Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2500 souls ....

I know, I know... it's been over a month since I've posted, but I do have a good excuse. I'm still campaigning against the gas pipeline and factory which has been planned to be built in this area. So, with that in mind, I have a new article for you today. It's a post I added to my greek blog (read it here) .

2500 souls live here, in the area I reside in. It was my decision to stay here. Aside from the problems, I insisted that this was the place where I could raise my children without having to force them to work around my routine, without imprisoning them within four walls, without being afraid of what my parents were afraid of, when they were bringing us up in a town. On Saturday, 2500 souls remained glued to their TVs as the minister of development announced that here, in this village, on this unspoilt land, in this paradise, they would be building factories, natural gas compressors, he stated, as it is important that our country become an energy link to Europe. Such magnificent words, and they sound so important, but did anyone ask me?

What difference does it make to me if Italy needs Natural Gas, when our planet is begging us to stop overloading it with our excessive lifestyles? What difference does it make if international agreements give us strategic power? Did anyone ask us? As long as I have lived here, I have watched the people battle for a better future. During the summer months the hotels and beaches are filled with people. Nature lovers from all over the world come here to enjoy the things they don't have in their own countries... the fresh sea air, the crystal clear waters, the hidden natural treasures. From every part of the village they can see the Ionian sea stretch out before them and the only thing that can be seen stirring the waters , are the boats. Winters are hard, but in spite of the difficulties 2500 souls choose to stay here and keep struggling. Tell me now, what can we do? Tell me now who will fight for us? Who will protect our rights, our property, our choices, our children? Faced with something of such national importance!! Faced with decisions that are taken behind closed doors. Faced with companies who contradict themselves in every statement they make. Faced with interest that my mind does not dare to imagine. Who? You could say that I don't believe in development. No, Sirs, not when you want to destroy a place so significant to me and all those who live here. Not when you want to erase our dreams from your maps. Not when you play games with human lives. Who told you that you could build factories next to homes, schools, lush green mountains, and clear waters.

You can say whatever you want, but one truth remains. We have the right to speak out. We have the right to live. We have the right to fight anything unjust, however no ministry, no company has the right to destroy dreams and lives.

The photograph shows the area chosen for construction.

(Forgive me if I have become tiring over this matter)