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Marching Against Global Capitalism
AROUND 100,000 people demonstrated in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 21 June to show their opposition to the European Union summit.
Martin Powell-Davies, Thessaloniki
The march was delayed after fierce battles between several hundred anarchists and riot police. The news coverage concentrated on pictures of wrecked shops and police making arrests instead of showing tens of thousands of organised workers and youth on the march.
The demo itself went ahead peacefully - one of the liveliest, youngest contingents was from Xekinima, the Socialist Party's sister organisation in Greece. Chants, songs, drums and whistles continued all the way to the end of the march.
The Xekinima contingent swelled to well over 500 by the end. Other marchers were attracted to join us by the banners - including one showing Donald Duck and 'South Park' waging war on capitalism!
Xekinima was even more impressive on the anti-racist demo on 19 June. Around 700, including a large group of black and Asian immigrants organised by Xekinima, marched under that banner.
Joe Higgins, Socialist Party TD (MP) in the Irish Parliament, was a platform speaker at one of the main debates organised by the Greek Social Forum, who co-hosted the summit protests.
To applause, Joe said that when he speaks in the Dail (Ireland's parliament) to establishment Irish politicians, they're meant to be speaking the same language. However, he added, his condemnations of war and poverty might as well be in Greek to them, so little do they care or understand about the real problems facing working people!
Joe's speech shone a light through the fog of confused ideas from most other anti-globalisation speakers. His words could be summed up by one chant of the Xekinima contingent: "Yes, another world is possible but what kind of world should we fight for? Socialism!"
In The Socialist 28 June 2003: