The UN peacekeeping forces in Cyprus have asked the people squatting on the Ledras/Lokmaci buffer zone to evict the premises for security and hygiene reasons or someting like that. I went there today and spent about half hour. I felt pretty secure and the place was as clean as it could possibly be under the circumstances; no electricity, no running water, no toilet or kitchen. It was a bit muddy because the protesters embarked on a "Green up the Green Line" project that inevitably included earth being moved around... The people that have actually been living in there for the past couple of months are doing a great job. Just surviving there and hanging on is not easy and that's not all they are doing. They inform passers-by, they organise discussions, screenings or musical events. They have opened up the adjacent shops and are trying to turn them into a kitchen, a library and an exhibition centre. A few days ago the Turkish Cypriot authorities with the help of UNFICYP removed a generator the protesters were using. They are thinking to get pedal-powered generators.
It is the most valid and honest rapprochement effort to ever happen in our country. In my humble opinion it is the most important event that happened to the Cyprus Problem since 1974. These people are practicing what everyone else just likes to muse about and what politicians are saying we should dream about when we vote for them.
So I'm wondering: if the Occupy the Buffer Zone movement gets evicted from the buffer zone who will win? Whose success will it be?
One answer is UNFICYP. They will have successfully "cleaned up" the buffer zone and regained control of it, as is their mandate. But is it? Are the occupiers really a hazard to themselves or to others? No. A visit easily proves this and if you ask me UNFICYP should provide them with adequate means to survive there since they are Cypriot citizens trying to survive in their own country while police and armies are hindering their efforts. Are they likely to cause a military standoff? Erm...No. UNFICYP is doing its best to avoid responsibility and keep the politicians on both sides happy. Removing Occupy will not be "Peacekeeping" in any remotely imaginable way and definetely not a success for the UN.
Will it be a success for Mr Eroglu or Mr Christofias? I don't feel I need to argue this. Any sensible person would expect the two people allegedly trying to solve the CyProb to be the biggest supporters of the OBZ. Istead they ignore it. It's kind of understandable coming from the nationalist Eroglu but truly baffling coming from the Marxist-Leninist Christofias.
An eviction would be a success only for the system that created the Green Line and needs it to continue being there. Unfortunately this system includes all the political forces on both sides plus armies in Cyprus and outside it. And I am not afraid to say it: this system includes the great majority of the inhabitants of Cyprus. If that were not so the Green Line would have gone the way of the Berlin Wall already.
Our friends at Occupy the Buffer Zone are fighting a losing battle. The weird thing is that they will not be the losers. The rest of us will be.