Antonis is the Founder and Editor of Ecoclub.

treating a coffee spill

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Magic Anavra (catabra)

Magic Anavra (catabra)
Anavra (Ανάβρα - 780 m asl, pop 1,000) is a mountain village and municipality on the slopes of mount Othrys, in the middle of peninsular Greece, in Magnesia prefecture near Almyros. (Map). What is so special about it? Occupied by the descendants of nomadic Sarakatsani , it enjoys 0% unemployment at a time of crisis and reactionary IMF-imposed austerity in Greece, and one of the few mountain villages where the population is steadily growing. It produces its own renewable energy with the highest Wind farm in Greece (at 1600 mt) at Alogorahi (“Horse’s Ridge”). It has a latest technology - certified Municipal Slaughter House (which sounds a bit scary but at least the meat is organic and free range although at the detriment of mountain vegetation), some 15,000 goats and sheep and an equal number of cows and swines. Also, a municipal Museum of Stockraising (no suprise there), a municipal (free)...
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solidarity tourists vs. pirates

Piracy in international waters is on the rise in recent years... Latest example in the eastern Med. Against peace activists, solidarity tourists, from over 50 countries. With a still unknown number of victims. In solidarity, follow this link to a Gaza strip guide by a Palestinian NGO working in alternative tourism, and this link by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism, to read about all the great sights we cannot currently visit in Gaza, the world’s largest open air prison.
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'don't get caught in a bad hotel'

  8 May 2010, San Francisco: a "flashmob" infiltrates the Westin St. Francis hotel and performs an adaptation of a popular song, to draw attention to a boycott called by the hotel workers demanding a fair contract and affordable healthcare. More details about boycotted hotels can be found at: http://www.hotelworkersrising.org/HotelGuide/boycott_list.php
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going astray

Recently there was a report in the Guardian about Kanellos 'the (Athenian) Protest Dog' intrepid follower of the demonstrators, always taking their side:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2010/may/06/greece-protest?picture=362290874 The truth is that this is Kanellos II, as the legendary one passed away in 2008. They are both named after Kanella meaning Cinammon due to their colour. Looking at old and new pictures, possibly there are more than one Kanellos at any time, and there is also another one called Loukanikos ("Sausage") In the centre of Athens there are many friendly stray dogs, which were neutered and tagged in the run up to the 2004 Olympics (aka the developers 12bn feast). The original organizers plan was to send them to the kennel and then probably "euthanize" them but there were protests and they dropped the plan. Near victims of the same policies that brought their biped fellow citizens to this point, they have a rightful place in...
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reviving old monuments...

reviving old monuments...
May 4th: This morning bemused tourists wishing to visit the Acropolis were met with a giant banner complete with hammer & sickle asking the Peoples of Europe to Rise Up. It was the first day of a two day strike called by the public sector unions in response to massive layoffs and a 15% paycut imposed by the IMF and EU in return for providing loans to Greece. Surely a novel way of making old monuments interesting for visitors. Acerbic, conservative readers of the global north will think that "old monuments" also refers to communism/socialism and that it is the latter that is revived through such activism. Perhaps, and something similar may also happen in their own sleepy cities (this week there was even a rare demonstration on Wall Street!), but the popular movement is very much alive in Athens, a city that by accident or tradition perenially finds itself in...
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utopia found?

utopia found?
Marinaleda (pop. 2700) a town 100 km east of Seville, in southern Spain near Gibraltar, where:  - local people rent 3-bedroom-houses with garden from the municipality for Euros 15 per month - inhabitants successfully expropriated a 3,000 acre estate a Duke in 1991 enjoy near full employment in a region with over 20% unemployment, with 8 agricultural cooperatives, equal pay (Euros 47 per day) and 6 and a half hour working day! - Sánchez Gordillo, the keffiye-wearing, 54 year old mayor has been democratically elected every 4 years for the past 30 years! - there are no policemen - 'no need' according to the mayor - nor priests, as all have access to a modern health centre, schools, nursery sports centre, home services for the elderly, a pensioners’ centre, a large cultural centre, a swimming pool, a football stadium, a nature park and gardens, and workshops  from bricklaying to ecological agriculture....
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Greece as a black hole?

You may be reading about the latest developments in the saga of whether IMF will 'rescue' Greece, the way they have 'rescued' so many countries in the past. The Euro is already under great strain from the weight of the Greek debt / deficit (real or imaginary), and theoretically at least, there is a chance for us to do some damage to the world financial system (the question is how :-)  Popular protests are a bit lukewarm by our standards at least (20,000 people marching in total yesterday, divided as always into many factions) and there is no short-term novel / alternative / constructive idea floating around apart from a 'NO' to the reactionary changes put forward from the 'Socialist' government to please the insatiable markets. In the mean time, real unemployment is estimated at about 18% and together with the steady rise of the far right and continuing mass immigration...
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Listen, researcher!

Following a call for reviews, I came across a recent publication, provocatively titled and promoted as follows: "Sex Tourism in Africa Kenya's Booming Industry" Illustrated by in-depth empirical research from Kenya – one of the most popular country destinations in Africa for sex tourism – this book gathers much-needed statistics and data, and then critically examines the features of tourism and the sex trade, contextualizing this in relation to tourism development. It addresses the conditions which generate this 'social problem' and, while not taking a potentially problematic moralistic stance it questions whether this trade is exploitative in nature, particularly in cases of child sex tourism. It then critically evaluates the current policies in place to regulate the sex tourism industry and provides suggestions for future direction. The title must contain interesting data and such research is much needed to fully understand and combat the practice, however I wonder if it takes...
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solar 'bicycle' takes off

Surely a milestone in the quest for environmentally-friendly travel, 107 years after the first successful flight, the first take off from a Swiss airport of Bertrand Piccard's "Solar Impulse" a one-seat solar glider is a reality. From afar it looks like a strange craft flown by the Wright brothers, but it is really huge, with a wingspan as wide as that of a 747  carrying 12,000 solar cells. It travels as quietely and - unfortunately for v.i.ps with no time to waste - as slowly as a bicycle...  Among other things, Piccard is a psychiatrist, a baloonist, and a UN Goodwill Ambassador. Air travel carbon offsetters & hot air speculators: take note, take cover, do something.
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