For a decade now, VIOME has been the only self-managed factory in Greece, where workers control the production process. It is a node in the ongoing global struggle for rebellious dignity against the capitalist onslaught that sweeps across the planet: from Rojava to Chiapas, from the Yellow Vests in France to Black Lives Matter in the USA, from the occupied factories in Argentina to the landless movements in Brazil and South Africa, from the uprisings in Iran and Chile to struggles everywhere against the privatization of the commons and the pillaging of nature.
Ten years ago, VIOME workers started producing eco-friendly cleaning products in the factory that their bosses had abandoned. Against the attacks of the state and capital, VIOME fought back and survived thanks to the support of a huge wave of solidarity that was expressed on a global scale.
The occupied factory became a crucial space for struggle, creation, and culture: autonomous markets, worker coordination from recovered factories, and cooperative projects from all over the world, the first workers’ clinic in Greece, festivals, visual interventions, theatrical performances, film screenings, concerts, political discussions, solidarity actions for refugees and immigrants.
What has happened?
Today we are in the unfortunate position to inform you that the self-managed VIOME is more endangered than ever. With opaque procedures, the land of bankrupt Filkeram, VIOME’s parent company, was sold to a speculative fund from South Africa.
Our persistent demand has been to separate VIOME’s section from the rest of the parent company’s assets and assign it to the workers’ cooperative, to whom the former employer continues to owe millions of euros in wages and compensation. Unfortunately, no government of any political hue respected our demand. While all claim to support employment and economic activity, they sell the land, ignoring the workers’ livelihood.
The only factory in the country that was liberated from bosses and returned to society, the only factory that operates on the terms of self-management, equality and solidarity, is in danger!
The workers of BIOME and the solidarity movement declare that we will remain in the factory, that production will continue by any means, even if capital and the state send us the police. No matter how many times they remove us, we will come back. Because this place is our life and an integral part of the social struggles of our city!
What would we like you to do?
We want our message to reach the whole planet: Hands off VIOME! The huge solidarity movement will stop every “investment” and every attempt at eviction! They will find us in front of them at every step!
We invite you to the international week of solidarity with VIOME in order to erect a wall of protection.
Culminating on March 18th, where a nationwide march will take place in the city of Thessaloniki, we ask for actions to be carried out by your collectives during this week. For us, every march, every microphone, every poster, every slogan on a wall, every trade union resolution, every protest at a Greek consulate, every small and big action counts, both practically and symbolically!
To promote the actions, we use the hashtag #defendViome and the logo accompanying this text. We send photos or texts of support to email@example.com. We forward this call to our comrades, to any collectives, organizations, and trade unions we know and keep in touch with.
We unite our struggles on the whole planet and keep alive the flame of rebellious dignity against capitalism.
HANDS OFF VIOME!
NOT ONE STEP BACK!