#Skouries: branding the local community a criminal organization

Tolis Papageorgiou

Prominent Greek environmental activist Tolis Papageorgiou is due to appear in court today 07 July 2014. Together with 28 co-defendants, Papageorgiou faces charges of establishing a criminal organization and instigating violence for his action against ore mining in north-eastern Halkidiki, in particular in the Skouries forest, that has over the past two years become emblematic of the situation.

A civil engineer by profession, Papageorgiou hails from Ierissos, the village at the epicentre of the resistance movement to mining. After a successful career in Thessaloniki, he chose to return to his hometown in the early 1990s, when it became clear that ore mining was set to be expanded to such levels that the whole of north-eastern Halkidiki, a region of exceptional natural beauty and biodiversity, was to be transformed into an industrial wasteland, leading to the utter destruction of its delicate ecosystem and, consequently, of its society and culture.

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#rbnews international show 08 June 2013: Freedom of the press in Greece (or lack thereof)

This week, on the occasion of the upcoming appeals trial of Kostas Vaxevanis, the journalist who was arrested and tried once already in November 2012 for publishing the Lagarde list in his magazine HOT DOC, the #rbnews international show focused on the issue of freedom of the press in Greece. We were able to interview Kostas Vaxevanis himself, but also Dimitris Trimis, chairman of the Athens Daily Newspaper Editors’ Union, Marios Lolos,  chairman of the Greek Photojournalists’ Union, and his colleague Tatiana Bolari, and Angélique Kourounis, a correspondent for various French-speaking media in Athens, who also acts as the local representative of Reporters Without Borders. This show is part of a series prepared by the radiobubblenews team, which will carry on across the coming week and will seek to discuss the various impediments to the realization of this essential democratic liberty.

You can listen to the podcast, as usual, after the jump.

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Amnesty International: the situation of human rights in Greece is deteriorating

Posted by @IrateGreek

The Greek chapter of Amnesty International organized a press conference to present the organization’s annual report in front of the Aliens’ Department in Athens today. This symbolic choice reflects Amnesty’s key findings about the situation of human rights in Greece in 2013:

“Allegations of human rights abuses by police, including torture and excessive use of force continued throughout the year. Migrants and asylum seekers faced impediments in registering their asylum applications and were often detained in substandard conditions. Hate crime on the basis of race and ethnicity escalated dramatically.”

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Developments in Skouries 12 May 2013

Clashes took place again this morning in north-eastern Halkidki where residents are protesting against logging activities by mining company Hellas Gold in the basin of the Karatzas stream near the Skouries forest.

According to the antigoldgreece blog, these new developments come ahead of a planned meeting tomorrow morning between the Residents’ Committees Against Mining and the leadership of the regional police to examine the validity of operational permits held by the mining company for logging activities in the Karatzas area. Also invited to the meeting are the head of the municipal forestry authority and the head of the department of urban planning, who still have to reply to a denunciation of possibly illegal construction activities by the company in the Skouries forest.

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A timeline of fascist activity in Greece over the past year

On the occasion of the anniversary of the May 2012 elections, in which Greece’s neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn entered parliament with 7% of the vote, @galaxyarchis prepared a timeline of the most important events related to the rise of fascism in modern Greece.Translated by @IrateGreek

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The #MAT1236 photo exhibition in Finland (videos)

Posted by @IrateGreek

The photo exhibition #MAT1236 about the brutality of the Greek police opened on 02 May 2013 in Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. Greek activist Anna Gartagani sent to us videos from the inauguration and the panel discussion that took place after the opening. You can watch them after the jump.

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