” The dam and the works in Mesochora will be completed by the end of 2010. It has been completed almost 100%. The operation will begin in 2012 and will bring a profit of EUR 30,000,000. We only need to overcome the obstacle of the State Council”. This is what the Minister for the Environment declared in mid-July 2010 concerning the crime against the ecosystem of Acheloos from the pharaonic-like construction projects on the upstream and the total destruction from the attempted diversion of the river in Thessaly. They consider only the quantity of water diverted without reference to the destruction of the ecosystem of the river from its source in southern Pindos to the delta at the mouth of the Ionian Sea.
Acheloos shapes in the areas its waters run through for thousands of years a unique ecosystem with rich biodiversity in flora and fauna, which is directly dependent on its natural flow. It is a major factor in the quality of life of the communities on its banks and beyond the urban perimeter.
After the changes on the lower watercourse of Acheloos in the recent years with the creation of monstrous dams, waste disposal from small and large companies and silt, fertilizers and pesticides from industrialized agricultural production, the “boxing” of a great portion of it, ¨green¨ development of dams and the diversion of the upper reaches of the river, here they come again to complete the disaster. To give the final blow to the Acheloos, by escalating its looting
The capitalists, using as a trojan horse the ideology of “green” growth, continue their disastrous invasion, ignoring the impact on the natural environment and society. They count in euros the capital gain from the looting and prepare a new wave of attacks on nature and man.
In times of crisis of capitalism, political and economic bosses claim as a way-out the false ideology of green development, intending the continuation and deepening of the plundering of nature and society, the restructuring of state and economy under the tutelage of the EU and IMF
Although local initiatives are essential to the dynamics and evolution of this fight, their absence or decline would not mean a stop of the fight, especially since it is not a narrow local environmental issue but a central political issue.
This unprecedented attack that is already planned, will turn to disaster areas forests, mountains, lakes, seas, rivers across the country. The colonialism of capital on public land in every corner of the globe will wreak death and misery to local communities and the transnational bosses will be the ones to gain the wealth from this looting. On the one hand, the billions will accumulate and continue to be capitalized from multinational companies, while on the other hand society, immersed in the middle ages in matters of work, will produce in conditions of modern slavery all this wealth.
Today, the already existing diversion projects for Acheloos, whose completion has been stopped four times so far by the Council of State, is presented as works of “green” development. In essence, big construction companies pillage everything under the protection of the state like conquerors, giving their local fellow partners tidbits of the spoils and giving the local populations promises.
Here comes forth the contribution of the social movements and the importance of social struggle in defense of nature. Not expecting anything substantial from the institutional brokers, we are organizing from below the resistance and we are setting up our levees to stem the assault of state and capital in order to strengthen the ties of solidarity and camaraderie of those fighting and to synthesize our principles and our positions in the direction towards the comprehensive choice of breaking up with the power and antisocial requirements. Although local initiatives are essential to the dynamics and evolution of this fight, their absence or decline would not mean a stop of the fight, especially since it is not a narrow local environmental issue but a central political issue.
Understanding Acheloos as part of the natural world that was looted from the state and capital, common belief of those found from 2007 in Mesochora, was to intervene precisely where destructive activities evolve and contribute to the revival of the struggle against dams and the diversion of the river. In contrast, a logic that wants the fight to confine itself and move away from the point of dams and the diversion of the river where it was focused until now, we think it clearly constrains the fight’s potential, becoming a disastrous choice, one step before admitting a defeat this thinking itself will lead us to.
The residents of Mesochora, since 1990 chose the dignified way of resistance, and it’s up to them to continue today. Against the local authority (mayors and prefects) and interests of the Public Electricity Company (DEI), the state and construction companies, but also beyond partisan and institutional logics that cultivate illusions – such as that the solution is the demand for the creation of a separate environment ministry – that lead to compromise, fatalism and resignation in the face of an imminent demise of the area.
From our side, seeking the radicalization, expansion and coordination of social struggle from below, we stand in solidarity alongside those who struggle collectively against the plundering of nature. And we consider our fighting presence in the area where the crime of the dams and the river diversion, as necessary and useful for the development and deployment of both the struggle to defend the Acheloos and local communities in its upper reaches, and for the protection of the natural world and society in its totality.
So, after a series of coordinated events and interventions throughout the year in Athens, Patras, Ioannina, Agrinio, Trikala, Karditsa, Larissa and other cities, we are once again for the fourth year on the banks of the Acheloos, in Mesochora in autonomous meeting for the fight.
Against the green development, the dams and the diversion of Acheloos
Against the looting of nature. Fight for Land and Freedom
Independent Meeting for the Fight
(Self-managed hangout, Agrinio / Comrades from Arta, Trikala / Initiative for the fight for Land and Freedom, from Strefi’s Hill, Athens)
Mesochora, Trikala Prefecture, 4-10 August 2010