Members of two anti-mining groups from Halkidiki and Thessaloniki held a protest rally in central Thessaloniki on Saturday in support of 21 people accused of participating in the torching of a goldmine in Halkidiki, who are expected to appear before the court on Monday.
In February 2013, dozens of masked intruders raided Canadian company Eldorado Gold’s subsidiary “Hellenic Gold’s” operation in northern Greece setting fire to machinery, vehicles and offices.
Activists held banners that read “We are fighting for the future of our land and they’re dragging us to courts” and “Society is on trial.” They also held large black balloons on which they had written the words “asbestos,” “cyanide,” “toxic dust,” “quartz.” Some participants tied themselves around a large tree trunk laid on a farm vehicle and crossed the city center.
“On Monday, Thessaloniki’s court will hear from the alleged perpetrators of the arson in Skouries and society must stand by those people,” Aristotelis mayor Giorgos Zoumbas said. “They are accused of participating in a movement against the irrational expansion of mining activity.”
A new protest rally is planned for Monday, outside Thessaloniki’s courthouse.