In Ovriokastro village church bells rang, and sirens and megaphones called the residents to rush to the road blocks on the outskirts of the town. “We are getting attacked!” the voice was warning through the megaphones, while the shrilling sound of municipality sirens was sending waves of goosebumps to men and women, old and young. Cause for the alarm was a convoy of police cars, fire brigades trucks, several riot police squads and heavy excavators nearing Keratea. The area where residents oppose the establishment of a land fill.
Video: sirens, megaphones
The alarm rang at 3:30 pm and ended in a row full of tear gas and flying stones. The residents hurled stones and Molotov cocktail bombs against the police, the police answered with tear gas and stun grenades. Two hours later the tear gassed area resembled a battle field with no winners or losers as the state rejects the dialogue and the locals insist not to step back. Currently the situation is still explosive.
Video: residents, tear gas
The tension in Keratea started today in the early morning hours when an excavator was set on fire. The excavator was to be used to remove rubble set by locals in order to block the main landroad and prohibit digging machines to reach the area.
The residents of Keratea in the southeast part of Attica basin oppose a planned landfill. The government and the relevant ministries refuse the dialogue with the locals with the effect that riot police squads have been stationed in the area for more than 3 months.
Last week, Greek Minister of Culture and Tourism was protested in an Europa Parliament event and protesters were demanding the withdrawal of police forces from Keratea.
No, it is not Gaza, it is not Diyarbakir. It’s not even the Asterix village resisting the Roman occupation. It it just the Keratea residents fighting without the magic potion. The series takes place 50 km SE of Athens, the capital of a modern EU member state, the Hellenic Republic.