Assesment of the 11th of May Demonstration in Ioannina against hydrocarbon extraction
The second large demonstration against hydrocarbon extraction in Epirus, Ionian Sea, Crete, Peloponnese and Western Greece took place on Saturday, 11th of May, at Ioannina. It was the second grand demonstration in 2019 after the demonstration of 21st of February in Athens. The demonstration, which was organized by the Open Assembly in Ioannina, the Coordination of Collectives in Ioannina and Citizen’s Initiatives from Athens, Preveza, Arta, Lefkas, the Open Assembly of Kefallonia and Ithaca, S.O.S. Kyparissiakos and Fossil Free Corfu, was supported by thousands of people, as well as a lot of collectives and organizations from every corner of Epirus and Greece, reaching a total sum of 2500 protestors. The large numbers, along with the diversity, the pluralism and militancy of the demonstration have shown that the movement against extractions is growing to a point that it can no longer be ignored anymore by States and the energy super companies that are involved in this pharaonic project.
The success of the demonstration is obvious, for those that were there and experienced it first hand, for the public of Ioannina that witnessed the demonstration and for those that saw the respective photos and videos. Despite all the events of the day, nothing was able to move the local press that did not print even a sentence on the subject, or the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) that, although it did cover the events with camera crews, did not run the story for 4 days and the rest of the nation-wide media that ignored the demonstration. The concealment effort of such a large and constantly growing movement that by now has taken nation-wide characteristics, is one of the best known media and corporation tactics for the manipulation of the public opinion. Of course, the repressive tactics do not end at this point: the next day, Sunday, in Ioannina and Lefkas, illegal arrests and strong-arm tactics took place against members of the anti-extraction movement, that had the intention of declaring their opposition in the face of the Prime Minister.
The, up to this day, mobilizations and demonstrations of the anti-extraction movement, have clearly shown it’s democratic approach. It is also obvious that this is a grassroots movement that engages in direct democracy and, hence, not manipulable from the authorities and the companies. The Saturday demonstration has also proven a general disposition to stop the extractions nation-wide and to at last be given to the public the right to decide according to it’s own needs. The myths of “growth” are crumbling, dragging along them the whole of humanity and the planet. Any solution within the context of this system will be just another catastrophe for the majority of the citizens of any nation. It is time to end to the destruction of the environment and livelihood for the profits of the few. It is time to take matters into our own hands, without any kind of mediation and representation.
We invite every one to participate in the Open Assembly at Wednsday 22nd of May at 19.00 at the Free Social Centre Alimoura (Aravandinou Str. 6) in order to commonly decide our next mobilizations inside the city and at the countryside where the hydrocarbon explorations take place.