Thessaloniki: Two anarchist comrades arrested

In the early hours of wednesday May 27th 2020, in Thessaloniki, Greece, two anarchist comrades were arrested on an attempt of incendiary/explosive attack on the house of Dimitris Stamatis, the ex member of New Democracy (the Greek governmental party) and now president of the Deposit and Loans Fund.
As Greek media report, the one comrade was seen by civil cops passing by and checking the house in Kalamaria district; then the other comrade was caught at the moment he was going to plant the incendiary/explosive devices. The first comrade was caught a few hours later in Thessaloniki, riding his bike.
There was a big police research operation in the comrade’s house, and also in other comrades’ houses. More specifically, 4 squatted houses in Ano Poli district were thoroughly searched and, furthermore, there were totally 10 comrades prosecuted, who were left free some hours later, as nothing was found against them. [Read More]

Greece: Repression and Resistance during the Pandemic

In coordination with the anarchist media collective Radio Fragmata, we present the following report from Greece about the ongoing efforts of the Greek government, along with business owners, police, and fascists, to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to intensify repression—and the efforts of anarchists, migrants, prisoners, rebel workers, and others to fight back and open up spaces of freedom.

These updates are adapted from Radio Fragmata’s monthly contribution to the “Bad News Report” podcast about the current situation in Greece. We hope to spread awareness about this situation and to bring more listeners to the podcast itself; we recommend the “Bad News” report and the Anarchist/Anti-Authoritarian Radio Network as a whole. [Read More]

Thessaloniki: Authorities use COVID-19 lockdown to crack down on self-managed Vio.Me factory

While the Greek people are placed under quarantine due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Greek authorities continue their agenda against the social movements in the country. The state has found the perfect timing to conduct its new attack on the self-managed Vio.Me. factory in Thessaloniki: early this morning, accompanied by two squads of riot police, employees of the state-owned electric company have cut off the power to the factory.
[Read More]

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]

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]

Greece: First they take Exarcheia…

Recent evictions of several squats, some housing refugees and migrants, mark the beginning of a new chapter of repression and dissent in Greece. In the autonomous Athens neighborhood of Exarcheia on the morning of Monday, August 26, hundreds of masked riot cops with tear gas at hand cordoned off an entire block. Overhead, helicopters circled the scene.

No one would be blamed for thinking a civil war, or worse, was about to erupt. But no, the Greek state led by the new conservative government was mobilizing its full repressive armada to evacuate several squats occupied by refugees and migrants. Theorist Akis Gavriilidis weighed in:

This affair is a scandalous waste of public funds, for a result that is not only zero but negative in every respect: moral, legal, practical, economic and whatever you can imagine. To detain dozens of refugees — including children — who have committed no crime, to evict them from places where they have lived a dignified life they have helped to shape themselves, with the only prospect of being imprisoned in a hell where they live in much worse conditions, forced to passivity and inactivity. [Read More]

London: Squatter’s Digest, Greece

Greece, the home of democracy. And molotov cocktails. They also enjoy regular cocktail nights to raise money for the squats and imprisoned anarchists. It’s one thing to know what is going on inside the UK with regards to squats, but I feel we are severely lacking in communication with squats across Europe, or indeed the world. Hopefully I can bring to you some of the news from some of the squats in Greece along with the usual round-up of news from London and beyond.

Setting The Scene

A quick explanation of how the law works in Greece, from a meeting I had with a lawyer personally involved in one of the local neighbourhood squats. Unlike in the UK, squatting is a criminal rather than civil matter. It is based around a few points in the penal code, such as breaching someone’s right to asylum in their own house, or disturbing the community. However the police cannot act unless a complaint is made by the owner to the state prosecutor, who then instructs the police to enforce it. For public buildings there is a bit of a loophole in the penal code dating back to 1938, and a lot of squats in Greece fall into a kind of “hybrid” category, meaning the prosecutor is less likely to take action unless pushed by the local government. However as of the 1st of July this year, the penalties have gone up in accordance with the introduction of a new penal code. What were simple misdemeanours for resisting can now be classified as heavier breaches of law, and can see a jail-term of 3 years, up from the previous maximum of 1 year. Interestingly this was introduced at the same time as the reduction of a lot of other penalties, prompting outrage from other parties. In any case this was the doing of Syriza, and with the election on July 7th, the conservative New Democracy is back in power, so things can be expected to only get worse (more on this later). [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]

Greece: Gathering of Solidarity to the Termita Squat

In the morning of 04/01 in Volos, there was a coordinated operation to evict the Termita Squat. The eviction was made by the University of Thessaly and the police force of Volos and other forces of the region. During the eviction 3 comrades were arrested and released some hours later with the accusation of disturbance of domestic peace and the 6 buildings were demolished right after the operation.

We put here the text of Termita Squat that explains why it was targeted by the state and the university of Thessaly:

Squats are our liberated grounds, liberated from state control, in order to house our needs and desires; they are the structures which connect the struggle to society, which embody the vision of freedom and solidarity. They are meeting points for all those who question state and capitalism, who choose to collectivize outside the institutional framework. They are the ground on which communities of struggle are built, on terms of participation and equality. All this means that squats are not spaces of an alternative lifestyle, but a refuge in the midst of a war, for all those who are besieged by the world of authority. Especially for migrants, outside of self organized communities, the state maintains a special regime of repression: persecution, incarceration and deportation. [Read More]

Greece: Solidarity with the imprisoned comrades in Italy from 111 Squat in Thessaloniki

On August 3rd 2017, cops raided several houses and occupied spaces in Florence (eviction of Riottosa squat), Rome and Lecce, aiming at the arrest of 8 comrades from Florence. This specific operation concerns 2 attacks. The first concerns the placing of an explosive device at a fascist bookstore that has connections with Casapound, on new years day last year, resulting in the injury of the bomb disposal cop (who lost an arm and eye). The second attack was with molotov cocktails against police facilities on April 4th 2016. The 2 attacks took place in Florence. Cops claim that they identified people through phone taps, surveillance, and identification of dna samples.

The charges are: “attempted homicide” for the 5 comrades from the first case, and “manufacturing, possession, and transportation of an explosive or incendiary device to a public place” for all comrades, all of this in the frames of “consisting a criminal organization”. A few days later 6 comrades were released while the charges remained, and 2 comrades were imprisoned for the attack on the fascist bookstore. One of the 2 comrades has had all communication forbidden. [Read More]