From Bristol to Athens: Solidarity protest with the Greek Broadcasting Corporation

Solidarity statement on the public broadcaster in Greece

The anti-democratic decision of the Greek government to shut down the state TV and radio broadcaster (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation-ERT) is of great concern to democratic rights and press freedom. First of all Greece is now the only European nation-state without a public broadcaster. Second, the closure of the national broadcaster is of great significance since it shows that freedom of speech has been already banned in Greece. Third, more than 2,900 employees have been dismissed. Fourth, the program content of the state broadcaster was extremely significant and differentiated from the other private broadcasters, being the means of culture’s promotion and the means of Greek immigrants to stay connected with their country. Fifth, the media in Greece now will be dominated and controlled only by private interests. 
The property of ERT has been paid by the Greek people and should not be allowed to be offered to the private interests that already use ERT’s TV and radio frequencies. ERT is the first public asset to be restructured and will be followed by a huge privatisation program regarding hospitals, schools, harbours and airports. Until now the 3 TV channels and the 19 (mainly regional) radio stations were spreading information to the whole Greece and the world. This is another success story for the government of Samaras which destroys everything in cooperation with the EU, the ECB and the IMF.
The employees (journalists, technicians and others) have occupied the broadcasting building of the public television and radio. They are in continuous assembly and strike until they win! They also invite all workers, unemployed and youth into the building in order to defend the public television and radio company. The Greek National Union of Journalists of Greece has voted for continuous strike and the national union of civil servants and of workers in the private sector have decided to conduct a general strike for Thursday, 13th June.

Workers in ERT and people in Greece are not alone. We express our solidarity to the workers in ERT, to the workers, youth and unemployed people in Greece!


The NUJ of the UK and Ireland stands up for journalism in Greece

The union took part in international condemnation of the ERT closure announcement on Wednesday 12 June and sends solidarity messages to colleagues on strike in Greece today. The Greek government is trying to shut down the public broadcasting organisation’s three TV stations, radio and regional radio stations, satellite emissions and internet portal with the sacking of all staff. The Greek trade unions have responded by organising a general strike in support of journalism and media workers. ERT journalists continued to resist the closure and are broadcasting live from the occupied studios in Athens. 

The protest takes place outside Bristol BBC Broadcasting Building as a symbolic place of the historical public British Broadcasting Corporation and not against the BBC. 

The protest is called out by Real Democracy Bristol and Bristol Branch of National Union of Journalists 

Friday 14th June, 18.00, BBC Bristol (Whiteladies Road)


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