Greece: Criminalizing solidarity. Syriza’s war on the movements

20160729_occupied_syriza_hq_ThessalonikiThe eviction of three occupied refugee shelters in Thessaloniki marks another episode in the Greek government’s war on grassroots solidarity efforts.

In the early morning of July 27, refugee families and supporters who were sleeping at Thessaloniki’s three occupied refugee shelters — Nikis, Orfanotrofeio and Hurriya — were woken up by police in riot gear. In a well-orchestrated police operation, hundreds of people were detained. Most occupants with refugee status were released, while some were transported to military-run refugee reception centers. The rest of the occupants, 74 people of more than a dozen different nationalities, were taken into police custody.

Immediately after Orfanotrofeio was evacuated, bulldozers marched in and demolished the building, an abandoned orphanage “donated” five years ago to the enterprising Greek Orthodox Church by a previous government. Under the rubble were buried tons of clothes, foodstuffs and medicine collected there by grassroots solidarity structures to be distributed to refugee families in need. Hours later, No Border Kitchen, an autonomous structure providing food to refugees in the island of Lesvos, was also forcefully evicted by the police. [Read More]

Greece: City Plaza Hotel Athens

City_Plaza_AthensA refugee-housing squat as an example of how to fight social struggles together on a daily level and for another tomorrow.

„The City Plaza squat at 78 Acharnon celebrates its first month. The hotel now houses refugee families totalling 385 people, including 180 children. These include 22 single parent families, as well as people with disabilities. The nationalities that make up City Plaza include Afghans, Kurds, Syrians, Palestinians, Iranians, Iraqis and Pakistanis. The families being housed at City Plaza were selected on the basis of their previous “housing” arrangement as well as on the particular problems being faced by each one. Each family lives in a separate room of the hotel, while all inhabitants are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as with hygiene products and other essentials. Nearly all are covered through solidarity offerings, while the few purchases that need to be made are financed through donations sourced from within Greece and from abroad.

In a framework of self-organization and coexistence, there are teams for cleaning, cooking, security, education and childcare, medical care, communications, reception, as well as regular assemblies of refugees and solidarians. Initiatives such as that of City Plaza, apart from granting obvious rights and needs, also put in practice a conception of everyday life which aims to, through self organization and “bottom up” emancipation, ultimately form a space of freedom and creativity, which will act as living proof of the society which we envision.“ This is how the call for an Open Assembly in the City Plaza Hotel in Athens starts. [Read More]

Athens: Refugee Accommodation Centre City Plaza

2016_Athens_Refugees_Welcome_demoSince the morning of 22/4/2016, the abandoned Hotel “City Plaza” in Athens has been turned into an Accommodation Centre for Refugees. Currently refugee families from different nationalities, together with hundreds of people of solidarityare working collectively for the cleaning, repairing and organization of space, so that it can open soon as a project of self-organization and solidarity, as a center of struggle against racism and exclusion, for the right to free movement, decent living conditions and equal rights.
The Solidarity Itiniative to Economic and Political Refugees invites everyone topractical and material support of the Accommodation Centre “City Plaza”. For the next few days and as long as there are works in progress in the building, it will not be possible to accommodate more refugees.

From the summer 2015 and on, Europe and Greece have been found unable to respond to the issues emerging from the largest refugees’ wave in their territory, since the World War II, in the source of which there can be found the declaration and act of war, on a military as well as an economic level, from the countries of the North to the countries of the South, which has lead their populations to poverty, fear and oppression. [Read More]