Report by Cllr Isidoros Diakides, Co-Chair GSC, March 2014
Our patron and honorary president Tony Benn is ill in hospital as we’ve heard. Also in hospital with pneumonia is our big Greek friend, the well known composer Mikis Theodorakis, the 89 year old political activist. I start with these two because they have been at the root of our organisation.
Like Tony, Mikis and Manolis Glezos, another political activist in his 80s, are veteran fighters for social justice who are still active and highly respected by everybody in their countries, even their political opponents, for their undoubted honesty, commitment and integrity. At the risk of making into the Private Eye, I’d say that they are the proverbial national treasures.
It was Mikis and Manolis who, at the beginning of the crisis, called on Greek people to take matters in their own hands rather than relying on their established and demonstrably inadequate traditional parties, encouraging them to come out in the streets, talk with each other and search for their own solutions. That led to the now famous squares movement, which had such an impact on Greek politics, but it also inspired the parallel movements of the indignant in Spain and in Italy. It was at that stage that Manolis and Mikis issued a call to all progressive movements in Europe to show their solidarity with the Greek people in their struggle to reclaim their country.
Our Tony Benn took up the call and asked COR, (the Coalition of Resistance, of which he was the honorary president), to set up a solidarity mechanism.
CoR started by organising a fact-finding, solidarity visit in 2012, which was a real eye opener. Continue reading