Greek communists denounce government bill prohibiting demonstrations

A bill introduced by the New Democracy goverment permits the authorities to impose restrictions on the use of roads and spaces for demonstrations. It also enables authorities to ban demonstrations and penalize the organizers

July 06, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Greek Protests
Thousands protested in Athens against the government’s bill on July 2, Thursday.

On July 2, Thursday, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) organized massive demonstrations across the country against a bill introduced by the right-wing government to prohibit demonstrations and control protests in public places. Thousands marched to Syntagma Square in Athens to protest against the bill. The conservative New Democracy (ND) government had tabled the bill in the Greek parliament on June 29. 

The bill stipulates that organizers of protests and demonstrations have to promptly notify the police or port authorities about any planned gatherings. It permits the authorities to impose restrictions on the use of roads and spaces for demonstrations. The bill enables authorities to even ban demonstrations under several conditions and penalize the organizers.

While addressing the large gathering in Syntagma Square on Thursday, secretary-general of the KKE Central Committee, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, asserted that “There are no improvements or corrections [possible] to this failed bill. The only solution is to get rid of this reactionary monster.”

In its statement, the KKE Central Committee said that the bill is yet another link in the chain of measures to intensify state terrorism, authoritarianism and repression that were promoted by all previous governments but have increased under the current regime. The party noted that the government has supported the attack of capital against workers’ and people’s needs and that the legislation clearly targets radical and progressive ideologies and practice. The law provides for the creation of a “Directorate for Violence Prevention” under the Ministry of Civil Protection, which is aimed at addressing the “ideology of violence” and “the prevention of various forms and manifestations of violence, in particular radicalization and violent extremism, domestic and gender-based violence, etc.” The party said that radicalism and opposition to the dictatorship of capital are wittingly equated with existing forms of violence. reported that protest rallies on Thursday were also held in Thessaloniki, Patras, Volos, Alexandroupolis, Kilkis, Serres, Katerini, Pyrgos, Kalamaria, Thermi, Veria, Naoussa, Kozani, Xanthi, Kavala, Kefalonia, etc. Organizations including the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) and All Workers Militant Front (PAME) also joined the protests.

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