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SPEECH OF THE SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COUNCIL OF KNE, NIKOS AMBATIELOS, AT THE 47TH FESTIVAL OF KNE–ODIGITIS
Dear friends and comrades,
The journey of the 47th KNE–Odigitis Festival culminates here today, exactly the way it deserves:
With a huge political gathering that spreads from one end of the park to the other, followed by concerts and tributes.
We are very pleased that through these stupendous events we have helped tens of thousands of young people who visited the Festival for the first time to breathe again and take courage.
To realise that they are not alone and that they cannot face alone all the difficulties that they encounter.
It is with great pleasure that we welcome, after two years, the delegations of the 24 Communist Youth Oganisations from all over the world and the delegation of the World Federation of Democratic Youth participating in the Festival, thus holding the first in person meeting of a significant number of organisations since the outbreak of the pandemic.
From here, we would like to express our solidarity with all the peoples who are suffering from the US–NATO–EU imperialist interventions, with all the peoples who are struggling for a better future.
We would especially like to express our solidarity with the people of Cuba, this island of humanity inside an ocean of barbarism that is once again in the line of fire.
The workers and the youth around world have nothing to separate them from each other; on the contrary, there are many things that unite them against their exploiters.
The support messages of the delivery workers from neighbouring Turkey to the just, mass, and hopeful struggle of the workers of “e-food” company is just a snapshot of the joint path that the peoples of the two countries are building.
Such a snapshot was also the great success of the 30th Anti-imperialist camp of our Organisation in Mytilene, in July, with the rebellious and internationalist message we sent together with our comrades from the Communist Youth of Turkey.
We also welcome the residents of the fire-affected areas of our country who are here today. The response of the people to KNE's call for the collection of basic essentials during the Festival was moving.
We hand them over with the promise to continue to be by their side in the struggle they are waging to continue to live in their homes, now that the media limelight has dimmed. Now is the time for solidarity to shine!
Comrades and friends,
Today a long journey comes to a close here, in Tritsis Park. In a truly valuable place for the people and the youth of West Athens, a place that comes to life every time that we begin the works for the Festival of KNE–Odigitis.
The whole journey of the Festival, from mid-summer when it started to be held across the country until today that it is completed with the central events here in Athens, allows us to talk about one of the most mass, dynamic, and successful festivals of recent years.
We had not witnessed such mass events of the Festival in Thessaloniki, Patras, and elsewhere for at least 30 years now… Furthermore, in Ioannina, Heraklion, and many other cities we witnessed the most successful events of recent years.
Those who worked for this success —and there were many of them— truly deserve our congratulations: the members and friends of KNE as well as older comrades, everyone played their special part.
We cordially thank each and one of them!
We would especially like to congratulate and welcome the hundreds of new members of KNE, our new comrades, who attend the first Festival of their organised life and also had their own special contribution.
It is clearly demonstrated that the Festival could not be missed, especially this year, when there is such a great need for every young man and woman to be entertained, to have a good time, to play sports, to meet and discuss with other young people like them, especially after the past 1 ½ year.
And of course it is no coincidence that so many young people chose to do all these at the Festival of KNE.
This is a genuine, youthful outburst.
Happy people, young faces smiling; strong, optimistic, and most of all real faces, in contrast to those that the bourgeois parties use to accompany their proclamations…
Today young people also show particular interest in the activity and the positions of the Party and KNE.
The slogan and the call of the Festival were very well received. This fact further strengthens our determination for the new generation TO DARE to live as it deserves and not just to survive; TO DARE and to forge ahead, leaving behind all those who try to convince it that there is no alternative to today’s exploitative and decaying society, with visible results in all sectors; TO DARE to vigorously join the struggle for the abolition of the exploitation of man by man and the construction of the society of true freedom, of socialism–communism.
True daring means to question, to go against the —dominant today— current of subordination to the notion that “nothing changes”, to the choice of the supposedly lesser evil.
And due to the fact that there can be no daring in practice without producing daring ideas and setting high objectives, daring are the young men and women who join KNE.
After all, the result of our effort for the Festival this year exactly highlights the force of the organised, planned activity of volunteers that share the same ideas, with the incentive not being any interests or sponsors but our indomitable will to change things, to be able to live in a society that meets the contemporary needs based on the possibilities that human labour has created.
At the Festival of KNE every young person can come into contact with another culture, far beyond from that of mass consumption and rotten values.
The Festival of KNE provides a political way out of the impasse that young people are caught in while trying to achieve their dreams.
Here, in this place, the youth can enjoy an experience that goes far beyond from what many people described as “dystopia” during the pandemic, concealing that this is the normality of the contemporary capitalist world.
Here, the values of comradeship and collectivity prevail, instead of individualism and the rationale of “Mors tua vita mea”.
All the above can be clearly seen by all the people who visited the Festival this year.
Because the image of the sea of young people visiting the events of the Festival in each city in Greece in reality reflectsan image of the youth that KNE struggles for; a militant and daring youth at the forefront of the struggle.
We will surely meet with all these young people, in schools and universities, in workplaces, in neighbourhoods, in sports and culture areas.
We will keep on discussing for all the issues that concern the youth, for its present and its future, for the way out that our Party suggests.
Equipped with the experience drawn from this year’s Festivals, the members and friends of KNE will be decisively at the forefront to strengthen the contribution of the youth to the workers’–people’s struggles, to leave their mark everywhere with their mass participation.
Dear friends and comrades,
Concluding this welcome speech, it is with humility that we bid farewell to one of the mainstays of this Festival since its very beginning: To our great composer Mikis Theodorakis who recently passed away.
We still remember that thrilling night on September 2017 when he visited the Festival for the last time, at an advanced age; he sat at the front seats of this stage and watched, deeply moved, the tribute that we had prepared in his honour.
We dedicate this last day of the Festival to him and promise to give our best so that today’s young generation as well as the future ones become acquainted with his work; to inspire them in the struggle for a fairer world, until the time when “the dreams shall take revenge”. [Note: The phrase in italics refers to the poem “Axion Esti” by Odysseas Elytis]