures for immediate relief of the most vulnerable groups, voting a new law that has already gave the opportunity to more than 700.000 individuals ,who applied  to receive assistance ,and access in 3 priority areas : electricity, housing, food.

Although solidarity clinics-pharmacies still provide services to the vulnerable, free entrance to hospitals is possible for all now.

  1. What are the struggles that your initiative/organization are leading against the crisis dictate of the EU?

3- Our struggle for full access to humman rights continues ,both on national and international levels.

It is not a local crisis, but a european one,and so we realize that a joint effort shoud be made with all left and progressive movements across Europe, in order to stop the degradation  of our lives caused by EU leaders/banks/multinationals.

Information to all about the truth is a critical issue.

We fight for dignity of our patients, for a new political Charter of Europe based on principles and common values, respect of humman rights,equality to development opportunities for all the peoples.

In this purpose we organize a campaign through media,and all of our partners.

I have contributed as member of the Parliament Truth committee on greek debt ,in co writing it s preliminary repport(  June 18/2015)

Please find the above text on the internet ,in english, as we believe is a strong  “weapon” against all those who dictate  / impose policies in the profit of capital, without taking under concideration peoples wellbeing ,as they are obliged to do.

 




Greece: Interview with Sophia Roditi from the steel workers’ women from Aspropirgos

 

  1. Our readers are very interested in the mood of the people in Greece. What is your opinion on the blackmailing by the EU?

Μost people here in Greece, consider the referendum an act of resistance to the lenders. No interest the real question but the act of the referendum. After five years of tough austerity they all know now, that the EU is wrong created. They want to stay in the EU but to change Europe.They want to have jobs and the country to become productive. They can not understand that there is not production because we are in the EU. Just their request  to change something that is structured from the beginning against the people and in favor of capital.However, in the minds of citizens, the EU-IMF-ECB is loan sharks, which with the help of the older governments oppress our democracy.My opinion is that there must be a break with the EU and the people to decide freely and without restriction to their  fate. Be able to choose freely and to produce what has need.They blackmailed by the EU-IMF-ECB and the media scares us but I think that comes the beginning of the end for all of them.

 

  1. How has the situation of especially the families and women been developing during the last months?

Practically nothing has changed. The working conditions, the sector of health, education, nutrition is the same. The government tried to measures taken for the humanitarian crisis to help but unfortunately very few citizens are entering these programs. There are no jobs and where can be found, is in slavery conditions. Without eight hours with very little wages and uncertainty about whether there is work for the next day.

 

  1. What are the struggles that your initiative/organization are leading against the crisis dictate of the EU?

We try with meetings, mobilizations and events to inform citizens about the real cause of all who live. We participate in kinematic actions (demonstrations, lectures, festivals, etc.), so as to demonstrate in practice that the fight never wasted, only that which is not given.




20.020,22 Euro for Nepal!

Answer from Shiela: Dear European coordinatiors, I express my heartfelt gratitude, on behalf of Nepalese masses. Your effort of solidarity definitely strengths the will power of women in the process of world women conference, to help the needy people who are ignored by the state. For sure once the situation gets stable we will give  the report. Though I am unable to build contact with other coordinators in Nepal, but I hope they are physically uninjured. Once more I would like to extend my thanks for your valueable contribution at very vulnerable situation, and hope for the same in future. In struggle, Shiela. ****       European Coordinators Monika, Halinka, Angélica, Maria 21-05-2015 To the Coordinators in Nepal CC to all World Coordinators Dear Durga, Sarita and Shiela, we are tremendously happy that we can transfer 20.020,22 €uro from Germany, the

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Netherlands and France. What is special about these funds is, that they mainly come from many small-scale and micro donations. About 10,000 discussions were held for it, the women mainly collected on May Day also among workers. This included speaking about the World Women’s Conference and the important union of the 8 women’s organisations in Nepal. We emphasised that the 8 women’s organisations are not dependent on cooperation with the government, like the international charitiy organisations are, but have deep roots among the masses of the women. The women are of course curious to get to know at a later time how the money was used. Whenever you will have a clear head again to write about this, we are happy to get a report. But of course there is no hurry! We are shaken at the second earthquake in Nepal and hope that you are not injured. In our fund-raising campaign in Europe we experienced a lot of compassion and solidarity among women and other donors. Sometimes it was not that easy as many charity organisations are also collecting donations and their bank account details are presented in all kinds of media. There were also a lot of legitimate and critical questions concerning the Nepalese government; why there was so little provision despite being a country so vulnerable to earthquakes as well as concerning the charity organisation and whether their money really arrives at the grassroots. Many women also raise the question what will become of the 2nd World Women’s Conference in 2016. We answer that this question will be answered in Nepal and will be discussed with us in the other countries when the time has come for it. Here too, our opinion is: Now it is too early for this discussion. There is enough time to wait until you have coped with the situation and have come to an assessment yourselves. All the same we would be glad about any reports from your side – if ever you find the time and the fortitude to write. With warm and solidary greetings from Europe, Monika, Halinka, Angélica und Maria Download Letter to Nepal:

Download (PDF, 139KB)




Philippines: Free our women political detainees!

Korrespondenz:

Liebe Freunde,
wir bitten um weitere Verbreitung/Veröffentlichung  dieser Bitte von Kapatiran und den politisch gefangenen Frauen in Manila.
Vielen Dank
Dagmar Eberhard i. A. Vorstand DeutschPhilippinische Freunde e.V.

Dear Friends,women_polprisoners02

Last Sunday (15 February 2015) Pido and I visited the women political detainees in the Female Detention Center — 4th floor — Taguig City Jail Building in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig.  There are nine women political detainees and a two-month old baby boy.  They are: — Loida Magpatoc — Evelyn Legazpi–  Miguela Peniero– Gemma Carag–  Rhea Pareja– Marissa Escobido–  Pastora Latagan–  Andre Rosal– Madel Torres and her baby : Karl Ladimer Torres

Madel is a GABRIELA member and actively organized the women in their community in  Quezon province.  She is married and has a 3 year old son.  She was arrested sometime in mid-2014 when she came to Manila for a medical check-up because she was experiencing difficulties in her second pregnancy.  She was detained at the  Taguig City Jail and in November she was brought to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)  in Manila where she gave birth on 19 November.

 (Note: In June 2014 Andrea Rosal also gave birth to her baby girl at the PGH, but Andrea’s died one day later, because of the criminal neglect of the jail authorities (who refused to bring Andrea to the hospital)  while Andrea was undergoing labor pains.)

On 28 January 2015 the Taguig City Jail authorities forcibly brought Madel out of the PGH and back to jail — with her baby.  In the jail the baby can only get sunshine for a few minutes — Madel must stand by the small barred window.  The water for washing the baby is in a basin inside the toilet/bathroom area.  Madel breastfeeds her baby but she herself must eat nutritious food however–  the food rations in the jail is very poor.

Through the help of our  German friends we were able to give  some money to buy extra food, and other medications for Madel and also disposable diapers and other needs for Baby Karl.

We ask for your support in the campaign for the immediate release of  all political detainees — and especially the women detainees  Andrea Rosal  and Madel and baby and detainees who are elderly and seriously ill.

Thank you once more for your help.

Your friends — Pido and Medy




8 Resolutions of the 2nd coordinators meeeting ins South Africa on October 11-13

Worldwide meeting of the coordinators, October 11-13, 2013

Women gathered in South Africa for the 2nd  coordinators meeting preparing the 2nd World Women’s Conference 2016 passed the following resolutions: 

1. Resolution on Mary Zamora aus Ecuador

Women gathered in South Africa for the 2nd coordinators meeting preparing the 2nd World Women’s Conference 2016 want to express their solidarity with our comrade Mary Zamora, former UNE’s president (Union of Ecuadorian Educators) for her unjust and anti-democratic conviction of 8 years of prison due to the persecution of president Correa’s government to the real popular fighters.

2. Resolution on South African Mine Strikes

291.865 employees of mine industries in South Africa, Anglo-America Platinum, Kumba Iron Ore and Anglo-Ashanti, in strikes 40 workers were killed and 78 injured last year. That is ongoing strikes, demanding their wage increase and better conditions of work in all mine sectors. As women we express our solidarity with South African Workers.

3.  Resolution on the struggle against evictions of urban poor Filipino women and their families

We support the struggle of urban poor women and their families in the Philippines against the demolition of their homes to give way to anti-people, pro-business development projects under the Aquino government’s Public-Private Partnership program. We demand the Philippine government to uphold the people’s right to decent, safe and affordable housing and to an urban development that serves first and foremost the interests of the people, especially the poor.

4. Resolution on the World Trade Organisation

We oppose the ‘new world economic order’ peddled by the World Trade Organization as this will only intensify imperialist plunder of the world’s resources and further the onslaught of imperialist globalisation on the lives of women and the peoples of the world.

5. Resolution on working-class struggles in Europe

In the course of the world financial and economic crisis, mass dismissals in the super monopolies of Europe as well as a massive shifting of the burdens of the crisis onto the shoulders of the masses are on the agenda.

The number of billionaires and millionaires is sky-rocketing as much as poverty and mass unemployment.

We declare our solidarity with the struggles of workers and their families in Europe and with all peoples’ struggles for social and democratic rights and for protecting the environment against the profit economy.

6. Solidarity with Rojava

We support the courageous struggle of the people in Rojava/Western Kurdistan for self-determination, democratic rights and freedom.

The autonomy they fought for, in which women have won a central role, is under fire of the jihadistic forces as well as of the Assad regime.

Long live the struggle of the Kurdish people for national and social liberation!

7. Resolution on solidarity to the justice loving people of Syria

We declare to strongly condemn the U.S and its allies stubborn strive to wage war against Syria under the pretext of use of chemical weapons, this unjust war is going to lead Syrian and its  people to the worst crisis and it will be another crime perpetrated against humanity. Here with we extend our solidarity to the people of Syria.

8. Resolution on  solidarity to garment workers of Bangladesh

We are strongly supporting the struggle of garment workers in Bangladesh  for higher wages, workplace safety, trade union rights, maternity leave, against sexual harassment, false cases, arrests, termination, dismissal, illegal lock out, also struggling against musclemen, hooligans hired by owners.

On 24 April 2013, an eight story commercial building, Rana Plaza, collapsed in Savar which is situated in Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh. Approximately 2500 workers were injured, At least 1227 workers were killed, 2438 were rescued from the building alive.

Still workers of Rana Plaza and families of workers don’t get any compensation. Workers of Rana Plaza and families of workers are struggling for all wages, benefits and due compensations, proper and free treatment, proper rehabilitation. We demand immediately to pay all due compensations of Rana Plaza workers.

Download all resolutions (English): 

Download (PDF, 9KB)




Proposal of the European Coordinators to the German Assembly

Download (PDF, 225KB)




World Women in Europe: Call for May Day 2012: We Want All Life has to Offer – Bread and Roses!

Download (PDF, 158KB)




Press relase IWA against Women Trafficking

Press Release

4 February 2012

In commemoration of the Filipino-American War

Liza Maza of International Women’s Alliance warns:

Increased US military presence to boost prostitution and sex trafficking of

Filipinas

The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) raised alarm over the United States’ policy to increase military

presence in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region under “America’s Pacific Century” project. This renewed

drive to militarize the region involves the deployment of more US troops and war materiel and the

acquisition of more facilities and access for military exercises, rapid deployment of forces and expansion of

basing rights.

IWA Chairperson and former Gabriela Women’s Party representative said, “The heightened US military

presence will increase prostitution and sex trafficking of Filipinas within and outside the Philippine borders.”

She added that, “Already Filipinas along with Russian women comprise the majority of foreign “entertainers”

working in so-called juicy bars near the US bases in South Korea. Many Filipinas likewise work as “singers”

and “dancers” in entertainment bars around the US bases in Okinawa and mainland Japan.”

IWA noted that where there is US military presence, there is proliferation of the rest and recreation industry

 

 

 

 

press release IWA against women trafficking – english