in English / Δελτία Τύπου

Press Release

Press Release


Ierissos 7/3/2013

Riot police storm the village of Ierissos once again

Local communities of North Eastern Chalkidiki in Greece are once again in turmoil. This morning, amidst unclear reports that local residents were being detained and/or arrested, at least 6 squads of riot police arrived at the entrance of the village of Ierissos – home of about 3000 residents. At 11 am, while a large number of residents had gathered, the riot police began shooting large quantities of teargas. As people started to pull back, continuing the use of tear gas, the riot police chased the large crowd of men and women of all ages backwards towards the village square.

The riot police stopped at the main gate of the Ierissos high school, where teachers and students alike were starting to feel the effects of the tear gas that the wind was bringing to the school building and school yard. Having barricaded the school entrance, the riot police then shot canisters of teargas into the school yard. Panic ensued as students could not breath. Several fainted and doctors’ assistance from the nearby medical center was called for. The doctor was blocked from passing the riot police lines for quite some time – the entrance into the school yard was made possible after the intense objections of people in the road. It was yet some more time before parents were allowed into the school to take their children home and busses were allowed to take students from other villages back to their homes.

Which police force of a democratic state raids a village with chemicals and teargas in front of a school full of students during school hours? What kind of police force blocks a doctor’s entrance into a school full of students, whose classrooms are full of teargas?

At this time, residents’ houses are being searched by men of special police forces in the presence of judicial officials. They are accompanied by buses of riot police, while other buses remain barricading the entrance of Ierissos. Members of Parents Associations are at the local police station in order to file a report of todays’ events at Ierissos high school.
The police forces are lined up at the entrance of Ierissos opposite local residents. Opposite local residents who are struggling for their lives, their health and that of their children.

From the besieged village Ierissos, we send a message of resistance and struggle. We will not allow the targeting and the criminalization of a social struggle as the one we are fighting.

This social struggle is resilient and will prevail.

Coordinating Committee of Associations of Stageira-Akanthos
against gold mining in Halkidiki

For background information on the issue, visit http://soshalkidiki.worpress.com