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]

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: Anarchist refugee squats prepare for State onslaught

City_Plaza_AthensA new spate of recent evictions and interventions by the Greek State against refugee solidarity occupations run by the anarchist movement in Athens has prompted callouts for a major emergency gathering this Friday.

The callout and associated international day of action comes in the wake of a series of crackdowns and repression [1][2] against the solidarity movement, which has helped thousands of refugees self-organise to house themselves and defend against far-right violence since the Syrian crisis began.

It has been supported by six major occupied centres and groups, Oniro, City Plaza, 5th School, Notara 26, Underground Railroad, Spirou Trikoupi, Jasmine School and Acharnon School, which have put out a joint statement on the deteriorating situation in the city:

During the last month we witnessed the State escalating its anti-immigration policy of restrictions against refugees and the solidarity movement. In Addition to the EU management of migration issues which include forcing people to live in horrible conditions ,deporting them and denying them their basic human rights, the Greek government is revealing its totalitarian face by demonstrating its repression power through evicting political and housing squats for refugees. [Read More]

Athens: Announcement of Squat Notara 26 about the attack of August 24th

20160824_incendiary_attack_Notara_26_Athens_GreeceOn Wednesday August 24th at 3:45 a.m. the Housing Squat for Refugees and Migrants Notara 26 received an incendiary attack. The acting method of the arsonists we consider to be a clear murderous act, organised with the goal to cause – apart from the serious material damage – also loss of human lives. The timing of this cowardly act was chosen during August, when as the arsonists believed the reflexes of the solidarity movement would be sluggish. In vain though…

After the attack with molotov and gas-bottle bombs the safeguard of the refugees and the assistance of the solidarity acted immediately, using the fire extinguishers of the squat. The over 130 lives that where seriously endangered where saved solely by the immediate reaction of the total of the residents, of the solidarity and the neighbours of the squat, as well as with the participation of the fire department – although it derogatively characterised the Notara 26 squat as a storage in its press release, implying that no people where resident at the location.

This particular event is one link in the long chain of attacks against the migrant squats, refugees, as well as the free social spaces, which consists of a cooperation of state and parastate – where the first acts using the law (Orphanage, Nikis squat, Hurriya) and the second with the usual mafia practices (Vancouver, Avtonomo Steki, Zaimi, Analipsi, Kaniggos) – targeting the solidarity movement. [Read More]

Greece: Criminalizing solidarity. Syriza’s war on the movements

20160729_occupied_syriza_hq_ThessalonikiThe eviction of three occupied refugee shelters in Thessaloniki marks another episode in the Greek government’s war on grassroots solidarity efforts.

In the early morning of July 27, refugee families and supporters who were sleeping at Thessaloniki’s three occupied refugee shelters — Nikis, Orfanotrofeio and Hurriya — were woken up by police in riot gear. In a well-orchestrated police operation, hundreds of people were detained. Most occupants with refugee status were released, while some were transported to military-run refugee reception centers. The rest of the occupants, 74 people of more than a dozen different nationalities, were taken into police custody.

Immediately after Orfanotrofeio was evacuated, bulldozers marched in and demolished the building, an abandoned orphanage “donated” five years ago to the enterprising Greek Orthodox Church by a previous government. Under the rubble were buried tons of clothes, foodstuffs and medicine collected there by grassroots solidarity structures to be distributed to refugee families in need. Hours later, No Border Kitchen, an autonomous structure providing food to refugees in the island of Lesvos, was also forcefully evicted by the police. [Read More]

Greece: Refugee-Squats in Athens

201606_protest_athensThe recent developments in Athens are marked by a retreating state, overwhelmed by the task of implementing the EU-Turkey deal as well as the obligatory provision of accommodation and nutrition to ~57,000 ‘persons of care’. In the city of Athens, the everyday subsistence of people, who planned to merely pass through Greece on their way up north, has largely fallen back on self-organised autonomous structures aided by anti-state activists and non-state volunteers. Various squats (occupied empty buildings, most of which are owned publicly) with different organizational features and political aims have popped up on the map. Some serve the need of accommodation as housing squats, others function as social centres, with its activities ranging from the free (re)distribution of goods such as clothing and food items and housing self-organised kitchens-crews to the creation of spaces for political organizing and (legal) info-points. Most of these squats can be found in the neighborhood of Exarchia, with its history of autonomous self-organisation and a strong anarchist movement. But there are exceptions to this rule (e.g. City Plaza Hotel) and the following is an attempted short overview about the numerous squats. Some are well-known, others might be completely unheard of outside of Athens, some have opened up recently in the last few weeks, others have been running for months. It is neither an exhaustive list nor a complete and detailed account of events, but rather an attempt to communicate the very basics about different squats and solidarity-projects and their usefulness vis-à-vis the substandard and insufficient government-run camps. [Read More]

Greece: The occupied refugee center Notara26 in Athens

Κατάληψη_Νοταρά_26We had the opportunity of making an interview with two activists of the occupied and self-organized refugee center Notara26 in Athens, Greece. The comrades tell us about the origins and ideas of their center as well as of the anarchist influence and importance of the Exarchia neighborhood. They also comment on the topic of governmental (Syriza) policies and the difference of their work to such policies. And they also mention problems encountered in this project.

Some more interviews with anarchist organizations and anarchist projects will follow soon as part of our new series on anarchism and social struggles in the Mediterranean. This is part is on the occupied refugee center Notara26 in Athens, Greece.
Length: 12:36 min
You can download the audio at: archive.org (wav | mp3 | ogg).

Here you can listen to it directly:
[Read More]

Athens: Housing Squat for Refugees, Notara 26

Produced by Elena Askløf and Peter Laugesen / Our Europe. [Read More]