More clashes with riot police in Greece over gold mine

Hundreds of protesters in Thessaloniki have been in involved another battle with riot police over plans for a gold mine in northern Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula. One policeman and three protesters were hurt, while 21 protesters have been detained. Clashes between protests and local residents on one side and police and mine workers on the other side have become a regular occourance since March when plans for the mine were approved. A multimillion-dollar gold mining project in a nearby area was cancelled a decade ago after similar protests.

Below is a translation of a recent report about the situation from Indymedia Athens:

In the mountains of Halkidiki is a huge disaster at the expense of Mother Nature. The Greek state has sold the rights to exploit the gold beneath the primordial forests of dark in the company Eldorado-Greek Gold. That is why the company has already started the despicable work: intensive deforestation of 4,000 hectares of forest and mineral processing plant construction between villages Olympiad, Stan, Mary and Great Ierissos. The state and the company with the work will take away the life of the forest itself but also by the thousands of animals that live in it, clean groundwater and soil will be contaminated by toxic substances such as cyanide. In simple words, a whole living world would exterminated for the profit of multinational corporations and government leaders, leaving behind contaminated land and death.

Residents not complacent to the disaster, from passages such as the Olympics and the Great Panagia for decades have been struggling against mining. This year saw the final authorization from the government and the project has now started. From March there have been on going conflicts with residents and defenders of the forest on one side and the police and workers of the company on the other.

This dominant behavior of culture over nature is a result of the authoritarian mentality of anthropocentrism, arbitrary belief that man is greater than the natural element surrounds him. This concept is the result of the alienation of man from the natural world. With the mediation of the process of civilization, the building of cities, states and power relations people ignore the earth-animal-nature, which is directly tied to the existence and development of the natural world.

Habitats are threatened today directly from the mines not only in Halkidiki but other parts of northern Greece such as Kilkis and Alexandroupolis. But let's not fool ourselves, the technocracy and capitalism in today's world are expressed through a global system of striking any part of the world over sea or land. But especially in countries of the so-called third world, plunder of nature and poor people is unthinkable. Giant multinational corporations with the help of state and international organizations extorting indigenous populations by any means (war, food crises, financial measures) to accept investments and work with them in exchange for a meager salary and a short and miserable life. With modern engines cut forests, disembowel the earth, pollute the air, water and soil. This hunt for "treasure" whether minerals such as gold or energy (oil, gas, coal) is totally deadlocked and destructive. The so-called progress of civilization and the ideology of development only serve the temporary existence of the world's authoritarian system that dissolves cultures but tens of thousands of years, primeval forests, animal communities and ecosystems that promises dystopia.

The destruction of the natural world not only in Greece but also at the global level does not leave us time tolerances of this situation. Needs as living creatures to deny us the system dominates and fight for its destruction. To redefine our relationship with the natural world and to resist that prevents us from living in harmony with it. The state, the industrial system and mazopoiisi cities need to be destroyed to flourish in the debris an indomitable life for people, animals and nature.