Clashes break out again over XYTA construction between locals and riot police with three protesters arrested.
New clashes between locals of Grammatico and riot police forces broke out in the morning of Friday 17/7 when the locals, opposed to the construction of an open refuse dump (XYTA) in the vicinity of their villages, moved to break the riot police blockade of the construction site and block company vehicles from replacing the ones that they had torched last week when their environmental struggle begun. Locals were met by the usual brute force of Greek riot policemen leading to extended clashes. During the clashes three individuals were arrested including the mayor of Mavro Vouno (Black Mountain) village. Tension in the area remains high.
At the same time as railway workers continue their labour struggle, by extending their rolling stoppages into the next week, large portions of the national highway remain closed by peach-producing farmers who are demanding negotiations with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Meanwhile in the legal front of the government’s struggle against the antagonistic social movement, the latest law imposing compulsory DNA sampling from people accused of breaches of the law that are punished by three months imprisonment or more (virtually all breaches of the law bring forth such penalty in Greece), as well as the new law that allows camera recordings of protest marches without judicial order, were attacked by the Athens Lawyer Society (DSA), the most authoritative legal body in the country, as anti-constitutional for breaching the right to public protest and privacy.
The DSA claimed that DNA sampling should only be allowed in cases of murder and organised crime. At the same time the ruling of the DA General, and known junta sympathiser, Mr Sanidas on the lifting of internet secrecy, allowing police to spy on blogs, websites and e-mails, was attacked by the Independent Authority of Information Privacy as breaching the right to private and secret communication. The Authority ruled that blogs comprise items of ‘electronic press’ and thus fall under constitutional freedom of press rights.
Both rulings come as a slap in the face of the government eager to strip all civil rights after the December Uprising. The government’s resolve to break all rules to impose its illegitimate might was proved once again earlier this week when it suddenly sacked the head of the Greek Intelligence Service (EYP), in order to replace him with Mr Papagelopoulos, a leading legal figure of the anti-terrorist bureau whose house was attacked with an arson mechanism last February. The move has caused widespread outrage as it actually comes only days after EYP provided with one of its rare public successes in breaking up a big mafia ring with close connections to police and prison authorities as well as government officials. The replacement is seen as a hard-line move in the wake of ever increasing urban guerrilla activity in Athens.
The latest urban guerrilla attack, the bomb explosion in the house of ex- Army chief and the acting Minister of Public Order during the December Uprising, was claimed with a communiqué by the Fire Cells, announcing the group’s “operational upgrading”; the Fire Cells’ action had been until now limited to sweeping arson attacks against police stations and other capitalist and state targets.