|ATHENS – LELAS KARAYANNI 37 SQUAT UNDER REPRESSION|
Since the end of July, the squat of L.K. 37 is confronted with a repressive project that, not accidentally, is taking place in the middle of the summer and within a period of intensified state terrorism and guided “anti”terrorist hysteria cultivated by the media. The chancellors’ council of the university, commissioned instruments of state policies, decided to cut off the water supply in the occupied building, while they gave same orders for the electricity. The aim of this cheap action is to render intolerable our living in the squat, so that we will abandon it, besieged by thirst, and in case we refuse they threaten with a police operation of violent eviction. This is happening in the name of utilizing the building for the speculative business enterprise which is called “Olympic Games 2004”.
The building of L. Karayanni 37 was bequeathed to the University, the Polytechnic and the Beaux-Arts Schools of Athens, with the inviolable condition to make it house for homeless and poor students. Despite that, it was abandoned since 1960, until April of 1988, when it was occupied by a collective of young students, workers and jobless, who transformed it into a place for housing and self-organizing, in a city suffocating by the blackmail of survival and alienation. From then on, more than an answer to the unbearable economic and social status that turns housing into merchandise, the squat became a collective self-managed space that works in the base of comradeship and solidarity, against the dominant model of property relations and isolated private lives in the apartment-cages, against the slogan of authority “everyone for himself”. Far from restricting ourselves in organizing life inside the squat, L.K. 37, through open assemblies, publications and social interventions became a workshop and base for radical criticism against the housing issue that thousands of people have to deal with, but also against all aspects of social and class oppression. As an antiauthoritarian and anti-institutional project it was found in the sight of state repression, in 1994 and 1995, resulting in cops’ invasions in the house and arrests of the squatters.
L. Karayanni squat may be the most recent but it’s not the only social space that is threatened by the storm of the Olympic Games; by this operation to upgrade capitalist exploitation and state control, and to construct a sultry land-planning and social environment that affects every aspect of our life. So, let’s talk about these Games that represent the new “national idea”. – About this skilful state propaganda that presents them as a social property, in order to extract the consent of those who are only going to pay for and suffer them, while the only ones profiting will be the multinationals, contractors, advertising and construction corporations, state officials who will manage the subsidies, the traders of any useless consuming product and of course those who trade security equipment… – About cementing everything, about the “huge construction works” and the foreign and local workers who continue to die there, in so-called “working accidents”, when the bridges collapse or due to insufficient security measures in the worksite of the olympic village, expendable people who are sacrificed in the name of spectacular capitalist achievement. About their colleagues go on strike after every such “accident” and then they get back to work again, under the same lousy working conditions, because nobody is allowed to demand, to strike and revolt, otherwise the “national goal” will fail. – About transforming the city into a sterilized and dead place. About police “sweeping” operations against immigrants and the overall expulsion from the center of every spontaneous, uncontrolled element of life. About the permanent occupation police army in every central street and installing new surveillance cameras everywhere in the name of law and order. – About the entire speculative market with all the appropriations and subsidies that will be absorbed by the public sector, in the name of covering the needs of 2004 Olympics. About the case of the Students’ House in Ilisia suburb that the rectors’ council demand all students should leave in order to use it for the journalists’ accommodation in the Olympics, and about the struggle of the students who have refused and occupied the premises for more than two months. – About the “anti”terrorist crusade and emergency laws, the criminalization of every social and class struggle and the well-designed cleansing operation against any space of resistance, in the name of realizing the grand “national idea”.
We, the squatters of L.K. 37, having created for years such a space of resistance against the exploitation of our housing and other social needs, which is now under repression, we have every reason to defend it, categorically rejecting the vile blackmail and the speculative pursuit of the university authorities. This choice of struggle is not only about defending the squat itself as a living attempt of self-organization and direct action, it’s also because through this fight we want to contribute to an attempt to expand and intensify every form of resisting to the overall attack of the state against society within the project of the 2004 Olympics.
HANDS OFF THE SQUAT OF LELAS KARAYANNI 37
SOLIDARITY WITH THE TWO OCCUPIED STUDENTS’ HOUSES AND WITH ALL SQUATS
RESIST THE OLYMPIC GAMES OF PROFIT, CONTROL AND REPRESSION
Comrades from the occupied grounds of L.K.37