Below see a call for coordinated anarchist action worldwide, sent out at the start of May from the Papamixelaki squat and other anarchist groups in Greece, originally published on Athens Indymedia. Since the initial call, anarchist comrades in the Greek prisons have added texts in support of this proposal, which you can read on Insurrection News from Nikos Romanos, and from members of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire.
Fuck Nations, Squat the world
The undertaking of a squat was, is, and should continue to be a powerful tool in the hands of the comrades surrounding it. This tool is evolving through the time-space continuum, and thus we feel it is necessary to present a couple of historical “points”. Squatting, as a stable infrastructure makes its first appearance in Greece, but also in many other countries in and beyond Europe, during the 70’s.
Both in Europe in general, and in Greece in particular, a number of squats that took place over the years, were more than a place used for housing or to accommodate alternative means of entertainment. They were instead a living, breathing political cell which would occasionally take aggressive characteristics.
In Barcelona we meet the squat “Can Masdeu” where occupants, in one year faced hard oppression. Merely eleven squatters stood against 100 cops ordered to evacuate the premises, refusing to hand over the squat without a fight. One of the most vigorous movements was also the one in Copenhagen. During March of ‘82 and while the squatting movement was growing bigger and bigger, the clash with the authorities grew proportionally as well. This very same year the first violent clash between cops and squatters took place. This act was the beginning of the end of the peaceful resistance against eviction. More squats in Copenhagen were to follow. During June 1986 the town council decided to evacuate the squat “Ryesgate 58” and the squatters began preparing their defenses. What happened next was the biggest clash between squatters and police forces that ever took place. Around 200 comrades gathered outside the squat and built barricades. In a large banner they wrote: “We prefer to die standing than on our knees”. Fifty cops stood in the receiving end of a hail of stones and bullets made of iron thrown from slingshots until they retreaded. The battle went on for 9 days with the cops unable to overcome the squatters resistance, until they finally organized a large scale operation numbering 1500 cops and bulldozers to destroy the building. One of the most prominent symbols of the squatting movement was also Ungdomshuset. Its occupants will stand bravely against the state forces trying to evacuate the squat. They will declare “We have no choice! We must defend what we created in the past 24 years! Ungdomshuset will stay – Let them evacuate the city hall!” and they will fight till the end turning those words into reality.
The year 1981 will be the opening year for squatting in greece. A few days after the party PASOK came to power, the very first squat in Greece takes place, in Exarcheia, and more accurately in Valtetsiou street. The Valtetsiou squat faces oppression a few months later with cops evacuating it while the occupants are being beaten and arrested. A fair number of squats followed, all facing the same fate. In 1988, April the 15th, a group of individuals decides to squat the abandoned building in Drosopoulou and Lelas Karagianni streets, a property belonging to the University of Athens and the Ministry of Education. Since that day and for 27 years the squat known as Lelas Karagianni continues to be a part of the squatting world. In 1989 in Victoria square a former school in the junction of Acharnon and Heyden streets is turned into a squat. The squat takes on the name “Villa Amalias” and it will be the number 2 in the list of the long-lasting squats in Greece. It will eventually get evacuated after 23 years of existence in the 20th of December of 2012, at about the same time as the evacuation of squat “Skaramaga” (January of 2013). Unfortunately our own answer to this eviction was not as vigorous as the one at the squat in “Ryesgate 58” and in “Ungdomshuset”, where the squatters stood up and fought against oppression to protect what they deemed as part of their lives.
As far as we are concerned, squatting is a point of reference, since it’s where we lay our offensive goals and organize our resistance against every form of authority. Attacks against squats are an intertemporal practice for both the state and various fascists groups. Lately these kinds of attacks have been rather frequent and under various forms. Key role in this holds the state and its institutions which under the pretense of utilizing public property is constantly making threats of evacuations just like it happened in the case of “Squat 111” or “Squat Orphanage” or even making true of the aforementioned threats as in the case of “Centaur Squat” which was literally demolished. We should also keep in mind the cases of “Acta et Verba” in Giannena, as well as “Dougrou” in Larisa (in the first ever squatting attempt) which where both evacuated. However, lately the attacks that have taken place against squats come mostly from fascist groups operating under cover of the state. The planting of an explosive device in “Kouvelou Squat”, the invasion in “Elaia”, the incendiary attacks in “Agros”, the double incendiary attacks in “Vancouver Squat”, in “Zaimi Squat”, in “Terra Incognita Squat”, the attack in “Analipsi Squat” and in “Strouga Squat” and even the attacks against the occupied social center “K*VOX”. Those attacks may have been complete and utter failure, proving once more the stupidity of such fascist scum, but this failure is not meant to reassure us, but instead to provide us with a chance to attack those that have been attacking us. With the latest examples being the state oppression against squat and self managing solidarity infrastructures alike.
– In 19/4 early in the morning police invaded the solidarity with immigrants infrastructure in Chios “Soli – Café” arresting immigrants and those expressing their solidarity alike. Moreover 3 days later they set the place on fire as well.
– In 20/4 in “No border camp” in Mytilini an evacuation of the camp took place. 384 immigrants were arrested and led to the Moria detainment facility while 19 individuals who were expressing their solidarity were detained in the local police station for a couple of hours before finally being released.
– In 21/4 cops invaded and evacuated squat “Persiadou 8”. Three arrests were made for minor offenses concerning damage, disturbance of domestic peace and illegally reinstating electrical power.
– In 22/4 in the morning hours, police forces evacuated squat “Turtle Corner” in Thessaloniki.
As anarchists’ active in Rethymno, we decided seven months ago to squat a private building in the old town of Rethymno. Our goal is set to be the polymorphous anarchist struggle (the way we define it in our account of Black December) as well as the sharpening of our characteristics. Having participated in the call for coordination of actions of Black December, and after accounting for our actions, we recognize its positive influence and deposit, and thus we wish to maintain and expand them throughout a time continuity. We propose our next agenda to be a call for the saliency of the squatting movement. As anarchists we deem squatting to be a straight shot to the social-economical structure of ownership and its products.
We as Continuous Deconstruction although we are not squatters, we nonetheless support, advance and defend every aspect of the anarchist struggle. Thus we understand squats to be an important tool of the anarchist struggle, as places that comrades can meet or discuss with each other and as free places that produce theory and action, another step towards total liberation. Also participating in this call, is the Anarchist Library Teflon where since 29/10/2015 comrades have occupied the former kitchen in the basement of Geography and slowly but steadily they are building a library which they aspire to be the beginning of a widespread denial of the existent and destruction of the rotten state.
In an attempt to be more specific, we must highlight that the reasons and the way we become dangerous, is defined by our own desires and practices and not by any systemic reasoning. In the frame of the continuous multiform anarchist struggle, we choose and aspire our squats to be barricades that will inflate and sharpen every controversy against the system. This we can achieve when our squats are centers of struggle and distribution of radical ideas, places producing insurrectionalistic theory and also places of gathering, meeting and networking so through the development of partnerships theory can turn into action. Squats for us are focal points of freedom occupying time and space inside the rotten social structure. We desire them to be a tool for the further development of the struggle with all means available without cutting away the violent characteristics that can be present in the undertaking of a squat or in the anarchist movement in general. Concerning the claims about “focal points of lawlessness”, we wish to point out for those that are still clinging to the systemic dipole of legal – illegal, we are and we will continue to be advocates of illegality. We are against all those who are trying to present squats as mere places of gathering and harmless alternative entertainment.
The meretricious and imaginary world of dominant culture is dedicated to furthering ephemeral relationships, an endless repetition of misinformation by the media and the plastic entertainment through dystopian role models that very few can reach yet they are presented as an absolute necessity. On the other hand we are committed to furthering counter-information, counter-culture and self organized expression, creation and art. Through this framework we manage to express and fulfill our needs, with basic examples being, self organized radio stations, typographic collectives, self – managing libraries, DIY concerts and many similar undertakings that take place inside squats. This way we consciously consider ourselves the black sheep of their rotten commercialized civilization.
For all the above reasons and choices, and since our squats exist as solid fields inside the social structure, it is to be expected that we would face oppression from those that we aggressively stand against. A crucial role in this oppression plays the state and its mechanisms. It could hardly be any differently since we are fighting for its demise. The goal of the oppressing procedures the state launches is to alienate squats from their true meaning as well as from the anarchist struggle fought through them, all the while targeting the comrades that are part of them. At the same time the fascist groups being led by various mafias and the organized goons of the football SA presidents, take on the task to attack us outside normal institutional procedures. This kind of attacks whether they are meticulously organized or random, should under no circumstances remain unanswered. It is obvious that the bulk of such groups is either orthodox or autonomous fascists, who in perfect collaboration with state forces take on the task to attack us outside the “law”. This is normal for such fascist scum since we stand by nature and choice against everything they represent. Lately such attacks have become more frequent. Most of them were complete and utter failures indeed, yet we are not to ease ourselves or take it lightly. On the contrary we should organize ourselves and defend our structures even better so we can prepare our “responses”.
A catalyst in this well organized procedure is the fools of the mass media. One of their most common tactics is blunt misinformation, resulting in either the targeting of comrades or infrastructures, plus subsequently stripping the anarchist struggle off its meaning. Passive receivers of such propaganda are domestic civilians who by their indifference towards nearly everything, legalize and quite often even applaud these kinds of attacks against immigrants, squats, anarchists and whoever they will compromise their peace and uniformity. Our answer to all of them should be the constant open war; nothing will be left unanswered.
We consider the squatting subject to be very much alive and its designation would take much longer than a simple month to be fulfilled. Yet this timeline can be beneficial in regards with density and climaxing of direct action, and thus we propose the coordination of multiform anarchist action under this subject inside the month May.
Our choice to release this call at this particular moment was fired off by the dynamics and stock of Black December which reviewed the meaning of organization, carrying forward an informal network of coordination in contrast and against formality and ideological “purity”. This coordination grew larger and overcame the greek borders as well as ideological obsessions since part of it were individuals or groups with distinct ideological differences. This diversity was the amplifier of the dynamics of the experiment.
Another reason we decided to release this call now is the rise of the oppression against squatting and comrades involved in them. Such attempts whether successful or not should not leave us indifferent or inactive. Aspiring to create events instead of following their lead, we believe immediate aggressive action against the state should replace our defensive disposition. Such attacks should also target rogue fascists groups whether the answer to any kind of mafia or to gregarious grouping that stand against us.
In the selected timeframe we can elevate the role of squatting inside the anarchist movement through events or debates, distribution of pamphlets, demonstrations and every other tool at our disposal whether we operate as individuals, squatters or groups. At the same time this is a chance for us to begin a dialogue on the characteristics of squatting redefining them aggressively and sharpening the edges of our proposals, as well as furthering our general coordination and networks. Our goal is set on never letting a squat fall without a fight, collective resistance and attack, but also the overcoming of the logic that blunts squat’s characteristics having as an aim just the longevity of their existence. We wish this call to be the beginning of an upgrade in our defenses and the start of a numbers of debates and direct actions, collusive or otherwise, which will from now on be permanent features of our tactics . We wish this call to be supported and amplified by any squat, group or individual who will choose to act under its topic with no regards whether they were a part of Black December or whether they choose to participate in the Insurrectional Association of Theory and Praxis.
Let us place once more squats out to the public rendering clear that they are places we “live” and “breath” in, defending them as such with every means possible.
Papamixelaki squat, active part of Insurrectionary Conjunction of Theory and Practice.
Continuous Deconstruction, active part of Insurrectionary Conjunction of Theory and Practice.
Anarchist Library Teflon, active part of Insurrectionary Conjunction of Theory and Practice.
Radiofragmata, self organized radio station