Ecotopia Biketour 2014 will visit Halkidiki, Skouries

Ecotopia  Biketour 2014 will visit  the gold mines in Halkidiki, Greece to show solidarity with  the local people in their struggle against the gold mining company.

ecotopia

 Each year, people travel on a new route for two months or parts of it. They visit places of alternative living, hotspots of environmental and social struggle or community life. The tour naturally often is part of Critical Mass rides, joins action camps on the road or visits ecological farms. Some topics are food sovereignty, sustainable economics, energy or global justice. Meetings and travelling together create room to exchange ideas, skills and experiences, and to learn experientially from cultures, from challenges, and from each other.

Ecotopia Biketour is an eco-mobile do-it-yourself community that has been practising aspects of activism, alternative ways of organising and sustainable living throughout different areas of Europe for over 20 years.  This summer, tour starts on the 10th of July from Sofia, Bulgaria, passes different countries and ends on the 30th of September in Athens, Greece. You can see the whole program here.

Last year the Ecotopia Biketour started in Berlin and after several stops it ended at Rosia Montana, Romania, where the local people are fighting against the open pit mine. Also  this year the biketour will continue to support people fighting against the large scale mining by travelling to Thessaloniki/ Skouries area where an open pit mine is about to open.

The investment plan for Skouries includes an open pit mine (700m length & 200m depth), a tunnel for ore transport, 25 kilometres of underground mines (under the open pit), deforestation of  2.500 acres of an ancient forest, two evaporation basins, storages and facilities.  The consequences for the ecosystem, the local economy and the health of the citizens will be catastrophic. Therefore, the inhabitants are struggling against the ‘’investment plan’’ and the mining company  Hellas Greece, who is owned by Eldorado Gold by 95%. Hellas has already started operations: “ Legal” deforestation and illegal buildings.

Local people have fought for years with peaceful means , facing police violence but they continue t he struggle to save their land from being destroyed. Joining Ecotopia Biketour, people can join the local anti-gold-mining struggle in the area. There will be discussions and common actions with locals from SOS Halkidiki.

  • 12th-13th August – Doirani, Greece

The Biketour will camp by lake Doirani and have discussions with people from the local SOS Kilkis group, which struggle against a proposed gold mining project in the area. Find more info on Hellenic Mining Watch.

  • 28th-31st August – Ierissos and Megali Panagia, Halkidiki, Greece 

The Biketour will join the local anti-gold-mining struggle in the area, where preparations for the setting up of an open pit gold-mine are underway. There will be discussions and common actions with locals from SOS Halkidiki as well as solidarian supporters from Thessaloniki and further afield.

Some CATAPISTAS  would like take part in Ecotopia Biketour 2014. While CATAPA earlier only has worked on mining in Latin America, CATAPISTAS feel the importance to fight against gold mines in Europe, too. Mining does not stop where the global South begins!

If you participate with Ecotopia Biketour, we would be happy to hear your experiences! If you want to report about the gold mines and the struggles of people there, we can help to spread the information. And when you have read this: Spread the word and tell your network about www.ecotopiabiketour.net

Panagiota Kourfali