4 July 2002
Only one word can describe last night in Cyprus: insurrection.
But let’s take the facts from the beginning. Last Sunday the green party made a call for a road block at the English base from where Britain carries out much of its slaughter, because they were due to start construction to erect yet another giant radio listening antenna to add to the already existing ones which cover a large area. These antenna do not only create an environmental hazard, they health problems to the people who live nearby and beyond.
The greens set up camp at the entrance to the base, but the only ones who accepted their call were some anarchists of the Cyprus group. The latter had attended a meeting by the villagers that afternoon where they had decided to come to the base the next day at dawn and attack the convoy. The anarchists spent the night outside the base preparing to attack along with the villagers when they arrived. During the night the place was surrounded by cops. Monday morning the villagers failed to turn up to the appointment. Threats and bribes had been successful in keeping them away. (The base covers a large area which has destroyed the land, and puts itself up as the only source of income for the locals.) The demonstrastors present had nothing left to do but block the entrance to the bulldozers etc that had arrived to begin work.
When clashes began the road was closed completely. After an ultimatum from the English army, special forces cops arrived on the scene and violently attacked the demonstrators, opening up the road again. They also arrested one comrade. He was released one hour later after being charged. Meanwhile the construction of the antenna had begun.
The afternoon of the next day, Monday, there was a demonstration of discontented from the communist party of Cyprus AKEL at the scene of the construction. The AKEL’s intentions were obvious: on the one hand the party tried to keep a ‘revolutionary’ profile because of the approaching elections and on the other hand they wanted to gain leadership of the whole struggle, keeping it within the lines of political ‘legality’, i.e. symbolic passivity.
But it seems that some others had a different opinion! A few moments before the demo stopped 100 yards from the base, anarchists (carrying a banner ‘Death to the Base of Death’, and giving our lealfets in Greek and English), ecologists, young people with motorbikes, etc, marched right up to the gates now guarded by SBA riot police and English soldiers with shields and batons etc. Some members of the communist party who wanted to keep going like the others didn’t do so because their party didn’t give them permission! Slogans were shouted and there were some skirmishes with the cops. But after that we saw that we couldn’t stand up to them because we were so few compared to them. After a quick discussion with the others present it was decided to leave. The English dominators and their henchmen thought that the night was over. But the poor guys got it wrong.
Anarchists and young rebels very quickly gave themselves an appointment at a specific spot and after a quick organisational discussion, returned to the base. The night was a celebration. There was a battle with the cops who received a storm of stones, molotovs and pieces of wood. During the continuous attack from the cops, the furious demonstrators started burning the place everywhere to hold them back. Everybody was very well self-organised, especially during the retreat, driving in convoy around the base in open trucks spilling over with young people, cars, motorbikes, lit by the wide beams of the military helicopters above. When the rebels attacked part of the police station was burned, buildings, a car and a sentry box near the base were also burned. The moments that took place are indescribable. At one point the whole convoy drove to the nearest petrol station and filled up a few crates of empty beer bottles to continue the attack. Some were thinking how many planes had taken off from this place, and how many bodies of humiliated people had been dismembere: that was enough for us to want to burn it all!
Here it should be said that there were none of the patriotic flags that had been so evident in the riot the year previously when a right wing deputy was arrested when a previous antenna was erected – now it was a question of people rebelling for themselves. Needless to say, the press reported this present attack as an act of ‘hooligans’.
Finally three arrests were made. Two young guys and another comrade were arrested from the base area, by the Cypriot cops, because they declared they didn’t stop at a check point. Later all the accused were released
Comrades, something very strong has begun here, and whoever says that insurrections are not happening, just needs to see what happened last night on this island, where apathy and indifference are widespread.
DEATH TO THE BASE OF DEATH. DEATH TO THE BASE OF THE DOMINATORS.