On the 13th of March the Greek state attacked three structures of the anarchist movement. Two squats in Athens: Villa Zografou and Drakopoulio, and the Self-organized Hangout in Agrinio.
We feel that this repressive move should not be left unanswered. As a small message of solidarity to the evicted squats, we decided to do a series of actions in Nørrebro, a migrant and working-class district of Copenhagen.
Following are some details on the squats themselves and the evictions that happened:
Self-organized Social Space “Villa Zografou”
The occupied park and mansion of Villa Zografou was an important social center of a neighborhood with very strong involvement in the uprising of 2008 and the movements that followed, until the final squatting of the space in 2012.
Since then, it operated as a liberated space of intense political and cultural activity. Playing a defining role in class and social struggles like worker and student issues, antifascist action, freedom of transport, free access to electricity and water, free teaching of high-school students, food collectives. A space where support benefits for imprisoned anarchists were being organized. A spot of free interaction and expression, without barriers, without prices and tickets. With it’s actions, Villa Zografou stood against the local and wider business interests. It’s functions against the petty bourgeois practices is a living example of a different model of organization of our lives that revolves around equality, self-organization and solidarity.
After a complaint filed by the Municipality of Zografou, which is controlled by the leftist Syriza (the political party now in control of the government), the squat was raided and evacuated. Seven comrades claimed political responsibility to defend the squat which led to their arrest and their indictment for civil disobedience and disruption of domestic peace. They now have been released, pending their trial.
Drakopoulio Alkiviadou 9 Acharnon
During the last years Drakopoulio took part in the titanic struggle of offering shelter, to people chased away by war and poverty. It was the first example of direct, autonomous and unmediated self-organization of refugees and migrants by themselves for themselves with minimum participation from local activists. It was setting an example for all the local solidarity activists. Lately construction work has started in order to build an infirmary for the needs of the migrants and the rest of the neighborhood. Drakopoulio was working outside the mechanisms of the state. This is why it was hit directly by Greece’s first leftist government, which enforces the “legitimacy”, assisted by NGOs like the Greek Red Cross, which owns the building.
Big financial interests hide behind the plans of utilizing Drakopoulio. According to the CEO of the Greek Red Cross there’s a plan to host unaccompanied migrant minors at the building. This project will be financed by the European Union. That’s why Augerinos (a major general of the Greek police) looking to make some profit, asked for the utilization of Drakopoulio. Drakopoulio was supposed to host homeless people, a plan that remained unfulfilled for a year now.
The eviction led to all residents being arrested, 130 migrants and refugees, among them 37 kids. Most of them were led to concentration centers and the rest left on the street of Omonia square. Some of them came back the next day to find their personal belongings being price-tagged to be sold by the police. Eventually they were housed in the surrounding squats of the center of Athens, after the quick support of solidarity activists.
Self-organized Hangout of Agrinio
A social space used as a cell of resistance against the system of repression and exploitation, operating around the values of self-organization, solidarity and dignity. A thorn in the sides of the state.
The raid happened with the escort of a bailiff, but with no criminal pretext and no court order. The cops broke down the doors. Every part of the space was inspected: closets, drawers, and storage spaces. They even went through children’s toys and clothes. Sound equipment, computers, projectors and cooking equipment was completely destroyed. The two dogs who were living there were chased away and led astray. The locks of the house were changed. Six hundred euros was stolen that were meant for a health issue of a comrade. Finally, thanks to the immediate reaction of comrades, the space was freed again.
* * *
These three attacks come a month after the Strouga squat was attacked by mercenary hooligans of the football club/company AEK. The squat has become a target for the last 3 years, because it stands as an obstacle to the business plans of it’s owner which include the destruction of a park and the creation of a football stadium in it’s place. The thugs attacked the squat by painting it, injuring the people who went to restore it and occupying it afterwards. Let’s not forget the three migrant squats in Thessaloniki (Hurriya, Nikis 58, Orphanage) who got evicted during the summer and the wave of repression of 2012-2013 where the anarchist movement lost bastions of historical value, like the squats of Villa Amalias, Skaramaga 61, Parartima, Delta and more.
The media of course are on the side of the state and the capital. Through disinformation and propaganda about the “buildings being abused” and “lawlessness and unaccountability”, they manipulate people’s perception in order to ensure consent. They lie about Villa Zografou being uninhabited at the time of the raid. They justify the evictions due to the plans of building a conservatory at Villa Zografou and the plans of the Greek Red Cross for Drakopoulio.
The leftist government of Syriza, faithfully following the political practices of it’s predecessors comes now as a regulator of social order and peace with it’s usual rhetoric of “fighting crime”, to take revenge against the people who still fight against the state. It’s the same people, the followers of Syriza, who five years ago were protesting against the repression of squats.
The state once again hits the weak who happened to be born on the wrong side of the barbed-wire. People who got uprooted, who lost their families from the genocidal violence of the state machine, who fought with death in rotten boats in Mediteranean waves, are now abused by the local repression forces. The refugees is not a problem that came out of nowhere, but the consequence of the imperialist policies of the “Western World”. Our enemy is not the refugees but the ones who made them flee.
The control and the exploitation of refugees is a profitable activity. The infamous “hospitality centers” are a gold-mine for non-government organizations and big corporations who undertake the construction, catering, security of these spaces. In reality they are concentration camps with awful conditions, suicides, hunger, cold and bad sanitation. The plan is for the refugees to be recorded, to stay trapped in the camps, detached from the local community and be fully dependent on the government and the NGOs so they can be controlled and used at will in the modern slave-trade, or as a bargaining chip in agreements between governments of different countries.
In response to the evictions, solidarity actions were organized throughout Greece and also outside it’s borders.
The same day of the evictions, a demonstration spontaneously sprung up in Athens where several thousand people protested against the evictions. Clashes broke out after people attacked the riot police, which responded by shooting tear-gas and flashbang grenades at the demonstration. Fire barricades were set up, banks were broken, an office of Syriza was attacked, as well as stores of mobile telephony. Riot police pursued the demonstration, putting people in danger of a traffic accident since the police was throwing tear-gas and were chasing people within vehicle traffic. The pursuit ended when the demonstration split towards two different routes.
Solidarity manifestations and various forms of propaganda actions like banner drops, radio shows, flyer distributions, and graffiti happened in numerous Greek cities
Targets of night-time attacks include ATMs, the office of a right-wing politician, and a hang-out of the Syriza youth. The program of a television channel was interrupted in order to broadcast solidarity messages. The Assembly for the Self Defence of Squats organized patrols both on foot and on motorbikes.
In the evening of March 15, comrades in Berlin attacked with stones a riot police van in the “dangerzone” (a label used by the authorities for the Friedrichshain area) of Rigaer Straße.
The squats are hotbeds of social struggles, centers where ideas can be formed and opinions can be exchanged. Where the conscious choice to not work for a boss in order to pay a landlord is being realised. For us it is a matter of survival, as political beings, the creation of safe spaces. Where the enforcement of class, race, national, and gender stereotypes against us is negated. Where we build relationships of solidarity by self-organising and cooperating without authority, we fulfill our needs in the now.
We stand in solidarity with every squat. We call every person who struggles, all those who these years have not been a silent audience to the attacks of the state and the capital, to rise up. To stand in solidarity with the centers of struggle, and to crush the anti-social aspirations of the government, left-wing or right-wing, to enforce a grave-like silence to everything that opposes it.
We demand for the immediate release of all migrants from prison camps with no deportations, immediate housing of displaced people and immediate grant of the necessary residency documents.
We demand no charges to be brought against the seven arrested comrades.
We fight for a world of equality, solidarity and freedom.
In the squats, locals and migrants, we house our lives and our desires – and we dream of their nightmares.
some Anarchists from Nørrebro