Fisch, Oliven und mehr: Brief von Fillipos Polatsidis, dem Initiator und Sprecher von „Die Gärtner“ (2015)

Good evening comrades,

I feel the need to thank you for the financial – apart from the ethical – help for sending me 300 €. With some of you I have spoken, with others not. Having completed a first round of solidarity actions, I will attempt to give you a report:

These days I have started the “solidarity olive collection” action. We are now in the 3rd year of this action. It applies to unemployed fellow citizens who go to abandoned or “donated” olive trees, collect them, then from the oil press get the olive oil to fill their yearly needs. Apart from self-efficiency, main benefits of this action is co-operation between people, the feel that there is another way for the country (productive reconstruction) instead of destruction and abandonment, and “occupational therapy” for the unemployed which gives them self esteem and self mobilization (myself included, since I am unemployed also).

From the 300 € we spend 140 € for purchase of an olive harvester machine. With this machine I estimate that we have a production increase of 1.5 times more than hand harvesting. (The machine is available to every group that will apply for its free use in order to repeat this action). The remaining of the 300 € will be spent mainly to transportation costs to and from the collection sites. Receipts are kept, whenever this is possible. Until today we have produced 150 kilos of biological olive oil, with market price 150 X 8 € = 1200 €. Of course, market price has no meaning for us, since olive oil will be used for personal use. I just wrote it to give you a clue of the “multiplication” of your financial aid. Until now, 10 people/families were involved in the action. Also, 20% of the product will be given to other families who cannot participate in the action. “Solidarity olive collection” still keeps on going.

Next action has to do with transportation and distribution to families of fish and grocery/fruits from the fish market and grocery market, respectively. Products will be given for free or at very low prices from the fish/grocery/fruit market. For this action a pick up truck or a refrigerator van is required, a freezer, a refrigerator and transportation costs to/from the markets and the peoples’ homes. I had started a similar action some months ago, but I had to stop due to lack of money. This is a permanent action, so it needs permanent financial support. If we manage to make it happen, a very important help to tens of families will be permanent.

As crisis deepens members of solidarity grassroots are looking for new ways to protect the collapsing social network. Needs are enormous. That’s why the interconnection with people in solidarity from other countries is more necessary than ever, for two reasons: reversal of the image that the ruling Mass Media have cultivated in countries like Germany, and offer of help to confront humanitarian crisis.

But above everything: Please start debates with your families, colleagues, relatives and friends about the “Greek problem”! This is extremely important!

Please help us maintain the social network of Greece and build democratic and participatory peoples’ institutions. Peoples’ Europe has to prevail against bankers’ and warlords’ Europe.

Filippos Polatsidis (Ende 2015)
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