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