Translated by act for freedom now/B.pd
We receive and transmit:
Communiqué in solidarity with the people persecuted following the struggle against gold mining.
A solidarity committee for those who struggle and those who are persecuted following the struggle in Halkidiki is taking shape (and we hope it will expand) from political and social collectives, assemblies and individuals opposing gold mining in Halkidiki.
We believe that our different perspectives and starting points can produce a good overall picture of the situation and lead to numerous effective actions on the side of the local people in a relation where we share common objectives.
We all think that this struggle can only be carried out through the practices of the movement, as we have to bear well in mind who are those who invest in this project and support it. At the same time we must rely on practices of direct democracy that involve the inhabitants of the villages concerned.
In this case solidarity is a necessity due to the seriousness of the situation in Halkidiki and to the huge impact that this project produces on the entire Greek society at different levels.
Solidarity will be based on:
– opposition to mining activities and everything connected to them;
– solidarity and support to the inhabitants who are struggling and those who are persecuted by the law
– immediate release of the prisoners and end of all persecution.
First of all our opposition to the project of gold mining is based on:
The environmental disaster that the project (construction of mines, drainage of groundwater, etc) will bring about on the mountains of Halkidiki with the total destruction of rare natural areas, the danger inherent to the mineral processing and use of arsenic and cyanide, the damages inflicted by the mining industry such as pyrometallurgical activities, which will affect both the environment and the people.
Gold mining is totally incompatible with some of the local activities such as agriculture and tourism. The area cannot live along with gold mining, therefore this form of profit damages the local economy and communities.
Finally the mining industry creates the plundering of common natural resources, which become victims of companies thus undermining the self-management of life in this area.
Secondly the massive and multiform struggle of the inhabitants highlights national and global issues. The people are becoming radicalized, also considering the contradictions of Greek society, and the situation is going beyond any institutional form of struggle and taking the characteristics of insurgency by the local people, thus creating a break with the system. For example the village of Ierissos is now an area without authority after the local police station was attacked.
Certainly neither the State nor the mining company can accept this situation. In the current Greece of strong neo-liberalism insurgency is viewed as the biggest crime. For this reason the State is repressing the inhabitants on struggle very hard. Entire areas and populations are being hit, suppressed and terrorized in order to destroy any possible insurgency. A state of emergency is being put in place, where everyone is hired according to the needs of the investors, by using the only possible way, i.e. State violence. That is why the success of this project requires a state of emergency where the State and the investors dictate the rules.
A situation where land is being expropriated, struggle repressed and life submitted to the mining company.
Thirdly, our common position is that a struggle cannot go on or achieve victory if imprisoned people hostages of the State are left behind. People arrested without evidence, without respecting the law itself or legal procedures: this is mere persecution against those who struggle, which aims at terrorizing the population and destroying all forms of resistance.
It is therefore important for the growth of the movement that we fight back the government tactics aimed at terrorizing the inhabitants of the villages. In order for the prisoners to be released and this struggle to be victorious it is fundamental that the inhabitants organize themselves.
Finally we believe that what is happening in Halkidiki is a clear indication of what is going on all over Greece, where the government and the companies – under the pretext of economic development – are approving drastic projects against the environment without the consensus of the people, as happened in Keratea – which probably was just a prelude of a conflict that would take place elsewhere.
The repressive methods adopted by the government concern the entire society thus increasing the state of emergency. For example DNA sample taking imposed on the inhabitants of the villages in a totally illegal way represents a threat to society as a whole.
The fact that arrested people are being kept in custody demonstrates that what is gong on in Halkidiki is an example of what is happening all over Greece.
Our action as a committee based on open and direct democracy aims at getting the highest possible social involvement in the struggle.
Some of our practices are:
– gathering of technical-scientific information on the project;
– challenging of the arguments put forward by the mining company in terms of environment and economic and social issues;
– solidarity and support to those persecuted by the law;
– spreading of information about the struggle in order to break the silence imposed by the media;
– creation of a long-lasting solidarity relation between the inhabitants of Halkidiki and the comrades in Thessaloniki.
We are open to all collective and individuals who are interested in supporting these ideas and participating in the activities of the committee in order to give a dynamic and adequate response to the State and the mining company.
Thessaloniki, July 2013
COMMITTEE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE PERSECUTED FOLLOWING THE STRUGGLE AGAINST GOLD MINING