Greece: Vote #OXI -- Alexis Tsipras' speech at the final rally before 'Greferendum' [English]

Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal on July 4, 2015; translation thanks to ThePressProject

For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

Athens -- Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed tens of thousands of people late on July 3, 2015, in the final rally to call for a #OXI (No) vote in the July 5 referendum against the European Union's blackmail and austerity.

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Citizens of Athens, citizens of Greece.

Today we are not protesting, today we are not demonstrating–today we are celebrating.

Today we are celebrating democracy.

Democracy is cause for celebration, democracy is cause for joy; democracy is liberation, democracy is a solution.

And today we are celebrating democracy’s victory. No matter what happens on Monday, we have already won. Greece has sent a message dignity, a message of pride.

Nobody can ignore this passion, nobody can ignore this desire for life, the desire for hope, the desire for optimism.

Today we are celebrating because of our courage and determination to take our destiny into our own hands, to give the Greek people the opportunity to express their will.

Today are we celebrating and singing. We are celebrating and singing, overcoming fear, overcoming blackmail.

The Europe that we knew, the Europe that stands for its founding values, doesn’t involve blackmail and ultimatums.

And today, at this hour, all of Europe has its eyes on you, on the Greek people, on the three million who are poor, on the 1.5 million who are unemployed.

Today, the entire planet has its eyes on Syntagma square, on the small and large squares across our country.

In the birthplace of democracy, we are giving democracy the chance to return.

To return to Europe, because we want Europe to return to its founding values.

To those that have been neglected for so many years while failed austerity programs were implemented, forcing people to accept things that they had not chosen.

Citizens of Athens, Greek citizens,

On Sunday, we will all send a message of democracy and dignity to Europe and the world.

We will send again a message of hope to the people. Because on Sunday, we are not deciding about staying in Europe.

We are deciding about living with dignity in Europe, working and prospering in Europe. For all of us to be equal in Europe.

And believe me, no one has the right to threaten us that they will cut Greece off from its natural, geographical home. No one has the right to threaten, to divide Europe.

Greece, our country, was, is and will remain the cradle of European civilization.

According to mythology, it was from this very place that Zeus abducted Europe.

It is from this very place that the austerity technocrats want to abduct Europe again.

NO. We tell them NO on Sunday.

We will not leave Europe in the hands of those who want to abduct it from its democratic tradition.

From its democratic acquis.

From its founding principles.

Democracy, solidarity and mutual respect.

Citizens of Athens, you are here today, men and women of all ages, flooding Syntagma

square, flooding the streets of Athens and of the other major cities, in defiance of the terror

that has reached a crescendo in the recent days.

Citizens of Athens,

The Greek people, many times over the course of history, have proven that they know how to reject ultimatums. Ultimatums are sometimes rejected.

The most glorious pages in the history of this country and this people, were pages of bravery and integrity.

I call on you to inscribe with us, once again, on these pages; these historic moments of dignity and freedom.

I call on you on Sunday to say, once again, a big and proud NO to ultimatums. To turn your back on those who terrorize you daily.

And on Monday, whatever the outcome of the democratic process, the people’s verdict that some were afraid of and did not want, that some wanted to hinder the process, whatever the result, we will also say an absolute NO to being divided.

Regardless of Sunday’s decision, on Monday the Greek people will have absolutely nothing dividing them. Together we will fight to rebuild Greece, to make it better than the one created during the past five years of destruction.

I urge you to ignore the sirens that are blaring, the sirens of terror.

To decide based on logic, and on your heart.

To decide calmly and with determination.

To decide in favor of a proud Greece in a democratic Europe.

For a nation, a small nation which is fighting without swords and bullets.

But is fighting with the most powerful weapon that exist on earth: Justice. We have justice on our side.

We have justice on our side. We will win.

Nobody can ignore this. Nobody can ignore that we have justice on our side.

Citizens of Athens, Greek citizens,

Freedom requires integrity and bravery. We, you, all of us have both integrity and bravery.

And we are free. We breathe the air of freedom. Whatever happens, we are the winners.

We will be the winners. Greece won. Democracy won. The blackmail and threats were defeated.

Be strong. Go proudly. With dignity. Our “NO” will make history. Our people will move forward. For Greece, for a Europe of democracy and solidarity.