Pitched battles over open refuse dump outside Athens

local harrassed by riot cops

Pitched battles between locals of Grammatico, outside Athens, and riot police forces over the construction of an open refuse damp with locals digging trenches, building barricades and torching bulldozers; scores have been wounded as battles continue amidst spreading fires.

Submitted by taxikipali on July 7, 2009

More than 1500 locals of the Black Mountain village of Grammatico, outside Athens, have erected barricades and dug trenches in order to stop the beginning of an open refuse damp (XYTA) construction in their area. The locals torched the company's bulldozers after riot police forces arrested and beat the resisting mayor, refusing to take him to the hospital to treat his wounds.

One of the local council members has been declared: "There are fires everywhere and strong police forces. We are afraid of a massacre. The police is using brutal force and we have scores of wounded citizens. The riot police forces (MAT) have reached our last barricade. If they manage to cross it, then the situation will be out of control. However this will prove hard, as it is our strongest barricade. We have dug the earth planting tractors and bulldozers in it. All the village is here and is ready to fight". Four people have been arrested during the clashes, and several policemen have been wounded by projectiles. The fire brigade has deployed 3 airplane, 3 helicopters and over 15 fire engines in order to fight the fires caused by the riot police mindless use of tear gas and "blast and flash" grenades.

Local resistance has been predictably condemned as extremist by the mayor of Athens, and old-time founder of a fascist party, Nikitas Kaklamanis.

The construction of XYTA around the country has created a chain of violent environmental struggles, whose prototype is Lefkimmi, a Corfu village which has been resisting State plans for 18 months, losing one comrade in the battles with the police.