Chania, Greece: Rosa Nera evicted for a second time, call for mobilization

The eviction of the Rosa Nera squat and the Rectorate squat on april 1st 2024 demonstrated Belvedere’s intentions to go ahead with its plans to turn the complex into a luxury hotel. According to a document that surfaced, the company has received the green light to start sampling work at the sites of the squat, despite the stated opposition of bodies, unions and associations of the city, even the city council itself, to the hotelization on Kastelli hill.
According to confirmed information, this work will start on Monday, April 8, by private crews that have been hired, most likely by Belvedere. We call on all struggling sections of the society of Chania not to leave Belvedere and its plans on a green branch and to block any work that is going to be done, starting Monday.
We call for mobilization on wednesday, april 10, at 7 a.m., outside the squat.

Nothing is over, everything is a common good
10,100,1000 (re)squats

Assembly in solidarity with the squats

Statment by Rosa Nera:

On the morning of April Fool’s Day, police forces gathered from three prefectures of the island proceeded to the new eviction -after 3 and a half years- of the Rosa Nera squat, arresting only 8 of its inhabitants, as most of them were at work at that time. The suppression of the occupation meant the attack by the State on a free social political space within the urban fabric of Chania and on the only essentially public square of the city, for the sake of the expansive and voracious hotel lobby.

Having fresh memories of the almost pandemic demonstrations in the aftermath of the previous evacuation, we consider it unnecessary to talk at length about what Rosa Nera meant and means, addressing the local community today. In a city that is rapidly turning into a glossy theme park for prickly tourists/consumers, those who do not reap the surplus value from the tourist business, feel even intuitively the loss as their own, feel the threat and the stakes: a fortress of freedom, a line of defense against the prospect of a city without inhabitants, without social fabric, An uninterrupted consumer zone, a galleon in which inside you will either consume on deck or paddle in the hold.

Although a well-known story, we quickly remind you that behind it all hides a multinational and complex hotel group, which appeared here in 2017 under the name Belvedere Ltd, to which the then and current administration of the Technical University of Crete is eager to rent the building and courtyard of the squat, in order to turn the so-called “balcony of Chania” into a fenced ultra-luxury hotel for very wealthy customers.

And basically he has been renting it since then, if we believe that Belvedere Ltd. actually pays a monthly rent of 20,000 euros to the Technical University of Athens, for a project that has not even started for 3 and a half years. A rent defiantly trivial, if one has a faint idea of the place and size of the building, as well as the rents that generally play here.

The building of Rosa Nera, as well as the surrounding buildings that make up the monumental complex at the top of Kastelli hill, were granted to the Technical University of Crete in 1979 by the Ministry of National Defence, for an amount that had been donated by the Greek State, has been erected over the Minoan palace complex, fragments of which have been excavated on the outskirts of the hill. in some of the few plots that were left unbuilt until the late 70s. This fact, added to the monumentality of the building itself, constituted -until today- a serious institutional obstacle to the aspirations of the local economic and political elite, which also happens to rule the country through the Mitsotakis dynasty.

Because, as revealed in the local press, in a document posted in Diavgeia, this institutional pretext has now been removed. This document consists of the authorisation by a department of the Ministry of Culture (Department of Technical Research, Restoration and Specifications) to subcontractors (technical offices of private engineers), apparently leased by Belvedere Ltd. (which apparently avoids being named) to carry out a series of sample and exploratory works inside the building, under the supervision (i.e. assistance) of the local Ephorate of Antiquities and the Modern Monuments Service of Crete, with the stated ultimate goal of its redevelopment into a hotel.

This licensing makes up half of everything. First, it preceded the police operation, and is a prerequisite for it – otherwise it would make no sense. Then, it means that all the necessary compliments have already been made, assurances of the happy outcome of their case have been given at a high level, informal orders have been forwarded vertically to the entire relevant hierarchy, and pressure on any reluctant or reluctant state officials has now borne fruit. The samples will be sent to private laboratories also named in the document, and the local official recommendations will be addressed to the KAS (Central Archaeological Council), a body made up of scientific staff at the political choice of the government, which ultimately approves or does not approve (but to put it this way: it generally finds it very difficult not to approve…).

If it has not already been understood, all that remains is for them to enter tomorrow or the day after tomorrow in a guarded building and start to work. Besides, even in the document itself it is stated that it was the occupation that until now had hindered the execution of the works.

This development, if anything, is further proof (for the ignorant or bona fide) that beyond the sold out universities and polytechnics, even the state agencies supposedly responsible for protecting listed monuments and antiquities are no longer able to protect the public character and public use of buildings and sites within their competence. But they are practically “hidden” behind – or confronted with – decisions taken by higher state bodies.

State vs. society, to put it simply, for those of us who see society apart from the elites and their minions.
Now, a great struggle begins again for the local community that groans from the monoculture of tourism and gentrification. Either we resist or we collect our bottles little by little, all of us who do not make enough money, who do not find a house with bearable rent, who are thrown out to put tourists in, who do not have 4.50 euros for a coffee in the port.

With the primary aim of preventing the imminent works and regaining the squat, then claiming more and more public and profit-free spaces, until the overthrow of the “gentrification” loot and the social desolation of the city.

Gathering outside the Rosa Nera squat to block the work
Monday april 8, at 7 am

Squat Rosa Nera, Kastelli Hill, Chania, Crete, April 2024
rosanera [at] espiv [dot] net

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