A clear message of struggle against the plans of the government-USA regarding the creation of a NATO helicopter base in Alexandroupoli, as well as against the plans of the imperialists in the wider region that entail enormous dangers for the peoples was sent by the working people of that region that participated in the mobilization organized by the local peace committees of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, trade unions and other mass organizations in the region on Sunday February 11 2018.
Then Suha Ertekin, representative of the Peace Committee of Turkey, addressed a message of greetings, which underlined that:”Today, we are here to raise our voices against NATO.(…)NATO is the largest and most organized terrorist organization in the world.(…)NATO was never an organization for security, as it calls itself. It as founded based on aggressiveness.(…) Today NATO is attempting to continue its oppression of our countries with new plans, new instruments. Alexandroupoli is being threatened by these plans.(…)The presence of NATO in Turkey continues to be a threat. The bases that exist continue to function and be used mainly for the imperialist interventions in the Middle East.(…)The peoples and the working classes must raise their voices even more loudly. The enemy of the peoples and the working classes are their own bourgeois classes and imperialism. The only way for there to be true peace is for us to overthrow capitalism.”
In his speech, Nikos Papanastasis, retired Lieutenant Colonel, member of the National Council of EEDYE and the Initiative for National Defense, referred to the imperialist plans in the wider region and our country’s involvement and noted that “the intention to install bases in Alexandroupoli is not unrelated to the developments in the Balkans, the borders of the EU and Russia, the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and other regions of our planed, which smell of gunpowder.”
He referred to the escalation of Turkish aggressiveness, noting that the anti-imperialist and peace movement is not indifferent, is not complacent.”On the contrary, we who are struggling through its ranks address a call of vigilance and readiness amongst the working class, the people not only in Thrace, in the Aegean and also throughout the entire country. We address the workers, the unemployed, the poor farmers and self-employed that live here in Alexandroupoli, Evros, not to soothe them, as the government and other bourgeois parties do,but to inform them, to analyze with them these dangerous developments in our region. It is important for us to discuss what our response should be, the response of the working class, of the people from the standpoint of our own interests”
Addressing the cadres of the Armed Forces and the conscript soldiers, he said:”You are in now way obliged to shed your blood for alien interests, at the expense of the peoples.
The position of the anti-imperialist and peace movement is that your only mission is to safeguard the integrity of the country and its sovereign rights, together with our people and not against them.”He added that “The genuine patriotism of the people has nothing to do with the aims of the EU, NATO that spread war and destruction amongst the peoples and youth.”
Completing his speech, he denounced the political line of the USA-EU as being responsible for the situation in the Balkans and the wider region.
He noted the need to maintain the borders as they were formed at the 2nd World War, respect for the rights of minorities, the disentanglement of Greece from the political line of NATO and the EU.”The political line of the USA and the EU is guilty for the situation in the Balkans, as well as their competition over the creation of spheres of influence and the acquisition of new markets.
The activity of the peace and anti-imperialist movement in the direction of overturning the political line that directly and indirectly entangles our country in the US-NATO plans is the only way forwards. Both for the interests of our people and of the people of the Balkan countries, of Turkey, of the entire region.”
Christos Trellis, member of the National Council of EEDYE warned that ” as is happening with the Euro-Atlantic bases and command centres that exist for years in our county, so this base in Alexandroupoli will be used to improve the position of the major economic interests in terms of dividing up the loot from the robbery of the peoples and to reinforce the position of NATO in its competition with other imperialist centres.(…) Various local players are parroting that there will be economic development due to the installation of the NATO base. We respond that any dollars that enter the town’s market will be dollars drenched in blood.”
In reference to the peoples of Greece and Turkey he stressed that “They have nothing to separate them. They face the same problems of capitalist exploitation; they live with the same anxieties and their interests lie in the development of the common struggle for their own interests, for the consolidation of peace and friendship that is based on mutual respect of the borders and sovereign rights set out by the Treaty of Lausanne. The real enemies are the imperialists and their plans, the exploiters who see as dispensable material for their goals.”
And he called on the people to struggle and demand:No to the installation of the NATO helicopter base in Alexandroupoli. No to the agreement between the government and the USA. Greece’s disengagement from the imperialist plans and wars. No to the political line that transforms minorities into tools for imperialist policies-minorities are the bridges of friendship between the peoples. The closure of the Suda base and all the military bases and command centres. The return home of all the military force that are participating in NATO and EU missions abroad. Disengagement from the EU-NATO, with the people masters in their country.
Afterwards there was a militant demonstration through the streets of the city which ended up outside the HQ of the 12th Infantry Division. With their slogans the demonstrators denounced the fact that “The imperialists are redividing the earth and redrawing the borders with the blood of the peoples” and declared “No land, no water for the murderers of the peoples” and “No submission to imperialism, the people are the only superpower.”At the same time, they highlighted their demand for an “Alexandroupoli that will be a port for the people and not a launching pad for the imperialists.”