Greece: New Democracy, the new face of state violence

A view from Exarchia as the showdown looms. Interview with an anarchist in Athens about current situation.

he neighborhood of Exarchia in Athens, Greece is known worldwide as an epicenter of combative anarchism. For many years, anarchists and refugees have worked together to occupy buildings, establishing housing collectives and social centers that provide a variety of services outside the control of the state. Starting in August, the new government has carried out a series of massive raids targeting immigrants, anarchists, and other rebels, while revoking the autonomy previously granted to universities and introducing a wide range of new repressive measures and technologies. Now the government has given all the remaining occupations in Greece two weeks to conclude lease agreements with the owners or face the same fate. This deadline coincides with December 6, a day that anarchists have observed for ten years as the anniversary of the police murder of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos and the uprising that followed it.

The new governing party of Greece, aptly named New Democracy, is described by some media outlets as “center right,” in contrast to outright fascist parties like Golden Dawn; in fact, New Democracy has adopted much of its repressive and xenophobic agenda directly from the fascist right, while pursuing a neoliberal agenda in service of international finance capital. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mytsotakis, a hereditary representative of the capitalist class whose father was also prime minister, exemplifies the political caste that seeks to destroy the last safeguards protecting workers and poor people while scapegoating those who resist. [Read More]

Athens (Greece): The day after November 17, a taste of blood in the mouth

A tough night for those who like Exarcheia and revolutionnary struggle in Greece.

Many of our comrades spent the night between four walls after systematic beatings. Others were injured, three of whom were transferred to hospital by ambulance. Others had to hide for a good part of the evening, or all night, not to be picked up and beaten by police who seemed very excited, as if in a full war video game throughout the neighborhood.

In total, more than 5,000 policemen, a helicopter and drones permanently transmitting the position of insurgents resisting from rooftops. Anti-terrorist policemen, riot police, plainclothes policemen, mobile police, tanks with water cannons … The armada in uniform that converged on Exarcheia, during two successive demonstrations (1), was much too numerous and over-equipped for the solidarity of the defenders of the rebellious neighbourhood.

Exarcheia did not hold out long. Already partially occupied for weeks, it quickly tipped under the control of the soldiery, allegedly guardian of the peace. Few places within it are still safe. This morning, while the sun has not returned yet, Notara 26 is still standing, as well as the K * Vox and the Exarcheia self-managed health structure (ADYE). But these places and some others are but the last bastions in an exceptional neighborhood minutely devastated by the Greek state over the last weeks, in order to remove one of the sources of inspiration for social movements the world over. [Read More]

Marseille (France): Demo against the deadly housing crisis

Call for a demo on November 9th, 15AM, Notre Dame du Mont, Collective El Manba and Saint-Just. Everybody in the street against the bad accomodation !

On Saturday, November 9, we will march in memory of the 8 people killed in the collapses of Aubagne Street and Zineb Redouane, murdered by the police. These deaths are not accidents but the result of an urban policy of speculation and profit, which drives out the most vulnerable populations of the city centre.

In Marseille, as elsewhere, the State and its subcontractors in the asylum system (OFII, PADA, 115…) are evading their legal obligations and denying the migrants the housing they are entitled to. Within institutional accommodation, the major funders (ADOMA, Sara Logisol, Forum Réfugiés, Groupe SOS, 3F) zealously apply the State’s directives and support all policies of control, surveillance and deprivation of liberty. [Read More]

Netherlands: National day of action against the ban on squatting


Ban the squatting ban!

Since the 1960s, squatting has functioned as a mean of action to stress out a failing housing and vacancy policy: the reason why for decades a squatting ban was regarded as undesirable without any associated effective measures to prevent vacancy. Although squatting has been banned by law since 2010, vacancy and housing shortage have doubled in the past 10 years. And so people are still squatting. The VVD and the CDA do not see vacancies and housing shortages as a problem, but squatting is. At the moment, these parties are working hard for a change in the law to ensure that squatters can be evicted more quickly, without tackling the underlying problems. Because this law will put the legal position of squatters and precarious residents under severe pressure and will only further increase the historically high vacancy rates and homelessness, actions are taking place in various parts of the country today.

One-sided effectuation Squatting and Vacancy Act

Almost 10 years ago, the Squatting and Vacancy Act was passed, on the condition that not only squatting, but also vacancy had to be reduced. Whereas squatting has always been (and still is!) an important stick behind the door of pawnbrokers, from now on municipalities should play a more active role in tackling speculation on vacant property and impoverishment. Fines for structural vacancy, however, have hardly been imposed and thanks to the gigantic boost of vacancy management/property guardianship, it has only become easier for speculators to conceal vacancy under the guise of ‘occupancy through temporary renting’. [Read More]

Poznan (Poland): Rozbrat is here to stay! Demonstration, saturday 14th of September 2019

„ROZBRAT IS HERE TO STAY!”
THE OLDEST SQUAT IN POLAND FACES EVICTION

SATURDAY 14TH OF SEPTEMBER, 13H
DEMONSTRATION IN POZNAN
START: UL. PUŁASKIEGO, POD ROZBRATEM [Read More]

Athens: Demonstration on 14th of september. Solidarity will win!

[an update on the repressive campaign by the state and call for international mobilizations in solidarity with the squats and the anarchist movement in Greece]

At dawn on August 26th, strong repression forces evicted four squats in the neighborhood of Exarcheia, arrested three squatters and detained 143 refugees and immigrants. While men, women and children refugees were piled in police vans by the armed hooded men of the Special Repression Counter-Terrorist Unit, institutional fascism released its ideological propaganda through the media: a representantive of Greek Police compared the repression forces to a “vaccum” of new technology that will wipe out from Exarcheia “the disturbing dust”, the refugees and immigrants, and afterwards the real “trash”, the anarchists, announcing the continuation of the repressive operation and their declared target.

The recent police invasions are a first manifestation of the repressive campaign, announced by state officials, against the anarchist movement, the squats, the self-organized structures of housing immigrants and refugees, the world of solidarity, social and class resistance in general. A repressive campaign that consists the spearhead of the state and capitalism’s attack on the plebeians of society, aiming to terrorize them and neutralize resistance, in order to proceed uninterruptedly to the onslaught of state and capitalist brutality. The elections of July 7th marked the continuation of the imposition of suffocating living conditions for the workers and the unemployed, the imprisonment of immigrants and refugees in concentration camps and the deaths in the borders, the intensification of the looting of social wealth and nature, the attempt to establish the state of emergency. The government of New Democracy is building on the attempted neutralization of social and class struggles and the tens of repression attacks against squats during the administration of Syriza, promising to crush the people of the struggle – to all those that have stood and are still standing against the plans of the authority. [Read More]

Cologne: Elster230 evicted

– Police evicts Elster230 with large contingent
– Brutal police action
– Simultaneous eviction of squatted house ZentraleM in Münster
– Occupants announce demonstrations today in Cologne and Münster

This morning around 9am, a large police contingent forcibly invaded the Elster at Vogelsanger Str. 230 and evicted the self-governing queer feminist center.
The police’s actions were extremely brutal. In a different way, we observed, in addition to the measures of fixation mentioned above, that a person was tied up with cable ties and brutally dragged across the Lidl parking lot to a police car. There are several people with injuries and we saw that civil servants kneeled on the activists backs for a very long time, while the activists were already lying on the floor with their faces fixed.
In the middle of this scenario, Mrs. Windischmann (Head of Region West DB Real Estate) did not let herself miss the opportunity to enter the house and thus demonstrate her power. With this relentless eviction, the 1,5 week revitalization of the previously vacant property is abruptly ended. [Read More]

London: Call out for a noise demo in solidarity with Barcelona’s war on gentrification

On Monday 8th July at 8.30am, activists will gather in front of Blackstone offices at 40 Berkley Square in London W1 J5AL for a noise demo to show solidarity with Barcelona’s residents fighting against gentrification.

Blackstone Group, a New York based multinational private equity firm and the World’s largest alternative investment company*, is the biggest property and hotel owner in Spain. The firm, along other large companies such as Goldman Sachs, Apollo Management and Cerberus, have been buying tens of thousands of residential properties in Spain and then raising rents and evicting thousands of long-term tenants to make space for richer and more “desirable” residents: or just leaving homes to rot empty while their value increases. [Read More]

Bern (Switzerland): Fabrikool evicted

Since the early hours of the morning, the squatted Fabrikool house in the Länggass in Bern has been evicted by representatives of the canton and cops. The building is closed off on a large scale and surrounded by about 25 riot cops with dogs. All the trees around the building are cut down, a scaffold erected, all the windows screwed up from the inside with boards and everything outside, from pizza oven to trampoline to outdoor kitchen, is dismantled and cleared away. Again and again cops with bolt cutters and sledgehammers were sighted, eagerly working on their destructive work in the building. The highly motivated cantonal representative Beat Keller is, of course, personally on site and is not too sad to help clear away.
Many people in solidarity – also from the neighbourhood – are on site and observe what is happening. Throughout the morning, several people were subjected to person checks, district bans were imposed and two young people were arrested after being searched and detained by a bunch of robocops.
Just because the authorities think they can let off steam in our house is not the end of it! Therefore: Keep your eyes and ears open, more information will follow. [Read More]

Hamburg: Two occupations during #MietenMove demo against gentrification and high rents

On Saturday more than 6000 people took the streets against high rents and gentrification on a rainy day in Hamburg (German territory) [May6]. During and after the demo there were two occupations. A reportback.

The demo started in front of city hall and marched through downtown Hamburg. When the demo marched into the completely gentrified Haven-City (Harbour-City) disitrict I had to smile… People are paying huge amounts of mony to live here but can hardly sit outside on their terraces and balconies because of the smell of diesel from the cruise ships in the harbour.

When the demo arrived in Haven-City a big group went straight, while the rest of the demo marched to the Elb Philharmonie. Out of the group that went straight Sandtorkai 28a was squatted.
[Read More]

Athens: Reoccupation of Bouboulinas 42. Call to solidarity gathering

Solidarity Gathering now in front of the reoccupied building on Bouboulinas 42

Since February ‘19, an operation has begun of mass evacuation of squats, beginning with the migrant housing squat Arachovis 44 in Exarchia. On 11/4 at 6 in the morning an army of cops evacuate the housing squats Azadi and New Babylon, from where 120 people are detained. Only a week later on 18/4 another operation takes place to evacuate the migrant housing squat Clandestina and Cyclope.

We understand this attack on all fronts against the squats and self-organized structures, with Exarchia at its centre, as an attack that serves the media profile of state and government, so as to appear as guarantor of security, law and order, and of the interestes of bosses and ladlords. The operations against the housing squats were accompanied by house raids in places for which the cops had information about drug dealing, so that all this may be presented as an operation against drugs. The result of these operations is that many of the squat residents are now imprisoned in the hellholes of the state, while the rest are left homeless.

This operation is taking place at a time with very specific characteristics. The total isolation and trap that migrants experience in greec -and in exarchia those who don’t have papers- sooner or later will fuel social eruptions. Either in the form of Eidomenis and Diavata, that is of the violent assertion that the borders be abolished, or in the form of self-organized struggles, such as housing squats. At the same time, the intensification of contradictions is reinforced by the big heads of the e.u.: the evictions of families from the homes provided by ngos is imminent, since the big capital considers that its high time these people enter the labour market, ideal flesh for the slave trade of capitalism. [Read More]

Berlin: Squatted Bizim Bakkal store violently evacuated without eviction title

Today (April 6th 2019), after the Mietenwahnsinn (rent madness) demonstration, the empty Bizim Bakkal shop was squatted, which had been empty for 4 years. Berlin police evacuated without a valid eviction title, without contact to the owner and using massive force against activists, journalists and parliamentary observers.

Last year, we occupied several houses, apartments and shops, all of which were evicted by the Senate and the Berlin police except one apartment in Großbeerenstraße. We see ourselves as part of a movement that is defending itself against Berlin increasingly developing into a city for the rich. A city in which social participation and place of residence depend on income and in which every square centimeter is used. The city is losing its open spaces, and Berlin’s neighborhoods are increasingly shaped by tourism, consumption and property speculation. Despite many promises regarding housing policy, the Senate is only watching or even actively helping in this process of displacement.

Today, 40,000 people took to the streets in a demonstration against rent madness and displacement. How have the demands, which were also supported by parts of the Berlin Senate, been put into practice and how have we begun to get our neighbourhood back? Many demonstrators joined this project on the spot in Wrangelstraße. [Read More]