Athens (Greece): Anarchists Take Riot Police by Surprise and Reoccupy Evicted Squat in Exarcheia

On Friday September 20, 2019, on the three years anniversary of the occupation of the building that became known as “Spirou Trikoupi 17 Squat,” housing refugees in the heart of Exarcheia (Athens, Greece), anarchists were not deterred by the fact that the Squat had been evacuated on Monday August 26, 2019, following a massive police raid and that the neighbourhood of Exarchia has been turned into a “militarized” zone, with constant riot police attacks against people in the area and social centers. [Read More]

Greece: Why is the state attacking Exarcheia?

The Greek state’s long anticipated attack on the rebellious district of Exarcheia began with the eviction of four occupied spaces and a provocative and dangerous attack on the social centre K*Vox. Since the return to power of right-wing New Democracy in the July elections the move has been expected and a difficult struggle lies ahead for Exarcheia and the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space in Greece. The short-term fixations of New Democracy and the right explain the police operation but the attack on Exarcheia is part of a deeper desire by the state draw a line under its decade long crisis and declare total victory.

New Democracy have their own reasons for the attack on Exarcheia.1 While in opposition they raised the right’s traditional banner of ‘law and order’ and helped by a cooperative media painted a picture of a society spiralling into lawlessness. None of this was true, after all SYRIZA evicted occupied centres and refugee solidarity projects as well as sending the riot police into the neighbourhood and against demonstrations countless times while one of SYRIZA’s final campaign rallies for the July elections was attended by prominent police officials. Still the new Prime Minister Mitsotakis repeatedly threatened to ‘end’ Exarcheia while in opposition. That the refugee and migrant occupations were targeted first along with other announcements that the government will speed up deportations demonstrates that an anti-immigration agenda will be a priority. This reaffirms New Democracy’s connections with the far-right despite the liberal ‘centrist’ presentation of Mitsotakis. [Read More]

Greece: We stand against state repression

The state and capitalism continue to target the freedom of the social base and appropriate its labour and resources. In recent years we have experienced some of the most violent attacks on this freedom through the mass impoverishment of the already oppressed and exploited. At the same time, a widespread social resistance and solidarity movement has formed. People have created a variety of self-organized spaces such as housing infrastructures, social medical centers, community kitchens, open parks and public spaces. In spite of setbacks, the movement has created a solid social ground and accumulated considerable knowledge and experience. Through squats, political groups, base unions, squares and neighbourhood assemblies we have formed communities of struggle with strong social bonds. Communities oriented towards society, with a critical eye all the same. At times, the movement has had to use violence as a means of defending and expanding free spaces against state repression, capitalist interests and fascist attacks. It is a movement that grows in diversity and vibrancy, despite the ongoing criminalisation of solidarity and mobility.

In the context of this socio-class conflict, on Monday 26/8, the state, armed with police forces, seized Exarchia and evicted four squats. Two of these squats were migrant homes—Transito and Spirou Trikoupi 17, from where the police abducted 144 migrants, uprooting them from their places of residence for a second time and isolating them in what the state calls detention centers. Evictions were also carried out in an ongoing housing and political squat in Assimaki Fotila street, and the Gare squat, where three arrests were made. [Read More]

Magdeburg (Germany): Four at a stroke, solidarity greetings to Exarchia

In the night of 4 september 2019, we squatted four houses in different city districts of Magdeburg. We want to express our anger on the brutal attacks in Exarchia where more than 140 people have been jailed in refugee camps or directly imprisoned. At the same time, we want to show our solidarity with the free and rebellious spirits of the district here and of all other resisting places.

Today, several people in Magdeburg came together to appropriate different houses temporarily – with that we are saying: We can take the rooms if we want. Exarchia lives on!
It has been pronounced long time ago, but now Kyriakos Mitsotakis, newly elected prime minister and his riot police MAT striked with full violence. His aim was and is the autonomous district Exarchia in downtown of Athens. In this district which is shaped by self-organisation and the spirit of resistance, Mitsotakis wants to “tidy up”, as it depicts a stain for the gentrification project in Athens. They want to impose a metro station in Exarchia so it subjects itself to mass tourism and real estate speculation. So far they tried to harass the inhabitants of that district through repression, controls and expulsion, now the methods have been intensified. [Read More]

Athens: MAT entered inside the steki of anarchist immigrants (Tsamadou 19) and destroyed everything

The night of 1th September, the event of solidarity gathering had taken place in the steki of anarchist immigrants (Tsamadou 19). After the event of solidarity, there was a riot against military check point of the MAT next to the steki, which molotovs burned MAT hardly; after the riot, MAT destroyed the door of steki, entered inside and started to smash everything. At the moment, the door of steki of anarchist immigrants is open and MAT are next the steki.
We have said it, the resistance is still alive and resistance will exist, even if the streets of Exarchia become red from our blood.
The state is try to terrorize the society in order to control it, this is the plan of all the state but we should not fear and we have to throw the fear in the body of the system.
Steki of anarchist immigrants (Tsamadou 19) will be still the center of radical immigrants.
Long live resistance [Read More]

Greece: First they take Exarcheia…

Recent evictions of several squats, some housing refugees and migrants, mark the beginning of a new chapter of repression and dissent in Greece. In the autonomous Athens neighborhood of Exarcheia on the morning of Monday, August 26, hundreds of masked riot cops with tear gas at hand cordoned off an entire block. Overhead, helicopters circled the scene.

No one would be blamed for thinking a civil war, or worse, was about to erupt. But no, the Greek state led by the new conservative government was mobilizing its full repressive armada to evacuate several squats occupied by refugees and migrants. Theorist Akis Gavriilidis weighed in:

This affair is a scandalous waste of public funds, for a result that is not only zero but negative in every respect: moral, legal, practical, economic and whatever you can imagine. To detain dozens of refugees — including children — who have committed no crime, to evict them from places where they have lived a dignified life they have helped to shape themselves, with the only prospect of being imprisoned in a hell where they live in much worse conditions, forced to passivity and inactivity. [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]

Greece: Exarcheia under police occupation!

Alert! What we have been announcing to you for a month and a half has just begun this morning, just before dawn. Athens’ famous rebel and supportive neighbourhood is completely surrounded by huge police forces: many riot police buses (MAT), anti-terrorist untis (OPKE), police on motorbikes (DIAS), members of the secret police (asfalitès), as well as a helicopter and several drones.

A unique place in Europe for its high concentration of squats and other self-managed spaces, but also for its resistance against repression and its solidarity with precarious and migrants, Exarcheia has been in the sight of the right-wing government since its election on 7 July. The new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had made it a personal affair, especially since he had been mocked in early August for failing to achieve his goal of “cleaning Exarcheia in a month” as he had announced with great fanfare.

This morning, 4 squats were evicted: Spirou Trikoupi 17, Transito, Rosa de Foc and Gare. The offensive currently concerns the north-western part of the district, with the notable exception of the Notara 26 squat, which is considered better guarded and very symbolically important for the district as the first historical squat of the “refugee crisis” in downtown Athens. [Read More]

Greece: The hunt for anarchists is on!

The new government is setting up an unprecedented offensive against the libertarian and self-managing movement, which has become embarrassing and reputed over the years.
The newly elected Prime Minister and leader of the right, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, promised to “clean up Exarchia” during the summer and “get rid of Rouvikonas”. Beyond the famous libertarian neighborhood and the elusive anarchist group, the entire revolutionary nebula and the squat network are targeted, using various repressive tools and processes.
Once again, what is happening in Greece gives food for thought to what is also being prepared elsewhere in Europe, as the Greek example has clearly shown the way, in the past, for the new hardening of capitalism on the continent and for an increasingly authoritarian society.
The government will start by reactivating the rogue laws already in place in the 1920s, which were then aimed at both the Greek Communist Party and the anti-authoritarians.
This time, the aim is, first of all, to hinder anarchist propaganda by literally considering its revolutionary political project as an immediate threat, and therefore liable in these terms to prosecution. In short, censorship, not anarchist propaganda as such, but as “threatening speech” whenever it represents a “danger to social order and civil peace”. [Read More]

London: Squatter’s Digest, Greece

Greece, the home of democracy. And molotov cocktails. They also enjoy regular cocktail nights to raise money for the squats and imprisoned anarchists. It’s one thing to know what is going on inside the UK with regards to squats, but I feel we are severely lacking in communication with squats across Europe, or indeed the world. Hopefully I can bring to you some of the news from some of the squats in Greece along with the usual round-up of news from London and beyond.

Setting The Scene

A quick explanation of how the law works in Greece, from a meeting I had with a lawyer personally involved in one of the local neighbourhood squats. Unlike in the UK, squatting is a criminal rather than civil matter. It is based around a few points in the penal code, such as breaching someone’s right to asylum in their own house, or disturbing the community. However the police cannot act unless a complaint is made by the owner to the state prosecutor, who then instructs the police to enforce it. For public buildings there is a bit of a loophole in the penal code dating back to 1938, and a lot of squats in Greece fall into a kind of “hybrid” category, meaning the prosecutor is less likely to take action unless pushed by the local government. However as of the 1st of July this year, the penalties have gone up in accordance with the introduction of a new penal code. What were simple misdemeanours for resisting can now be classified as heavier breaches of law, and can see a jail-term of 3 years, up from the previous maximum of 1 year. Interestingly this was introduced at the same time as the reduction of a lot of other penalties, prompting outrage from other parties. In any case this was the doing of Syriza, and with the election on July 7th, the conservative New Democracy is back in power, so things can be expected to only get worse (more on this later). [Read More]

Athens (Greece): Staki of self-organized collectives of anarchist immigrants

Today 17 July 19, we, the self-organized collective of anarchist immigrants together with others self-organized collectives and individuals solidaritian occupied a abandoned shop in the corner of Tsamadou/Tositsa streets, Exarchia. [Read More]

Athens: Open Discussion of Bouboulinas squatters with the neighbours

As an open structure and community, aimed at strengthening and developing the co-organization of our daily life and common struggles, we invite all residents of this neighbourhood and beyond to join us in putting our visions into practice. In the end it is everyone’s responsibility to take sides either with the word of community and of free self-organization or with the side of fascism and repression.

We are living in a time of war. Terror, poverty, political and economic violence, those are the consequences. By closing borders, persecuting and massacring at the borders, and mass incarceration and isolation into concentration camps with no prospect of freedom, Europe is waging a war against migrants.

Since February 2019, a mass eviction operation of squats has began, with the migrant squat Arachovis 44 in Exarchia being the first one to be evicted. At 11/4, at 6 in the morning, an army of cops evicts the housing squats Azadi and New Babylon, from where 120 people are detained. Just one week later, another operation takes place against the migrant squat Clandestina, and the anarcho-feminist squat Cyclope.

During the operations, the police violently and forcefully entered people’s homes in the early morning, kicking in doors and entering people’s rooms with weapons. After arresting residents, including crying children trembling in fear, and taking them away to police stations and prisons, the police proceeds to enter their homes once again, humiliating the residents further by throwing their belongings into disarray. [Read More]