Athens: Attempted reoccupation of Skaramaga squat ended up with mass detentions in the area of Exarchia and one comrade faced with misdemeanor charges

A two-day event in solidarity with all squats, self-organized projects and self-managed structures of counter-information (targeted by repression ever since the first police raid on Villa Amalias squat on the 20th of December 2012) was called for the 15th and the 16th of February 2013 in the Athens Polytechnic School, in Exarchia.

In the evening of Friday the 15th, shortly before the beginning of the first day’s discussion, comrades who were assembled at the university space were urged to move altogether on Patission street by participants in the collective of Patission 61 & Skaramaga squat as well as in the projects that were housed in the same squat (occupied since early 2009, and evicted since the 9th of January 2013). A group of comrades had already approached the building with the intention to reoccupy it; even more solidarians were asked to gather at the spot but to refrain from clashing with any police agents(!). And so it happened.

“I want my child to become a squatter”

By around 7.15pm, a total of 400 comrades were gathered outside the evicted space in an attempt to reoccupy Skaramaga squat, first by tearing down the steel plates sealing off its front door. However, the entrance’s opening took people more time than expected, a delay which opened the way for three MAT anti-riot squadrons and DELTA motorcycle cops to attack the gathering on Patission street, and resulted in the failure of the reoccupation attempt.

The police used baton charges and tear gases for about fifteen minutes to disperse the crowd. In those moments, many tried to resist the attack, but several of them were injured and one solidarian comrade was arrested outside the evicted building. Another police force was deployed in the vicinity of Skaramaga squat, while most of the solidarians managed to return inside the Polytechnic School.

Soon thereafter, heavy police forces surrounded the Polytechnic School and literally occupied the entire zone of Exarchia neighbourhood. Cops harassed people indiscriminately on numerous occasions, held body searches of passers-by, and unleashed an extensive repressive operation. Heartwarming was the stance of several residents in the area, who openly disapproved of the police hunt and helped comrades avoid arrest. Nevertheless, a total of 49 people were detained and kept in the police headquarters for hours, together with the comrade who was previously arrested. People remained in front of the police HQ on Alexandras avenue until late at night, when all detainees were finally released.

The next morning, the arrested comrade who was held all night was brought before a public prosecutor in Evelpidon courts. He was charged with two misdemeanors (‘disturbance of domestic peace’ and ‘unprovoked assault causing bodily harm’), and his trial was postponed for Tuesday the 19th of February. He was released at noon, accompanied by nearly fifty people in solidarity.

The collective of Skaramaga squat called for the largest possible attendance of comrades in the second day of discussions at the Polytechnic School (16/2, by 6pm, entrance from Stournari street, Exarchia).

Solidarity to the comrade faced with charges!

Solidarity to all groups, assemblies and projects affiliated with Skaramaga squat!

sources: i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi

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