Grete island, Greece : Rosa Nera: They evacuated a squat but didn’t expect 2000 people protesting on the same day (Chania)
September 10, 2020by actforfreedom
Following the police raid and evacuation of Terra Incognita 16 years old squat in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 17 August 2020, the police invasion at Libertatia Squat in Thessaloniki on 23 August 2020 and the arrest of 12 people rebuilding the roof that had been burnt by fascists during an attack, another squat was raided on Saturday 5 September 2020, this time in Chania, Crete where Rosa Nera Squat stood ground since 2004.
Few hours later, following the police raid, hundreds of people marched in solidarity through the small greek island town in the afternoon and held a public assembly in the evening to decide the next steps of resistance.But that was not the end. The public assembly decided for another protest through the center of Chania on the same night, where beyond the greek government and police expectations more than 2.000 people took part in the small town of approximately 55.000 residents, marching in solidarity to the “Rosa Nera” Squat.
The mass participation in the protests and assemblies is a clear sign of the Squat’s openness and interconnection with society and the people’s reaction to the plans of turning this historic building into a hotel owned by an Israeli company.
During the last years, all the greek governments have carried out several campaigns of elimination of the self-managed spaces. What they want to achieve is that people find themselves only in the cafes, in the bars, and in the shopping centers as just consumers and customers. Consequently, the offensive that Rosa Nera is facing in Chania is not fortuitous. The Rosa Nera building belongs to the Polytechnic School of Chania, and for 16 years has been a place of struggle and emblematic culture, also covering accommodation needs. In its facilities, the tireless people who have worked hard to give life to the building have created a theater, a library and reading room, a space for presentations (of artistic creations), a children’s park, a construction workshop, a free bazaar of gifts and a communal kitchen for the production of bread.
In these 16 years hundreds of events, concerts, presentations, debates, workshops, parties, cafes to support collectives and actions have been organized. All have had an anti-commercial character contrary to the government’s and the University of Crete plans to convert the squatted building into a hotel, so that only those with pockets full of money may enjoy the beautiful view from the Kasteli hill, where the Squat is located. To turn something which is free and accessible to everyone in the town, to a restricted area for the few willing to pay to enjoy it. The Rosa Nera Squat kept and ensured the free for all character of the place intact. And that is why you see so many people in the streets protesting the eviction.