>Hands off Manolis!square in Nicosia old town CYPRUS

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Reporters, politicians, investors and police have launched an attack against us and other youths who spend time at Manolis square in Faneromeni and the surrounding area. This attack is not at all random. Their purpose is to terrify people, make them afraid and turn them against anything different going on in the town and also to convince people of the necessity of strong police forces in the area. It is almost certain that they are preparing the ground for another police operation, like the ones which took place last September and October.

There is no doubt why Manolis square is being targeted, alongside the whole area of old Nicosia. “The climate of insecurity and criminality delay, maybe completely ruin the plans for investments of many millions of Euros in the city’s centre” (Fileleftheros, 23/4/2010 – the quote has been translated from Greek into English). This did not surprise any of us. A week ago we wrote in our article ‘For a more humane city,’ that “For them, the citizens and others who are active in the area are an obstacle in their plans because they oppose the commercialization of their neighborhoods. The immigrants are also an obstacle because, according to their opinion, they ruin the nice ‘display’ which they have created. The media as their advertising agent and the police as their natural partner provide full cover to the investors in their efforts to overcome the said obstacles.”

Member of Parliament I. Nicolaou stated that “youths who gather there (at Manolis square) are looking for an alternative way of entertainment but no one has managed to communicate with them.” That is correct; you sirs have not been able to communicate with us because we don’t speak the same language. You, members of parliament, television channel managers and all kinds of ‘responsible’ and ‘respectable’ people can only speak the language of money and profits. As to the statement that youths have fun “until morning with the music at full volume,” this is simply a myth created by those attack ing Manolis square. Loud music is played only when there is a street party, about once a month, with permission from the local authorities and the music is turned off by 11:30.

Manolis square is a multicultural, multidimensional area which we respect and protect, and invite anyone to discover this in person. In this area one can find politically active groups of people, with their opinions and social sensitivities. These are people with their own judgment, without the need for leaders and guidance. All the people who would hate to see the area become an enormous, commercial center and prefer to socialize in open, public, free spaces are an obstacle to the investors. The feeling of insecurity is created by the media, and those who pass by the area will understand that the media’s arguments are invalid.

The media’s misinformation will not stand.

Those who sacrifice human communication and creativity in the name of greed and profits will find us blocking their way.

Reporters, politicians, investors and policemen – hands off Manolis!

Planodio Steki Dromou

The article does not mean to represent all those who spend time at Manolis. It is the expression of opinion of one group of people among those many who spend time at Manolis. (the “Planodio Steki Dromou” organization)

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