Sachamanta on ERT Open


7/28/2013: This week Sachamanta will be screened by a television broadcasting station for the first time. On Thursday August 1st 2013 6pm and on Friday August 2nd 2.30am the Greek public TV station ERT-Open – currently occupied by its workers – will screen our documentary Sachamanta with Greek subtitles. Participants of the solidarity movement for ERT have spent days and nights to translate the film. Simultaneously they continued to organise public screenings, raising support for the station’s struggle against the inhumane austerity policy of the European troika and for democracy and work. We have always been sceptical about how it would make us feel to see Sachamanta broadcasted on TV. However, when the staff of ERT approached us, we felt honoured to make the film available to them.

As in Germany, public service broadcasting in Greece has recently diverged decisively from its democratic mission to reflect a plurality of opinions, to give a voice to minorities and to function as a counterweight to the uniform mush broadcasted by private TV stations. It failed to live up to these tasks, as do ARD and ZDF in Germany. The closure of the government-critical ERT (Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση) was an attack on democracy over which the Greek ruling coalition collapsed. The employees of ERT fought back, occupied the station and with the support of its audience continued broadcasting – until today. It is a historical irony that all of a sudden these events made ERT-Open the ideal democratic TV station. Today ERT-Open is no longer “just” Greece’s occupied public TV station. It has become the television and radio of the Greek people; and a new voice to the entire European protests against the “rescue” of the banks on the backs of wage workers, retirees, the socially marginalised, excluded and degraded.

The story told by Sachamanta is one of the power of decentralised media in the struggle for freedom and justice. It is one fitting tale of many that can support ERT-Open in its struggle. We are proud and happy to bolster it with our film – and return to work on our project Espejo.

Update (July 30th): The radio station ERA (part of the ERT network) had planned to do an interview with Viviana Uriona prior to the broadcasts (August 1st 6pm, August 2nd 2.30am). Short before the interview was to take place we were informed that the police carried out arrests and sequestrations at the broadcasting station in the Ymitos mountains. ERA was able to conduct the interview despite the events, but was unable to record it. An activist of the station LOHRO in Rostock spontaneously stepped in and made the recording available to ERA. Here it is:

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