VIO.ME.’s auctions must be cancelled, self-managed production should spread!
Around 50 people attended ReINFORM’s info event that took place yesterday in Nieuwland (East Amsterdam) in solidarity with the self-managed factory Vio.Me. (Thessaloniki, Greece).
In July 2011, a few months after being abandoned by its owners, Vio.Me. was occupied by its workers. Since February 2013, Vio.Me., managed by the general assembly of its workers, has been producing organic soaps and cleaning products. Many solidarity groups participate in the decisions concerning Vio.Me., while its products are distributed through a dense solidarity network across Europe.
After the screening of the film “Occupy, Resist, Produce” by Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler (watch here with English subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fg2akSUvFM), a discussion was held via Skype with Kostas Charitakis on behalf of Vio.Me. Thanks to the questions posed by the audience and Charitakis’ eloquent answers, a vivid picture of the current state of Vio.Me. but also of the potential and necessity of work-ins in Greece, was formed. References to the occupied factories in Argentina were also made.
With more than 1.000 factories closed down in Greece after the outbreak of the crisis, restarting the production under workers’ control is more necessary and realist than ever, was one of the main conclusions of yesterday’s discussion. Thus, although the difficulties and challenges of self-management are great, so are its possibilities to develop. Self-management of production, the active participation of society in the decision-making process and the unmediated contact between producers and consumers, as it is the case in Vio.Me., point to a different model of production, consumption, life. Even more significantly, they point to a realist way of building an alternative against the deadlocks that the existing system poses to the survival, happiness and peaceful coexistence of people in today’s Europe and the world.
The people who attended yesterday’s event could buy Vio.Me.’s soaps and sign the solidarity appeal against the upcoming auctions of Vio.Me., the first one being on the 26th of November. The signatures were sent today to the workers of Vio.Me.
The threat of eviction that Vio.Me. is faced with on the 26th of November “inaugurates” the cycle of evictions threatening an enormous number of indebted households in Greece under the laws of the 3rd Memorandum voted by Syriza’s government last July. This is an additional reason why Vio.Me.’s first auction and the ones to follow should be blocked!
In view of this situation, Vio.Me.’s workers invite individuals and collectivities in Greece and abroad to show their solidarity with more actions of this kind.
Special thanks to the Nieuwland’s people for a very welcoming environment, a delicious dinner and their great help.