More than 3.000 people chanting slogans against Eldorado Gold marched three kilometres from the village of Megali Panagia to the location where the first clash of anti-mining protestors with the riot police took place one year ago. This was the last in a series of powerful demonstrations against gold mining that took place in the last couple of weeks in Alexandroupoli, Komotini and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, where an unprecedented 20.000 people chanted “Eldorado Gold go away now!”.
March 25 marks the anniversary of the Greek people’s uprising against the Ottoman empire. To the people of Halkidiki, it is also the anniversary of the first time their peaceful protest against the destruction of their land was met with teargas and police brutality. Read about the events of March 25, 2012 here (in greek).
For a whole year, the government and the mining company have been trying to terrorize and intimidate opponents to gold and copper mining. They have used media propaganda, private security, riot police, anti-terrorist squads, teargas, flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets and lawsuits. Read Amnesty International’s reports: NEED FOR INVESTIGATION OF POLICE CONDUCT TOWARDS RESIDENTS OF TOWN OBJECTING GOLD MINING OPERATIONS, 22 March 2013, and Don’t beat protesters EU countries warned, 25 October 2012. North-eastern Halkidiki seems to be living in an undeclared state of exception, where the most fundamental citizens’ rights are being violated in the name of “development”.
They have been trying to curb resistance for a whole year but despite everything, our movement keeps growing. The large majority of the local population opposes these disastrous projects and solidarity to our cause is spreading throughout the country and beyond.
We are stronger and more determined than ever. In the end life and dignity will win. The future will win. There is no other way.