Thessaloniki: Libertatia occupied centre burned by fascists

Members of a mass nationalist rally in Thessaloniki attacked and burned a squatted social centre Libertatia in the city today, though fortunately no injuries have been reported. The building was however completely destroyed in the fire, despite of residents from a neighbouring block of flats and the fire brigade trying to extinguish it.
The two-storey building was squatted in 2008, originally as an immigrant social centre. Later it evolved to a general social centre used by a number or groups. Towards the end of its existence it was used mainly as a housing squat.
“It is a historical building: one of the few that survived the nazis but unfortunately was destroyed by their grandchildren” commented one Greek anarchist, who prefers not to be named.
Initially antifa campaigners had thought they were getting the best of the day, as all fascist propaganda had been removed from walls in the city ahead of the protest, however the “Macedonia for Macedonia” gathering eventually swelled to, by police counts, around 100,000 people including a large number of fascist thugs.
Starting under a statue of Alexander the Great, a violent wing of the rally first headed towards social centre The School, but were repelled by anarchist fighters defending the space. They then moved on to the Libertatia, which was relatively undefended, and set fire to it. The listed building has been totally destroyed.
The success of the rally is extremely concerning for anti-fascists in the country, as it was considered an opportunity for a public re-emergence of various fascist groups which have struggled following a decline in the fortunes of Golden Dawn.
A statement on Athens Indymedia today said: “There is a need for an immediate, militant mobilisation tomorrow, if not today. This can not be left unchallenged.”
“Macedonia for Macedonia” is part of a long-running campaign from hard-right elements in Greece demanding that the former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia change its name. Macedonia is also the name of a Greek region, of which Thessaloniki is the capital. The dispute over the country’s name had reached Greek mainstream politics too, with Greek government stating that it would block Macedonian application for EU and NATO membership if it sought to be admitted as the “Republic of Macedonia”.

source: Freedom News

Statement and Call for a Demo by Libertatia Collective After Today’s Fascist Attack

Today, Sunday, 21st of January, around 13:30 at noon and before the nationalist rally for Macedonia, partaking fascist groups began a series of attacks against squatted spaces. Since they were successfully driven away from the free social space ”School”, which they attacked first, they approached our squat causing damages at the front of the building and the fence. Those damages were restored immediately by members of our collective, which later went to the anti-nationalist demo in Kamara. Approximately two hours later, a group comprised by 60-70 fascists attacked our squat again using molotovs and flares which set the building on fire. At that time, there was nobody inside. During the attack, there were members of the state security present, which did not interfere and offered to cover the fascists, while a riot police van was parked nearby. The reaction of the neighbourhood was notable, since people came out shouting at the fascists who were swore back and threw flares at them. When the fascists attempted to re-approach ”School”, the police maintained the same stance toward them: they offered cover and isolated the comrades inside.

People must not be fooled: the attacks and the arson would not have been possible without the ”cover” of the rally for Macedonia. This is where they went to and where they returned from. All the far-right neonazi groups were calling for participation to the rally but since nobody cared for that fact, fascists were legitimized socially and given public space to express themselves and act. We are well aware that these would not be made possible under different circumstances, so each and everyone must reflect on their stance toward fascism. These actions by parastate groups enhance state repression against those who fight and resist for the betterment of this world. Let each and everyone consider who benefits from the arson of a building that has a history that goes back over 100 years and was derelict for decades. A building which we, as anarchists, libertarian communists and revolutionaries, decided to occupy and preserve, on one hand with the aim to cover the housing needs of proletarians, immigrants and people mistreated by the state and capitalism and on the other hand to create a space of radical political processes and promotion of a new libertarian culture. It must be made clear that these attacks constitute criminal acts which could have brought a tragic outcome, had there been any victims.

These attacks won’t terminate our struggle against state, capital and fascism. No attack is going to terrorize us and we will not do fascists any favours, but we will armor our conscience and keep on fighting with tenacity for our values, for a society of equality and freedom.



Libertatia Collective for Libertarian Communism, January 21, 2018

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