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]

Thessaloniki: March 10, No Nation, No Homeland, Fire to the States

About our participation in the mass anti-nationalist demonstration in Salonika on the 10th of March 2018, in the clashes against the repressive forces of the state that followed, and in the attack against the Turkish consulate and the cops that guard it:

On the 10th of March 2018, we participated in a mass demonstration in the city of Salonika, responding to a call across Greece and the Balkans. On this day thousands of people came together on the streets with a common stance against fascism and nationalism. Every block in the demonstration lent a different focus to the manifestation. Some blocks expressed primarily their solidarity to Libertatia, the squat that was burned down by fascists during the recent nationalistic manifestations over the naming of a neighboring country. Others stressed nationalism and patriotism as foundations of the greek society. Others stressed patriarchy as a structural element of the nation-state. There was also internationalist presence from the Balkans. This mass demo was well and strongly guarded against possible police or fascist attacks. A big part of this gathering understood that the struggle against fascism is one and the same with the struggle against the state. [Read More]

Rebuild Libertatia

On January 21, 2018, a series of fascist attacks on emancipatory structures of the left-wing radical movement took place in the Greek city of Thessaloniki. Tens of thousands of fascists, nationalists, patriots and clericals had gathered to give new impetus to the long dispute over the name of Macedonia and the legacy of Alexander the Great. Nationalists in Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) claim the name Macedonia in equal measure. Both states provoke themselves again and again for years, i.e. by naming historical places or airports after Alexander the Great. Since 2014, there have been no negotiations between the two countries.

Nevertheless, an agreement emerged lately.
At least on the Greek side, however, the nationalist movement wanted to stifle such an agreement, and therefore mobilized since weeks to the first nationalistic mass demonstration since 1992 in Thessaloniki, the capital of the northern Greek region of Macedonia. [Read More]

Thessaloniki: Libertatia occupied centre burned by fascists

Members of a mass nationalist rally in Thessaloniki attacked and burned a squatted social centre Libertatia in the city today, though fortunately no injuries have been reported. The building was however completely destroyed in the fire, despite of residents from a neighbouring block of flats and the fire brigade trying to extinguish it.
The two-storey building was squatted in 2008, originally as an immigrant social centre. Later it evolved to a general social centre used by a number or groups. Towards the end of its existence it was used mainly as a housing squat.
“It is a historical building: one of the few that survived the nazis but unfortunately was destroyed by their grandchildren” commented one Greek anarchist, who prefers not to be named.
Initially antifa campaigners had thought they were getting the best of the day, as all fascist propaganda had been removed from walls in the city ahead of the protest, however the “Macedonia for Macedonia” gathering eventually swelled to, by police counts, around 100,000 people including a large number of fascist thugs.
Starting under a statue of Alexander the Great, a violent wing of the rally first headed towards social centre The School, but were repelled by anarchist fighters defending the space. They then moved on to the Libertatia, which was relatively undefended, and set fire to it. The listed building has been totally destroyed. [Read More]

Thessaloniki: Police intimidation against Libertatia squat

On Friday midday, September 9th, 2011, more than 100 police motorcycles appeared on the streets that surround Libertatia squat. Solidaritarians immediately reached the squat in fear of eviction. Cops invaded only the building’s front yard, but two comrades were detained and held in the city’s police headquarters. Both have now been released. This police operation was intended to intimidate a part of the radical social movement, just one day before the scheduled gatherings, manifestations and demonstrations ahead of the 76th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

The presence of repressive forces in the streets of Thessaloniki is already immense. From Saturday, traffic will be blocked in downtown streets, and all vehicles will be forbidden to approach the facilities of TIF. [Read More]