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(en) France, Organisation Communiste Libertarie - The fight against the gold mines and repression intensified in northern Greece (fr) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 14 Mar 2013 09:28:53 +0200


Tension remains high in Chalkidiki, northern mining region of Greece where for months waging a struggle against the popular ongoing excavations of the company Hellenic Gold - mining company Gold driven by the powerful multinational company and Canadian Eldorado Greek tycoon Bobolas - that threaten forest Skouries and health of people throughout the region. ---- Invasion of the village by the police Ierissos ---- Over the last few days (while the Athens government said "defend foreign investment at all costs"), against the determination of local committees and practices sabotage increasingly widespread, arrests lightning and measures to repressive anti-mine activists, but also the population as a whole have continued to increase. They culminated in the arrest of a high school girl of fifteen, from the village of Ierissos.

She was interrogated with 12 other young villagers to the regional police in Polygyros, an episode that sparked an angry reaction from the local community and a manifestation of students and adults to the police station in the village. But on March 7, police pressure is still up a notch.

Thursday, March 7, the small town of Ierissos (3000 inhabitants) was again invaded by riot police, who had to cope with a population descended en masse in the village streets to defend their territory as best she may, while church bells rang: occupying the space, watching their actions, by erecting barricades of burning tires at the entrance of the village ... Meanwhile, others organized solidarity rallies in the surrounding communities, especially in Nea Rodha and Thessaloniki. In the neighboring village of Megali Penagia, from 15h, people began to gather and, at 18h, almost all of this town of 3,000 inhabitants was in the street. In Thessaloniki, over a thousand people have gathered in solidarity in the evening.

A day of struggle which we publish chronicles own words through committees of struggle.

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New attack on the village of Ierissos by riot police

Local communities of Halkidiki in the north-eastern Greece is again in turmoil. This morning, in the middle of inaccurate information by which local residents who have owned and / or arrested at least six platoons of riot police arrived at the entrance of Ierissos - about 3000 inhabitants. At 11 hours, and was attended by a large number of residents, the riot police started shooting large amounts of tear gas. As people began to withdraw, riot police chased the crowd of men and women of all ages in the village square, continuing to use tear gas.

At 11 h, while a large number of people had gathered, the riot police started shooting large amounts of tear gas. As people began to recede, the riot police charged a crowd of men and women of all ages in the direction of the village square, while continuing to use tear gas.

Riot police stopped in front of the main doors of the school Ierissos, where teachers and students have begun to feel the effects of tear gas by the wind back towards the building and the courtyard of the school. After barricaded the entrance to the school, the riot police then fired tear gas grenades into the courtyard. Panic has gripped the students who could not breathe. Many have vanished, and assistance doctors nearby medical center was requested. The doctor was unable to cross the lines of riot police for a long time and its entry into the school playground was possible only after strong protests from people in the street. It took extra time before parents are allowed to enter the school to bring their children at home, and buses were allowed to take home high schools from other villages.

What police force of a democratic state can attack a village with chemical weapons and tear gas at a school full of students during school hours? What kind of police force blocking access to a doctor in a school full of students whose classes are filled with tear gas?

For now, people's houses are raided by special forces of the police in the presence of judicial authorities. They are accompanied by bus riot police, while others were placed bus to barricade the entrance Ierissos. The members of the parents are at the police station to write a report on the events of the day in high school Ierissos. Police are aligned to the input face of Ierissos local residents People who are fighting for their lives, their health and that of their children.

From the village besieged Ierissos, we send a message of resistance and struggle. We will not allow a social struggle like we are doing is targeted and criminalized

This social struggle is strong and will prevail.

Coordinating Committee of Associations Stageira-Akanthos against gold mines in Halkidiki

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Pressure, intimidation and repression police

From this spectacular operation, repression has not ceased. Dozens of people were arrested or summoned to the police for questioning Polygyros. The arrests were accompanied by searches. With 4 arrests in Ierissos during the police raid on the village, the figure of 130 is reached in less than three weeks. A good half have suffered DNA samples. When police assault on the town of Ierissos, the riot police (MAT) was accompanied by a unit of the anti-terrorist police (EKAM).

These arrests are obviously random, police seem to have no clue about the participants sabotage. But stopping people in a population strongly mobilized against the gold mine, the objective is to both intimidate, multiply the charges for other acts, such as participation in illegal gatherings and more generally, to put the opposition movement to the gold mines in a defensive position and antirépressive The four people arrested March 7 continued to facts that have nothing to do with the investigation (possession of fireworks, of radio-transmission ...)

With the young student of 15 years, 14 young people are Ierissos who were summoned to the regional headquarters of the police Polygyros, including at least three children. A detail that speaks volumes about the climate institute intends police and not clutter compliance procedures. In the case of the young girl of 15 years, his call to the police was sent, not his home, but his high school ... Following protests from lawyers, young schoolgirl was released and must be an "invitation" written by the police, which should specify that it must be accompanied by his parents and a lawyer.

This is not the first detention of students Ierissos. Another 18-year old was arrested Feb. 27 and released without charge. He told police that his release had been forced to submit a DNA sample, threatening not to release him, if he refused. The officers were then made to sign a statement saying he had given a DNA sample voluntarily.

Back two weeks of repression in the region of Chalkidiki Skouries:

• February 17 . More than 30 arrests, mainly in the villages of Ierissos and Megali Panagia. All detainees were released without charge after a few hours.
• February 18 . Arrest and trial in flagrante Toskas Lazaros, a resident and activist known Megali Panagia against gold mine (and also a member of the left coalition SYRIZA). The arrest follows a complaint filed by several private security guards the site was sabotaged yesterday. They accuse him of being the "instigator moral" of the fire. The guards were not able to provide any proof of their accusations and Toskas was released. He immediately filed a complaint for defamation against-. The arrest warrants issued against two other militants for the same reasons were never executed, but remain at large.
• February 20 . Removal of two residents Ierissos by the police. Both men were taken to the regional headquarters of the police and detained in secret Polygyros without charge for 5 hours. Police said the parents, relatives and lawyers have no information on their fate. Except that the mother of one of the detainees saw his son through a window. Both detainees were released without charge. They said they would file a complaint against the police.
• February 23 . Detention for 14 hours of a woman Ouranoupoli, municipality Stagyra-Akanthos. She was arrested at 6am and transferred to the regional headquarters of the police Polygyros and was released after 20 hours. Her husband was arrested later in the day, and a friend who joined a crowd of protesters outside the local police Polygyros. This friend was pulled inside by the police. The police also raided the couple's home in the presence of a prosecutor who had no mandate. All three were released without charge.
• February 26 . The police force takes a DNA sample from a man they questioned the premises of Polygyros.
• February 27 . Arrest of a 19 year old High School Ierissos. The facility was closed in protest. The schoolboy was released without charge.
• February 28 . 4 Ierissos students were arrested in Thessaloniki for national security. The two girls in the group were released shortly after but the two boys were detained for several hours. The father of one of the boys reported the abuse, intimidation, threats and torture in custody of his son. The boys were eventually released without charge.
• 01-02 March . The inhabitants of Nea Roda Ierissos and reported 24 arrests. All detainees were released without charge.

The interviews are conducted by the police anti-terrorist. Officially because it is part of an investigation into the sabotage of 17 February where fifty activists were attacked with Molotov cocktails facilities Eldorado Gold. Several trucks, drills, cars, prefabricated, bulldozers were destroyed. [See Sabotage in the site of a gold mine http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1314 ]

For their part, the pro-gold mines are firing on all cylinders

For months the lobby for local mines agitated. On Saturday, March 2, supports mining engaged in a real stage. Was called a demonstration in the village of Megali Panagia. For most employees Hellas Gold and its parent company, Aktor. A few hundred people, perhaps a thousand or a little more ... but in a part of the press gather at number 6000 while videos show ranks fairly sparse. So much so that we see players asking participants to fill the holes in the crowd to make it appear larger. Several sites disinformation have not hesitated to use photos of the protest against mines, which was held in the same village of Megali Panagia one week earlier (Sunday, February 24) to illustrate the event in favor of mining. This event, a week after the sabotage and response to dozens of arrests first brought together more than 3000 people.

Large demonstration in Thessaloniki

Saturday, March 9, held a joint demonstration of movements against mines in northern Greece, Chalkidiki, Kilkis and in Thrace took place in Thessaloniki. It was attended by about 20 000 [10 to 15 000 according to various news agencies] and is considered one of the largest gatherings in recent years against the exploitation of gold mines.

She had been called for more than a week, before the police assault on Ierissos by the coordination of all committees and initiatives to fight "against mines and state terrorism," referring to the violent imposition these projects and waves of arrests plaguing the region Skouries, especially since the action of sabotage February 17.

The demonstration, which is passed through the streets of downtown and the waterfront, joined another demonstration, students and employees of higher education ... The two processions merged. It is also significant that the police prevented journalists to go on the White Tower, symbol of the city building located near the seafront where they could take pictures ...

The other challenge of this mobilization is to prevent the authorization of drilling Thrace (between Thessaloniki and the Turkish border), which has not yet been officially issued - but announced as imminent by the Prime Minister Samaras, always in favor Canadian multinational. Already, the previous Monday, a demonstration was held in Alexandroupoli.

Despite this demonstration, the police continue their intimidation. Sunday, March 10, nine people of the region Skouries were arrested.

Tuesday, March 12, another rally was called Komitini city of Thrace (Department of Rhodope) against the opening of a new site and the construction of a new mine in this part of northern Greece.

These struggles against the exploitation of gold mines lead in a context where other struggles continue or are emerging in an increasingly repressive since last winter partucilièrement [see here http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1303 and here http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1295 and also here http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1287 ] junction points and meetings multiply.

Student mobilizations

Many student demonstrations took place this week throughout Greece. Together to protest against the death of two students Larissa last week, others against budget cuts and a reform of higher education.

Both students Larissa died of asphyxiation because they had brought inside their home a charcoal barbecue to heat due to higher taxes on heating oil, which makes it unaffordable. Banners saying "They are killing us" were brandished in all the events that took place during the week.

The other reason is to mobilize the "plan Athena" reform of higher education. This is to reduce the number of facilities to reduce costs through mergers of departments, schools and even universities or technical colleges all whole. The complete restructuring of higher education require tens of thousands of students to leave their homes (often those of their parents) and move to other universities so that families can not afford this additional cost in the middle of an economic crisis causing cuts in wages and considerable indirect income for the vast majority of Greeks. This plan aims to disappear 150 establishments (dropping to 384 the number of faculties and institutes against 534 today) and officially forecast to reduce by 4% the number of students enrolled in higher education next year. In weekends, students have conducted several actions: opening of motorway tolls, intervention to disrupt the speech of a minister in a large hotel Sunday afternoon ...

The mayor of the city of Messolonghi began a hunger strike to protest against the disappearance of the Higher Institute of Technological Education, which has existed for 30 years in his town. He also decided to put black flags across the city on public buildings like shops.

New student protests are planned in the coming days on the islands and on the mainland.

The return of the "outraged"?

A week ago, between 1.5 and 2 million Portuguese took to the streets of forty cities to call a set of movements but one has managed to unite all under the slogan "What lixe a Troika, quem é o povo but Ordena! " ["What Troika Fuck, it's the people who control! "]. The biggest demonstration since those of the Carnation Revolution of 1974. This date was not chosen at random: it coincided with the visit of a delegation of the troika (EU, ECB, IMF) in Lisbon.

In Greece, the networks "social" of the Internet, have in turn heated and call out in the street was launched this weekend. Soon, thousands of Internet users have expressed the need to be in Portugal and that they would participate in an initiative street. A rally in Syntagma Square in Athens was called to 18h. The slogan? "Poverty, unemployment, suicides: Enough! Portugal shows the way! ".

From 16h, riot police were deployed to the site to prevent rally outside Parliament.
demonstrators of all ages gathered at 18h, with banners and slogans such as "The main violence is poverty" and "How do we live here? " . And also against the gold mines of Halkidiki, the repression of social movements against the new educational project "Athena" and of course, against the government's economic policy.
At 18h, the place was cordoned off and a few thousand five hundred people who tried to gather in the square, were prevented: tear gas, charges, arrests muscular ... Two people arrested were detained and prosecuted for "disobedience."

Clearly, once again, the practices of "policing" indicate that it is no longer 2011 or 2012 ... The "excesses" are no longer tolerated, the State intends to hold any early movement and lock everything: requisition of strikers and illegalization strikes, expulsion of squats, ban on demonstrations of peasants (by prohibiting access to tractors motorways and main roads), police operations intimidation against opponents of the gold mines Chalkidiki ...

On Monday, officials from the Ministry of Culture on strike 24 hours and manifest in Athens.

Tuesday, March 12, the Committee of Solidarity with the people of Attica Chalkidiki which called for a demonstration in the center of the capital.

The March 10, 2013
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