Greece: Determined people’s resistance to Keratea garbage project

Firebombs fly in fierce clashes over Greece dump site

Apr 15, 2011

Firebombs exploded and clouds of tear gas filled the air as helmeted riot police moved in on protesters on the edge of small Greek town Keratea, which is gripped by a rebellion against state plans to place a rubbish dump in the area. The planned landfill site has prompted several months of violent protests from residents. Protest organisers argue the proposed landfill site is too close to a residential area and would also damage an ancient site, which they say has not been properly excavated.
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Meet Keratea: Greece’s War Zone

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2011

One of the more interesting “war zones” that most have never heard of is not in North Africe, nor in the Middle East, but in Greece. Meet Keratea, a small city of 15,000 people located close to Athens, where after over 100 days of struggle between authorities and the broder population, the riot police has officially decided to abdicate the city to its fate in what is the first popular mini-revolution in the developed world. From the Independent: “As explosions boom, the town’s loudspeakers blare: “Attention! Attention! We are under attack!” Air-raid sirens wail through the streets, mingling with the frantic clanging of church bells. Clouds of tear gas waft between houses as helmeted riot police move in to push back the rebels. This isn’t a war zone, but a small town just outside Athens. And while its fight is about a rubbish dump, it captures Greece’s angry mood over its devastated economy. As unemployment rises and austerity bites ever harder, tempers seem to fray faster in Greece, with citizens of all stripes thumbing their noses at authority. Some refuse to pay increased highway tolls and public transport tickets. There has been a rise in politicians being heckled and even assaulted. Yesterday, in Thessalonika, scores of activists were arrested after violent clashes with police.” Meet the new and improved face of austerity: now in a small town in Greece, which is about to default all over again, and soon in many other places in the increasingly more insolvent European periphery. Continue reading

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.

Greece: Two Keratea residents hurt in clashes with police

Anti-landfill protest leads to confrontation with riot officers
Residents of Keratea in southeastern Attica have clashed frequently with police over the last couple of months.

Two people were injured in clashes with police in Keratea, southeast of Athens, on Wednesday.

Locals have been protesting since the start of December against the construction of a waste management center in their area.

This has often led to clashes with police and Wednesday saw a prolonged confrontation between protestors and riot officers who have been drafted in to help guard the site of the proposed facility.

It is not clear how the two local residents, a 65-year-old man and a younger man, were injured.

Thursday February 24, 2011
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