'Let Greece Breathe' rally held in Sydney

February 18, 2015
Photo: Peter Boyle

"Let Greece Breathe" was the theme of a rally called by the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign (AGSC) at Sydney Town Hall on February 16.

Several hundred people gathered to express their support for the new SYRIZA-led Greek government and the right of the people of Greece to end austerity and challenge the dictatorship of the European banks and central authority.

Angelo Gavrielatos, former president of the Australian Education Union, told the crowd that "the Troika [the European Central Bank, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund] must respect democracy and the rights of the Greek people."

Adam Rorris, coordinator of the AGSC, said that "the battle for Greece and across Europe is just beginning.

“Greece is shaping a new debate throughout Europe over austerity. Debt is a weapon used to impose the policies of austerity by powerful forces in Europe, including the IMF.

"The first aim of the AGSC is to let the Australian people know the truth about Greece. The second is to organise people to push the Australian government to support the Greek people.

"We urge you all to become active in the campaign. Global solidarity with Greece is much needed, and solidarity can make a big difference," Rorris said.

The AGSC is promoting a Statement and Pledge, "Let Greece Breathe," which states: "We recognise the democratic will of the Greek people who have elected to reject the politics of punishment. The politics of harsh austerity and a treadmill of never-ending debt repayments have seen Greek people pushed to the extremes of poverty.

"[Greece is] a country where more than half of all young people cannot find work and one in four of all people are unemployed; a country where even essential medicines have not been available to the poorest; where child malnutrition rates reach levels not seen since World War II; and depression has become a national health issue.

"It is a country that has seen its youngest and brightest leave in the hundreds of thousands.

"We do not recognise the claim of any external government or bank or other authority to persist in imposing their policies onto the Greek people — let alone policies that have brought such misery.

"For this country, and the Greek people, we say enough is enough.

"We pledge to stand with the Greek people and support their struggle for hope, dignity and justice."

[For more information on the solidarity campaign, visit australiagreecesolidarity.wordpress.com. There will be a national speaking tour of Green Left Weekly correspondent Dick Nichols, an eyewitness to Syriza's historic win. Click here for dates and cities]

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