Greece: Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear

Repression and resistance in Greece, december 2019.

Continuing our coverage of the struggle in Greece between the new repressive New Democracy government and the longstanding anarchist movement, we present the following report, drawing on eyewitness accounts from street mobilizations and the defense of several squats. The Greek state continues to throw its full weight behind an all-out assault on refugees, anarchists, and student movements, encouraging gratuitous police brutality against both human beings and their animal companions while seeking to exonerate right-wing murderers including members of the Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn who faced conspiracy charges in the murder of Pavlos Fyssas and the police officer who murdered the 15-year-old anarchist Alexis Grigoropoulos 11 years ago this month.

We hope to inspire international solidarity actions with the movement in Greece and to equip readers for action and analysis in other contexts in an era in which state violence and grassroots resistance are escalating worldwide. The struggle continues. [Read More]

Athens: Refugees return back the lost European Values for Christmas!

In the afternoon of the 24th of December, the community of the refugee housing squat Notara26 moved along towards the Christmas tree in Syntagma square in order to bring back the European values to the European people. 18 big parcels according to the 18 articles of the European convention of human rights were brought to the Christmas tree to remind what is written on paper. In contrast there were pictures how this ‘rights’ function in reality. In their statement the European states claim to honor these values, but the people are wondering where to find them.

“We are not three and we are not kings and we didn’t come to iconize a new born person. We are thousands, we refuse kingdoms and idols, and we are craving for a society with respect and equal rights for everybody. Even if we are coming from same regions than the mythological three guys 2019 years ago, the reasons for our journeys are totally different. We escaped wars, authoritarian dictatorships, torture, ethnic or gender-based discrimination and famine. We came here in order to find worth living conditions. [Read More]

Athens : No Pasaran anarchists react to the evictions

The greek government has gone into war with anarchists and anti authoritarians, following the end of a 15 days ultimatum issued by the Ministry of Public Order, towards the dozens of political and refugee squats across Greece (some of them more than 30 years old), threatening them with violent evictions by the riot police and police special forces, if they did not evacuate within the deadline. The deadline ended on Thursday night on the 5th of December 2019, a political decision by the greek State aiming to agitate and create an “explosive atmosphere”.

Following the first wave of attacks and evictions, mainly against squats housing refugees during the fall, the second wave of attacks has just begun, this time against political squats and social centers. Coinciding with the arrest of antifascists and the proposed judicial acquittal of neonazi leaders in the Golden Dawn trial, the right wing greek government and its self proclaimed socialist Minister of Public Order have proceeded with the eviction of Villa Kouvelou in Marousi on tuesday 17 december, while another three squats (Matrozou 45, Panaitoliou 21 and Arvali 3) have been evicted today 18 december in Koukaki, following a massive police operation, that terrorized a whole neighborhood with police brutality, attacking people living in adjoining houses that were no squats. Brutal images of greek SWAT policemen having their boots on people’s heads on the ground and a mother bound on the floor of her terrace with a hood on her head, reminiscing of Abu Ghraib torture images, have been circulated in the media. [Read More]

Athens: From Theory to Practice – An Initial Response – 15 buildings liberated

The entire state machinery of the Mitsotakis government, spearheaded by its repressive forces, is opposed to anything that challenges its impositions of normality. It uses the doctrine of “law and order” and the rhetoric of zero tolerance as a veil to cover and distract from its endless inconsistencies. It feeds its constituents the rhetoric of nation, security, legitimacy, and development while adopting models of polarization and paradigms of bygone eras. The purpose is clear: the attempted eradication of the structures of struggle and the destruction of the revolutionary movement, which stands against its development plans and any model of so-called urban gentrification. At the same time, there is a systematic effort to massively displace populations that do not “fit” into the increasing needs of capital and the bosses of the metropolis. The effort to create an ideal consumer environment of both a passive and easily controlled population that serves the private interest is high on their agenda. On the one hand, airbnb, entertainment hotspots, shop windows, and hotels aim at the spectacle-ization of neighborhoods and the profitability of the few, while, on the other hand, cameras, drones, enforcement of all kinds, and the ceding of control of every [public and private] space to the police state for consumer control, surveillance, and commerce.
[Read More]

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): Notara26 issues ultimatum to Greek government

Notara 26 issues ultimatum to Greek government, answering back to the government’s ultimatum to evacuate all squats within 15 days.

From occupied Exarchia we give a 15 days deadline to resign tho all those who dream of the revival of the dictatorship along with their propaganda mechanisms, through beatings, virtual rapes, stripping of women, denial of legal rights, intimidations and surveillance of comrades, workers and students. These are only some of the practices of the increasing repression and onslaught towards the people’s struggle. Their excellence and normality consists of closed borders, closed camps, closed minds and then the smokestacks will follow.
We have been given a 15day deadline. 15 days…
Notara 26 has existed for 1500 days. It has sheltered more than 9000 people from 15 different countries of origin. Hundreds of solidarians from all over the planet have participated in the project. Thousands of different stories. One constant common struggle for solidarity, selforganisation of our lives, acceptance of difference and uniqueness. One struggle in our squat, our neighborhood, the street.

Ideas cannot be supressed. Notara 26 is here and will stay alive !
You cannot evict a movement. Not now, not ever ! [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]

Athens (Greece): About the eviction of Bouboulinas 42

On May 2019, Bouboulinas 42 squat began as an answer to the operation of the state (governed by SYRIZA) to evict a series of squats, mostly migrant housing ones and throw hundreds of migrants to the streets or transfer them to concentration camps. It was an answer that came from occupied Gini, which said “we, locals, migrants, solidarians, squatters, realize that our answer must be given in common. That is why we decided to occupy the building of Gini in Polytechnio, as an immediate response to the evictions and to organize the resistance against the repression, the defense of the squats, the neighborhood and our lives.”

From then until its eviction, Bouboulinas squat became the house for hundreds of people that are constantly prosecuted, incarcerated and tortured by the Greek state. The same people who are stripped off of any right to exist, are stigmatized as criminals and scum by the media and a national body hungry for human meat and a cheap labor force. Bouboulinas 42 squat was and is the realization of the desire for a better life and the struggle for freedom and equality beyond nations, religions and gender differences. [Read More]

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]