The flame of self-organization and solidarity burns in the Thessalian plain!

Ioanna-Maria Maravelidi writes about the popular responses to the floods that have caused death and destruction in the Thessaly region of Central Greece.

The mayors and regional leaders need to listen carefully this time: Neither in Thessaly nor anywhere else, never again FOR us, WITHOUT us!

Self-organization is blossoming on the wreckage left by the state and capital.

Today, with the reality of an unprecedented destruction and abandonment, we need to support our flood-stricken fellow human beings, strengthening the self-organized structures and initiatives of the region that have been doing invaluable work from the very first moment of the disaster.

So far, tons of essentials have been collected from all over the country for the flood victims, while financial support actions continue daily. At the same time, initiatives in the affected areas are carrying out collection and distribution of items, collective cookouts, food distribution, clean-ups and even water pumping where possible.

It is noteworthy that residents of the mountaneous villages Stagiates and Portaria are daily transporting tons of spring water for domestic use to neighborhoods in Volos as the water supply in the city has not yet been restored.

Self-organised collectives in areas such as Karditsa and Larissa are doing well, but they need immediate financial support to meet the basic needs of thousands of affected people. The devastation for their place is unimaginable and will not stop even when the publicity of the problem in the media ceases.

The solidarity structures are many and the initiatives from all over the country that send help to them are even more numerous.

By way of example, the following local self-organised structures need to be mentioned, which you can contact to receive or give unmediated help:

Network of Solidarity and Struggle Karditsa – For Health, Life, and Freedom

Social center Paratodos

Coordination of Collectives in Volos Against Garbage Burning

Network of Struggle and Solidarity Larisa: 697 038 2237,

Stagiates – Free Waters

Space of Movements and Migrants Volos:

Self-managed space Karditsa

Squat Ntougkrou / Tzavela 52

With the disaster still unaccounted for, even the most naïve now understood why political communities should never have been dissolved, services further merged, villages put together in larger municipalities, serious public/social structures dissolved. The criminal incompetence of those in power and corruption has again become an explosive cocktail combined with climate change, caused by ALL systems of power and unlimited economic growth without exception, and dragging us to this point today. Burned and drowned. Over and over again. With each successive time being worse than the previous.

In this line of thinking, it is no coincidence that Greece systematically ignores series of environmental laws as well as all the alarm bells that had been sounded, with total lack of projects dedicated to prevention and information to the population. It is characteristic that Greece is the 1st country in Europe in terms of violations and disregard of the court’s decisions on the environment. In particular, it has 21(!) open cases for violation of EU environmental law of which 12 are convictions and are being tried in the second instance for non-compliance.

There is an urgent need today for a total paradigm shift towards self-management against new saviours and managers of our lives and nature. It is time to organize in our communities, in our municipalities, in our neighborhoods, immediately. The clock is ticking down, the future is bleak.


Finally, let us not forget: As during the wildfires (see North Evia and elsewhere), the testimonies of ordinary people-trapped by the floods-demonstrate that it was the scattered volunteers who helped them, especially in the first twenty-four hours, with simple boats, with whatever they could find, not the state apparatus with its non-existence that cost human lives. This is criminal incompetence on the part of state planning. By simple logic, we can see that there is no organized “Plan” to burn or flood us, then or now, as it is happening consistently and systematically… Let us reflect on this and realize how much deeper and more cynical the problem of social organizing is so that we move beyond the romanticism of conspiracy theories.

You have drowned the plain, our self-organization will drown you!



September 16, 2023

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