On November 9th, thousands of protesters in dozens of marches took the streets around Greece demanding that the Skouries forest is saved from toxic gold mining and that the prosecutions of the people resisting the extraction are stopped. At the same time, several events were organized around the world in support and solidarity with the Skouries struggle!
The message is clear: We are not «extremists”, as the Greek government would have it, we are everyday people of all ages, social groups, creeds and nationalities, united by the love for our land, our forests, our water, united by our desire to safeguard this planet for the sake of our children, united by our resistence to a commodifying view of nature that puts individual profit over collective welfare.
In Bucharest, Romania, where the people have a struggle of their own to save Rosia Montana from a similar disastrous mining project, protesters raised banners outside the Greek embassy.
In Cluj, Transylvania, Romania, very close to the Rosia Montana mine development, activists gathered in a central square, displayed banners of solidarity and handed out leaflets. After the sun was down they screened a documentary detailing the Skouries conflict.
Banners were also displayed in other places in Romania.
In London, U.K., the protesters against the Skouries gold mine joined forces with those defending Rosia Montana. They marched together to the Canadian embassy to protest the two disastrous mining projects promoted by Canadian companies Eldorado Gold and Gabriel Resources respectively.
In Istanbul, Turkey, in a country also affected by Eldorado Gold’s disastrous activity, solidarity banners were displayed around the city.
In Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a solidarity group managed to find the letterbox that serves as Eldorado Gold’s subsidiary Hellas Gold “headquarters”. This practice is common for multinationals in order to take advantage of Holland´s tax breaks.
In Venice, Italy, activists of Rivolta social center and Morion squatted theatre protested and held a banner in front of the Greek consulate.
In Paris, France, protesters ignored the rainy weather to hold solidarity banners against the backdrop of the Eiffel tower. Slogans of solidarity with the workers of ERT, the public broadcaster that was raided by riot police on November 7th, were also displayed.
In Vienna, Austria, a group of people raised solidarity banners and handed out leaflets to the passers-by. They were also joined by people protesting the destruction of Rosia Montana in Romania.
In Berlin, Germany, on Sunday morning, there was also a joint mobilization of solidarity with the residents of Halkidiki and Rosia Montana! The protesters gathered at the Romanian embassy and then moved on to the Gendarmenmarkt square. There, a banner was raised and the road movie “Corridor X“, detailing the Skouries struggle, was screened. The Greek Solidarity Committee in Berlin also informed against the eviction of the ERT-building in Greece.
In Frankfurt, Germany, on Friday evening, activists distributed leaflets, clarifying the situation in Greece, while others held a spontaneous demonstration, with banners and flares, near the Greek Consulate, which they «decorated” with posters against gold mining in Halkidiki.
In Dusseldorf, Germany, on Friday morning, protesters occupied the Greek consulate and hung a solidarity banner. 5 protesters were arrested by the police in front of the building, four of which were later released. The declaration on the occupation of the Consulate can be found here (German).
In Skopje, F.Y. Republic of Macedonia, protesters gathered in front of the greek embassy, holding a banner of solidarity with Halkidiki
In Belgrade, Serbia, solidarity slogans were spray-painted across the road from the Greek embassy.
In Brussels, Belgium, a solidarity group protested against Skouries by displaying with pride their “SOS Halkidiki” T-shirts.
In Sofia, Bulgaria, a large group of protesters gathered outside the Parliament to protest the mining offensive around the Balkans. Apart from Skouries, they gave visibility to the mining conflicts in Rosia Montana in Romania and Zlatitsa Etropolje in Bulgaria. They then marched to the Greek embassy, where they protested chanting slogans and displaying banners both in Bulgarian and Greek.
In Navarra, Spain protesters from Lakaba community targeted a local open-pit megnesite mine, which is incidentally has a Greek company as majority shareholder. They displayed a solidarity banner and they exchanged information with the residents of nearby villages that oppose the magnesite extraction.
In Nicosia, Cyprus, a solidarity banner was displayed.