Dimitra Roupa, part of a group of Greek teachers who occupied a national TV channel last week to broadcast their message of opposition to the government’s education reforms,spoke to Socialist Worker
‘We went to the ERT national TV channel because we heard the minister of education was going to be on a live programme to talk about the new education law.
The law will allow the government to sack around 15,000 part-time and casual teachers in September. So we went to make our opposition clear as the minister refused to meet us.
The police were waiting for us when we arrived at the studio—they attacked us. One colleague has head injuries and a broken knee.
Eventually around 25 of us managed to get into the studio and demanded to go on air. We said we’d stay there occupying the studio until we made our broadcast.
In the end they realised we were serious.
We discussed collectively who the best person would be to deliver our message—and agreed that unless we were satisfied with the broadcast we would not leave.
We selected Stathis Katsoulas, a computer science teacher, to do it.
It went well so we ended our occupation.
By the time we left there were lots of our comrades outside the building to provide solidarity, and security from the police.
At the teachers’ demonstration the next day people joined our block because of the broadcast.
A lot of people have come up to us at work to say, “Well done, we are with you.” And during the general strike on Wednesday other workers said that we had done a great thing.
The general strike was a big success—although the terrible deaths at the Marfin bank left people in a state of shock.
Teachers struck for a week in the run-up to the general strike and we are discussing what to do next.
We have had lots of emails supporting us and our action at the TV station.
We are very pleased with our action—we did something that hadn’t been done before in Greece. It shows what we can achieve if we are united and determined.’