(NB: on the topic of squats and the anarchist space in Greece, see also the call-outs for “No Nations! Squat the World!” )
This statement is based on our personal and shared collective experience of the current situation of anarchist struggle in Greece, Athens and Exarchia. We did not neither had the time to consult and agree with the older Greek crowd of anarchists and radicals, and is only our sentiment as mostly international people with little experience and limited knowledge of the dynamics within the militant crowds.
We are an ad hoc collective of international squatters in Exarchia who just opened a new occupation in a lofty house at 119 Zoodorou Pigis, three weeks ago, pitted together by the necessity of developing a place where to live and organize, with the desire to spread anarchy against a ruthless State at the very entrance of Fortress Europe, and its armies of civil and uniformed minions. This squat ’til now has been an awesome adventure filled with creative energies and has helped several anarcho street travelers as well as refugees to have a stay, be a stake up against society and in the process build ties with new people, something that had become nearly impossible these days in Athens due to not just State repression but also the internal politics of the well-known squats and the demotivation/demobilization of many anarchists in Exarchia.
Located further away from the center of Exarchia than the two police stations in the vicinity of a rather conservative neighborhood with many Greek flags on the balconies and a major church nearby, in spite of some growing solidarity from many other neighbors, we’re facing every day and night the tangible threat of attack by fascists and/or violent eviction by the pigs, occupying a privately-owned building that was abandoned only three years ago (Greek squats are usually opened in government or Church buildings), and are well prepared for it.
Yet the situation of our squat, as far as engaging as it can be, is only but a narrow angle on the context of anti authoritarian struggle and the Greek side of the refugee crisis. It is clear that this occupation is at the front line of a tense and complicated battle against the despotism of borders and its world, and a big antagonistic « fuck you » to the hordes of defenders and consumers of the « Greek culture » no matter its stagnated, racist, washed out culture or the newer totalitarian consumerist of younger generations which together work hand-in-hand reducing people to slaves and dogs of authority.
The point of this is that there is an urgent need for more international occupations in and around Exarchia, instead of bringing more « friends » to already-established exclusive squats, so that we may remain open to both people with an insurgent, subversive perspective as well as those many refugees in urgent need. Since there are much safer buildings to occupy inside Exarchia and that we already are taking a lot of people on board, to open new anarchist occupations is the perfect strategy in the current context, but currently people are working on helping new squat attempts in the area.
As we are writing this, an important part of the anarchist infrastructure has found itself somewhat more closed or less functional due to internal tensions related to the inclusion of some aspects of the migrant people in the area, and this is happening as there is a parallel effort by the State to clamp down on the subversive elements in and around Exarchia, on a background of consumerist apathy and yuppie invasion of a crucial anarchist-centered neighborhood now known worldwide. Lately our house was targeted by a few reactionary neighbors, camera surveillance and street undercovers. But this directly connects with social conflict on a larger scope.
Last Sunday night (May 8) there’s been this riot that started with the useless labor rights protest in Syntagma and ended with a usual face-off with police in central Exarchia, where the « Ginni » refugee squat, housed at Polytechniou, was surrounded and blocked by many riot pigs that anarchists struggled for several hours to repel. Another occupation nearby was also exposed to potential eviction as the cops were dominating over its street. Several people including a few of our dear friends and four refugees from Iran were caught in the street panic provoked by cops. This happened after a night of rioting outside of Polytechniou which was dubious in purpose and costly in terms of energies and molotovs.
The fate of refugees here is intertwined with the (non-) strategies of resistance that we choose (or refuse to), and the consequence of our failings means people getting deported back to the murderous State repression they’ve ran away from in their countries. On the other hand there’s been this tendency at humanitarian assistance where some supposed anarchists have been reproducing the same old managerial/patronizing relationships which ends up burning their energies away from any actual insurgency.
This obviously ain’t 2008 anymore, not even 2011, and we feel and believe that what is left of the anarchist insurgency around desperately needs the input and concrete, on-site, critical contribution from more international comrades and accomplices.
If you feel involved by this call, you’re welcomed to come here and join the fight!
All the Cats Are Beautifull!
(especially Greek stray cats… support them too!)
- the « Cats Hit » squat