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2013-06-21 08:59:37
NUJ stands up for journalism in Greece
The union took part in the international condemnation of the ERT closure announcement on Wednesday 12 June and sends solidarity messages to colleagues on strike in Greece today.
The Greek government is trying to shut down the public broadcasting organisation's three TV stations, radio and regional radio stations, satellite emissions and internet portal with the sacking of all staff. The Greek trade unions have responded by organising a general strike in support of journalism and media workers today.
ERT journalists continued to resist the closure and are broadcasting live from the occupied studios in Athens.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: "The shocking announcement on Tuesday of 2,700 job cuts and the closure of public broadcaster ERT has been roundly condemned, this immediate response has been inspiring to us.
"The break down of the public media in Greece is a barbaric act that has been inflicted on journalists and media workers as part of an increasingly vicious austerity programme. 
"We are not prepared to pay for the economic crisis we did not create. The decision of the state to close down ERT must be reversed. It is an appalling attack on the media and on Greek democracy.
"Our unity as journalists and media workers in solidarity gives us strength. The NUJ in the UK and Ireland stands up for journalists and offers support and assistance to colleagues - we reject attempts to divide us from our humanity and we are united to stand up for journalism."
NUJ Ireland support:
The NUJ Ireland broadcasting branch will hold a demonstration on Thursday 13 June at 18.30 outside the Greek Embassy on Pembroke Street in Dublin, Ireland.
Solidarity with ERT journalists
Thursday 13 June at 18.30
Greek Embassy, Dublin
Gerry Curran, Cathaoirleach of the NUJ Irish Executive Council will travel to Athens on Thursday to meet with trade unionists and broadcasters and express support from the NUJ.
Gerry Curran, Cathaoirleach of the NUJ IEC, said: "The NUJ offers solidarity and support with a visit to ERT workers - the Greek government closed down the station with only a few hours notice with 2,700 workers let go. I am bringing the messages of support from the 3,000 unionised NUJ journalists in Ireland.
"This is an attack on independent thought and on professional fact gathering. It is an attack on news - an attack on the essence of democracy and a stealing of the nourishment our minds need - especially in times of hardship". 
NUJ support in London:
David Campanale, chair of the BBC London branch, said: "Broadcast journalists in the National Union of Journalists (NUJ UK) at the BBC in London send our solidarity and support to all our colleagues at ERT and to the Greek public staging protests in Athens against the closure. We stand with them in opposition to the Greek government's act of cultural vandalism.
"Public service broadcasters, independent from both the government and the commercial imperative are the lifeblood of free and open societies. The decision to close ERT should have been subject to democratic debate and decision-making in parliament - not through a shabby deal between two government ministers. It must be reversed."
London protest:
The NUJ supported the solidarity protest in London on Wednesday 12 June outside the Greek embassy.
Solidarity protest in London. NUJ
The poster says: ERT belongs to the people, their fight is our fight.
Solidarity protest in London. NUJ
NUJ flags outside the Greek embassy.
In a message to the journalists and media workers assembled at ERT on the night of the closure announcement (Tuesday 11 June), Jim Boumelha, president of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), said: "We are angry that you, your families and children, should be made to pay for a crisis that is not of your making. For many years, this crisis, caused by the greed and incompetence of bankers, businesses and politicians, have put at risk your standard of living, your wages and your pensions. Now it has taken away your livelihood.
"What happened to you breaks our hearts, it makes us angry but most of all makes us determined to fight alongside you. The message of the journalists of the world to your politicians and your bosses is loud and clear - we will stand shoulder to shoulder with you to stop this madness - and we will do everything within our power to get this decision reversed."
Messages of support can be emailed to 

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