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Athens: Communists’ protest on May Day with social distancing and masks

With social distancing, mask and military discipline members of the Communist union PAME gathered outside the Greek Palriament on Friday to celebrate the International Workers’ Day on May 1. It was the only Greek union that defied the lockdown restrictions to honor the workers’ struggles.

Holding red flags and banners they honored the day of workers’ struggle, even though the lockdown is full in force and gatherings over 10 people are not permitted.

 

Before the protest, PAME comrades had put stickers on the asphalt to mark where unionists should stand in order to keep the “prescribed” safety distance of 1.5-2 meters.

Inspired by the “invisible enemy, the coronavirus,” PAME’s main banner read “Capitalism is the visible enemy.”

PAME paid a tribute to the 200 communists shot dead on 1. May 1944 by the Nazi forces occupying Greece during WWII, said General Secretary of KKE Dimitris Koutsoumpas.

Speaking to Open TV and asked whether fines will be imposed to demonstrators, government spokesmand Stelios Petsas said “We say that no gatherings are permitted,” and that the fines were “an operational matter of the Police, whether it would be more tolerable.”

Apparently Greek police showed its “tolerance face” and refrained from fining the comrades.

Other unionists refrained from the traditional gatherings and small groups laid wreaths.

The long weekend is the three last days where Greeks need movement permits to go out of their homes only for the essentials as the government will start the gradual lifting of the lockdown restrictions on Monday, May 4.

The Municipality of Athens focused on the “romantic” aspect of May Day, with a big flower heart at Syntagma Square.

Streets were empty on this wonderful warm day and many Greeks went to parks and squares or sea promenades to enjoy the holiday which is actually a “strike day.”

Others visited relatives and friends fed up with the 6-week lockdown.

The majority of them wonders: what difference does it make for the virus spread if it is May 1st or May 4th?

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