Corfu garbage-dump protest followup: renewed barricades met with plastic bullets by greek riot-police

20 days after the battle between residents of Lefkimi township in south Corfu and the riot-police over the construction of an open garbage-dump, renewed mobilisation of the residents is once again being met with repression and arbitrary punitive measures such as inhibiting farmers from accessing their fields.

Submitted by taxikipali on June 17, 2008

Last Saturday, 14/6/2008, the residents of the south Corfu town of Lefkimi have resumed their mobilisation against the building of an open garbage-dump (XYTA) meant to accomodate refuse from the tourist-rich north of the island. After lengthy direct-democratic discussions, the town's "People's Council" has decided to refuse the mediation of political parties and demand the immediate departure of the riot police forces (MAT) stationed in their area since the last street battles (29/5) which led to the death of a 42 year old mother, an event that has triggered solidarity protest marches across the country. "No dialogue can even start while our town is under occupation", claimed the residents identifying the riot police with the nazi forces of the 40s.

The situation escalated once again, when on Monday the 16th of June, faced with the government's refusal of their terms, the residents of Lefkimi errected once again barricades in an effort to inhibit construction of the new refuse unit. The renewed mobilisation of the residents who put up flaming barricades was met with ruthless repression during which the riot-police used tear gas and, for the first time in recent greek history, plastic bullets. Four residents and 3 policemen have been wounded during the clashes. The use of tear-gas inside the village of Melitia after the end of the clashes has been described as "punitive" putting in danger the health of elderly and ill residents. Residents also accuse the police of inhibiting farmers from accessing their fields, thus endangering the summer harvest which comprises their livelihood. The situation in the area remains tense.