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

Opposing Gaddafi’s massacre and foreign intervention in Libya

Horace Campbell, Pambazuka

2011-03-24

Unless Libyans themselves own the struggle against Gaddafi, opponents to his regime may find that even if he has been removed from power, ‘Gaddafism’ will continue – but this time propped up by the West, Horace Campbell warns.

The Union shall have the right ‘to intervene in a Member State pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity’ – Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.

The images of Tomahawk cruise missiles and bombs raining down on Libya from British, French, and US warplanes have ensured that many people now oppose the foreign military intervention in Libya. Yet, the same people were condemning the killing of civilians by the dying Gaddafi regime. On the surface, it may seem to be a contradiction to oppose both the West and Gaddafi, but this contradiction arises from the reality that there is no popular democratic force in Africa capable of mounting the kind of intervention that is necessary to translate Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act (the charter) of the African Union into action. There is no international brigade similar to the period of the Spanish Civil War when anti-fascist forces mobilised internationally to fight General Franco. There is no Tanzanian Peoples Defence Force (TPDF) with its tradition of supporting liberation that had the capabilities to fight and remove Idi Amin who was butchering Ugandans. The emerging new powers such as Turkey, Brazil, Russia, India and China are quite quick to do business in Africa but are quiet in the face of mass killings. In short, the world was willing to stand by as Gaddafi called those who opposed him ‘cockroaches’, ‘rats’, and ‘germs’ and vowed: ‘I will fight on to the last drop of my blood.’ The sight of the array of forces at the gates of Benghazi meant that this was not an idle threat. Continue reading

NATO wary of Libyan command: hot potato

 

Libya: Nato Refuses Military Ops Command

UK, Thursday March 24, 2011

Nato has again refused to take over command of military operations in Libya, with objections from Turkey frustrating US efforts to hand over control.

America wants to give up its lead role in the war-torn country in a “matter of days” and has requested that Nato plays a key role in a new power structure.But details of that structure are still under discussion, with the necessary consensus still to be reached between member countries.

A senior aide to US President Barack Obama said: “I think this is going to be a matter of days in which you see a movement toward the transition with regard to command and control.”

The UK government, along with Washington and Paris, have all agreed the alliance should play a key operational role, but the assent of all 28 Nato states is needed.

Objections from Muslim Nato member Turkey have held up agreement on that role for three days and a fourth day of talks in Brussels is due to take place.

Turkey said it did not want Nato to take responsibility for offensive operations that could cause civilian casualties.

We need to have a place where all those who want to commit to help Libyans build a future can meet and discuss a political framework. It’s about accompanying the military process with a political one

French presidential source

It also objected to the alliance taking charge of enforcing a UN-mandated no-fly zone while coalition aircraft were still bombing Libyan forces.

France wants an ad hoc steering group of coalition members, including the Arab League, to exercise political control.

All nations are welcome to join, a French presidential source said.

“We need to have a place where all those who want to commit to help Libyans build a future can meet and discuss a political framework,” he said.”It’s about accompanying the military process with a political one.”

The UK Foreign Office has announced the group will meet at a conference on Libya in London next Tuesday.

Yemen: Repressive regime threatens military defectors

 

One of Yemen’s most powerful military commanders, Major General Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, announced his support for protesters last Monday, leaving Saleh to threaten war against him. YT photo by Jeb Boone

Saleh threatens civil war

by Shatha Al-Harazi
Sana’a, Mar. 22 — President Ali Abdullah Saleh warned of bloody civil war, if the armed forces failed to unite, following the mass defection of a dozen military commanders.
 

On Monday, senior military leaders announced their solidarity for the protesters and the “peaceful revolution”. Ali Mohsen Saleh Al-Ahmar, a key general and leader of the 1st Armored Division, sent his soldiers to protect the protesters on Monday following the massacre that left 52 dead and hundreds injured after last week’s Friday prayers. Continue reading

US’ New “Abu Ghraib” in Afghanistan

Alleged to be one of the men in the photographs, Jeremy Morlock is accused of throwing a grenade at an Afghan civilian in a pre-meditated plan

By Julius Cavendish in Kabul Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The US Army has been forced into an acutely embarrassing apology after photographs emerged of American soldiers posing with the corpses of Afghan civilians in scenes reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal during the Iraq war. In one picture, a US soldier grins wolfishly for the camera while gripping a corpse’s hair, pulling back its head like a hunting trophy, in what could become an enduring image of how the West lost its way in Afghanistan. The picture, one of three published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel, has forced the US Army into a rare public apology and attempts to distance itself from a handful of rogue troops who are charged with killing Afghan civilians for fun. The photographs depict “actions repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army”, it said in a statement yesterday. “We apologise for the distress these photos cause.” Continue reading

Revolutionary Democratic Front (India) statement: Imperialism, Hands Off Libya!

Humanitarian Intervention is a euphemism for Military Invasion! 

Rise! Resist! Liberate!
22 March 2011
The United Nations Security Council on 17th March approved a resolution for the United States and other major imperialist powers to conduct direct military intervention in Libya. It however has maintained the old pretence of this being a “humanitarian” mission to protect civilian lives. The resolution, backed by the US, France, Britain and Lebanon, nullified the earlier proposals for a no-fly zone, and authorized the use of military force including “all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack.” These “areas” include Benghazi, the city with a population of one million which has been the stronghold of the revolt that began against the Gaddafi dictatorship a month ago. Both British and French rulers had already started air strikes and have confirmed more intensified attack in the coming days on Libya. Continue reading

India: 27 injured in clash between Maoists and jail staff in WB

// <![CDATA[// The Hindu, PTI

Midnapore, March 22, 2011

Twenty seven people, including six jail staff, were injured during a clash with Maoists lodged in Midnapore Central Jail here today.

Six jail staff, including head warden Deepak Kumar Baidya, were injured when Maoists lodged in the prison complex clashed with them following the death of an undertrial prisoner here last night, said officials. Continue reading

US: Arrests At WikiLeaks Suspect Base Protest

Monday March 21, 2011

Daniel Ellsberg arrested at Bradley Manning protest Virginia

Daniel Ellsberg arrested at Bradley Manning protest

More than 30 people have been arrested outside a US marine base during a protest against the treatment of a detained army private accused of giving classified information to Wikileaks.

Bradley Manning is being held in solitary confinement at the Quantico base in Virginia awaiting trial on nearly two dozen charges, including aiding the enemy.The 23-year-old former intelligence analyst is accused of handing over confidential US military and government documents to the whistleblowing website.

He is suspected of leaking a military video showing an attack on unarmed men in Iraq, war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan and more than 250,000 state department cables. Continue reading

Arab League condemns broad bombing campaign in Libya

[The Arab League, in long-term alliance with EU/US imperialist powers, actually endorsed and thereby facilitated the diplomatic push for the so-called "no fly zone" campaign against Gaddafi in Libya.  Now, the Arab League and others around the world, appear "shocked" to discover that the push for a "no-fly zone" was just a "bait-and-switch" operation -- a cover for imperialist intervention, to control the people's revolt, and to seize oil fields.  "NFZ" thus joins "humanitarian imperialism" as another tarnished tool of mass deception.  Enemies of the people (like Gaddafi) must be dealt with by the people themselves -- not by other enemies of the people (like the various imperialist powers). -- Frontlines ed.]

By Edward Cody, Sunday, March 20, 1:01 PM

CAIRO—The Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, deplored the broad scope of the U.S.-European bombing campaign in Libya on Sunday and said he would call a new league meeting to reconsider Arab approval of the Western military intervention.

Moussa said the Arab League’s approval of a no-fly zone on March 12 was based on a desire to prevent Moammar Gaddafi’s air force from attacking civilians and was not designed to embrace the intense bombing and missile attacks—including on Tripoli, the capital, and on Libyan ground forces—that have filled Arab television screens for the last two days.

“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone,” he said in a statement on the official Middle East News Agency. “And what we want is the protection of civilians and not the shelling of more civilians.” Continue reading