Background: the Mass Resistance movement in Keratea-Lavreotiki, Greece

Indymedia (Greece)

Keratea is a town of 16,000 residents in Lavreotiki municipality, situated in southeastern Attica, 40km from Athens, near Lavrion. The site has an ancient history that has left many remains, an amphitheatre, parts of the ancient fortification, etc. As many parts of Attica, it has also a strong Arbanitic tradition, which highlights values such as extended family solidarity and social cohesion against a usually alienated authority, as well as a sense of pride and putting head to a cause. Most residents are small farmers (wine, olives, etc.), workers and/or unemployed, retired. During the last decade, after the construction of the international airport at Spata (2001), and also Lavrion and Rafina ports development to unburden Piraeus’ heavy traffic, eastern Attica suffered a sort of gentrification with Athens recreational, touristic and construction firms moving eastern (this movement can be tracked by almost annual forest fires, taking care of what’s left of Attica’s ‘unexploited’ space). Of course, infrastructure and any kind of social services (even proper sewage systems) remain significantly inadequate. The suggested creation of a huge open dump would be the top of the iceberg – or the mountain of garbage – to the complete subjugation of the territory and its people to private profit, as a dangerous and typically illegal ‘solution’ to the garbage disposal problem of all Attica is proclaimed against the will of those that will have to suffer it, and once they make clear their disagreement, they are violently repressed. No time for the old days’ ‘negotiations’ in the socialist government’s ‘fast track’ capitalism. The issue of dump constructions and garbage disposal in general has given birth to diverse militant struggles held in different parts of Greece these last years, with most significant the ones in Grammatikon (northern Attica), Neraida-Serres, Varnavas, Naxos island, Karvounari, Elliniko-Ioannina, and of course Leukimmi, Corfu, where a small village manages to block the construction works and confront the police by all means for three years now, having one woman dead to the police violence, and many facing charges.

On Saturday, 11 December, at dawn, residents of Keratea resisted against riot police’s and the prosecutor’s attempts to break their defense in order to establish landfill construction machines in the area (at a place sited since 2003). The residents clashed with police squads by stone throwing, slingshots, melee, barricades and Molotov cocktails. For the first time the cops responded with blasts from water cannon, against the protesters. Continue reading

Greek police clash with protesters opposing new garbage dump near Athens

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A car driver reverses his vehicle, after protesters blocked the road with rubble, in the town of Keratea, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Athens, Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Authorities say new clashes have broken out in the town near the Greek capital between riot police and residents protesting plans for a rubbish dump in the area. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)By The Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP)— Riot police fired repeated volleys of tear gas Tuesday to push back firebomb-wielding residents of a town near the Greek capital in the latest violence over plans for a garbage dump in the area.

The extensive clashes in Keratea, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Athens, began Tuesday morning, when protesters set fire to a bulldozer sent to clear roads they had blocked for more than a day with rubble.

In pitched battles fought across rural roads and in fields on the outskirts of the town, hooded and masked protesters hurled rocks and dozens of firebombs at lines of riot police as evening fell, and threatened the few journalists covering the violence.

Police said four officers were injured in the clashes. Authorities called in bulldozers to clear road blocks set up by the protesters.

The clashes in Keratea were the latest in a series of violent demonstrations against the plans to set up a dump in the area.

Keratea residents have been involved in running clashes with riot police for much of the past three months, arguing the dump will degrade their area and damage local antiquities.

‘Noble’ War In Libya – Part 1

by Media Lens

March 23, 2011

One can hardly fail to be impressed by the corporate media’s faith in humanity. Or at least that part of humanity with its finger on the cruise missile button. Last week, the Independent’s Patrick Cockburn predicted that ‘Western nations will soon be engaged in a war in Libya with the noble aim of protecting civilians.’

At the opposite end of the alleged media spectrum, former Spectator editor and current London Mayor, Boris Johnson, agreed in the Telegraph:

‘The cause is noble and right, and we are surely bound by our common humanity to help the people of Benghazi.’

So is the aim of the latest war a noble one? How do Cockburn and Johnson know?

Perhaps they have considered evidence from the recent historical record. Economist Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the US Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, wrote in his memoir:

‘I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’ (Leader, ‘Power, not oil, Mr Greenspan,’ Sunday Times, September 16, 2007)

If this seems heroic, Greenspan’s bewildered response to the resulting controversy suggests otherwise:

‘From a rational point of view, I cannot understand why we don’t name what is evident and indeed a wholly defensible pre-emptive position.’ (Quoted, Richard Adams, ‘Invasion of Iraq was driven by oil, says Greenspan,’ The Guardian, September 17, 2007)

Certainly it is ‘defensible’, if we accept that the world’s premier power should do as it pleases in pursuit of oil. Greenspan had made his ‘pre-emptive’ economic case for war to White House officials, who responded: ‘Well, unfortunately, we can’t talk about oil.’ (Quoted, Bob Woodward, ‘Greenspan: Ouster Of Hussein Crucial For Oil Security,’ Washington Post, September 17, 2007) Continue reading

‘Noble’ War In Libya – Part 2

by Media Lens

(see part one at http://revolutionaryfrontlines.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/noble-war-in-libya-part-1/)

March 28, 2011

As a Sunday Times leader made clear on March 20, sometimes you just have to draw a line:

‘[T]here can be no accommodation with a man like Gadaffi or any of his family who aspire to succeed him.’ (Leading article, ‘Allies need a rapid victory to outwit Gadaffi,’ Sunday Times, March 20, 2011)

Seven years earlier, Alan Massie wrote in the same newspaper:

‘The sight of Tony Blair shaking hands with Colonel Gadaffi last week will have disgusted many… One may sympathise with these sentiments but, pushing emotion aside, Blair has shown courage. It would be lovely if international politics could be conducted so you were always dealing with decent people. It might be nice if governments were able consistently to pursue the “ethical foreign policy” of which Robin Cook used to speak so enthusiastically but the world isn’t like that.’ (Massie, ‘Keeping Gadaffi close is the safest option,’ Sunday Times, March 28, 2004)

Sometimes, then, there can be accommodation with a man like Gaddafi. It was important not to overstate the extent of his crimes:

‘Of course, Libya remains essentially a dictatorship, even if not as repellent a one as that of Saddam’s.’

And democracy was far more likely to take root in the Middle East ‘in an atmosphere of friendship than of hostility’. Thus Blair was ‘bringing Libya into the fold of the community of nations’. Continue reading

The Communards Debate Again

[When filmmaker Peter Watkins directed a film on the Paris Commune, “La Commune”, the actors were drawn from non-professionals, people who in many cases occupied the same positions in society today as they depicted in the film.  The liveliness of the production made the issues and revolutionary events of 1871 remarkably current to present times and struggles against capitalist oppression and expoloitation–struggles to remake the world.  In this, some of the actors discussed the way the Commune’s history relates to the world today. — Frontlines ed.]


An engaging discussion with the cast of La Commune (Paris, 1871) a 5 hour docudrama, directed by Peter Watkins about the Paris Commune.

The discussions in question draw upon lessons learned from the Paris Commune, relations to modern life, and what they could have done differently

140 years of revolution since the Paris Commune

[The Paris Commune of 1871 was the first instance of working class rule.  Though it only lasted two months before being brutally suppressed, the Commune has continued to inspire, and its lessons continue to be instructive and debated and taken as a model across the world–from Shanghai to Paris in the 60’s, to Egypts Tahrir Square in recent weeks. — Frontlines ed.]

La Comuna de París

Huge turnout in London for protest against austerity measures

About half a million people marched through the streets of central London to protest against government spending cuts.

March 26, 2011

Police officers and protesters clash on Piccadilly during marches in protest at government cuts on March 26, 2011, in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

LONDON, U.K. — About half a million people marched through the streets of central London today to protest against austerity measures.Protesters wove past all the major tourist attractions — Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus before reaching Hyde Park. Many marchers held signs paying tribute to the protests in Egypt — one read, “Rise up, Protest Like an Egyptian.” Other signs displayed British wit: “You are tightening your belts around our necks.”

It was the country’s largest demonstration since 2003, just before the invasion of Iraq, when a million people turned out in protest. Continue reading