Second Congress for Greek Pirates: Self-Criticism and a Proposal for Cooperation from the Left

Second Congress for Greek Pirates: Self-Criticism and a Proposal for Cooperation from the Left

The further progress and development of the party were the dominant topics of the second congress of  Pirate Party of Greece . How should a Pirate Party act amid crisis? What should its profile be in society but also its internal structure and function? The activities of the congress were carried out in a mood of self-criticism and with fewer delegates than last year, but with a proposal for political cooperation with the left wing party “SYRIZA”.

Most proposals revolved around the present and the future of PPGR.

Christos Alvanos, coordinator of the “Lagoudera”, Election Coordination Group, referred to the need for more political action and inner calm, and urged party members to unite under the Pirate flag.

Anestis Samourkasidis, former member of the Board, presented the book “Swarmwise” by Rick Falkvinge and invited Pirates to thoroughly read this manual which describes the mode of  a “swarm” of people that  foregather and travel in the same direction. Samourkasidis said that everyone in the party must feel as a winner in order to do a good job, and noted that the polls create losers, calling members not to listen to the “coaches of the platform”. “The point is to have a good time as a group but also to remember the offline world”, he finally advised, and suggested the reboot of the Party and forward planning action.

Christina Sereti, chairwoman of the Board, with her introduction on “The Pirate Party of Greece: Party of a special aim and protest party” and Stratos Zolotas, member of the Arbitration Committee, who proposed the party to focus at one issue oriented, spoke up for the evolution of PPGR. A lot of debate and passion of the warring sides, caused Sereti’s proposal for the elimination of the expression “direct democracy” from the Statutes and the replacement of it as “direct participation” which eventually won.

Other submissions were made by George Missoulis, Finance Officer, who presented the economic situation of the party and by members of the Board and other Pirates that presented their proposals. 

Members of the PPGR Board

6 out of 7 members of the Board of PPGR. From left to right Yiannis Panagopoulos, Christina Sereti, Thanasis Gounaris, Stathis Leivaditis, Manolis Kastrinakis, Michail Tsentseris, absent Spyros Crhysanthopoulos.

When discussions caught fire, Pirates strolled around the  room like the ancient walking philosophers, taking  advantage of the comfort of the  space in the New Town Hall of Thessaloniki. Thinking, walking and  passing the microphone from hand to hand, the Pirates who had submitted  proposals for changes were faced with  tough questions from other Pirates.

It  was like a “persuasion race” – everyone wanted to attract the largest  possible support for their proposals to be voted and become official  positions of the party. Some managed it, others did not, but what  matters most of all is the fact that the Greek Pirates were able to express themselves freely  for their party with intensity and passion and self-criticism a few days from the second anniversary of its foundation.

Urgent activity of PPGR is the  design and implementation of a financial support campaign to promote the positions of the party and its participation in the euroelections of 2014.

Nikos Pavlidis, a representative of the left wing party of “SYRIZA”, welcomed the Congress and conveyed the proposal of “SYRIZA” for a possible cooperation between the two parties. “It will be fruitful to provide a communicative relationship between “SYRIZA” and Pirates, from the point of view of a potential political cooperation”, Mr Pavlidis said from the rostrum.

The Organizational Presidium, consisting of Simos Dalkyriadis, Dimitris Papamichael and Andrianos Pappas, worked interactively with the delegates and resolved, with consensus, all procedural issues raised. The consensual climate prevailed in all consultation procedures and voting.

Finally, a group of Pirates and members of  “Pirates in Athens“, the upcoming municipal Pirate ballot, visited the building of the self-managed “ET3” television channel, ex public TV in Northern Greece, and expressed their support to the redundant technicians and journalists. In return an interview was given in Sunday’s broadcasting “ALL-ERT3.

Pirates visiting striking workers at ET3 television station
“Spam” website “eu2014.gr” shut down by Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Τhe Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested and received the imposition of provisional and protective measures for the silencing of the website “eu2014.gr”, registered by a single user in 2005.

 The affirmation of the name was made legally and the goal of this website was the criticism and the reference to actions and omissions of the Greek government in the view of the assumption of the EU Presidency for the first half of 2014 

PPGR noted in a press release

“… Instead, as we know, the freedom of speech is protected by the Constitution of this country. If something has changed, we would like to be informed! The Pirate Party of Greece highlights that the high-handed act of the government and responsible authorities must not and should not pass. Justice must naturally act in the interests and rights of all citizens, in accordance with the laws and not under the orders of the government and law enforcement authorities. In its honour, Justice refused to shut down the operation of the ‘spam’ website until the end of the Presidency, as requested by therepresentative of the State, but only until the trial of interim relief.” 

The trial will be held on 7 January 2014.

All images: CC-BY-SA,PPGR
This article has been edited on 22 December 2013:
Anestis Samourkasidis and Stratos Zolotas were named as chairmen instead of members.  in error.
Stathis Leivaditis

About Stathis Leivaditis

The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.

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