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]