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From GR-EXIT to GR-ENTRANCE: a solidarity campaign between Greece and Belgium
January 5, 2016

by Georgia Bekridaki (Solidarity for All)

We are very pleased to announce that the exports solidarity campaign organized between Solidarity for All (Greece) and the organization Climaxi (Belgium) was successfully completed! The aim of the campaign was on the one hand to spread the word to the Belgian people and collectives for the socio – political situation in Greece and the consequences of austerity policies, on the other hand to get practical support from Belgian associations, trade unions, environmental groups, solidarity collectives to the Greek worker cooperatives and small producers

So we created a “Solidarity food box”, a “solidarity package” that includes traditional products from cooperatives and the natural soaps made by the workers of the recuperated factory of VIO.ME. The campaign was mostly addressed to unions like ABVV General Confederation of Workers, associations, environmental groups, political organizations, social centers where they ordered a total of 2.2 tons of products.

The difficult conditions prevailing in Belgium – because of the climate of fear and widespread militarism of their daily lives – the three weeks the campaign lasted from 08-27 / 11 brought us even closer. The collectives who participated felt that the actions of solidarity among peoples is the answer to the non-support of EU leaders against Greece on the one hand and against the causes that generate wars and xenophobia on the other.

The Greek products arrived on the 17.12 at Herzele and we met all the solidarity people who participated in the campaign. The next day we travelled in Leuven, where a very warm event took place. We discussed about the struggles and the solidarity movement which developed in Greece the last 5 years of memorandum, while at the same time our Belgian friends expressed their interest not only because they got to know about the experiments imposed in Greece, but because they could see the impact also in their own country.

It is worth mentioned that the 20% surplus of the campaign will be donated to solidarity initiatives (food distribution collectives) in Greece and for the creation of a counseling infrastructure for the support of solidarity economy initiatives.

Download the presentation: Greece solidarity_campaign_english.pdf

Greece: 1st meeting of the solidarity economy movement

Athens, 9 – 10 May 2015: The first nationwide meeting of the grassroots solidarity structures in Greece met with great success and large participation. More than 150 solidarity structures and many more activists and people interested in the solidarity movement, assemblied to workshops, debates and discussions for two days in the friendly environs of the Agricultural University of Athens.

Without middlemen distribution networks, food solidarity structures, solidarity clinics and pharmacies, educational solidarity groups, initiatives against house foreclosures, cooperatives  and other social and alternative economy collectives, from all over the country – from more than 30 municipalities and dozens neighboroughood of Athens and Pireaus – shared their common experiences and chalenges, seeking to shape their common future.

The debates were extremely productive in essentially deepening the positions of the movement, and also were very fruitful in new ideas about the inforcement of the solidarity movement. Among the axes of the deliberation were: the role and the dynamics of the movement in the new political conditions, new modes of organisation and the development of new constituent tools for the movement. The results of all the workshops and assemblies, as well as contributions to them, will be published in the coming days.

The workshops in the nationwide meeting have decided a next round of convergences, regional or field meetings and actions, as the next steps in networking, organising and spreading more the solidarity movement.

For more information and picture of the event: http://www.solidarity4all.gr/el/news/1st-nationwide-solidarity-structure%E2%80%99s-meeting

Greece: 3rd Festival for Solidarity and Cooperative Economy (10-12 October 2014)
October 9, 2014

Athens, October 10-12 2014 – The #Festival4sce – or Festival for Solidarity and Cooperative Economy – is attracting more and more initiatives: for the third consecutive year at the Cultural Centre of Helliniko, for the first time this year foreign initiatives will be participating apart from the Greek ones. Including participants form the RIPESS Europe member networks, like Jordi Ribas (XES).

With the slogan “Another World Already Exists”, the  Programme Of The Festival is very rich and inviting.  Visit the Crowdfunding Campaign to support the self-financed event.  And the Facebook, Twitter and Youtube social network feeds…

“In a Greece of social, economic and environmental crisis, where the state social structures are collapsing and the commons are under threat,  where unemployment and economic distress are a reality for many of us… those to blame for the scam they call “the crisis” have not been held responsible for their crimes and the rotten promise of magical growth is still a repeated mantra.

But not all of us are sitting idle and settling for empty promises. On the contrary, we are participating more and more actively in groups and networks of solidarity, alternative exchange and cooperative economy, giving life to a world where human values count much more than profit making.

These projects, which are expanding across all over the country, do not only represent a way of survival in our everyday struggles, but also represent a society that has rejected the capitalistic system of values.

We, the groups that co-organize and participate in the Festival of Solidarity & Cooperative Economy, do not expect to cash our action in for votes, future earnings or social recognition, like other charitable or (non)social organisations that advertise their so-called “social action” do.

Our ultimate goal is to create social, and hence economic, structures that are based on people and not on profit. We don’t want to return to the Pre-Memorandum* times;  we foster instead self-organisation, self-sufficiency and true prosperity, regardless of economic indicators.

The large-scale participation in the first and the second Festival left a smile on our faces and a lot of food for thought as well as a strong willing for more action. Today we are preparing for the continuation of this effort, expanding frontiers and aiming at networking and exchanging experiences and concerns among groups, but also informing citizens about a different world, a world that is not only feasible and imperative, but one that already exists.”

Athens: RIPESS EU coordination meets with Greek solidarity economy movements
September 20, 2014
Greece 15 sept 2014 meeting

Between September 14th and 16th 2014, the RIPESS Europe Coordination Committee met in Athens.  They were hosted by Solidarity4all and the Synallois cooperative. Two members of these organisations presented the Greek context during the RIPESS General Assembly that took place in June 2014, as well as the significance of their activities that are aimed at coping with the difficulties that the citizens who are victims of the financial crisis. The measures imposed by the Troika (which is what the Greeks call the European Union, the IMF and the World Bank) have lead to serious impoverishment of the Greek people, as well as a the rise of unemployment (factories and shops and services have closed down), as well as the degradation of working conditions in terms of job insecurity and low salaries. The Committee wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the situation, and meet with people who are organising the resistance to the degradation of living conditions.

The first day was dedicated to presenting RIPESS to the members of the various associations and cooperatives that have been springing up all over the territory. The principle of these meetings is to encourage dialogue between participants and help build strategies that will support citizens’ initiatives, so that there will be improved collective organisation as well as improved living conditions.

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