Urban Gardening in Greece – a New Form of Protest
Orestes Kolokouris, Green European Journal
Guerrilla gardening and local consumer-producer networks are redefining life in today’s Greek cities. While the crisis has shifted politicians’ attention away from the climate, “transition and recovery movements” work hard to keep the environment on the agenda.
… Environmental politics were never well developed in Greece, but in the last years before the economic crisis the Greek environmental movement has had a short “renaissance”. First, there was the movement against the Olympic Games, which helped reinforce other local urban movements fighting to reclaim public spaces for societal use. Secondly, the massive series of forest fires in 2007 led to an increased public awareness about the causes and effects of global warming, which then led to the creation of new environmental grassroots movements (e.g. Green Attack, Bloggers, Guerrilla Gardeners etc.), and the reinforcement of the Greek Green Party that gained an MEP in the 2009 European elections. This in turn has led to the “greening” of the public discourse of other political parties (mainly Pasok and Syriza). Finally, the Greek riots of December 2008 and the participating youth movements have led to the creation of new social experiments around the social and solidarity economy, this involves the so called “transition and recovery movements” (movements aiming to transform economical activities and every-day life rather than to protest and reclaim changes from the authorities) or the theory of degrowth.
… Urban agriculture essentially did not exist until very recently in Greece. Its rapid development coincides with the rapid deterioration of living standards in Greek society in recent years due to the deep crisis. But it roots can be traced back to a few years earlier: to the first years of the 21st century, when small libertarian and alternative and ecological circles decided to experiment with this way of life.
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