Sunday 5 February 2012: A Cat For Kilkis
This is my beautiful friend Carlo. He is a black cat, and thus symbolizes, for many people, direct action on the part of working people in the way of strikes or other methods of controling their workplace, on their own authority.
Today I learned that the staff of the General Hospital at Kilkis, Greece (in Macedonia) have taken over the hospital and will continue to serve the public. Their declaration reads, in part:
"The workers at the General Hospital of Kilkis answer to this totalitarianism with democracy. We occupy the public hospital and put it under our direct and absolute control. The ?.N. of Kilkis will henceforth be self-governed and the only legitimate means of administrative decision making will be the General Assembly of its workers.
"The government is not released of its economic obligations of staffing and supplying the hospital, but if they continue to ignore these obligations, we will be forced to inform the public of this and ask the local government but most importantly the society to support us in any way possible for: (a) the survival of our hospital (b) the overall support of the right for public and free healthcare (c) the overthrow, through a common popular struggle, of the current government and any other neoliberal policy, no matter where it comes from (d) a deep and substantial democratization, that is, one that will have society, rather than a third party, responsible for making decisions for its own future."
There has been no violence. Problems of the National Health System are quite severe and have been going from bad to worse for years. These workers have not been paid for their work for many months. It's an expression of their sense of civic responsibility that the hospital is operating at all.
So I said to Carlo, "Listen, cat. This is no time for you to pose with your toungue lolling out and your belly demanding a rub. I need you to think like a jaguar and show us your slickest lines. Let's have one for the revolution, OK?"
Carlo made a saucey swirl with his tail and replied, "Mmmmrrrrrr..."