Anti-sexist leaflet of the mixed plena, 19th of june including the anti-sexist manifesto from 17th of june on the campus of the University of Thessaloniki in context with the protest against the EU summit.
The anti-sexist leaflet with both declarations, Smash Patriarchy and the anti-sexist manifesto were distributed in numbers of 400 copies in english and greek.
Already Tuesday evening, the 17th of june, women had decided after a women's meeting,
because of sexual encroachment and violations of personal border as well as because of the partly aggressive atmosphere on the Campus, to enter the stage of a rock gig on the campus to read out the anti-sexist manifesto in greek and english.
Both declarations are available in english and greek, translation into other languages is appreciated.
of women Squatting the Stage at Thessaloniki anti-authoritarian camp
(diese Version, veraendert am 19.Juni, ist eine leicht modifizierte Fassung der Ursprungserklaerung vom 17.Juni)
We are here today because we all feel uncomfortable as women and men in this space
There have been cases of sexual harassment and also, women have been surpressed or not taken seriously because of their gender.
There have been violent muggins and fist fights
In this camp men have sexually insulted women and reduced them to sexual objects - allthis continues
Additionally, women have not been listened to, not taken seriosly and not treated as equal persons - even when we tried to point it out from this stage two nights ago, the response was insulting and disrespectful
Alltogether, the atmosphere in the camp is very masculine-dominated
To our knowledge, this camp is supposed to be anti-authoritarian and anti-hierachical, but in this camp, the sexism , that exists in society, is beeeing reproduced
Sexism is aform of oppression, as is racism and homophobia
We will not tolerate masculine oppression within this camp anymore
Smash capitalism - Smash Patriarchy !
What has happened so far ?
The campus of the university Thessaloniki is a place where people organize their resistance to protest against the EU-summit.
The atmosphere on the campus is at times very aggressive. This is not only in regards to sexist behavior but also there is a general atmosphere that is not always but frequently extremely violent. Political conflicts and arguments among us, whether it is between individuals or groups, are taken out in physical confrontations. People scream and shout at each other, threaten violence or actually beat each other up. This dominates the atmosphere and creates a certain way of dealing and working with each other. Also the way discussions take place is very disrespectful. People interrupt others while they are talking, do not let others finish what they want to say, shout and do not focus on what has just been said.
In addition the general atmosphere is dominated by machismo. In discussions men dominate and women are often not taken seriously or are just ignored. Sexual harassment has taken place. Boundaries and the privacy of women have not been respected. In this patriarchal reality women can not often find a safe and protected atmosphere or a place to share and exchange their experiences of violence and harassment. We also believe that violence and harassment is happening at the campus here. Other sexual attacks may have happened but are not made public, so we don’t know about them yet.
We also consider the atmosphere at the camp to be very heterosexual and homophobic.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are a part of the movement but do not feel fully respected and accepted here.
These are all reasons why women called, on Tuesday, 17.6, for a meeting of women to discuss and deal with this situation. It was decided to write a manifesto and to organize a spontaneous action which would express what we think and feel.
Therefore some women took over the stage during the concert on Tuesday night to read the manifesto.
This direct action was directed towards the men, who take part in creating a sexist atmosphere, as well as to all people who came here, to the camp, to participate in the protest against the EU summit. We wanted to name and point out the sexist atmosphere in the camp, explain that sexual harassment and attacks have occurred and we want to make it very clear to everybody that we, as women, will not accept or take this anymore.
Enough is enough!!!
The reaction of the mainly male audience at the concert was quite diverse: there were positive reactions such as applause but on the other hand there were rude and sexist comments. Some people didn’t take it seriously at all. All in all it was a very empowering experience for us. Despite negative responses, what was most important for us was to become active, raise our voices and make people aware that sexism exists in the camp.
Our direct action was also recorded and posted on several indymedia sites where it can be heard.
It has caused a lot of discussions .
A positive outcome of our action was that many people attended our next mixed meeting of men and women the following day. We had called for a meeting of men and women because we thought it was tremendously important that men take part in dealing with sexism. We should work together to develop a sensitivity and awareness for all kinds of discrimination against women and others.
We decided to become active in different ways and create four groups:
A direct action group.
- A anti-harassment - and support point. This will be a place where people can ask for support and where you can come to if you feel discriminated against in any way and problems can be addressed. Open daily from 12-2 pm and in the evening in front of the bar of the theological faculty.
- Banner and poster group to make patriarchal structures visible
- A media group
We hope that through our actions and discussions we can create a more comfortable atmosphere for everyone.
Real change starts within ourselves!!!!
You can not smash capitalism without smashing patriarchy!!!!