The 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]
Since this morning (27/07) the cops have invaded 3 housing squats, which host refugees and immigrants, these are orfanotrofio, the one on Nikis boulvrd. and the recently squatted on C. Dill str. (Hurriya). 83 people were detained and there is information about over 75 arrests with the accusation of “civil peace disturbance”. The procedure of the demolition of Orfanotrofio has already started, while people who were in the building and were in need of medication were not allowed to take it. —- The refugees and immigrants are transferred to detention centers and the solidaries were dragged into police detention buildings and courts. Some time later comrades have clashed with the cops in front of the entrance of syriza’s office in Thessaloniki and occupied it. The far-right bastards of syriza go smoothly hand in hand with ND (nea dimokratia, right-wing party in power before syriza’s election), anthimos (the metropolit, church’s highest officer in Thessaloniki) and all the rest pile of shit, consisting the long arm of repression. With a non-seen before operation of revenge against no border camp, they attack in the crack of dawn on families of refugees in their own homes and on the solidaries. Power reveal its teeth again and they are completely rotten, as the bankrupt world of state and bosses is. None of us is afraid of them. Our comrades through syriza’s office occupation demand the immediate release of all the arrested locals and migrants, the stoppage of the demolition of Orfanotrofio, cops out of our homes and lives. [Read More]
In a move unprecedented in times of “democracy”, the Greek government raided and evicted today, 27 July in the early morning, three squats in the city of Thessaloniki, which were being used as shelter for refugees.
The message the left wing government wants to transmit is that there is no space for solidarity and self-managed responses to the ordeal of the refugees, only the state’s charity and the confinement, marginalisation and selective deportation carried out by a government that follows to the letter the criminal immigration policies of the EE.
The eviction comes only a couple of days after the end of the No Border Camp in Thessaloniki, which united thousands of activists from throughout the continent to protest these very policies.
One of the squats, Nikis, has been a long standing squat in Thessaloniki, which was opened up to refugee families with the onset of the refugee crisis. Another one, Orfanotrofeio, was (re)occupied last year with the express purpose of giving shelter to immigrant and refugees in a self-managed way. The third one was occupied only a few days ago in the very centre of the city for the same purpose.
Orfanotrofeio was evicted and immediately demolished. Under the rubble were buried tons of medicine, food, clothes and first necessity items that were destined for refugee families, as well as the occupants’ personal belongings. [Read More]
The following audio is a recording made by activists of the self-organized refugee squat Orfanotrofio in Thessaloniki, Greece. This material has been made available to us by our comrades at Crna Luknja, the anarchist radio show at Radio Student in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
The comrades of Orfanotrofio tell about the conditions that led to squatting this place in Thessaloniki in the beginning of last December and about their struggle to keep the place despite of all obstacles. [Address of refugee squat Orfanotrofio: Grigoriou Lampraki 186, Thessaloniki. Bus 14/14a at bus station “Orfanotrofio”].
This is on the self-organized refugee squat Orfanotrofio in Thessaloniki. (Length: 5:30 min). You can download the audio at: archive.org (wav | mp3 | ogg).
Here you can listen to it directly:
Photos from yesterday’s solidarity demonstration that was organized by the migrants housing squat Orfanotrofio in the neighborhood of Toumba (Thessaloniki – Greece).
On 26th December we visited the Orfanotrofio Squat in Thessaloniki’s Toumba district. A place that was squatted and is now administrated by refugees and the “Anti-authoritarian Space”  as well as other active people from Thessaloniki.
About the history
The plan to collectively organize a project like this emerged in September 2015. Connections and contacts between refugees and activists from Thessaloniki were established through the “No border kitchen” in Eidomeni. Together opportunities for meeting and living spaces were sought. Because the border closed three weeks ago (see also part 2 of our report) the creation of a self-organized space got necessary. For many people it became obvious that immediate action was inevitable. Consequently refugees that were rejected at the Macedonian border squatted together with people of the „Anti-authoritarian Space“, the so called ‘Orfanotrofio’. The church owned property was already squatted once in 2013.Three weeks ago, priests together with the cops, threatened to evict the place which did not happen yet. An anarchist comrade estimates the situation right now to be relatively relaxed. According to her, the cops have no reason to evict the place, because there seems to be no apparent political perspective nor will to create spaces for refugees and other socially marginalized groups. Nevertheless, it remains a squatted place and therefore is never absolutely safe. [Read More]
On Sunday morning, September 29th there was a solidarity gathering at Thessaloniki courts, where the 30 arrestees from the attempted reoccupation of Orfanotrofio squat were brought before prosecutor. They were charged with disturbing the domestic peace, and illegal occupation of public land (the latter accusation is based on a royal decree).
All comrades have been released. Their trial was scheduled for the 16th of December 2013.
Gathering in solidarity with the prosecuted comrades of Delta squat
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 at 9am, Thessaloniki courts
Demonstration in solidarity with squats
Saturday, October 5th, 2013 at 12pm, Kamara, Thessaloniki [Read More]
On Saturday morning, September 28th, 2013 a group of comrades reoccupied the evicted Orfanotrofio squat in the district of Toumba, Thessaloniki. Shortly afterwards, they released a collective communiqué about their action, and went out on the rooftop of the building unfolding a banner reading “RESQUATTED.” In the meantime, solidarians on the street were kettled by heavy police force. The squat was eventually raided at midday. All squatters were detained chanting “The passion for freedom is stronger than all prisons!” [Read More]
On September 3, the Keli (Cell of Freedom) squat was reoccupied.* This was our short response to the ongoing state repression against anarchists and squatters.
As we have already said, the fight goes on and will continue.
In addition, three more students occupied the empty dormitory cells at the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Igoumenitsa. The housing project continues, and we invite all students who have financial problems to do the same.
Shame on academics for bringing the cops into the TEI premises. Shame on cowards who choose to keep silent when faced with state repression.
Solidarity with evicted squats—Villa Amalias squat, and Skaramaga squat in Athens; Delta squat, and Orfanotrofio squat in Thessaloniki; Maragopouleio squat, Parartima squat, and the self-managed hangout of TEI in Patras; Valveios squat in Messolonghi—as well as with the Nadir anarchist hangout in Thessaloniki, Draka squat in Corfu, radio98fm, indymedia, and the hangout in Xanthi… [Read More]
In the morning hours of September 2nd, 2013 the Greek police conducted another anti-squatting operation, this time against the Orfanotrofio squat, a former orphanage in the district of Toumba, Thessaloniki.
Seven squatters were arrested inside the building and charged with violating the law regarding occupation of public buildings, as well as weapon possession (an air pistol was allegedly found at the squatted house). All comrades were held in custody, scheduled to appear in the Thessaloniki courts.
Last year, it was announced that the ministry of Health handed over the squatted Orfanotrofio to the Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki.
Fuck the State and the Church!
Immediate release of our comrades! [Read More]
This is a first text written by the squatters –urgent diffusion asked
Ownership transition of Orfanotrofio squat, from the Ministry of Health to the Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki (head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the city)
On January 31st a decision made by the Ministry of Health was posted on the governmental website diavgeia.gov.gr (diavgeia means ‘clarity’!), by which it was announced that the squatted Orfanotrofio (a former abandoned orphanage) is granted to the Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki, on the purpose of creating a foundation for the chronically ill.
In a period of crisis, while the bosses attack against even wider parts of society, having the maximization of their profits as main target, in a period when even more people are led to poverty and misery, and the unemployed and homeless rise in bigger numbers every day, the State and the Church start their ‘charity’ engine. [Read More]