A Letter from Greece
Taking Action in Times of Crisis
Skala Ecovillage is becoming a place of hope for people who are working on a perspective in the middle of the chaos. Anna Fillipou reports about the situation in the country.
«Nothing is like before» one of the signs of May ’68 seems to be written for Greece also today. The questions that everybody, who follows what is happening in Greece the last days are: “Was it really necessary this humiliation of the Greeks?", or as, Mat O'Bryan from Washington Post says: "Germany doesn't want to save Greece. It seems that wants to humiliate the country" «Humiliation»: one more word with heavy content, a word which corresponds with the meaning of inconsistency of the exchanges and the punishment. The resistance of a small country had to be stopped in a brutal and humiliating way, so that no other "different voice" can ever arise...
The new, the third Memorandum, has the signatures from the left party also and this is something that hurts everyone, who vote with the consciousness and with the heart the OXI (NO) on the referendum of the 5th of July. The self-critic that Prime Minister Tsipras made, when he spoke about mistakes, omissions, delusions and bad calculations is acceptable and lawful but it concerns the history and not the presence and also not the future. What it is needed now, is a plan, a new plan, which contains fantasy, knowledge and courage. The conviction that the representatives of International Bank Systems will negotiate with clear cards, honestly and not dishonestly has been proved catastrophically. Of course the conflict between Greece and the creditors brought into the surface and make visible in front of the eyes of millions of citizens all over the world, that E.U. has been transformed into an antidemocratic shape, which wares the straight-jacket of austerity and leads more and more to new historical separations and conflicts and allows the old ghost of fascism to arise again. But the short-termed and the middle-termed result for Greece is distractive and in this result contributed a lot the revengeful rage of the german elites. "The greek crisis could be the beginning of the end of Europe, as we knew it", is the title of an article and I think this is true also.
The last days in Greece are very intense. A Memorandum with the left signature has bigger power than a nuclear bomb. There is no coolness and the people feel deeply wounded. The frustration of the hope, the thrown down of the delusions and also the collapse of the image of the world as we knew it, brings a deep grief. And all these after some days of the "heroic No". Is it a defeat? A necessary winding? A capitulation? A treachery? Doesn't matter how you call it, the reality is that everyone has pain now, both the ones who support the agreement as the necessary bad and the ones who fight it and the last ones who still stay silent.
I feel more than ever that it is time to leave the old ways of thinking, acting, consuming, living and being and enter to the next scale. It is the time for a decision. I met a greek woman in the plane coming here and she told me, that the new agreement the only thing that does, is to set the decision for later. It is because the people they don't want to change now. That's what we all do, more or less. None wants to move from the well known and comfortable lifestyle. But we have to move, the global situation brings us closer to the question of the decision. We always make a decision. Also when we don't.
You asked me, all the other old and new friends, how you could help us. We thank you very deeply from the heart for your compassion, for the political engagement, for the solidarity.
After the GEN Summit, we came back in Greece with so many offers and possibilities and first of all we had to write them down and to represent to the core group of our community. We are all deeply touched from the resonance of the people. On the train, traveling back to Edinburgh, we had the opportunity to travel with Jay Abrahams and we had plenty of time to show him our land in Google earth and to speak with more details about the proposal of the summer gathering in August 22-29, where the main focus will be the permaculture design of the Skala ecovillage. Thank you also Bernd for your offer to help and to cooperate with Jay in this process.
The weekend after, 29-30 will have the Network Meeting and we hope that many representatives of different initiatives will join. We work at the moment on the preparation of the summer and the network meeting. We could host easily 50-70 people. There is also an offer from Matthew Slater, to come with his girlfriend for two weeks in October and help us on the new economics, alternative currency etc. There are already some people here in Greece, who work on that issue and have built some structure, so we would like also to come in contact with them and see how we could cooperate.
An other offer is from Frands Frydendal, Denmark, to come and share knowledge about Sociocracy. Achim Ecker can show us how to make terra preta.
Thank you all!
Me and Nikiforos, we are also looking for an answer and understand that it is time for radical decisions. There are many proposal for help, but what we think that is really needed is to create together a possibility for an autonomous decentralized community, which can allow us to live in dignity and in solidarity, when the old economical, ecological and social system collapses.
Help us with your knowledge in economical, ecological, social, technological level to turn the damages of the crisis into a possibility, for the benefit of all.
We believe, the best help would be to help us to "transform" Skala Ecovillage into a realistic, self-sufficient and sustainable international "peace garden". In Greece the issue of intentional communities is very new, but is so needed! As I said also to the emergency group, we have a 4 hectares land, next to a stream, where we want to create meaningful works, gardens, a technological park and an education - Network-Knowledge-Center for sharing the knowledge, a place for art and festivals and a home, if they wish, also for the Global Campus, an international garden for peace. Greece is located geopolitically in a corner of the world, where 3 continents, 3 big religious and many different cultures come together. It could turn into a acupuncture point for peace.
A bit upper of the first piece of land, there is another land, 2 hectares, all around forest, where we have our houses and the intimate social space.
How it would be to create a prototype project, where we could combine the knowledge about permaculture design, that means sustainability, (food and water for all) with the soft technology (Nikiforos and Petros will come in Tamera in August and they will bring the solar technology from J. Kleinwaechter together with other technologies, that we are already practicing here) and the social knowledge from our communities and friends? If this vision comes reality, what an opening and a perspective could be for many people and initiatives!
Together with us (Anna and Nikiforos) there are at the moment other 6 adults and 6 children, who are ready for the experiment of community. And there are many others, who are watching very carefully, what we are doing and waiting for the next step. Normally it needs a lot of time till the people become a taste of community and all the social context. But we have to go fast and parallel deep and respectful. It would be great, also very important for us, if people with social skills also decide to come and stay with us for a period.
More concrete, what we need is:
- People with passion, knowledge, and skills in all levels (technology, ecology, community building, network etc) to come here and together with us to create a good fundament for an alternative social proposal (autonomy community).
- Financial support for buying the materials we need for all these projects.
Food and accommodation, network connections, sharing the vision, political work, so that we together can create a prototype for crisis areas, which maybe can be very helpful for the next years.
We could start in August, during the summer gathering with the permaculture design and the network meeting, continuing in September in Crete, taking part in the Academy of sustainability by seynetwork and sharing the vision of ecovillages with other initiatives and the University of Crete, in October we participate in Solidarity and social economy Festival in Athens, and parallel creating trust in the community and continuing building the project...
As Manitonquat writes: "From all the creatures on this planet we are the ones, who can bring changes. It is time to bring together the human creativity and the use of tools, we make, with our deepest nature and our sense of what is existential and holy".
Thank you for the partnership and the solidarity,