On Sunday, the 26th of November, OPKE units and plain cloth officers entered the Gare-Squat in Exarchia. Although there was resistance from the inside, the eviction was completed in the afternoon with four people being arrested, who were in the house at that time.
The eviction of Gare is directly connected with the attempt of the state to raise the pressure on the resistance before December 6th and to occupy strategic points. The 6th of December is the anniversary of the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos, who was shot by a cop nine years ago in Exarchia. Since then, every year on that day it comes to riots and fights with the cops, where they try to take over the neighbourhood confronting a massive resistance, terrorizing it with chemicals and detentions.
As active friends and comrades of Rigaer Straße in Berlin, we are in solidarity with the fight for Exarchia, as a self-organized and ungovernable district. Our aspirations, our concerns and straits, but especially our hopes connect us in the fight for a life without authorities. The Gare-Squat, as an active part in this fight, plays an important role for the local structures with an international orientation and their history is our history. Because of this reason, the eviction and the permanent siege of the house, as well as the daily police-terror, is an attack on us.
The eviction comes at a period of weekly confrontations with riot cops but also as reactionary and commercial structures are organizing more and more in Exarchia. At the same time, voices coming from anarchist circles become stronger, that spread scepticism or even opposition towards the frequent confrontations with the state. In the prelude of November 17th, the anniversary of the Polytechnic-Uprising against the Junta, there was almost an escalation between occupiers of the university and groups, that first criticized the occupation, then arranged a demonstration of several hundred people, that closed it down. The aim of the occupation was to sabotage the state-conformist interpretation of history by the exclusion of leftist parties. The aim of the demonstration was to supress this act. Instead of criticizing the means and taking part in a constructive debate about the political contents, the means were criticized and the occupation was put to an end by a demonstration of power.
The state has an eye on these conflicts while the press continues the propaganda campaign against „Exarchistan“, quite similiar to that one against Rigaer Street. Unfortunately with results. In the conflict about the occupation of the Polytechnio on the 15th of November more than once, also out of anarchist circles, statements were given that reproduce nationalist positions.
„… the replacing of revolutionary internationalism by the riot-tourism and finally the arrogance of some people, to forbid in the name of anarchy the tribute to and remembrance of our fallen ones to people and their children, the pupils, the youth and all who are fighting for a better world, is the biggest offense.
The “occupation” with 25 people – mainly refugees and riot-tourists – was weak. Subjects with the common attribute of the ignorance of the November uprising and the characteristics of the movement in Greece danced to the rhythm of pry-trance at the Stournari gate.”
(text from the group Class Counter Attack: Statement of classcounterattack about the happenings in […] Polytechnio 15. – 17.11.2017, source: https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1580424/)
Their text begins with the comment that they were shocked when they got to know from the occupation via internet (indymedia). Later they admit, that there was an open assembly and they claim to know the exact composition of the occuppiers.
In this kind of comments we see the fear of decreasing backup in the population who seem to be at the mercy of the mass media without any protection. As anti nationalists we are convinced that the reference between people engaged in different struggles is an irreplaceable factor of the further development and organisation. As in Rigaer we welcome any participation without looking at the peoples origin and as the revolt of Hamburg was a success of an international struggle we see ourselves as part of the fight for Exarchia as well as part of the „Greek“ movement. As the gunshots fired at Alexis struck us deeply and the following revolt filled our hearts with joy, we fight today shoulder to shoulder with our comrades from all over the world. In Berlin we benefit from the experiences made in Exarchia.
Speaking for ourselves we do not agree with the stereotype of riot-tourism put on us. But for sure there are also those would not disagree with it. To exclude those – no matter which origin – needs to be questioned if it happens to curry favour with the people, who adorn themselves with the plumes of the resistance, but chose to enter the institutions of democracy, either with their voice or even with their whole existence. So, if we can choose, we will always favour the so-called lumpen, rowdies and hooligans, in order to fuel the conflict with the state.
The above-mentioned quotation of the group Class Counter Attack uses the same phrases about the alleged composition of the Polytechnio occupation like the press. The german media used the same phrases as well, to defame the resistance against the G 20 in Hamburg. With the same words the applicant of the Welcome to Hell demonstration, Andreas Beuth, distanced himself from the riots in the Schanzenviertel.
Phrases we have heard after each confrontation that happened in Germany in the last years: that we are unpolitical, foreigners, focused on violence because of fun and boredom. Like this we and our friends are traveling through Europe to attack brave police officers. Hidden behind these defamations is the lack of concepts and the depression of those using these phrases.
As in street battles not only optimal things are taking place, occupations and all the other actions can be seen from different perspectives. To those who have nothing but the ruling terminology we will not reply on the same level. Anarchy does not require dates, places or majorities in an imaginary ethnic body, it exists in uprisings against the politics of power. It doesn‘t matter whether the power is carrying the pigs uniform, if it‘s hidden behind the mask of journalism or pretends to be a part of the anti authoritarian movement. We are neither complaining about the batons of the pigs nor do we feel offended by terms like Riot-Tourists.
The current attack against the anarchist movement certainly takes place with the hope to intensify internal conflicts. The goal of the state is, like in the northern part of Friedrichshain, to choke the resistance in the district by police presence. What we have to see allegorically in Friedrichshain, has to be taken literally in Athens. The teargas which riot-units are using now is expired, stronger and gets applied in every occasion. At the 17th of November the demonstration was smashed with flash bangs and teargas grenades, later in the district staircases people had fled to, got litterally smoked out. We must fight back state terrorism and detect strategies of pacification, if we do not want to loose our neighbourhoods. These neighbourhoods are our fertile soils for societal experiments – they are examples of international relevance for the anarchist struggle.
The four arrested face charges of resistance and the possession of gasoline and explosives. Yesterday, after three days in police custody they were released.
Establish and defend anti-state areas!
Comrades and friends of Rigaer94 and the resistance in Friedrichshain/Berlin
(translated and updated from https://de.indymedia.org/node/15538)