Greek opponents of Eldorado mine take message to company’s Canadian HQ: ‘Leave us alone’

Anti-gold mining protest — Halkidiki, March 25, 2013

More than 3.000 people chanting slogans against Eldorado Gold marched three kilometres from the village of Megali Panagia to the location where the first clash of anti-mining protestors with the riot police took place one year ago. This was the last in a series of powerful demonstrations against gold mining that took place in the last couple of weeks in Alexandroupoli, Komotini and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, where an unprecedented 20.000 people chanted “Eldorado Gold go away now!”.

—————————————————————————————————-

Greek activists outside Eldorado's Vancouver headquarters May 31. [Photo: Greek activists outside Eldorado's Vancouver headquarters May 31 / David P. Ball.]

Greek villagers brought their region’s fierce battle against Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold to the firm’s headquarters Friday, marking the end of the activists’ cross-Canada tour opposing open-pit gold mining in their homeland.

Over the past year, a growing conflict in Greece’s Halkidiki region — birthplace of the philosopher Aristotle –has seen thousands of residents blockade roads, raid mine sites, and skirmish with police they say are corrupt and beholden to the company. Another demonstration brought 20,000 protesters to the streets of Thessaloniki.

“Our will will not be curbed,” said Maria Kadoglou, a resident of Ierissos village, Greece. “We will keep on fighting until Eldorado Gold goes away.” Continue reading

Greek pensioners march through Athens in protest over Pension Cuts


ITN

April 19, 2013 — Thousands of pensioners from across Greece flood the capital to demonstrate over cuts to their pensions.

A sea of old age pensioners from across Greece flooded into Athens on Friday (April 19) to protest against pension cuts.  Aristides Manikas, protester, said “I have grandchildren, I have great-grandchildren, and I don’t have enough money to buy them candy. It’s embarrassing. I stopped going to the coffee shop. I used to have a glass of wine, I stopped that too. There have been many dictatorships in the past, but none like this one. What’s going to happen to our children.”

Some aided by walking canes and led by a demonstrator on a motorized cart, the elderly marched through the city past the Greek parliament to the Public Administration Ministry, where they were stopped short by police.

The protesters came from cities across the country, saying they have been reduced to poverty by the pension reductions, which are as much as 15 percent.

They have also been hit by new taxes on their homes as part of the reforms, as well as cash for drugs, after the free state social insurance fund suffered medicine shortages. Continue reading

Greece: Farmer shoots 30 unpaid Bangladeshi migrant workers when they demand pay

Greece farm shooting: 30 injured in pay dispute
BBC, 18 April 2013

Migrants are employed to pick strawberries in Nea Manolada

Migrants are employed to pick strawberries in Nea Manolada, a Peloponnesian village in souther Greece.

 

About 30 migrant workers have been injured in a shooting on a strawberry farm in Greece after requesting salaries that had not been paid.

The migrants – mainly from Bangladesh – were shot at by at least one farm supervisor, in a Peloponnesian village in southern Greece.

Several of the workers have been taken to hospital but none are in a critical condition.

The owner of the farm in Nea Manolada and one foreman have been arrested.

Nea Manolada, about 260km (160 miles) west of Athens, is an area where thousands of migrant workers are employed.

Around 200 workers had gathered to request their unpaid salaries when at least one farm supervisor opened fire, reports the BBC’s Mark Lowen.

Police Captain Haralambos Sfetsos told the AP news agency that the workers had “moved threateningly” towards foremen when the shots were taken.

In addition to the two men already arrested, warrants for two further arrests have been issued.

‘Blood strawberries’

Nea Manolada has previously been in the spotlight over exploitation of migrants.

In 2008 workers staged a strike against inhumane conditions. There have also been reports of previous attacks.

A social media campaign has now been launched to boycott the fruit from Nea Manolada, calling them “blood strawberries”.

The Council of Europe – the main European human rights watchdog – issued a report this week detailing abuse against migrants in Greece.

The report warned of a growing wave of racist violence, stating that “democracy is at risk”. It highlighted the role of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn goes global with political ambitions

[Specializing on drawing from the resentment and powerlessness of Greek people suffering from the deepest crisis in memory -- and directing that resentment at migrants -- the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement is encouraged by the Greek bourgeoisie and reactionaries, to deflect blame from themselves, and to get one section of the people, drenched in xenophobic hysteria, to attack suffering migrant workers.  That they are increasingly shown to be directly connected with the police, only emphasizes that there is no bourgeois solution to such fascist forces, who will have to face justice from the people, not the state. -- Frontlines ed.]

Golden Dawn party infiltrates Greece’s police, claims senior officer

Buoyed by its meteoric domestic success, the far right party is planning to expand ‘wherever there are Greeks’

in Athens

The Guardian, Monday 1 April 2013

Emboldened by its meteoric rise in Greece, the far-right Golden Dawn party is spreading its tentacles abroad, amid fears it is acting on its pledge to “create cells in every corner of the world”. The extremist group, which forged links with British neo-Nazis when it was founded in the 1980s, has begun opening offices in Germany, Australia, Canada and the US.

The international push follows successive polls that show Golden Dawn entrenching its position as Greece’s third, and fastest growing, political force. First catapulted into parliament with 18 MPs last year, the ultra-nationalists captured 11.5% support in a recent survey conducted by polling company Public Issue.

The group – whose logo resembles the swastika and whose members are prone to give Nazi salutes – has gone from strength to strength, promoting itself as the only force willing to take on the “rotten establishment”. Amid rumours of backing from wealthy shipowners, it has succeeded in opening party offices across Greece.

It is also concentrating on spreading internationally, with news last month that it had opened an office in Germany and planned to set up branches in Australia. The party’s spokesman, Ilias Kasidiaris, said it had decided to establish cells “wherever there are Greeks”. Continue reading

Demonstration against Eldorado Gold’s mining projects in Halkidiki, March 25, 2013

26 March, 2013 by antigoldgreece

8611_601019476593316_2025958185_nMore than 3.000 people chanting slogans against Eldorado Gold marched three kilometres from the village of Megali Panagia to the location where the first clash of anti-mining protestors with the riot police took place one year ago. This was the last in a series of powerful demonstrations against gold mining that took place in the last couple of weeks in Alexandroupoli, Komotini and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, where an unprecedented 20.000 people chanted “Eldorado Gold go away now!”.

March 25 marks the anniversary of the Greek people’s uprising against the Ottoman empire. To the  people of Halkidiki, it is also the anniversary of the first time their peaceful protest against the destruction of their land was met with teargas and police brutality. Read about the events of March 25, 2012 here (in greek).

Anti-gold mining protest at Skouries Halkidiki, March 25, 2013


(video with english subs)
 Published on Mar 26, 2013

More than 3.000 people chanting slogans against Eldorado Gold marched three kilometres from the village of Megali Panagia to the location where the first clash of anti-mining protestors with the riot police took place one year ago. This was the last in a series of powerful demonstrations against gold mining that took place in the last couple of weeks in Alexandroupoli, Komotini and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, where an unprecedented 20.000 people chanted “Eldorado Gold go away now!”. Continue reading

Skouries: an ancient forest is Greece’s latest battle-ground

26 March, 2013

keep-calm-and-save-skouries-480x560

By Theodora Oikonomides and Zoe Mavroudi, Hellenic Mining Watch – Resistance to destructive mining in Greece

Skouries is the most important Greek story you’ll rarely hear about. It’s an ancient forest in northern Greece, where a mammoth Canadian gold-mining company is staking its claim.

Gold-mining, environmental concerns, state repression, police violence and a sturdy and organized local anti-mining movement have made Skouries a veritable battle ground in Greek politics, one that has received very little international coverage, clearly overshadowed by the escalating Greek crisis.

Greek company Hellas Gold and its main shareholder, Canada’s Eldorado Gold are working towards establishing a gold and copper mine in the ancient forest of Skouries in the northern region of Halkidiki but residents of the area’s 16 villages are strongly opposed to the project and have held several demonstrations against it over the past year, many of which have turned violent. Riot police have made excessive use of tear gas even inside the forest and in the villages, while residents have accused police of detaining people on trumped up charges, physically abusing them and even taking DNA samples from them against their will. Continue reading

Greeks in fresh general strike against austerity

BBC News, 20 February 2013

A demonstrator tries to pass a riot police cordon during a strike in Athens (20 Feb 2013)

Tens of thousands of Greeks are taking part in the first general strike of 2013, as workers renew their protest over austerity measures.

Crowds marched towards parliament in Athens, beating drums and blowing whistles as part of the 24-hour strike.

Minor clashes broke out at one stage when police fired tear gas at hooded youths throwing stones.

The strike has been called by Greece’s two biggest trade unions, representing half the four million-strong workforce.

“We are protesting about pensions, emergency taxes, the high cost of life,” retired factory worker Kyriakos Anastassiadis told the Associated Press.

The strike shut schools and left hospitals with emergency staffing. Domestic flights and long-distance train services were cancelled.

Ilias Iliopoulos, secretary-general of Adedy public sector union, said the strike was an attempt to “get rid of the bailout deal”.

“A social explosion is very near,” he said. Continue reading

Greek pensioners protest austerity cuts

Friday Feb 15, 2013

Greek pensioners shout slogans during a march in central Athens to protest against the government’s austerity measures. (file photo)

Greek pensioners have demonstrated in Athens to protest against the government’s harsh austerity measures and highlight the consequences of the program on their life.

On Thursday, hundreds of elderly braved the heavy rain in the capital and marched to the country’s Labor Ministry to express anger at the government’s economic policies and rising unemployment, the Associated Press reported.

“We are not just talking about some problems. They are taking our lives away,” said Dimos Koumbouris, leader of Greece’s main pensioners association.

“We can’t pay our electricity bills, or the emergency taxes. We haven’t enough for our medicines, and it’s putting our lives in danger,” he added. Continue reading

Greece: As protests grew, so did the determination to stop the mining

Hooded protesters firebomb Greek mining site

AFP February 18, 2013
Hooded protesters firebomb Greek mining site

ATHENS (AFP) – Dozens of hooded men early Sunday firebombed the premises of a Greek subsidiary of a Canadian gold mining company opposed by environmentalists, injuring a guard and damaging equipment, police said.

The group of 40 to 50 men threw molotov cocktails and set fire to equipment at the Hellenic Gold site in the northern region of Halkidiki at around 1:00 am local time, damaging containers and trucks, a police source told AFP.

The site has faced opposition from citizens’ groups who fear the project will cause irreversible harm to the local environment. Continue reading

Greece: Crisis-driven scapegoating, explosive growth of migrant detention

[In a mounting wave of xenophobia and fascist gangs pressing amateurish ethnic cleansing attacks,  officials are rounding up thousands of migrants.  Here, the most recent sweeps of hundreds more. -- Frontlines ed.]
——————————————————
More than 400 migrants detained in latest sweep

The latest police sweep of undocumented immigrants in the capital led to 404 arrests, police said on Friday.

Authorities said six of the detainees were arrested because they were not in possession of the proper residence papers.

The sweep on Thursday included a search of four properties and was carried out as part of an ongoing crackdown on illegal immigration which has been code-named Xenios Zeus.

According to the police, 54,086 migrants have been briefly detained since the start of the sweep operation. Of these 3,994 were charged with being in the country illegally.

Source:  ekathimerini.com

Debt Crisis: Greek protesters storm meeting, attack German diplomat

Reuters, Thursday November 15 2012

PUBLIC sector workers stormed a building where Greek and German officials were meeting in the northern city of Thessaloniki today and pelted a German diplomat with water bottles in a protest over austerity measures.Riot police used teargas and truncheons to break up a crowd of 250 city employees outside the building and formed a shield around German Consul Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier as he entered.Protesters chanted “It’s now or never!” and held up mock gravestones and banners proclaiming “Fight until the end!”.They said they were furious at comments by German envoy Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, who told journalists on Wednesday that Greece could do more to reform its bloated local government sector, the head of the workers’ union said.

“Experts say that as far as local government is concerned the work carried out by 3,000 Greek employees can be done by 1,000 Germans,” Fuchtel said. On Thursday he said his remarks had been misinterpreted. Continue reading

Anti-Austerity Strikes: Protests Grip Europe

Anti-Austerity Strikes: Protests Grip Europe

Anti-austerity protests and strikes

Activists battle with police during violent clashes in Lisbon, as protests against austerity sweep across Europe.

10:21pm UK, Wednesday 14 November 2012
Lisbon

Video: Protests Across Europe Against Austerity

Enlarge

General strike

Rome is being brought to a standstill as anti-austerity protesters take on riot police in the streets.

A wave of anti-austerity anger is sweeping across Europe with general strikes in Spain and Portugal and walkouts in Greece and Italy – grounding flights, closing schools and shutting down transport.

Millions of workers have been taking part in the dozens of co-ordinated protests in a so-called European Day of Action and Solidarity against spending cuts and tax hikes. Continue reading

Greek unions protest austerity package

A riot police officer is engulfed by petrol bomb flames thrown by protesters in front of the parliament during clashes in Athens, Wednesday Nov. 7, 2012. Greece’s fragile coalition government faces its toughest test so far when lawmakers vote later Wednesday on new painful austerity measures demanded to keep the country afloat, on the second day of a nationwide general strike. The 13.5 billion euro ($17.3 billion) package is expected to scrape through Parliament, following a hasty one-day debate. But potential defections could severely weaken the conservative-led coalition formed in June with the intention of keeping Greece in the euro. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

ATHENS, Greece, Nov. 7 (UPI) — ATHENS, Greece, Nov. 7 (UPI) — Thousands of Greeks joined protests Wednesday afternoon against a new package of cuts set for a vote in Parliament.

An estimated 70,000 people rallied at the Parliament Building in Syntagma Square in Athens, CNN reported. There were smaller demonstrations elsewhere.Melina Grigoriadou, who works for an export company, said pay cuts and higher taxes have already cost her family about one-third of their income.

“The measures just never stop. Every time, politicians say they are going to be the last measures … they are never the last,” Grigoriadou told CNN at a demonstration in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city. “There is no end in this, there’s no solution. The measures are awful — it’s not austerity, it’s something even worse.”

Unions held a second day of strikes, disrupting public transportation and other services in the country. Some mass transit resumed Wednesday in Athens so protesters could get to Syntagma Square.

The strikes were called as Parliament gets ready to consider a bill that would institute a series of painful social and financial reforms, ekathimerini.com reported. Continue reading

European General Strikes announced: “We don’t owe! We won’t pay!”

Main Greek union calls general strike on November 6-7

ATHENS – Agence France Presse

EPA photo

EPA photo

Greece’s main union to called a 48-hour general strike for November 6-7 in protest at a new wave of austerity measures unveiled by the government in order to unlock EU-IMF bailout loans, AFP reported.

“The central aim and demand of the unions is the rejection (by parliament) of unacceptable, destructive and coercive measures imposed by the troika,” the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) said in a statement, referring to the EU, IMFand European Central Bank.

October/31/2012

—————————————

#14N: European General Strike

29 October 2012

Soulevons-nous! Erheben wir uns! Solleviamoci! Continue reading

Clashes break out at anti-austerity demonstration during Greek general strike

[As Angela Merkel of Germany says the troika (the group of 3 imperial usurers) should give Greece "another chance" to surrender to the social starvation and onerous debt repayment terms demanded by the imperialist system, the people gave this response in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki. -- Frontlines ed.]

DEREK GATOPOULOS Associated Press October 18, 2012

A pedestrian passes closed shops in Ermou street, Athens’ main shopping district as shopkeepers shut down for the 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Labor unions in recession-hobbled Greece are holding another general strike against a new harsh austerity program, as European leaders beset by a deep debt crisis and economic stagnation gather for a summit meeting in Brussels. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence, less than a month after more intense clashes broke out during a similar protest.

Authorities said around 70,000 protesters took to the street in two separate demonstrations in Athens during the country’s second general strike in a month as workers across the country walked off the job to protest new austerity measures the government is negotiating with Greece’s international creditors.

A 65-year-old protester suffered a fatal heart attack during the demonstration but efforts to revive him failed. The organizers of the protest march he participated in said the man had fallen ill before any rioting had broken out.

The measures for 2013-14, worth €13.5 billion ($17.7 billion), aim to prevent the country from going bankrupt and potentially having to leave the 17-nation eurozone.

Riot police responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades in the capital’s Syntagma Square outside Parliament as protesters scattered during the clashes, which continued on and off for about an hour. Another general strike in late September had also seen limited, but much more intense, clashes between protesters and police.

Four demonstrators were injured after being hit by police, volunteer paramedics said. The Health Ministry said two of the protesters were treated in hospital and that their injuries were not serious.

Hundreds of police had been deployed in the Greek capital ahead of the demonstration, as such protests often turn violent. Police said about 50 people were detained Thursday.

A similar demonstration by about 17,000 people in the northern city of Thessaloniki ended peacefully.

Thursday’s strike was timed to coincide with a European Union summit in Brussels laer in the day, at which Greece’s economic fate will likely feature large. Continue reading