ERT3 Television, Thessaloniki.


On the 11th June 2013, Greek public television and radio channels grouped under the acronym ERT were suddenly interrupted by the government. Subsequently, a new public channel called DT was created by the Greek state. A minority of former employees of ERT continued their employment for this new channel , while others did not accept this brutal liquidation. A small number of former employees from the audiovisual group decided to occupy the former ERT premises and protest, as their situation will not be reviewed , refusing to be dismissed without notice .


In Thessaloniki, we met some occupants of ERT3, one of the regional offices of the TV channel in Greece. The premises were open, and, after a quick explanation of the purpose of our visit, we were invited to visit different parts of the building, such as editing rooms or film studios, which are usually inaccessible to the public. We talked about the beginning of the struggle against the State’s decision to close the antenna and the fact that, after few month of occupation, the uncertainty of their fate begins to affect their minds. There was a eerie atmosphere of abandonment , of work abruptly paused ; blank monitors with only a few people here and there maintaining the flow of the daily midday news. A depressing backdrop to the distress of those who formerly comprised one of the leading media chanels of the country.  The broadcasting of programs is currently done by online streaming, even though the State has tried to prevent it.



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Our aim is to understand the effect of this upheaval on the employees’ prospects and choices. Since June 11, the largest studio has been converted into a venue for weekly general meetings, to discuss objectives, actions and the overall direction of their struggle. Those who belonged to ERT, formerly one of the state’s vital organs, are now forced to re-consider their relationship and complex links with politicians and state (during our visit, they also received Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the main opposition party Syriza). So, some of them keep the sad hope of a hypothetical rescue of ERT in the next election, in the case of SYRIZA happen to power, and finally a return or improvement with more freedom to the previous model.


However, most of them are potentially interested in an independent media conversion. One of the journalists, we talked with, told us how much the experience they have lived since this months is important in their eyes and they would like to engage themselves in a form of self-organization. During our visit, these questions were in their discussions, reminding us that this change of direction would take time and organization to make a successful transition to another mode. Sensitive to these topics and experiences that are already working elsewhere (quoting the example of the factory Vio-me and an independent newspaper in Thessaloniki), they would like to take part in the development of an other model of existence in society involving individuals in a real political commitment.


If it remains astounding that some may still believe in the system that sacrificed them, the upheaval caused reflections and unexpected actions. Their entry into resistance changed the way they work together, from a hierarchical model to a horizontal organization, and, by now running their own internet broadcasting, they can handle more free information. This is, perhaps, more than awareness, the beginning of a new direction for some of them.



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