FOUNDING DECLARATION OF THE UNIFIED POPULAR FRONT


FOUNDING DECLARATION OF THE UNIFIED POPULAR FRONT

For more than a year now [July 2011], the country has been forced to succumb to a suffocating new regime of occupation. The first act of this regime was to abolish every traditional concept of legality in order to impose a savage program of austerity designed to systematically plunder the Greek working people. The population stands bewildered as every day it hears announcements of ever harsher anti-social measures which seriously upset  its domestic and personal planning, violate its human rights and deprive it from gains acquired over decades of struggle. As a result, people are being violently thrown into poverty, unemployment and misery. With every passing day, the working people are losing more of their basic guarantees for a minimally decent life. At the same time, small and medium business is being wiped out. And as if all of this were not enough, the ruling regime offers no other future prospect than the continual worsening of the situation.

All this is taking place right in front of our eyes, amidst a global economic crisis which is unique in terms of its scope and destructive consequences: a crisis which, when it was intentionally transformed into a debt crisis, hit Greece ferociously as weak link in the chain, along with a number of other peripheral countries of the EU. The suffering that our people is experiencing, the loss of sovereignty, the dissolution and destruction, are products of an international mechanism of exploitation spearheaded by an entirely parasitical fiscal system at the European and global level.

The Greek working people, pensioners, professionals, farmers, small and medium business people, are not just being required to pay off a debt that has been carefully designed so that the more you pay the larger it gets, but they are also being called upon by the EU and the IMF to accept the official mortgaging and selling off of their country! This is exactly what the Greek people can expect from this corrupt government and the silent collaboration of the rest of the official Greek political system. They try to hide the fact that the key prerequisite for the “support packages” is not just the greater “sacrifices” that the popular strata are forced to accept. What is really at stake is the country’s sovereignty. Under the tutelage of the IMF and the EU, the Greek working people face the prospect of not just losing their jobs, pensions and rights but also that of losing their country.

The very survival of the country is now being openly drawn into question by the unelected, by the appointed ‘leaders’ of the EU and the big-business lobby groups that control the Eurozone and the markets. They claim that our country will have to accept being carved up, at least economically, into regions, relinquishing its economic rights over the islands, ceding sovereignty of the Aegean and the corrupt Greek government implements their plans to the letter. The entire country has been converted into a bargain-site for an unscrupulous real estate auction, to be sold off, acre by acre! Sadly, Greece has already become a state on probation, divided into semi-autonomous regions readily susceptible to privatization and annexation by neighbouring states, statelets and protectorates, depending always on the demands and decisions of the self-appointed ‘masters’ of the Eurozone and the USA-controlled world markets.

The Unified Popular Front (UPF) has been created in order to organize resistance and reinforce the popular struggle against this new species of, this new-age occupation regime. Τhe turning point for its decision to take its present form was the magnificent resistance mounted by the people in the form of peaceful mass demonstrations of protest, lasting more than a month in the public squares of virtually all the cities and towns of Greece, first and foremost in Syntagma Square in Athens. Those spontaneous protest demonstrations which took place day after day for so long, with the participation of such an extremely large proportion of the Greek people, came as a  continuation of the persistent protest struggle which had been initially undertaken by workers, with mobilizations and strikes throughout the preceding year. It was a collective popular reaction with unprecedented determination and persistence, a protest struggle, a final call for the overthrow of the longstanding corrupt existing power structures, of the whole dominant political system as such. From that very moment that literally millions of Greek people had come down into the streets to express their total disapproval and frustration and to struggle not only against individual policies and measures but  against the whole official occupation regime and its corruption, the question that was inescapably posed to everyone’s mind, was what the next step should be. How could this confrontation, this struggle which had been so spontaneously initiated  by the people against the existing corrupt power structures -in whatever term one might understand this term- lead to a victory? The UPF came into existence to answer this question. Its struggle is above all one of liberation, both national and social. Its objective is to reclaim the country from the encroaching tyranny, to guide the country out of its current path (which inescapably only leads to its dismemberment and execution), to defend the interests of the great popular majority: workers, farmers, small and medium business people, and above all to create the conditions in which the younger generation can have again a future in this country.

The UPF is determined to make a decisive contribution to uniting the people, above and beyond party lines and ideological (or other) divisions. The people and the country are in grave danger. It is only by creating a great social and political front of the entire people that we will be able to escape from the oppressive one-way-street of destruction, plunder and over-indebtedness.

A united and determined people has no need to fear anything or anybody. It cannot be stopped by any threat, by any punishment neither from the markets, nor from the ‘powerful’. When a people has decided to unite and reclaim its rights, there is no power that can stop it, no adversity that it cannot withstand.

This popular unity needs to be, and will be, constructed around the following central demands which have the potential to bring about  a lasting change, the potential indeed to overthrow  the regime of occupation, expropriation and vassalage in its entirety, since they are suitably designed to  function as a point of departure for a democratic rebirth of the country, a much needed democratic rebirth which will be based,  in sheer contrast to what happened the past decades, at long last, on purely popular interests.

The central demands may be summarized as follows:

1. The  non-recognition of the public debt in accordance with international law, which explicitly recognizes the right of every sovereign state to refuse repayments of  all illegal, usurious and/or unauthorized debts, whose repayment would lead both the state and its people to bankruptcy. This allows for and actually means immediate – here and now – cessation of all debt- repayments to lenders in order to  stop the constant and aimless export of national wealth in its current fresh-blood-from-a-wound kind of fashion, which  has been imposed on the country and the people by the international usurers and speculators. This is the only plausible way the country could be saved from a truly painful humanitarian disaster, that is to say, the only way workers and their incomes, their jobs, their pensions and their rights could be sufficiently safeguarded. It also seems to be  the only way that there can ever be any positive future prospect again for young people, for farmers, for professionals and small and medium businesses. Moreover, it is the only way the country could avoid the bankruptcy and destruction towards which it is now heading by the implementation of the current policies of the government, the EU and the IMF.

The term «non-recognition of debt» in the sense, at least, it ‘s been commonly used in international law means  that we explicitly have the right not to recognize any demand or agreement which under any circumstances, would enable those lending the country funds, to expropriate, confiscate and plunder its people and its natural resources. It means that we can here and now stop  repayments on loans that we have already paid off twice and three times in the past. It means that we are simply allowed to unilaterally erase all debts which are product of fraud and speculation, all debts which have been unlawfully agreed upon at the expense of the country and its people. It means, again, that we can denounce all those loans dating from the 19th century which the markets and our great “partners” have forced us to keep on repaying time and time again, until the present day. It means quite simply that we have the right and should stop immediately paying ransom money to international and local usurers.
The Greek people should proceed with an immediate non-recognition of the debt. We should do that not because we wish harm to anyone or because we want to appropriate funds which have been lent to us. We have the obligation to do that because there is no better way to expose the fraudulent nature of the current debtor/creditor regime which has been imposed on us. We should do it because that’s the best way to finally treat the long forgotten interests of our own country with the fairness they deserve. Moreover, we are also obliged to do that in order to rescue ourselves from the real threat of the humanitarian disaster to which the looming official bankruptcy will result. We have to do it because there is no other way to get back on our feet, to reclaim our country from the markets and the money-grabbers, to secure its survival, and to finally free ourselves from the corrupt political system that governs it. The people will not refuse to discuss demands for repayment of loans that have been contracted in good faith and have verifiably contributed to the development of the country. Such discussion will take place on the basis of mutual benefit. This will apply particularly in the case of funds borrowed by small depositors and insurance funds, which in any case, does not account for more than 15% of today’s public debt. The basic principles should always be the following: no demand should ever impede the developmental drive of the country, no demand should ever be allowed to mortgage the country or take it hostage.  No loss should be at the expense of the country of Greece or of the ability of the Greek people to recover from the crisis and reassert themselves.

2. There must be an immediate dismantling of the entire edifice of agreements, obligations, interventions and measures that have been made/ undertaken /implemented since the time of the first Memorandum in May 2010, so that the country can re-establish legal order internally and reclaim from the IMF, the EU and the European Central Bank that part of its sovereignty which has been ceded by those unscrupulous collaborators comprising unfortunately the entirety of the country’s economic and political establishment, and above all – of course – the corrupt government. We must, in everything the popular movement says and does, emphasize our warning to local and foreign power brokers, investors and market speculators: that whatever they have seized and are going to seize in the near future, will be taken back by the Greek people through their liberation struggle. They should all be made well-aware of the fact that investment in the disintegration and expropriation of this country will cost them dear.

3. There must be a reshaping of Greece’s relations with the EU, starting with its exit from the Eurozone and the adoption of a national currency which will express the dynamic of a new economic course for the country. Such course will be based entirely on the promotion of the interests of the people. Disaster does not await us if we leave the euro, as the government-controlled corporative media would like us to believe. It awaits us if we remain at the mercy of the euro and the ruling European elites which undemocratically control all aspects of its use and circulation. Only if we acquire full control of this new national currency and its economy, will the country cease to be subject to the pressures, the constant blackmails and the frequent attacks of -among others- the international vulture-speculators as well.
A return to a national currency is by no means a panacea. It is rather a necessary starting point if we are to embark on a new economic course. The long forgotten and absolutely necessary redistribution of wealth in favour of the most hit by the crisis, weaker strata and/or the immediate decisive strengthening of popular incomes are not just isolated primary objectives of this new course but also strategic means by which the economy can be restarted, helping, in its turn, the whole country to come out of the recession.
Another major, indispensable measure of this new course should include the nationalization of the major banks, starting with the foreign-owned ‘Bank of Greece’ which has been intentionally allowed to function as a state within the state ever since its creation. This on its own would secure control of the economy and would help the country to achieve an effective reorientation of credit policy, to strike decisively at financial quackery and to strictly regulate the movement of capital. This is the only safe way of defending the savings of ordinary people, which are being whittled away by today’s banking system of usurers and speculators.
The re-nationalization of the old public corporations, infrastructures and services which have been summarily privatized in a wave of utterly thoughtless and unsuccessful privatizations should also be placed at the top of the new economic course’s agenda, if it were for the state to emerge at last, as the basic lever of the country’s economic and social development. Such a state  should cease to be the fief of the parasitical economic and political oligarchy, that is to say, such state should cease to be the very state which, unfortunately,  is still governing the country today.  It is only in this way that the private initiative of small and medium business can be freed from domination by trusts, cartels, local and foreign market monopolies. The new economic course should aim at securing the necessary investments for a productive reconstruction of the country, which will not be based on speculative investors, whether foreign or local, or on state-supported entrepreneurs and monopolies, but on the needs and on the income of working people, on the dynamic and the initiative of the country’s living productive forces.

4. The first act of atonement to Greek society for the lawlessness of those in government will be when the natural and legal persons (parties and business networks) implicated throughout the preceding period in the dissipation of public monies and public property are put in the dock. This is not a proposal for erecting gallows in Constitution Square, or for filling the prisons with good-for-nothing traitors. It is for doing something better: immediate confiscation on behalf of the public of all the property of such natural and legal persons as have been involved in this misappropriation of public funds and in the high treason that has been committed against the people and against the public through imposition of this regime of occupation and expropriation. As for the culprits: they can be assigned socially beneficial work, cleaning and tending public places, maintaining infrastructures, etc. The first concern of the movement must therefore be… not to round them up and expel them, but to apprehend them before they escape, to show them how the people in practice punish high treason and how they themselves can be of some use to society as a whole, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

5. The country cannot be saved with the people kept “on the back burner”, with all-party coalition governments or corporatized non- party governments. The way out of the crisis is through more, not less, democracy, and democracy that goes deeper. It requires a populace in the centre of the political stage, not a population of passive spectators of events, and victims. It requires a new form of political power with the people as its focus, not a corrupt system of governmental absolutism. It requires that democracy be achieved on an authentic basis of popular sovereignty and national independence. This can be accomplished through thoroughgoing institutional change, the refounding of the political system as a whole, through election of a Constituent Assembly with broadened authentic representation of the people itself, for the sole purpose of drawing up and voting a new democratic Constitution. Only in this way will it be possible for the people to become master in its own house, to establish a system of government based on popular representation, with a binding mandate, continuous control from below, the power of recall and limited terms of office. Only in this way will it be possible to be rid of the restrictions that come with vassal status, so that the country and the people can be open at long last to all the currents of international life, to take advantage of potentials and opportunities through the seeking out of new bases of support, new contacts and relationships, with all the peoples of Europe and the world, without coerced alliances, impositions, monopolistic dependence.
The struggle with which working people, farmers, small and medium businesses, professionals, young people, are now summoned to become engaged is not just a question of personal survival. Nobody can escape just by looking after himself, doing his job, for as long as he still has one. Nobody can be saved today unless he fights to save the whole country. There is no other choice. We no longer have the luxury of being able to say “first let’s see what is going to happen, and then we’ll talk about it”. Either the working people and all of the population will take matters into their own hands, embarking on actions to save the country, or we condemn ourselves – and even more so generations to come – to what could be the darkest period in modern Greek history.

The Greek people are not alone in this struggle. At their side are other peoples of the southern part of the Euro zone, in the EU and internationally who are being hit by equivalent policies of banditry. The duty of dispensing with the regime of debt bondage, starting with our own country, is something the Greek people owes not only to itself but to all the peoples who find themselves in the power of the same international band of thieves. Each step towards liberation in Greece, each timely blow against the occupation regime will inspire other struggling peoples, heightening morale and strengthening resolve. The national and social liberation of Greece will trigger a generalized spring of the peoples in Europe, which no species of reaction will be able to hold back.

The Unified Popular Front is pledged to contribute with all the power at its disposal to every authentic popular movement against today’s regime, irrespective of where it originates and who is leading it. It undertakes to play an active and decisive role in every movement of resistance and to help it in its task of awakening and organizing the population, in every neighbourhood and every workplace, with the aim of achieving national and social liberation. The UPF is open to every democratic, patriotic activist who wants to struggle for the same purpose, without asking for any “certificate of social conscience”, genuflections before self-designated authorities, self-appointed leaders, dignitaries and/or concealed or overt party mechanisms. By its nature the UPF is a transitional socio-political alliance of broad popular forces whose central objective is to achieve its basic objectives and demands. In its ranks there are no dividing lines of party or ideological origins between its members, nor is there any recognition of organized groupings or blocs. This corresponds to the unity that must be constructed in the ranks of the people itself against the common enemy. As an alliance it is temporary because with the achievement of its central objectives the UPF will pass irrevocably into history.

Argyroupoli, 16/7/2011

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