“Dare to struggle, dare to win… You have to have the courage to be in it, and fight, and have faith in the people.”
“KOE believes the people need new values: Solidarity over individualism. Dignity against corruption. Emancipation over dependence.
“This is a very hard struggle for us. It means the transformation of the people.
“It is why we take active part in things like giving healthcare to immigrants who are not legal. And we have been part of movements like ‘The Potato Movement’ where the farmers in the North gave free potatoes to people starving in the South. We were facilitators and activists in this. This is solidarity, not charity.”
“Today we fight for the independence, real democracy, and the reconstruction of Greece.
“We believe if we can implement these profound changes, we will be in a new situation for revolution.”
Eric Ribellarsi met with ten young members of the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE). They discussed their backgrounds, experiences, the student movement, the orthodox Communist Party in Greece (KKE), revolutionary strategy, and the political choices of revolutionary communists within the Greek crisis.
This interview is part of the Winter Has Its End project — and there is much more to come.
Can you tell me how some of you became communists? How did you come to join KOE?
Danae: I was involved with the anarchist movement. In 2006, I was a part of the student movement against the privatization of education. It was massive, four hundred departments were occupied. I came to see the need for organization and organized struggle, and I decided I would join KOE.
I had realized that in groups of anarchism, there is informal leadership. They informally lead, and it is not controlled. I realized that we needed leaders who were formal and acknowledged.
Eva: Growing up, my father was in Synaspismos, which made me think I didn’t like communists. When I decided to join KOE, he would always lecture me about Stalin and Mao, and joke -
“The Maoists are going to take you up in the mountains!”
I had attended a week long summer camp of KOE where we would speak all day about different political questions. And yes, we would have to wake at 8AM and work hard, but I thought to myself
“I like this. I wish the whole world could be like this.”
I decided to join KOE.
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