Athens: Update from the trial for the eviction of Gare squat

Three were the accused at yesterday’s trial for the police operation of the 26th of August 2019, when the new wave of state attacks against squats begun. The charges were those relevant with illegal occupation, in another words the offense to private property, and the new package of prosecutions against squatters which is theft of water and electricity.

The accused, each with their own speech , defended the moral right to the use of an abandoned building for social and political work, on top of the “housing needs” and they denied entirely the responsibility of the charges . They referred to the open procedures, events, political and cultural which Gare squat housed, and to the public bath which was operating daily and in a self organized way by its users , the migrants, homeless and excluded.

The questions of the prosecutor focused entirely on the holy law of property, through the lense of the myopic bourgeois spirit… “Who gave you right to enter the building since you did not see the owner ?” In a nutshell the accused answered from the outset : An empty building offers by itself the moral right to each one of us to provide it for social needs. However the persistence of the prosecutor points to an attempt to come up with moral instigators to the “crime of squatting”. They didn’t manage it.

Moreover, what was tested in this trial was to load the squatters with huge debts for the use of electricity and water. The prosecutors, from the side of those acting as owners, were prepared with relevant documents from the water and the electricity company and they presented incredible amounts of several thousands euros as a debt for the period from the 2nd occupation in March 2018 to the last evacuation on August 2019. It is obvious to try to pin their own debt to the squatters. The legal defense argued that it is impossible to define the specific consumption of each of the defendants, whilst the comrades defended the use of those resources as self evident and necessary. In the end only one of the three comrades was convicted for these ‘thefts’ and only for the duration for which he declared he was resident, while the other two were acquitted as guests. In total, 3 months for disturbance of peace to the two comrades and 7 months for disturbance of peace and the theft of electricity and water to the third, all with a 3 years suspension.

We must mention the presence and witness account of the so-called owner Iacovidou. This heir demonstrated in all its grandeur the essence of the bourgeois owner : amoralism and hypocrisy, on the one hand to cover her own ass and on the other hand to serve state repression. Those who appeared as so called leftists, and with reference to the history of resistance, could not but defend their inheritance right with lies and tricks. These issues had already been answered in a text by the collective whose initiate was to open squat GARE (link: Today, they came to slander the squatters by saying that they had kicked out the owner leaving the poor woman to take only but a few “souvenirs”, and that the building was open for everyone except for her, who could not even “pass by outside” , as well as that the squatters caused serious damages.

For history sake , the heirs, both of Iacovidou and of Dagli, had access to the building whenever they so wished in communication with the collective body of the squat so as to empty it from whatever was valuable to them, with the practical aid from the squatters in this housemove.

The mud with which all the medley of media, cops and owners likes to spred around regarding cases of squats, is that the barbarian squatters destroy buildings causing damages. Who if not those who use, live and become alive inside a squat have greater motive to take care of the building against the damages of abandonment? The building on Kalidromiou 74 was taken care of , cleaned and repaired by the dozens of people who found their “home” there bearing personal costs and labour. The Public Bath, a space with obvious structural damages from years of abandonment was taken care of daily by homeless migrants with the only gain, the provision of a valuable ressource to each other. Moreover, the space was maintained materially by the offerings of neighbours and solidarians, again at their personal cost and without any gain. All of this as well as the building itself, the cops broke into , smashed and looted not just once but three times. For these damages , for this pillage, not a word from Miss Iacouvilou. By the way we never saw miss Iacouvidou with a mop in her hand to take care of the space. Naturally why should she if there is no money coming in at the end of the day? Such is her culture. Built on indifference and disregard to solidarity. But it does not go a long way this culture .

Finally, let’s remind Miss Iacovidou that, indeed, the building was open to all , even to her on the condition that each of us sheds the decrepit culture of private interest and to work collectively for social duties – (which are none other that the liberation of humans from tyrannical authority.


Assembly of GARE

Gare squat
Kallidromiou 74, Exarcheia, Athens

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