House Occupation News

Bordeaux (France): ‘Living from day to day’ in migrant squats

As the western French city of Bordeaux struggles to accommodate its growing migrant population, more and more squats have popped up to keep the city’s legal and illegal migrants off the streets. However, since the region appointed Fabienne Buccio as its prefect, an aggressive evacuation campaign has been set in motion; with over 70 squats having been shut down in the past 6 months alone.

Like most children her age, eight-year-old Samar loves the extracurricular activities that are held on Wednesdays. “Today we painted, and we were even allowed to paint on the wall [of the squat]!,” she exclaims in impeccable French before one of her mates interrupts her for a play fight. “He annoys me a lot, but what is good here is that we’re allowed to disagree,” Samar says and points to the little boy who goes on to pull a face and then bursts out laughing. “There’s respect, but above all there’s no war like in my country,” she says

Samar comes from Sudan and has lived in France with her parents and four brothers and sisters for the past three years. When they first arrived, the family lived in northern France, near the city of Arras, but Samar’s father couldn’t find a job, so they decided to move. “We were told that there was work in Bordeaux, and so we left. Within just a week he’d found a job as a mechanic here,” Samar’s mother, Ikhlass explains. “After arriving, we slept in the car we bought for the first few nights. And then we set up a tent at the Bordeaux-Lac camp. We slept in the mud and lacked all sanitary facilities for two months.”

Samar and the other children who live in the Zone Libre squat participate in a painting class that is held by a volunteer. Zone Libre is located on the ourskirts of Bordeaux. It has 81 accommodation places which are occupied by migrants | Photo: Anne-Diandra Louarn / InfoMigrants

Because of the difficulty of finding housing, dozens of migrants – asylum seekers and those who have already been granted refugee status – have for several weeks lived in a camp near the Bordeaux-Lac beach, north of the city. On November 18, the camp was evacuated and many migrants then made their way to the Zone Libre (Free Zone) squat, which is located in the Bordeaux suburb of Cenon.

The Zone Libre is a former home for the elderly and was opened up as a squat on November 9 by several local associations, including Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World), RESF, Bienvenue (Welcome) and the Collectif Migrants Bordeaux (Bordeaux Migrants’ Collective). Bernie, who volunteers at Bienvenue (Welcome) – the group which operates the squat – says the facility currently houses 271 people, including 158 adults and 113 children.

In the squat, each family group is allocated one small room. In all, there are 81 accommodation units, and they are all full. Single men and women have to share rooms. “There are seven of us in one room. The three youngest of my children have to sleep on the floor because there aren’t beds for everyone,” Ikhlass says. “We don’t have a fridge either, so it’s not easy to handle meals. The living conditions are far from ideal but we have a roof over our head and the people from the associations help us a lot,” she says.

Locals flocking to help

Zone Libre is one of Bordeaux’s most recent squats. In the past few months, the city’s squats have been shut down at the same rate as they have been opened, making the Gironde administrative area one of the most squat- and slum intense places in France, trailing only Seine Saint-Denis, Loire-Atlantique and Bouches-du-Rhone.

“Since the eviction of the Alouette squat in Pessac in February, 2017, which was covered in the local media, more and more migrant aid groups are being created. It’s become a real movement,” Bernie, at Bienvenue, explains, adding that in the Gironde administrative area in particular, many locals have opened up their own homes to help house homeless migrants. According to Bernie, almost half of the migrants who were evacuated from the Alouette squat have found housing with locals. “It’s also the first time that we’ve been able to sensitize hospital unions [the squat was the property of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bordeaux –Bordeaux University Hospital Center] and politicians,” he says.

Mohammed, Samar’s younger brother, rides his bike in the alleys around the squat | Photo: Anne-Diandra Louarn / InfoMigrants

“The reason why the squats even exist is because there is a lack of solutions to take migrants in,” says Aude Saldana-Cazenave, a regional coordinator for the NGO Médecins du Monde in Aquitaine. Between January and November, the Bordeaux arm of the NGO recorded 7,400 consultations 98% of which were consultations for migrants. “They come to us to receive care, but our role stretches well beyond that. Consultations regarding social or administrative matters are rising sharply because people are in increasingly precarious situations,” she says, noting that 80% of the NGO’s patients suffer mental health problems; from the traumas they suffered while still in their homelands; or whilst they were on the road to exile; as well as the daily fight for survival they are faced with on arrival in France.

“It’s clear that poor housing makes people sick; by causing, for example, joint problems from having to sleep in cars. It also prevents healing, because people who are in survival mode don’t spend time thinking about their health and well-being,” Aude Saldana-Cazenave says. “Living constantly from day to day, as well as the administrative struggles, take a severe toll on a person’s health.”

“This situation has become more and more unbearable,” Bernie says. “Especially considering that the city of Bordeaux has as many as 22,500 vacant accommodation places,” he says, pointing to 2018 figures, published by the national statistics office, INSEE. The associations that were involved in opening up the Free Zone squat, all say that the squat is simply a response to the “state’s failure” to care for homeless migrants.

More than 70 squats evacuated in six months

But the region’s prefecture has deemed the squats an unacceptable housing solution, and is doing its utmost to get its message across: In the past few months, the prefecture has ramped up its evacuation campaign of squats in order to “absorb the illegal camps which do not provide dignified living conditions for occupants and cause disturbances to the neighborhood.”

This aggressive evacuation campaign was set in motion in mid-April, when the region appointed Fabienne Buccio as its new prefect. Buccio, who led the giant dismantling operation of the makeshift ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais in 2016, was tasked with applying the ‘Calais model’ to Bordeaux and its surrounding towns and villages. Of the 160 squats that have been identified in the Gironde administrative area, 73 are currently subject to legal proceedings, and more than 70 have been evacuated since Buccio’s appointment. The prefecture argues that it is simply acting “according to a court decision” and that it carries “out a census followed by a social diagnosis prior to each evacuation.” It also says that during every single evacuation, it makes sure that “each individual is offered a housing solution,” provided that they have a right to accommodation of course.

The Nouvelle-Aquitaine regional prefecture, which governs the Gironde adminstrative area, told InfoMigrants that the region currently has 8,513 accommodation places for asylum seekers, or 180% more than it had three years ago. The Gironde area, meanwhile, has 2,392 accommodation places for asylum-seekers, or 120% more than it had three years ago. “This is a state effort without precedent,” the prefecture says. According to local associations, no housing solutions have been offered to illegal migrants or people who have had their asylum applications rejected. According to the associations, this is a serious breach of the principle of unconditional reception.

When InfoMigrants brought the matter up with local officials, they stayed silent on the subject of illegal migrants, noting only “a progression in the number of escorts to the border” but without providing any figures.

This homeless asylum-seeker spends parts of his days playing the piano at the Bordeaux Saint-Jean train station, ‘to keep my hands warm ‘ | Photo: Anne-Diandra Louarn / InfoMigrants

Despite the increasingly tense climate in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, migrants continue to flock to the region, mainly because of the job opportunities that can be found there. Bordeaux also has a reputation for being both “a welcoming and open-minded city”, says Momo, one of the co-founders of Collectif Migrants Bordeaux. “Everyone who comes through Spain passes through Bayonne but they don’t stop there. There are cameras everywhere and the atmosphere is not the same. So they continue north and come to Bordeaux, it’s easy to fall for this place!”

Momo, who comes from Ivory Coast, first arrived in France after flying to Paris. He says he then ended up in Bordeaux by chance after catching a train in a bid to get out of the French capital which he deemed “far too saturated” in terms of the administrative and social help that was available for migrants. “I love Bordeaux, I feel it’s a lot easier to make a life here than in Paris. It feels like you can actually become someone here.”

In the time-frame of just a few weeks, Momo had thousands of people join his group after setting up a Facebook page about it. The aim of the group is simple: to help, guide and accompany new arrivals. “I’m used to doing this. In my country I worked in the humanitarian field. But managing this on a daily basis, I realize that there are too many demands and not enough housing. So people don’t have a choice; it’s either the streets or the squats. The 115 [the French number for emergency accommodation] is like a five-star hotel, there’s never anything available, it’s always full,” he says, as his phone rings incessantly.

Momo, Bernie and the other volunteers are convinced that the region’s strategy to use evacuations as a deterrent isn’t working. Instead, it is making the region’s already very vulnerable migrant population even more invisible and excluding them from society. But authorities remain determined to continue on their chosen path: “By evacuating these squats, a clear and unambiguous message is being sent to human trafficking networks,” it argues, noting that its “balanced” deterrent methods have already paid off, with the Gironde adminstrative region registering just a 4% increase in first-time asylum seekers in 2019, compared with a 28% rise in 2018.

Since January 1, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region has registered a total of 4,082 asylum demands, up 2.7% from 2018. Most of this year’s asylum seekers come from Georgia, Guinea, Nigeria and Albania.

Refugees related groups in France https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR/topic/sans-papiers
Some squats in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR/squated/squat
Groups (collectives, social centres, squats) in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR
Events in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/FR

Anne-Diandra Louarn, Info Migrants https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/21478/living-from-day-to-day-in-bordeaux-s-migrant-squats

Ronzón (Spanish State): Social center El Palaciu under threat

The social center El Palaciu of Ronzón, Asturias, which was squatted last April is facing threat of eviction.
The mansion which houses the social center is owned by the Fundacion de Ronzón. They are the inheritors of Spain’s feudal system. They have extensive land holdings in and around Ronzón. As this includes all the houses of the families living in Ronzón, they also are the landlords to the entire local community. Charged by the conditions of the trust with developing the countryside, their only action of note has been to undermine the Palace by profiting from the unwanted, unfinished AVE high speed train. Oh, they also profited from a duck farm scam.
Our vision of the countryside is different. If they are the continuation of feudal oppression, we are the continuation of peasant resistance. The rent seeking of the Fundacion and their ilk has led to the abandonment of over 800 villages in the Asturian countryside. The bureaucrats in rural town halls dream vapid dreams of wealthy city dwellers spending their excess capital in an uninhabited, natural paradise. We live and breathe and work for a sustainable, thriving agrarian world; a world where the necessities of life, like land and housing, are held in common for the empowerment of all.

The legal system of the Spanish state enshrines the right to property ownership and has set its face against collective wealth for the common good. Fundacion Ronzón started a civil court case against the occupation soon after it began. The court has decided to reject our appeal, and has decided on eviction of the space. No more appeals or delays are possible through the court system. The Town Hall will send the police on 22 January 2020 to evict us. But in every place where there is oppression, there is the possibility of resistance. Land, housing and freedom are our inalienable rights. We will resist.
This is an open call for you to join us. We invite everyone for a week of celebration, music, art and fun, in the beautiful mountains of Asturias. Accommodation and food offered to everyone who can come. From the 18th to the 26th of January, el Palaciu is open to everyone who wishes to support the fight against the abandonment of rural spaces. Join the fight for another countryside, for autonomy, for self-sufficiency, for the future.

Directory of squats in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES/squated/squat
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC/squated/squat
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE/squated/squat

Directory of groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE

Events in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: : https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/ES
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XC
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XE

https://www.indymedia.nl/node/47189

Oakland (USA): Moms for Housing Respond to Eviction Notice

On November 18th, a group of mothers without shelter reclaimed possession of a vacant investor-owned property in West Oakland. They have been living in the home with their children and rehabilitating the property ever since. On December 3rd they received an eviction notice from Wedgewood Inc, the company that has been holding 2928 Magnolia St. vacant during a housing crisis. The eviction notice named the previous owner of the house, not the Moms for Housing.

“Wedgewood wants to pretend we don’t exist, that their actions don’t have real-life consequences for Oaklanders,” said Dominique Walker, one of the Moms for Housing and a resident of 2928 Magnolia St. “We’ve had hundreds of our supporters calling and emailing them. We’ve sent letters from ourselves and supporting organizations. But Wedgewood has refused to sit down with us to talk. Instead of negotiating with us in good faith, they hired a ‘crisis communications’ firm and sent an eviction notice to someone who doesn’t even live here.”

The Moms shared the eviction notice on their Twitter account at @moms4housing and announced that the sheriff would be coming on December 17th to evict them. They called on all community supporters to come to 2928 Magnolia St. on the 17th to defend Moms for Housing. Further details to be announced on social media and at moms4housing.org.

“It’s time for the City of Oakland to adequately address the unique and critical needs that families with young children require,” said Clarissa Doutherd, executive director of Parent Voices Oakland. “Safe and deeply affordable housing is critical to the health and well being of children. This needs to be a priority for City leaders. It is cruel to deny the basic rights of families, who risk separation due to rampant displacement. We have an obligation to ensure children and their parents are no longer ignored. This is a problem that we can solve with bold leadership.”

The Moms also shared recently uncovered information about a deposit scam being run from the house before the Moms for Housing reclaimed it on behalf of the Oakland community. Three different families so far have come forward to share that they put down deposits of $3500 each to rent the house, only to have their checks cashed and never hear from the real estate agent again.

“When you hold a property vacant in Oakland while people are so desperate for housing, as Wedgewood has done, you create the conditions for scams like this one,” said Elena Frink, a victim of the scam. “By keeping this house vacant, Wedgewood is driving up prices for all Oakland renters. It should be illegal to keep a house like this empty while moms and kids suffer on the street.”

The Moms for Housing have launched a petition directed at Wedgewood, asking them to negotiate in good faith with the Moms for the return of the house to community control. Supporters can sign the petition at: https://www.change.org/p/title-stop-the-eviction-of-moms-4-housing

Source

Seattle: Autonomous Tiny Home Village Pushes Back Eviction to March 2020

Report from Stop the Sweeps and Demand Utopida Seattle on the recent pushing back of an eviction of an autonomous self-organized tiny house village.

Seattle Deputy Mayor Mosley has promised that the village will not be swept and may remain on the current site through March 2020. The City has secured a commitment from the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) that they will not try to remove the houses, which they claim to own. He expressed some concerns about whether the budget outlined by the village will be adequate, wants the village to commit to allowing case managers to work with residents, and says there are some other details to be worked out, but it is a relief to everyone to have this overview agreed upon. The residents will now be responsible for coming up with the funds to cover utilities and other operating costs which are estimated to be $27,000 through March 2020. If you are so inclined to donate, please follow this link here.

This is an incredible victory for the residents of Nickelsville Northlake who have struggled so hard these past 9 months to retain their chosen, self-managed community model in the face of intense pressures – and it illustrates what the community as a whole can accomplish when we stand together in solidarity. The sweep of Nickelsville Northlake was not stopped due to any one single leader or organization but due to the Nickelsville residents speaking out about their plight and a tremendous outpouring of support from the community. As of this writing almost 300 members of the Seattle community said that they were willing to actively participate in mutual aid and oppose the sweep alongside Nickelsville residents, up to and including arrest. The residents believe in their autonomous community so much that they were willing to occupy this part of unceded Salish territory that is claimed by Seattle City Light.

As a result of these successes, the counter demonstration on Monday, December 9th is called off and Nickelsville Northlake residents extended an invite to the community to celebrate this monumentous victory with a communal feast on Sunday.

The call to action and response gives us a possible avenue of approach for stopping sweeps. Although a diversity of tactics is certainly needed along with different communities responding in separate but unified ways. This is an incredible victory for the residents of Northlake Nickelsville, the sweeps of our houseless neighbor continue on a near daily basis, often without this much publicity or enthusiasm. We would like to harness this outpouring of empathy and solidarity moving forward to form a rapid response network to sweeps that happen with little to no warning. If you would like to be an activist, ally, signal booster, mobilizer, or organizer as a part of this please fill out this form with your contact information.
Source

Athens: From Theory to Practice – An Initial Response – 15 buildings liberated

The entire state machinery of the Mitsotakis government, spearheaded by its repressive forces, is opposed to anything that challenges its impositions of normality. It uses the doctrine of “law and order” and the rhetoric of zero tolerance as a veil to cover and distract from its endless inconsistencies. It feeds its constituents the rhetoric of nation, security, legitimacy, and development while adopting models of polarization and paradigms of bygone eras. The purpose is clear: the attempted eradication of the structures of struggle and the destruction of the revolutionary movement, which stands against its development plans and any model of so-called urban gentrification. At the same time, there is a systematic effort to massively displace populations that do not “fit” into the increasing needs of capital and the bosses of the metropolis. The effort to create an ideal consumer environment of both a passive and easily controlled population that serves the private interest is high on their agenda. On the one hand, airbnb, entertainment hotspots, shop windows, and hotels aim at the spectacle-ization of neighborhoods and the profitability of the few, while, on the other hand, cameras, drones, enforcement of all kinds, and the ceding of control of every [public and private] space to the police state for consumer control, surveillance, and commerce.

In synergy with the above, the Chryssochidis ultimatum cynically demands that we vacate the spaces of struggle by December 5th. It comes as the culmination of a period of intense repression, the evacuation of structures of struggle and solidarity, and the constant attack on sites of self-organization and for the fermentation of political discourse. To their supreme communicative stunt – aimed at spreading fear, targeting specific social groups, and depriving them of basic social needs – we respond with struggle. There is no possibility of our voluntary withdrawal from the struggle. We are unfazed by the growing climate of terrorism they are creating. We are ready – once again – to create bulwarks and stand against contemporary attempts to impose a Leviathan-state model. What the state does not understand is that despite our historical connection with Exarcheia and our survival in squats throughout Greece, we exist beyond that. Our collectivisation and self-organization flourish irregardless of space. Collective bodies will not be suppressed even if there is no roof to cover their heads.

In practice, we have opened and claimed the following spaces:

3 buildings in Gizi

2 buildings in Ilissia

6 buildings in Exarcheia

1 building in Victoria

1 building in Agios Panteleimonas

2 buildings in Kipseli

…this is how easy it is…

The first target is the deconstruction of the state rhetoric that demonizes squatted spaces with potential for self-organization and their utilization by subjects of state repression. In response to the Panhellenic call for action on December 5th, we have liberated 15 buildings (15 is the number of your fate) in the aforementioned areas, posting banners reading “Property is Theft,” and claiming the spaces to serve as a pool of options for future use. This is simply a first call for resistance and solidarity with comrades who want to create occupations and spaces of struggle, homeless to meet their social needs, immigrants who oppose their incarceration in concentration camps, and the oppressed. We want to communicate the concept of claiming empty spaces in order to survive in terms of struggle outside of sterilized capitalist logic.

Through this action we declare that our struggle is enduring and opposed to any kind of ultimatum. We make it clear that we will support the squats and spaces of struggle and all that they stand for. To be continued…

– EVERYTHING BELONGS TO US BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS STOLEN, SQUATS TO VILLAS AND ABANDONED PLACES

EnoughisEnough translated from Indymedia

Puget Sound: Stop the Sweeps!

Don’t Let Your Houseless Neighbors Be Treated Like Garbage

Flyer for printing stopthesweepsflyer

Thousands of people sleep-rough in tents, doorways, or vehicles around the Puget Sound. On any given day they might be forced to give up what little semblance of stability they have by threat of violent arrest and seizure of their few belongings. These sweeps are a never-ending game of whack-a-mole where the only result is to keep the problem out of sight and out of mind, all while inflicting ever-more violence and trauma on those already suffering.

As an avalanche of tech capital pours into the region, more are forced out of their homes and onto the streets every day. This displacement often falls along historic lines of racist and colonial segregation: Indigenous, Black and Brown communities are significantly more likely to be forced out by gentrification and find themselves with nowhere else to go. A nationwide drug epidemic, fueled by massively profitable pharmaceutical companies, magnifies the problems homeless folks already face.

Private charity and city spending enables those with power and money to insist they are “doing something” when in reality they are a pitiful band-aid on a gaping wound. Despite an endless stream of lies from City Halls, there are never enough housing or treatment options or even shelter beds to meet the constantly growing need.

Solving this problem will take the compassionate efforts of all of us. We must build new lines of solidarity and mutual-aid in order to leave this dystopia behind and build a new world.

—–

A War on Homeless People

A diffuse network of agencies, corporations, and “concerned citizens” dehumanize and brutalize homeless folks, occasionally professing to care about their well being while in reality subjecting our neighbors to a never-ending cycle of humiliation. This also serves as a warning to keep the rest of us compliant and unquestioning, thankful for what few comforts we might cling to.

Media

Conservative and corporate media outlets have found attacks on homeless people to be a profitable platform. Personalities like KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz and TV networks like KOMO, with their “Seattle is Dying” documentary, peddle a false narrative which paints homeless folks as morally bankrupt addicts. Their deep capitalist interest in maintaining the status-quo incentives them to deliberately ignore the systemic issues that created this reality.

Navigation Team

The face of Seattle’s government outreach is the “Navigation Team” of Seattle Police officers and social workers. The latter have expressed that they are used as a prop by the cops to claim they are “offering services” that do not actually exist. The officer’s personal sentiments are encapsulated by their union, the Seattle Police Officers Guild, which invited hate group Safe Seattle to a recent candidate forum because of their shared false belief that more aggressive policing will solve the problem. The Nav Team model has recently been exported to Olympia, Bellingham, and elsewhere. The former head left after being exposed insisting a sweep continue even after a resident was found dead; he was promptly hired by Vancouver to start a similar program.

Hate Groups

Private individuals, occasionally funded by corporate and conservative money, have made Facebook groups and pages a central organizing platform for a grassroots assault on homeless folks. These groups often cultivate concrete ties with recognized hate groups such as “Patriot Prayer” and “Three Percenter” militias.

Some, such as “Safe Seattle,” spread outright lies and overt calls for vigilante violence against people on the streets. Others, like “Seattle Looks like Shit,” spread sensational imagery in order to dehumanize homeless people while contributing nothing towards a solution. Increasingly these groups exist for communities beyond Seattle’s city limits, such as “Burien Voice” and “East Pierce Watch.”

—–

What can You do? Solidarity and Mutual-Aid!

Maintaining dehumanized groups of people like homeless folks is a central pillar of support maintaining Capitalism. Until we bring about total systemic change the problem will continue. The path to this change begins with organizing by and alongside those most profoundly impacted by it. On the smallest scale, individuals and small groups among those of us who are housed can provide concrete support on the understanding that our own liberation is tied together. Get together with friends or neighbors to provide an ongoing, concrete resource like a weekly meal for your homeless neighbors. Organize in your workplace or community group to provide free places to seek shelter during the day or night. Overcome your apprehensions and make friends with nearby encampments to find out, from their perspective, what assistance you can offer them. Showing up at a camp and telling someone that you are a neighbor who wants to help will be a welcome change from most interactions people have. Join or build networks working to Stop the Sweeps, end incarceration, or dismantle the racist, capitalist system that underpins this entire “crisis.”

Check Out:

StopTheSweeps.org

PugetSoundAnarchists.org

ItsGoingDown.org

Source

Athens: Call for demos on 5th and 6th of December

Athens. On Thursday 5th December,the Ministry of Public Order’s deadline to “remove squatters” from their homes expires. On this day, we are calling on everyone to protest against the repression, not recognizing any decision of the state or ultimatum of the Ministry of Public Order. On Friday the 6th of December we also march in memory of the 2008 uprising for the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos.

The evictions of squats, the terrorizing of comrades by all means, the imprisonment of migrants in concentration camps, the criminalization of our street presence, and the cops in all the streets of the neighborhoods are not just targetting a specific part of society as the state, its mechanisms, and the media is trying to convince us. They concern each and every one of us. It is the beginning of a new attack against all of us, migrants, students, workers, unemployed, but also against all kinds of “illegal” in the eyes of power. An attack against a whole class of opposers. It is an attempt to isolate us and try to destroy us materially, politically and socially.

But attacking the anarchists, the militants, and the spaces that house our collective resistance, can in the long run only prove to be a dissapointment for the state as it has been in the past. Ideas and consciences are not evicted, they are not overthrown, they can not be “bricked up”. The movements always counter-attack even stronger in the face of oppression and cruel repression. And that is why they will always find us on the street, with daily demonstrations, squats and re-squats, actions, boycotts and all kinds of attacks against bosses and businesses, the state and its minions, the cops and their snitches.

Against the attacks of the state and capital, our uprising will become their nightmare

-Thursday 5/12 at 18:00 demonstration starting at Propilea, Panepistimio

-Friday 6/12 at 18:00 participation on the annual demo in memory of 2008 uprising.

-On Tuesday 3/12, a7 19.00 at Gini Building of The Polytechnic university, Open Assembly to co-organize and guard the 5/12 demo

Indymedia translated by EnoughisEnough

Greece: New Democracy, the new face of state violence

A view from Exarchia as the showdown looms. Interview with an anarchist in Athens about current situation.

he neighborhood of Exarchia in Athens, Greece is known worldwide as an epicenter of combative anarchism. For many years, anarchists and refugees have worked together to occupy buildings, establishing housing collectives and social centers that provide a variety of services outside the control of the state. Starting in August, the new government has carried out a series of massive raids targeting immigrants, anarchists, and other rebels, while revoking the autonomy previously granted to universities and introducing a wide range of new repressive measures and technologies. Now the government has given all the remaining occupations in Greece two weeks to conclude lease agreements with the owners or face the same fate. This deadline coincides with December 6, a day that anarchists have observed for ten years as the anniversary of the police murder of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos and the uprising that followed it.

The new governing party of Greece, aptly named New Democracy, is described by some media outlets as “center right,” in contrast to outright fascist parties like Golden Dawn; in fact, New Democracy has adopted much of its repressive and xenophobic agenda directly from the fascist right, while pursuing a neoliberal agenda in service of international finance capital. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mytsotakis, a hereditary representative of the capitalist class whose father was also prime minister, exemplifies the political caste that seeks to destroy the last safeguards protecting workers and poor people while scapegoating those who resist.

In the following interview, an anarchist in Athens details the government crackdown that is unfolding and explores the stakes of the fight. This is nothing less than an attempt to erase and rewrite the history of resistance movements in Greece and around the world—so that the dates November 17 and December 6, on which demonstrators have memorialized those murdered by the police, will instead mark the triumphs of repression—so that the name Black Panthers will not call to mind the grassroots Black organization for self-defense and survival, but rather designate the blackshirts of the new police force tasked with patrolling the subways and tourist areas. Imitating protesters around the world, Greek police are now terrorizing pedestrians in Exarchia by shining lasers in their eyes. All of this underscores the extent to which the gloves have come off: from Chile to Hong Kong, open war is erupting between those who aspire to rule and those who aspire to freedom.

We have anticipated this wave of reaction since the left party Syriza came to power in 2015. Something similar occurred not long ago in Brazil: the Workers’ Party (PT) maintained power for years by introducing minor social reforms while pursuing a neoliberal agenda and cracking down on movements for social change, ultimately creating the conditions for the far right to seize the government and take revenge on the general population, culminating in the electoral victory of Jair Bolsonaro. While some leftists see this as a reason to remain loyal to left parties no matter what they do, we see the events in Brazil and Greece as a reminder that no electoral strategy can stand in for the sort of collective horizontal organizing that could one day make us capable of facing down the state.

The repression in Greece gives us an opportunity to reevaluate the effectiveness of current anarchist tactics and strategies in a context where many thousands of people are employing them. We should not blame Greek anarchists for experiencing this repression; the story is not over yet, and as in Chile, this crackdown may ultimately broaden and deepen the movement against the state. At the most, we might hypothesize that this wave of repression illustrates the difficulties of maintaining fixed territory today, when governments fearing for their stability are striking out as hard as they can. The age of ceasefires is over. In the coming years, it will be impossible to defend zones of autonomy without precipitating ever wider uprisings against authority.

International solidarity is an essential aspect of this. We urge everyone to stay abreast of the events in Greece, to support arrestees there, and to carry out solidarity actions at Greek embassies and elsewhere.

The interview follows.


Riot police guard the US embassy and enclose anarchist demonstrators in Athens on November 17.

We last spoke in August. What has happened since then?

Since August, the Greek state has exceeded general expectations. It’s hard to know where to begin in listing the incidents of brutality and terror it has visited upon the anarchist movement, targeted minorities, and all those excluded or at odds with the new administration over the past three months.

What happens next will surely overshadow the intense repression that has already occurred. Every morning I wake up to news of another squat evicted, another person beaten or arrested. We are seeing a new campaign of repression in which an emboldened right wing seeks revenge for the years under a left government, ironically focusing on those who were outside and against the Syriza administration. Syriza also carried out repression, but it utilized a more complex, deceptive, and indirect strategy.

Some older anarchists describe what is happening now as nothing more than a return to the days before Syriza. Yet confronting the swift and relentless assault on our movement and infrastructure, even those who have been around since the resurgence of the anarchist movement in Greece in the 1980s admit that this may exceed all the previous waves of repression since the far-right military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974.

The state is hitting from every angle. It is attempting to destroy the anarchist movement, but it is also attempting to revoke the remaining freedoms that have made Greece unique relative to other western nation-states. “Law and order” is the banner beneath which this administration is carrying out this campaign of revenge.

Police beating and detaining youths.

Things could be worse. This sort of state violence is the norm in the United States; far more brutal repression is taking place elsewhere in the world. I simply aim to report on the situation in Greece during these dark days, particularly in Athens. I affirm my solidarity with the struggles unfolding from Chile to Hong Kong in response to capitalist restructuring across the world. I hope to inspire more solidarity and to make sure that the story of what is happening here does not go untold.

As of November 20, the so-called “Ministry of Citizen Protection” has officially given all squats remaining in Greece fifteen days’ notice to vacate or face forceful eviction. Today, the media has published a map of the squats under threat. In the statement, they exhort occupiers to contact the owners to make lease agreements and allege that immigrants will be moved to “inland accommodations.” While most squatted buildings are owned by the state, even in cases in which the owners have not made moves to evict squatters, government officials have pressured them or fabricated justifications for eviction such as accusations of drug dealing or weapons-making. Considering that most squats maintain strict anti-drug policies and are clearly aware enough of the risk of imminent raids to know the risks of manufacturing weapons, these accusations are blatantly dishonest. Fabrications like this also provide excuses to evict squats like Lelas that have been occupied for over 20 years, regardless of whether there is pressure from their owners or precise evidence of illegal activity. Under the prosecutors appointed by New Democracy, housing protection laws no longer pose any obstacle to the current regime.

As for the “inland accommodations” for immigrants, this is clearly a reference to concentration camps. When we completed the last interview in August, only about 150 immigrants were reported to have been evicted during the raids of August 26. Today, well over 500 immigrants have been evicted, according to the official numbers. The squats housing refugees that have been evicted since August 26 include the fifth high school of Athens in Neapoli, an unnamed squat on the outskirts of Omonia, Hotel Oneiro squat in Exarchia, and the Clandestina squat in Exarchia.

The people who have been kidnapped from these squats by the state were transferred to detention centers or taken to concentration camps far from the public eye. Many people have been turned away from these camps due to overcrowding, leaving them homeless and vulnerable to human trafficking and attacks from fascists and police. The housing inside these camps is reportedly little better. Many stories have gone unheard; communication has been lost with many of those taken.

Some of those evicted from Clandestina refused to board a bus to one of these camps; the police stole their papers and forced them to walk back 10 miles in the pouring rain without knowing where they would go. It is becoming common for police to steal the documents of refugees or immigrants who resist, which complicates future police encounters. Conditions in the camps are overcrowded and unhygienic; fascist groups have pelted refugees and immigrants with rocks and organized pork barbecues outside the camps in hopes of offending those they assume to be Muslims. This week, the government released a plan to further curtail procedures that welcome refugees while funding new concentration camps in abandoned schools or unused land far from cities and tourist destinations.

On November 2, police raided and evicted the 14-year-old squat known as Vancouver located near the Economics School of Athens, arresting four people, planting drugs on the premises, destroying the interior, kidnapping several dogs, and boarding up the building with cats trapped inside it. Following a hunger strike by a member of an animal liberation group and legal pressure, officials permitted a person to scale the bricks of the building and release the cats that the police had intended to starve to death as a form of punishment. Vancouver was beloved by a variety of anarchists, transcending some of the divisions that have plagued the movement here. It was also the first formally anarchist squat to be evicted.

Outside of Athens, in Larisa, the Palmares squat was evicted. In Thessaloniki, where fascists had burned down the squat Libertatia during nationalist demonstrations regarding the name of Macedonia in January 2018, the squatters had almost finished reconstructing the building; police attacked them, arresting four people and forcing the occupants to break off reconstruction on the absurd grounds that they were “destroying” a historic site.

Originally, the government declared that all occupations were to be evicted by November 17, the anniversary of the day in 1973 when the Greek military junta attacked the Polytechnic University in Exarchia with a tank, murdering dozens. Now that this deadline has passed, the new statement from the government announces that all occupations will be evicted by December 5, one day before the anniversary of day Greek police officers murdered Alexis Grigoropoulos, an unarmed 15-year-old, in Exarchia. Both dates were clearly chosen as provocations, explicitly affirming the murders of young civilians that the Greek state has carried out and aiming to suppress the movements that memorialize them.

The government has rapidly channeled a great deal of additional resources to the police specifically for the purpose of attacking immigrant communities in Athens and crushing the anarchist and squatter movements. Syriza had suspended the Delta police, the roving motorbike force used to beat and terrify demonstrators in Exarchia, relying instead on MAT police. Now 300 new Delta police have been established under a new name, OPKE, which can be translated as “crime prevention and repression teams.” They are officially in the streets again.

New Democracy has also created a new police force inside the subways and tourist areas of Athens, embarrassingly called the Black Panthers on account of their black uniforms. Transportation regulation and fare enforcement have already become stricter; now there is a police force for this reason alone. The MAT police, the riot police units that repress demonstrations, stand guard to prevent people from reoccupying evicted squats, attack demonstrations, and surround the neighborhood of Exarchia every day, have also been increased by an additional 1500 members. These increased numbers were first visible on November 17.

Police officers on the streets are visibly emboldened. I have seen officers openly harassing women; they threaten anyone they suspect might be their enemy. Their brutality is intense and amazingly random. In grotesque appropriation of the tactic protesters have used in Hong Kong and Chile to keep riot police at a distance, officers have been using laser pointers to point out targets in the streets; when they have nothing better to do, they sometimes simply point them at people’s eyes. This has happened to me and to other people I know.

Being near a clash, regardless of your participation in it, is justification enough for officers to attack you with physical force; facing no legal risk, they are seeking to exert maximum force against the general population. Individual officers take pride in the power that has been vested in them to do this. A well-known anarchist was recently arrested in the square of Exarchia for simply sitting. The police pulled his clothing down and sexually assaulted him while telling him “the junta is back.”

Significant changes in repression have also been made into policy. For example, the government has extended the minimum sentence for those convicted on terrorism charges from 17 years to 22, while stiffening the conditions of release and intensifying the penalties for probation violations. The penalties for rioting and the use of Molotov cocktails have been increased; expanded trespassing laws specifically target protests that enter buildings “unlawfully,” an attack aimed at groups like Rouvikonas who enter buildings when protesting conditions or exploitation by bosses or employers. There are efforts to punish those advocating or reporting on resistance, essentially criminalizing radical content itself. The new government aims to modernize the apparatus and practices of state repression in Greece so they will compare with those of the United States. The officials appointed to the Ministry of Civilian Protection have consulted with various foreign agencies, including the FBI. They are investing in new technologies including drones and cyber-surveillance.

Police have brought back additional methods of intimidation and surveillance at full force. Officers have shown up at the homes of accused anarchists before demonstrations to intimidate them—a tactic they employed under Syriza, but less often and less intensely. Anarchists have found GPS tracking equipment attached to their vehicles and seen cameras stationed in cars outside their homes. Two nights ago in Exarchia, anarchists noticed a vehicle containing badly camouflaged surveillance equipment parked outside the offices of Class Counterattack and the Mikro cafe. When they went to photograph the car, dozens of riot police swarmed the area, escorting two undercover officers as they moved the vehicle.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis gloating about new repressive measures.

On November 8, police carried out anti-terror raids targeting over a dozen houses alleged to be the residences of anarchists connected to the group Revolutionary Self-Defense. The authorities claim to have seized an array of weapons including guns used in prior attacks against the Mexican embassy and the headquarters of PASOK, the socialist party, which is the location of one of the main stations of the MAT riot police in Exarchia. Police arrested three people in these raids; it’s likely that they will experiment with the new punitive measures in prosecuting them. The new prime minister has bragged about these arrests as a victory for the state.

Following the formal abolition of the university asylum policy, police have entered universities such as the School of Economics in Kipseli to evict the occupied social centers knows as stekis. Police are threatening the stekis they have not evicted yet and pressuring university administrators to let them invade the campuses. Inside the universities, right-wing groups such as the Youth Party of the ruling New Democracy party have been emboldened to attack anti-fascists and anarchists, assaulting individuals pasting flyers and openly marching against immigrants.

Riot police entering the Economics School in Athens.

Demonstrations continue to occur, with small clashes erupting despite the unrelenting assault from all sides. Many anticipated that November 17 would indicate the future of important anniversaries revolutionaries and anarchists have used to foster a tradition of resistance and riot.

November 17, 1973 marked the resurgence of the anarchist movement in the 20th century and the emergence of Exarchia as a zone of anti-police and anti-fascist activity. Most anarchists have observed the anniversary of November 17 by occupying the Polytechnic and honoring the legacy of those murdered by the police. This year, the daytime demonstration that went to the US embassy—since the USA supported the junta in order to keep Greece a right-wing stronghold following a civil war between the left and right—saw one of the largest presences of anarchists in its history. Thousands of anarchists participated in the march in two blocs. Police isolated the larger of the blocs from the rest of the march, with lines of 500 or more riot police walking on both sides of the demonstrators.

In anticipation of the traditional night riots around the Polytechnic in Exarchia, police completely militarized the neighborhood. Roving groups of Delta police operated in groups of ten, while hundreds—if not thousands—of riot police surrounded the neighborhood. In the past, when operations like this took place, anarchists took to the roofs of Exarchia to fight the police. This year, equipped with drones and new anti-terror measures that enable police to enter buildings without regard for the law, police arrested six individuals and accused them of planning attacks from the roofs.

Amid all this terrifying posturing from the state, despite the odds against them, a few hundred courageous individuals still took the square of Exarchia to try to fight their way through the police to access the blocked off Polytechnic. Additional massive numbers of riot police and Delta police bombarded them with tear gas and stun grenades. An array of videos show officers inflicting heinous beatings to people at random. Many people were seriously injured and currently face weighty charges. We know of 28 arrests in Athens on November 17—six during preemptive daytime measures and 22 during night clashes. At least 31 more people were arrested across Greece as demonstrations involving anarchists occurred in Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion, and other cities. The following day, police brutally attacked a march organized in solidarity with the arrestees.

Following an attack on a motorbike belonging to a Delta cop two weeks ago, police attacked a bar frequented by anarchists; failing to enter the bar, they turned on the crowd that had gathered to observe, then roved the neighborhood arresting and beating people at random. The state specifically tasks the most reactionary police with terrorizing Exarchia, usually insecure men from outside Athens—many of whom are involved with the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn. For them, this is a personal grudge match.

What other factors are shaping the situation besides outright government repression?

While the new administration is playing to its base by using anarchists and immigrants as scapegoats for the anger and misery of post-crisis Greece, capitalists are carrying out an assault on the whole country under the cover of “law and order.” The Orthodox Church and the proponents of the junta have been forces in Greek society for a long time; but thanks to new opportunities for capitalists, technological advancements, and the exodus of youth abroad looking for work, the reactionaries have gained the upper hand.

As a result of the golden passport policy of the Greek state, in which investing $250,000 or more automatically obtains the investor citizenship, wealthy Americans, Chinese, Israelis, and Russians seeking EU citizenship are buying up a great deal of Greek real estate. This has been unfolding since the crisis in 2008, but it has accelerated in response to the arrival of the business-friendly New Democracy.

As we discussed in the previous interview, the invasion of Airbnb and ex-pat tech workers able to work remotely has sent rents soaring through the roof and inflated real estate value everywhere. Just as it has in London, Berlin, San Francisco, New York, and Hong Kong, this has driven out or impoverished those who define the very reputation of these renowned cities. Especially in Athens, the culture of the center—including graffiti, cafés, food, and other customs—is being commodified alongside the process of gentrification. We are being turned into a zoo for those can afford to pay for the “Athens experience.” Exarchia is just one instance of a much more widespread phenomenon.

In this context, the evictions of squats and the efforts to pacify neighborhoods are not just a matter of reasserting “law and order”—they are also an essential part of capitalist restructuring. In the past, evicted buildings would sit empty for years, but now there are gentrifiers waiting to take control of them. The police are just the point at the end of the spear; the thrust behind it is the pressure to auction Greece off to the global capitalist class, further impoverishing many locals while rewarding the necessary accomplices.

The new government has hastened to cut taxes for the wealthy and cater to their interests. They recently sold a large portion of the biggest port in Athens to the Chinese government and agreed to build a new American military base in the city of Alexanderpouli on the border with Turkey. Everything is for sale in Greece as they look to privatize and modernize.

Ironically, while targeting anarchists and immigrants in the name of “law and order,” the state continues to channel the drug epidemic into neighborhoods like Exarchia and the immigrant-dominated Omonia neighborhood. In part, this helps them to maintain the illusion that anarchist and immigrant squats are connected with drug dealing and general criminality, when in fact they represent one of the chief alternatives to them. In this regard, the drug epidemic serves to maintain the status quo. Because it provides a pretext for scapegoating and repression, the government has no real incentive to suppress it. As New Democracy member of Parliament Thanos Plevris [1] said on television, explaining their policing strategy: “We want Exarchia to return to normal criminality.”

Despite widespread nationalism and racism, Greece has long been known as a lax society compared to Northern Europe or North America. It is famous for drinking outside, smoking inside, and inconsistent law enforcement. European Union standards ban smoking inside; around the country, you can see “no smoking” signs beside tables with ashtrays. Now the authorities are ticketing businesses and threatening their licenses for allowing smoking inside; presumably, the state will use this to target businesses hostile to police or suspected to regularly host anarchists and immigrants.

For the first time in five years, police arrested a person for not paying the fare on the metro. Police raided a nightclub in the Gazi neighborhood of Athens in a sort of vice-style police operation in which 300 partygoers were held at gunpoint by black-clad police looking for drugs. What is going on is not just a political war on immigrants and anarchists; it is also a cultural war on the sort of “Mediterranean” freedom that has come to define Greece as a result of slower processes of modernization.
2
The rigid enforcement of sterile order that defines countries like the USA is the standard that New Democracy hopes to impose on Greece.

In short: neoliberalism at the end of a gun, along with technocracy, church, and tradition. This is what New Democracy means by “law and order.”

Greek police confiscating a container of books in Exarchia square.

How effective has state repression been so far?

Greek anarchists have earned many things with blood. Both Exarchia as we know it and the Greek anarchist movement of today have their origins in blood and courage. Anarchism is a staple of Greek society that will never be eradicated. Proportionate to the population, I don’t think there is a larger anarchist movement anywhere in the world. While the numbers of anarchists, anti-authoritarians, and autonomists are at an all-time high, repression is taking aim at movement infrastructure, effectively and rapidly changing the game.

A word about the different forms of repression here: what is new here is the technological advances in policing in Greece including surveillance, harsher anti-terror measures, and harsher punishments. The police and court system in the United States are ruthless in their relentless investigations, premeditated repression, and judicial punishment; likewise, US police kill far more people then Greek police—specifically people of color and poor people. On the other hand, police are able to beat people more freely here in response to demonstrations.
3
Both systems are brutal; but until now, the Greek police have been more heavy-handed and arguably less systematic.

It’s important to remember the history of Greece to understand how the state functions here. Since the fall of the junta, the anarchist movement in Greece has not faced the extreme degrees of repression seen in the US in the McCarthy era, when the FBI cracked down on everyone with left or anarchist views. The abandoning of any pretense of democracy and legal rights is taking place suddenly and swiftly. It has surprised many people here.

Yet when we consider everything that has happened elsewhere over the past two decades, from the militarization of police to the dismantling of the safety nets that formed the basis of the previous social contract, it seems inevitable that this was going to happen—especially taking into account how rapidly changes go global these days. In any case, we can hope that the fighting spirit here, which has emerged from so many experiences of struggle, will ultimately adapt, grow, and overcome.

Why do you think it has been possible for the state to carry out this repression? Is the anarchist movement isolated? What are other people in Greece doing right now? What are people outside the anarchist movement focusing on?

The anarchist movement was prepared for a big shift to come when ND was elected. However, few anticipated such a scorched earth approach. The movement is very different here than it is in the US. Proportionate to the population, it is huge, as I’ve said; however, it is isolated in some ways that may be unhelpful to our struggles.

Anarchists and the left have a tense relationship. The left here is openly authoritarian and complicit in many aspects of the current system. Although in theory, the repeal of the asylum laws on the universities could offer grounds for anarchists and leftists to unite against a common enemy, it is very hard to imagine the left and anarchists unifying against the right wing and the institutions of the state. On the contrary, the left wants to reclaim the state, not to destroy it. The problem with this was evident when many people stopped participating in mass mobilizations at the high point of their potential in 2012, anticipating that Syriza would come to power and fix things; as a consequence of this demobilization, people were not prepared to compel Syriza to follow through on its promises, which contributed to the disillusionment that enabled New Democracy to come to power.

At the same time, there are other issues relating to the isolation of the movement, and the gulfs between groups within the movement itself.

One issue is that the movement has been able to count on large enough numbers to be self-sufficient, with the consequence that it can also be insular. Additionally, while people have built a great deal of infrastructure over the past several years, a lot of division has also resulted as a consequence of infighting, as people have remained loyal to their chosen assembly, crew, or team in disputes without finding ways to resolve them. This happens everywhere in the world; unfortunately, in Greece, it has enabled the state to skip directly to the “conquer” phase of their “divide and conquer” strategy, seeing how much division already exists.

In the United States, due to the diversity of the society and the comparatively small proportion of self-proclaimed anarchists in the population, it appears that anarchists are forced to discover affinities with other angry people or struggling communities who may not claim precisely the same identity or political affiliation. This is a good thing.

Of course, in Greece, there are efforts that involve collaborating with refugees, immigrants, and working-class or excluded Greek people, and these have created beautiful relationships and projects. Still, some anarchists tend to approach them as distinct subjects rather than as comrades with whom to build something collectively. There are exceptions to this—for example, in the participation of immigrants who made connections with anarchists who set out to support them during the so-called “refugee crisis.” Still, lines of separation remain that may hinder revolt from spreading further.

Despite these issues, the anarchist movement is very strong. People are nervous at this moment, but fear is an obstacle that every struggle must overcome. Regardless of this fear, people are continuing to organize, trying to overcome divisions and external obstacles bit by bit. Exhaustion and cynicism can be inevitable when the state hits you hard and takes everything from you, but the anarchist communities of Greece will never be eradicated. Too many people here have struggled, suffered, and found safety and community in anarchy.

Also, while we should identify our weaknesses and errors and the ways we can improve, the blame for this repression rests on the state and its puppets. At the moment, the police and their masters have all the cards in their favor; they are cowards who can flaunt their expensive weapons in public with no risk of legal repercussions. Our response, our resistance, is grounded in the strength of our spines and the courage of our hearts. The state currently has the advantage, but I don’t think we should blame ourselves for this; as conflict is intensifying around the world, it is to be expected that the state strategy will escalate here. In Greece, new elements of revolt will emerge as we are pushed into a corner.

The repression that is taking place now is unique in our experience, but they can never crush our spirit. They are punching a lion inside a cage; eventually, the lion will break out.

The anarchist steki in the Economics School.

What is at stake going into December? What are the dangers? And are there any new opportunities, if people could shift strategies?

Anticipating the anniversary of the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos on December 6, I expect the police will attempt to a inflict a bloodbath. At a dinner party in a village prior to November 17, a police commissioner was heard to say that he would be surprised if the police didn’t kill anyone that day. They didn’t get to kill anyone on November 17, though video footage of beatings shows their readiness to do so—so who knows what they will attempt on December 6.

From what I saw on November 17, I think they will double down on violent repression. They will be out in full force; they will make preemptive arrests and beat anyone on the streets of Exarchia that night. I think they will permit a daytime demonstration in memory of Alexis to maintain the façade of democracy, but, as they did on November 17, they will surround all the anarchists and respond brutally if anyone tries to get out of line.

Bloodstains on the streets of Exarchia on the night of November 17.

I don’t know what December 6 will bring, but I know that the memory of Alexis and the way his death touched the lives of so many generations is far more powerful than the self-interested agendas of politicians like Mytsotakis who were born with silver spoons in their mouths.

Overall, I think that the purpose of the resources that they are investing in repression is chiefly to keep the base of New Democracy voters distracted from the broader economic and social issues at play in Greece today. I think the state’s resources will be focused so much on crushing the anarchist movement and torturing immigrants that eventually Greek civilians will realize once again that the precarity they are subjected to has not changed. This is by no means guaranteed—as you see with Trump supporters in the states, outright fascism offers some very efficient methods of deception and control.

I think the movement will have to struggle harder in these dark days, but I believe that in the long run, we will grow stronger as a result of these challenges. People continue to organize and act; despite the fear, we are still in the streets. The hundred or so people sparking small clashes inside the square of Exarchia on November 17 were like a David without a slingshot facing a Goliath in a tank. Yet while they could have kept to the safety of their couches, they chose to stand up in the street.

For context, we should recall that in 1995, the police arrested everyone; almost nothing occurred in 1996. At that time, no one could anticipate the explosions that would take place during the Olympic Games in 2004 and on a much bigger scale in December 2008, nor what is to come now.

Again, what can people outside Greece to do support the struggle there?

The neoliberal nation-states and the profiteers they benefit are staying their post-industrial course while forcing a feudal vision on humanity. This is taking place globally—from Greece to Chile, from the United States to China. More than ever in these dark days, solidarity must be our weapon.

If you can come here to help refugees and immigrants, that will be very important, as resources will be stretched ever thinner and the government will intentionally make the conditions that are imposed on them worse. Even if you come simply to do volunteer work, any help to people in these dire conditions is an important act of solidarity; it will also show that people have not forgotten them.

Fundraising will be needed as new measures of repression and punishment here hit home. Please continue to pay attention to what is happening here; don’t allow the state to isolate us from our comrades around the world. Demonstrations at embassies—or inside them—will also help.

Above all, as I said in August, the best thing you can do to support the movement in Greece is to organize and fight the state and capitalism wherever you are, regardless of the odds. The anarchist movement has no borders. Learn from our losses and grow stronger. We call on those across the world who share our discontent and our commitment to solidarity to take action. We maintain that their repression, alienation, and prisons can never kill this spirit.

Our passion for freedom is the core of our solidarity and the foundation of our struggle.

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/squated/squat
Groups in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR
Events in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GR

Published by Crimethink https://crimethinc.com/2019/11/23/new-democracy-the-new-face-of-state-violence-in-greece-a-view-from-exarchia-as-the-showdown-looms

[1] Plevris is a classic example of how the politics of the fascist Golden Dawn party have become mainstream in New Democracy. In 2011, he claimed that Greece should use deadly force against refugees trying to cross into Greece and deny immigrants access to food, water, and healthcare.

[2] Believe it or not, when the Joker film came out, police raided cinemas to check IDs, threatening parents who brought their children to see it that someday they might lose custody of their children as a consequence.

[3] This is not because police in the US are more ethical; rather, it is a traditional aspect of police conduct in Greece, in part as a result of Greek police not facing the same lawsuit system that exists in the USA. It is very uncommon to sue here, and it would be unlikely that such a charge would be taken seriously if the beating occurred during a demonstration. Even if a lawsuit succeeded, the compensation would be much smaller than what one might win in a lawsuit against police in the United States.

Northern Serbia: Large-scale police operation sweeps refugee squats

The largest eviction of people was carried out at the settlement in the former Grafosrem industrial facility, but was accompanied by the clearance of multiple other smaller squats throughout the city of Šid / The Deputy Head of the Municipality of Šid, Mr Zoran Semenović was also in attendance, declaring the abandoned factory site to be his property, loudly insulting NNK volunteers that were present and — together with police — removing these witnesses from the area

Undocumented people taken from the streets

In the early hours of Friday, 22nd November 2019 a large-scale police eviction took place in Šid, Serbia. Some might recall the illegal burning of a migrant encampment close to the border of October 20th, among many others.

Sweeping all squats and unofficial settlements, the recent operation aimed to remove all undocumented people in transit from the streets of Šid. The action targeted approximately 150 people in and around Šid. The largest eviction of people was carried out at the settlement in the former Grafosrem industrial facility, but was accompanied by the clearance of multiple other smaller squats throughout the city. Authorized by municipality of Šid and supported by regional police, as well as units from Sremska Mitrovica and Belgrade, the apprehensions started at 06:00 am.

A politician removed witnesses from the area

Outwardly justified as a measure to meet the security concerns of the local population, the operation is clearly part of a larger scheme of internal displacement being realized throughout Serbia during the past week. Volunteers of No Name Kitchen present on site strongly condemn the forced removal of systemically marginalised communities, and the ruthlessness used during these operations. Their belongings, as well as the equipment provided by different individuals and groups such as AYS, was also removed from the squats.

Concerning the eviction of the Grafosrem squat, there was no official notice given or information on a relocation operation. While around 50 officers conducted the physical apprehension of the ca. 110 people living there, the Deputy Head of the Municipality of Šid, Mr Zoran Semenović was also in attendance, declaring the abandoned factory site to be his property, loudly insulting NNK volunteers that were present and — together with police — removing these witnesses from the area.

People’s belongings bulldozed away

The removal of the inhabitants was followed by the “cleansing” of the grounds — making use of a bulldozer, two forklift trucks, and around 30 workers of the municipality, along with multiple transport vehicles. Under the eyes of the media present, the entirety of the people’s belongings such as cell phones, power banks, clothing, electricity supply, personal money, 40 tents, over 200 blankets and sleeping bags were confiscated by city workers.

The flattening of the Grafosrem surroundings lasted until nightfall.
No information on the confiscated possessions was given to NNK, despite requests by volunteers. It is likely these items — provided by NNK and charitable donations from across the region — were destroyed by the authorities, when the hundred plus people were forcibly removed from the site. Similar actions were carried out at various other smaller squat settlements (this time only by police authorities). Persons apprehended did not receive preliminary eviction notices and were conveyed to the local police station to give their information before being removed to reception camps, such as Kikinda and Pirot. Minors were reported to have been taken to Sjenica or housing around Belgrade.

Unknown people filming volunteer’s house

In the days after the operation, volunteers in Šid have been under constant scrutiny. Private people have been observed monitoring the volunteer’s house and filming use of the organisations vehicle.

Even the mayor himself began to harass volunteers with his car when they were documenting the remains of the settlements.

Several key questions arise following Fridays events. Do fundamental rights still exist for Serbia’s transit population? What awaits these people in the camps across the country to which they have been forcibly removed? And locally, did Zoran Semenović act in an official capacity when claiming to be the owner of Grafosrem? What will happen to the confiscated possesions of the people expelled in this operation? Will they be returned or wilfully destroyed? We’ll keep you updated.
AYS via EnoughisEnough

Athens (Greece): Notara26 issues ultimatum to Greek government

Notara 26 issues ultimatum to Greek government, answering back to the government’s ultimatum to evacuate all squats within 15 days.

From occupied Exarchia we give a 15 days deadline to resign tho all those who dream of the revival of the dictatorship along with their propaganda mechanisms, through beatings, virtual rapes, stripping of women, denial of legal rights, intimidations and surveillance of comrades, workers and students. These are only some of the practices of the increasing repression and onslaught towards the people’s struggle. Their excellence and normality consists of closed borders, closed camps, closed minds and then the smokestacks will follow.
We have been given a 15day deadline. 15 days…
Notara 26 has existed for 1500 days. It has sheltered more than 9000 people from 15 different countries of origin. Hundreds of solidarians from all over the planet have participated in the project. Thousands of different stories. One constant common struggle for solidarity, selforganisation of our lives, acceptance of difference and uniqueness. One struggle in our squat, our neighborhood, the street.

Ideas cannot be supressed. Notara 26 is here and will stay alive !
You cannot evict a movement. Not now, not ever !

Housing squat for refugees/migrants Notara 26
Athens, November 21th, 2019
notara26 [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/1d8u

Greek state escalates: 15 day ultimatum to the squats – Migrants on Greek islands will soon be imprisoned

The Greek government released 2 statements on november 20th. The far right Nea Demokratia government has set an ultimatim to the squats on the Greek territory and announced that the will imprison migrants on the Greek islands.
The far right government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis is escalating the conflict with the anarchist movement. After the bloody repression in Exarchia last Sunday, the government announced th eviction of all squats. Yesterday, the Minister of Citizen Protection issued a 15 day ultimatum to the squatters that are occupying buildings in on the Greek territory, either private of public to evacuate the premises.
“Those who have illegally occupied buildings, public or private, are called upon to evacuate them. If asylum seekers or third-country nationals are housed there, they should be informed that they will be transferred to the mainland’s residence structures. For the purpose of travel, the relevant services of the Ministry of Citizen Protection will contact them. If the buildings are private, in order for the current squatters to remain, they need to contact the owners and agree on lease terms. The deadline for evacuation is 15 days from the publication of this report in the press.”

The 15 day ultimatum will end on the eve before the anniversary of the police murder on Alexandros Grigoropoulos. The ultimatum is nothing else than another declaration of war against the anarchist movement, the fact that the time frame will end on December 5, makes clear the Greek government wants to escalate the conflict and want to spread fear.

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/squated/squat
Groups in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR
Events in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GR

https://enoughisenough14.org/2019/11/24/exarcheia-notara26-squat-issues-ultimatum-to-greek-government/

https://enoughisenough14.org/2019/11/21/greek-state-escalates-15-day-ultimatum-to-the-squats-migrants-on-greek-islands-will-soon-be-imprisoned/

UK: The Social Centre Bulletin. Fash Attack Pie ‘n’ Mash

I was going to leave the Bulletin for another couple of weeks but then fascists happened. It’s always fascist innit, they got a thing about social spaces. Kicking off and trying to spoil everyone’s nice time.
On the 9th Nov, down in Deptford in London, a couple of hooligans tried to smash their way into Pie ‘n’ Mash squatted community cafe with the intention of attacking the people inside. Obviously not appreciating the re-appropriation of their bit of rhyming slang (it’s “Antifash Pie ‘n’ Mash” now see :p) nor the signs of any community organising it seems. They’d been seen lurking around the streets of Deptford for a few weeks (even visiting the squat a few times) and had been caught being typical racist trash in the local offy spewing homophobic and racist slurs as the fella behind the counter in the run up to their assault.
Then a couple of Saturdays ago they thought they’d give the social centre a go, putting through the front windows and kicking in the door before bailing as support came down the stairs to see what the noise was about. It’s nothing more than a nasty attempt at intimidation from people who only know threats and violence.
It’s all reminiscent of the attack on ANAL in Belgravia a while back where a group of Fash encircled the building and tried to break in, only just being held back by the occupants. Either of these incidents could have so easily have ended up like the horrific events our comrades in Greece have suffered, chiefly the burning down of Libertatia in Thessaloniki, the attack on Favela in Piraeus, and that on Villa Amalia in Athens a few years back.
Fascists hate social squats and social centres you see, from Greece to the US, Poland to the UK, they can’t stand ’em. There are few more threatening things to the establishment of a forceful authority than the fermention of community. Even worse the sinister squat! which relishes sticking two fingers up at the parasitic landlords by telling them to scarper and utilising dead space for a positive and bright purpose.
Squatting is the housing equivalent of the cover of A Kestrel for a Knave. A giant fuck you to all the evil controlling scum that seek power over the lives of ordinary working class folk.
You see the fascist want to pretend that the Anarchists are a bunch of wet liberals, probably philosophy students on a gap year. They have this picture of us as pseudo-intellectuals quaffing buckfast and talking about the intricacies of 1900’s urban planning and the gentrification of Paris while listening to Rancid and trying to avoid hard graft for a few years before we inevitable get a job at the local uni brainwashing the kids to be gay, do crime, and destroy western civilisation. OK, so maybe they ain’t always wrong, however ten minutes in a Social Centre, being treated like a human ( all too rare these days) as you have a brew with some new friends and see all the hard work people just like you are doing, well, it totally undermines this portrayal of Anarchists. No, I don’t really know what “quaffing” is either.
These spaces are hubs for the local and regional communities to come down to network, share knowledge and build up movements. Almost invariably vital resources for the working class folk who live in the streets nearby. Time and time again people who come by for a laugh at the hippies or turn up for a nosey at an event, end up having a whole new world open up to them. For many community activists and organisers, it was a social space that first let them know that they are not alone and that it is the working class who have the power.
This terrifies fascists. Depending on which branch of bullshit you are looking at they either want to be the absolute authority without any deviants about or they fancy themselves the genuine anti-establishment movement and can’t bear to see working class communities unite under anything but the politics of hate. Social spaces unite local folk in a way they could never dream off.
The thought that folk from the estate are going down the wee cafe and organising knitting classes and screen printing workshops, let alone anti-fascist networks and actions keeps the boneheads up at night and fills them with rage.
Pie ‘n’ Mash was taken and set up not so long ago and quickly set to work provided a positive space, having someone running it all the time, with tea, coffee, snacks etc all available free to anyone who wants to come in off the street. They provide free wifi and have an infoshop with reading materials, and information and flyers about local politics and events.
The squat is available as a free space for any politically affiliated or friendly groups to use for organising meetings or events for the community. Open between 12-3 and 7-9 pretty much every day providing vital services and a hub for the diverse community that forms Deptford.
The intimidation that was put upon them is utterly unacceptable and they’ve responded by establishing a neighbourhood outreach which you can hook up with by giving them an email at: squatcafe [at] riseup [dot] net or pay them a visit and have a brew at their current location: 70 Deptford High Street, London, SE8 4RT.
They are doing good things and deserve all the support as do all of our social centres. As we head into Winter, remember to give them some extra special love.
I’ll be back with a bit of X-Mas cheer in a few weeks, till then!

Pie ‘n’ Mash Squat
70 Deptford High Street
London
SE8 4RT
United Kingdom
squatcafe [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/7fnf

Groups in London: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/london
Events in London: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/London

Groups in UK: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GB
Events in UK: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GB

Peter Ó Máille, Freedom News https://freedomnews.org.uk/the-social-centre-bulletin-fash-attack-pie-n-mash/

Athens (Greece): The day after November 17, a taste of blood in the mouth

A tough night for those who like Exarcheia and revolutionnary struggle in Greece.

Many of our comrades spent the night between four walls after systematic beatings. Others were injured, three of whom were transferred to hospital by ambulance. Others had to hide for a good part of the evening, or all night, not to be picked up and beaten by police who seemed very excited, as if in a full war video game throughout the neighborhood.

In total, more than 5,000 policemen, a helicopter and drones permanently transmitting the position of insurgents resisting from rooftops. Anti-terrorist policemen, riot police, plainclothes policemen, mobile police, tanks with water cannons … The armada in uniform that converged on Exarchia, during two successive demonstrations, was much too numerous and over-equipped for the solidarity of the defenders of the rebellious neighbourhood.

Exarchia did not hold out long. Already partially occupied for weeks, it quickly tipped under the control of the soldiery, allegedly guardian of the peace. Few places within it are still safe. This morning, while the sun has not returned yet, Notara 26 is still standing, as well as the K * Vox and the Exarchia self-managed health structure (ADYE). But these places and some others are but the last bastions in an exceptional neighborhood minutely devastated by the Greek state over the last weeks, in order to remove one of the sources of inspiration for social movements the world over.

Even today, blood has flowed, including that of a young woman hit on the head to the point of painting on the ground the true face of the regime. Not only did the junta not end in 1973, but the new government, with its ministers, some of whom are from the far right and its increasingly authoritarian policy, is following step by step the example of Colonel Papadopoulos and his clique.

With the new technological means purchased notably from France, the power monitors, tracks, follows, worries, threatens, strikes and arrests just as well as it sings its own praises. Yes, the demonstration in memory of the 1973 uprising took place, even numerous, but framed by an impressive amount of cops and MAT buses blocking all the side streets.

In the streets of Exarchia, dozens of companions were forced to sit on the ground or kneel, hands behind their heads, under blows, jeers and humiliations. Here, a woman is dragged by the hair. There, a man is hit on the testicles. And then puddles of blood, here and there, at the corners of the central square of the bruised neighborhood.

In the media, it is the concert of praise on all the channels: Mitsotakis has finally reestablished “order and the democracy” everywhere in Greece, including in “Exarchistan”, the zone of lawlessness where a few hundred of Mohicans are still hold up. The breaking news passes without transition, from the victory of Greek Tsitsipras to the Tennis Masters to the police occupation of Exarcheia, completely paralysed after an all too brief resistance. Mitsotakis salutes the victory of his fellow tennis player and promises to finish the last squats very soon. According to him, his mission in this will soon be over.

He also wants to avenge the visit of Rouvikonas, this Sunday morning, to the home of the Minister of Economy: Adonis Georgiadis, a former member of the right-wing party LAOS. Particularly racist, Georgiadis notably declared that he wanted to “make life even harder for migrants” to dissuade them from coming to Greece. By this action voluntarily organised just before the demonstration of November 17, Rouvikonas wanted to show, once again, that if we are vulnerable, those who govern us are also: “We know your personal addresses, we know where to find you!”, threatened the anarchist group in its statement. The outcry of the entire political class was immediate. For example, PASOK and the Union of the Center were shocked that activists would allow themselves to disrupt the privacy of political leaders, regardless of disagreements. “This reinforces our determination to rank Rouvikonas among terrorist organizations,” said a minister on TV. Rouvikonas is the next planned target, “as soon as Exarcheia’s case is completely settled”.

The law is hardening against all forms of resistance. For example, the use of a Molotov cocktails now costs up to 10 years in prison, and no longer 5 as before. To gas demonstrators is now much easier than before thanks to the “neutralisation of sentries on the roofs”, that is to say, groups that, until now, observed and sent a flood of fire from the heights of the neighborhood as soon as that the streets were lost, especially around the central square of Exarcheia. Police positions in the neighborhood continue to progress. Employees of the Athens City Hall are sent under police escort to clean the tags on the walls. Reminiscent of “White walls, dumb people”: one of the slogans against the dictatorship of the Colonels. It was the same at the other end of Europe in May 1968.

In the warm Athenian night, voices wonder about what is to follow, discussion lists are revived, messages circulate to express anger, revolt and solidarity, but also ideas, suggestions, desires. In front of the refugee squat Notara 26, the biggest banner stubbornly announces: “You will not be able to evacuate a whole movement!”

This night, the rebel Exarchia has a taste of blood in her mouth, motionless and silent in the darkness; but she is still alive.

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/squated/squat
Groups in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR
Events in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GR

Written by Yannis Youlountas http://autonomies.org/2019/11/the-repression-of-autonomy-exarchia/

Athens (Greece): About the eviction of Bouboulinas 42

On May 2019, Bouboulinas 42 squat began as an answer to the operation of the state (governed by SYRIZA) to evict a series of squats, mostly migrant housing ones and throw hundreds of migrants to the streets or transfer them to concentration camps. It was an answer that came from occupied Gini, which said “we, locals, migrants, solidarians, squatters, realize that our answer must be given in common. That is why we decided to occupy the building of Gini in Polytechnio, as an immediate response to the evictions and to organize the resistance against the repression, the defense of the squats, the neighborhood and our lives.”

From then until its eviction, Bouboulinas squat became the house for hundreds of people that are constantly prosecuted, incarcerated and tortured by the Greek state. The same people who are stripped off of any right to exist, are stigmatized as criminals and scum by the media and a national body hungry for human meat and a cheap labor force. Bouboulinas 42 squat was and is the realization of the desire for a better life and the struggle for freedom and equality beyond nations, religions and gender differences.

Throughout this whole period, the community of the squat managed, despite all its very real difficulties, not only to organize, but also to participate in actions and demos, being part of a more general struggle. The school structure (Greek, Farsi and English lessons), the communal kitchens, activities with children, association with other squats was part of sharing our knowledge and building our relationships as equally as we could. More than a few times we had to deal with behaviors and practices that threatened the community itself. We did so in many different ways.

The eviction of the squat on Tuesday 12 november, at 4 am, happened in the familiar state procedure, orchestrating a spectacular operation for the friends of safety and order, placing all the terrifying body of the Greek police in front of children and throwing the belongings of the residents of the squat in the trash. At the same time any solidarity or witnesses that doesn’t fit the states propaganda is not allowed in the area, or is arrested (which is what happened to two comrades that went outside the building for solidarity). The residents end up being transported to Petrou Ralli with four buses, where they were registered. Then they tried to take and detain them in Amygdaleza concentration center. The collective and persistent denial of the migrants to get off the buses that had taken them to Amygdaleza is treated by the authorities with torturous practices of denying them food and water until the morning where their transportation to Athens, Thessaloniki and Larissa is decided. Five of the people tried to hide in the building and as a revenge from the state they were sent to the detention center in Samos.

To us it is obvious that the  Bouboulinas eviction is part of a whole intensified wave of state repression that is spreading its far right agenda first and foremost to the most oppressed parts of our class (immigrants) as part of a plan to isolate and exploit them and secondly to the multifaceted struggle in an effort of Nea Demokratia to destroy everything the leftist SYRIZA government did not manage to subdue.

We say that no matter how many building they evict, how much terror and fear they promise, the heart of our struggle is the relationships of solidarity and trust built among the oppressed and struggling people of this world. It is our desire to dream and fight collectively for a life without borders, national separations, exploitation and oppression. It will take a lot more to evict that.

The state and the bosses are the criminals and scum.Solidarity to squats!
Common struggle of locals and migrants for a world of equality, justice and freedom.

Bouboulinas42 squat 14/11/2019
https://squ.at/r/6tk6

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/squated/squat
Groups in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR
Events in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GR

https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1601162/

Poznan (Poland): Rise up for Rozbrat!

Across Europe, autonomous spaces are fighting for survival in the face of mounting repression. Following the violent evictions of La Zad in 2018, ADM in January and Grow Heathrow in February of this year, the State is setting its sights on Poland’s oldest squat. After celebrating its 25th anniversary in October, the future of the Rozbrat social centre now hangs in the balance as the land it occupies is to be auctioned off.

From Rigaerstrasse in Berlin, to the streets of Exarchia, to the deserts of Syria, the class war is raging as governments continue to lurch to the right and property developers, fascist politicians and land bankers close in on the generation of squats that were opened during the 90s. They have resisted before, and will do so again with the popular support of the communities of Poznan and the squatting community. Demonstrations in support of Rozbrat regularly attract thousands of people. Now more than ever, the autonomous movement of Europe and the world must look beyond our immediate localities and borders to show how we can support our collective struggles against capitalism and the State in the spirit of internationalism and solidarity. Rozbrat is a vital part of the Polish anarchist movement’s heritage and infrastructure. If it were to be evicted it would be a devastating blow to the already embattled autonomous movement in Poland, and a major loss to the European resistance. These spaces of self-directed liberty represent a direct threat to the status quo and are being systematically targeted for destruction by the State apparatus.

Since 1994 Rozbrat has been a cultural, social and political hub for Polish anarchism, organizing thousands of events from concerts to theatrical performances, lectures, seminars and workshops, as well as providing a base for grassroots initiatives such as bicycle workshops, Food Not Bombs and groups such as the Anarchist Federation.

Rozbrat needs solidarity.

The date is yet to be set for the auction, so the time to organise is now. Below are some suggestions of how we can support the Rozbrat squatters.

Send money! Every euro helps not only in material terms to hire lawyers and support the campaign through what we doubtless be a lengthy legal battle, but also in showing that Rozbrat does not stand alone. Support their Patreon here.

Squat! For every assault on our established centres of organisation, we are reminded of the necessity of taking direct action and seizing buildings from their capitalist owners to use for the movement to live, organise and actualise. In London, Practical Squatters meets once a month to crack new buildings. With the worst winter in 30 years about to descend on the UK, we need to occupy more spaces to get people of the street and provide living, breathing examples of anarchy in action.

Solidarity! Paint it on the walls, hang the banners from the scaffold, let the whole world know that we remember Rozbrat.

Fuck the bailiffs! Fuck the law! Squat and fight!

ROZBRAT ZOSTAJE!
ROZBRAT BLEIBT!
ROZBRAT IS HERE TO STAY!

Rozbrat
Pułaskiego 21a
60-607 Poznan, Poland
https://squ.at/r/kdu
http://www.rozbrat.org/

Some squats in Poland: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/PL/squated/squat
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in Poland: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/PL
Events in Poland: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/PL

Freedom News, George F. https://freedomnews.org.uk/rise-up-for-rozbrat/

Rozbrat at night (photo via Rozbrat

Based at Rozbrat, Poznań Freedom Fighters combat sports gym

Activist from Wielkopolskie Tenants Association, co-funded by activists from Rozbrat, during the recent action reclaiming an illegally evicted by a property speculator flat (Photo by Radosław Sto)

Demo in solidarity with Rozbrat (photo Radosław Sto)

 

Bologna (Italy): former Sani barracks squatted by XM24

Give in to those who would like us to be extinct, exiled or forgotten: we may have little sense, but our imagination is infinite! Today XM24 reopens a place closed and abandoned for decades. What was once the Sani barracks begins a new life as a place of self-management, solidarity and aggregation. We are opposed to the abandonment of public spaces, regaining possession of the spaces we need to live and breathe.
For 17 years XM24 has produced sociality and self-managed culture in Via Fioravanti 24. A Self-managed public space that has also been the starting point of social struggles that have crossed Bologna and the entire country. A place where many activities have been able to escape the logic of profit, a place of human and political experimentation.

A radical, libertarian, partisan choice, which has made daily practice of self-management, giving life from below to experiences and workshops outside the so-called “normality” and otherwise unthinkable. Italian language school, gymnasium, bike workshop, rehearsal room, projections, counter-information space, concerts and festivals of independent music, illustration and of the most varied arts that perhaps elsewhere would never have been born: a forge of imagination against the advancing Nothing.

Today, in a neighborhood attacked by gentrification and speculation, we are not willing to give up a self-managed space anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist.

The eviction

On August 6, the junta operated a “democratic” bulldozer to evict XM24, gaining the embarrassing support of Matteo Salvini. Faced with the creative and determined resistance of activists and supporters, and to remedy the damage to the image due to the endorsement of Salvini, the councilor Matteo Lepore signed a statement in which he undertook to find, no later than November 15, a new house (“an adequate space”) to XM24, from 4 spaces already identified.

The Odyssey for Space

During the negotiations, meeting after meeting, however, the administration discarded each of the proposed places, without even giving adequate reasons. “An inquiry into each space? Not that, the investigation is mine!”, said the councilor. Thus, on paper (the one signed on August 6) the administration recognized “the importance of the political, social and cultural planning of the public space XM24”, but in practice made one, and only one, proposal: a space in Via Zanardi 378, 50 minutes walk from Fioravanti 24, where XM24 does not bother “too much to those who live in the city”. (so, verbatim, Councilor Lepore).

A proposal that demonstrates the will not to respond to the real needs of XM24; a “daspo” that we immediately considered unacceptable: the thousands and thousands of people who have crossed XM24 – and who demonstrated with and for XM24 on 29 June – are fully entitled people who live in the city, and not – as the administration thinks – bodies foreign to it, to be expelled.

We would also like to remember that there would have been no XM24 question if the former market – a building that was and is in the full availability of the municipality – had not been cleared by the will of this administration under the pretext of co-housing.

Today

Public spaces are actually there, even in Bolognina. But they are often subjected to blackmail masquerading as calls for tenders. Other times they are held hostage by fake participatory paths that ignore the importance of existing experiences. The struggle for spaces is collective, it goes far beyond Bologna and it is wide and deep. Together with the Altra Città (Other City) we consider this battle as part of an overall battle, immersed in the social, economic and ecological world “crisis”, against closed ports, populism, neoliberalism, fear and repression.

Occupying today we are building from below a possible reality, without first or last, in which the market does not define what is possible and what is not, made of equal and free, without hierarchies or authority.

From this occupation we collectively start again, against any distinction between virtuous and non virtuous practices, we regain possession not only of a space but of the practice of employment. A practice demonized by the security decrees, written specifically to silence social struggles. We decide to occupy not out of a rebellious ambition, but because in this historical moment we are responding to a degenerative and repressive process of self-managed experiences. Here we call into question the PD (Partito Democratico) junta, which did not want to recognize the needs of a large part of the city, to which it owes answers.

Today a strong and expanding community shows that it does not need official recognition: our very existence and occupying space is a political act that is legitimate in itself.

We need spaces to live, experiment and socialize outside the logic of the market and against isolation. Places to imagine and build what is not there and to search for what we need. Space for self-determination, for building, painting, composing.

XM24
Via Ferrarese 199
Bologna
xm24 [at] ecn [dot] org
https://squ.at/r/5em
http://www.ecn.org/xm24/

Directory of squats in Italy: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/IT/squated/squat
Directory of groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in Italy: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/IT
Events in Italy: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/IT

XM24: http://www.ecn.org/xm24/2019/11/15/xm24-nello-spazio/

Zürich (Switzerland): Voices from the occupied Juch

We, and all of us who have entered this space in the last few weeks, have seen what this was and must never be again: a prison. What is clear to all of us is that no one who has seen this space can allow it to be used again for the administration and imprisonment of people. It is inhumane that traumatised people who have fled in the Juch should again be crammed together and monitored.

The SVP says about this occupation at the local council meeting on 6 november 2019: “Apparently some people enjoy more privileges and are not equal before the law, according to the motto: for a few instead of for all”. We say: exactly, talking about tolerance, what about people who are categorized, imprisoned and administered. This state is so far for a few instead of for all – the camps in which people in exile are imprisoned are clear proof of this. The problem isn’t that the repression against a few people who are appropriating space isn’t big enough, the problem is that this system grants some rights that it denies others. The distinction is based solely on where the persons were born.

A former resident tells the following: “When I applied for asylum in Switzerland, they put me in a camp. We call it Juchhof. Then I discovered that it was not a camp, but a prison, disguised as a camp. The rules were the same as in a prison. We were prisoners and not fugitives. I can tell you some of the rules: We couldn’t get out after 5 pm, we didn’t have a kitchen where we could cook for ourselves. They fed us like animals and the food was inedible. We lived together in 4m2 rooms and they sold us everything we needed. I remember that once I wanted to repair a piece of clothing. They had a sewing machine and rented it to me for 1.- per 5min. The safety system was very strict. There were many alarms and cameras. The police came at least 3 times a day. All the personal problems and problems with the people running the place and the daily threat from the police were horrible for me and I will never advise anyone to go to a camp”.

This place can and wants to counter this. All the events that have taken place here so far have been a time of reflection. In two weeks, we have created a collectively administered space on this site, met, grown, organized exchanges, performances, exhibitions and concerts – we are reviving this space in a self-determined way. We are here, we stay here. We will continue to meet, organize and make the space what it should be: in solidarity, open to all, free from control.

We oppose every administration of people, every prison, every inequality. It will take a lot to turn this prison into a place of encounter – only an overthrow of spatial conditions, who controls it and for what purpose – can make this possible at all.

Juch
Juchstrasse 27
8048 Zürich, Switzerland
https://squ.at/r/7gaw

Some squats in Switzerland: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/CH/squated/squat
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in Switzerland: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/CH
Events in Switzerland: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/CH

[Barrikade: https://barrikade.info/article/2880].

Madrid: La Ingobernable social centre evicted

Yesterday (November 13) at 03:20 over 100 cops evicted La Ingobernable social centre in Madrid. Mainstream media recorded events (video link) as hundreds of people gathered to protest. Madrid’s new rightwing administration was executing an eviction order issued last year by a leftwing coalition.

Since the occupation in May 2017, the centre had housed many activities for social movements in Madrid.

In a statement published on their website La Ingobernable said that it had been closed by brute force of the state. The centre regretted that Madrid is more classist, racist and sexist than before. It closed by calling for 10, 100, 1000 centros sociales

Berlin: Announcement to the court hearing of Liebig34

On Friday, November 15, Liebig34’s eviction trial will be brought to the Court on Tegeler Weg. [Previously on S!N] We are very pleased about the large number of participants, both in and in front of the courthouse.

The trial starts at 9 am in room 100 and will probably not take long, so punctuality is important. Around 8:30 am the doors to the courthouse will be opened. It is possible that there will be a lot of time left at the entrance and so as few people as possible will be tried to gain access to the trial. But let us not be discouraged! From 7:30 am there will be a rally in front of the courthouse, which will be legally accompanied. There will be music and speeches. So please come by between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 am, come with us to the building or stay in front of it.

When you enter the court, your things will be searched as “security precautions”, you will be scanned and sent through a metal detector. Bring a valid identity card with you. Security requirements have been changed to NOT copy identity cards.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

<3 Liebig34 <3 Hard facts: Berlin Regional Court Tegeler Way 17-21, 10589 Berlin, Germany Negotiation Siganadia Grundbesitz GmbH & CO. KG ./. Raduga e.V. 9:00 am Rally starting at 7:30 am Admission to the court from 8:30 am Indymedia

Athens: Statement from residents of Bouboulinas squat

Bouboulinas squat [previously on S!N]was evicted on Tuesday 12/11/19 around 6 in the morning, we were transferred to Petrou Ralli and at evening they split us up in 4 buses and let one family and a single woman “free”, homeless in Athens.

Rejection to end up in a concentration camp

The 4 buses were going to Amygdaleza detention center. When we realised where we were taken, we refused to get off the buses, all of us. We refuse because We know the conditions there, nobody would want to stay more than 24 hours in that place. We spent the night without good and water, in the dark.

Rejection to be deported to remote areas

At morning, the cops said they found an agreement and would put us in camps far away from Athens. We who where in 2 buses supposed to drive to Thessaloniki area refused to be deported and ask them why we should go there. They said that they had to put us in a kind of jail anyway because we had stolen electricity and that it will be 5 hours from Athens. We stood up altogether against this decision. They said they would drive us back to Athens but actually they left us in the middle of nowhere 10 km from the closest metro and told us to walk under the rain.

Back to Athens

Here in Athens we have a life, some of us study, go to school, we know people. Anyway life is better here than there, here it’s the capital we have more opportunities.

We want to fight for our life. We don’t want pity. We don’t want to be treated like animals. We don’t want them to cook for us shitty food, we don’t need it. Our only way to decide about our lives is to be here in Athens.

Urgent support needed

We lived in squats because the money the state give us is not enough to rent places and feed ourselves, and in the places the state propose to take us worst conditions are expecting us. However, before they live us, the cops promised to us that if they find us in a squat again they will take us to prison.

Now we are back in Athens, we have no house and we came to polytechnic university because we know we would find people there who would support us. We need support now as we don’t know what will happen next, specially if the cops come to catch us we don’t know what they would do to us.

NOBODY BELONGS IN THE HELLHOLES OF THE CAMPS

WE WILL FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES

WE ASK FOR SUPPORT NOW IN POLYTECHNIC

WE NEED PEOPLE, BLANKETS, WARM CLOTHES AND FOOD

Indymedia

Madrid: La Ingobernable evicted, but an ungovernable Madrid can’t be evicted

From the heart of Madrid, November 13, 2019

Today, the right wing has carried out the eviction of La Ingobernable, in a demonstration of force. It has closed itself off from tackling a social conflict with arguments, and without even giving notice, it has resolved with the police what it has not wanted to resolve through dialogue. When the reasons end, you only have brute force left, but you will neither win nor convince. Thousands of us filled a common space with life, and now they are knocking down the door to empty this social center of all the life with which we filled it.

Almeida, Villacís: but why do you hate us so much? First, because you can’t stand the truth that we are carrying: that the Prado 30 conflict was not opened by La Ingobernable, but by those who stole a public building from us. With an act of disobedience, La Ingobernable returned to the city the building you stole, bringing to light Ana Botella’s speculative deals. And second: because you can’t bear to see our social centers full of a happy life that you don’t live, and that you don’t understand. You can still not recognize what has happened here, but it has happened. Those who in 2015 closed, gave away and were going to demolish a municipal building, still in 2018 supported the “museum” of Aznar’s friend, but already in 2019 not even you dare to defend that speculative deal. And why did you change your mind? Because the struggle of La Ingobernable won, and showed once again, the plundering to which you have subjected our city for decades. We recovered our building, not by brute force, but with the power of the people and the grassroots movements that we decided to say enough to your corruption. That’s how it was: la Ingobernable evicted you to de facto return this public wealth to the thousands of people who have used it. And what has happened here you will never be able to erase, because it will remain forever in the memory of the social centers, and will be a reference point for the new struggles to come.

2. Manuela Carmena is also centrally responsible for evicting La Ingobernable. The so-called government of “governing by listening,” which repeated to us that “citizenship is ahead of institutions,” never recognized the value of self-management. In 2015, Ahora Madrid began its government by blocking the basic demands of the Red de Espacios Ciudadanos (Network of Citizen Spaces), which coordinated the struggles for the space of dozens of self-managed initiatives in our city. While ignoring our demands, Carmena’s government unjustifiably ceded enormous municipal spaces, such as Alberto Aguilera’s Palacete to the Mexican State or Matadero’s ship 9 to the Sandretto Foundation. The Prado 30 building remained empty and was not on any political agenda… until thousands of people uncovered the PP speculative deals and evicted the Ambasz Foundation. Did the City Council then collaborate with the new social center, which was already overflowing with activity in its first weeks? Unfortunately not. On the contrary, they compensated Ambasz with 1.4 million euros of public money. And finally, Rita Maestre broke the agreement we reached with the fabric of the city, which would have allowed a fair obstacle to the current government. Not confronting the elites is not only expensive economically, but also politically.

3. We have rage, a lot of rage, because this sad Madrid of classists, machistas and racists seems today more reality than yesterday. Rage, because we are torn from a place we love, a territory in which we have opted to leave a space for la Ingobernable in our lives. A beautiful collective project in which we have put our body, time and heart; in which we have not asked for and waited for an indefinite future, but have taken and made the Madrid we want. We know very well that we do not have another life, nor another Madrid, and that is why we know very well that we are not going to give up either a life that is worthwhile or a city that is worthwhile. We understood that we needed each other, we understood that life without shared spaces a little ungovernable is not true life, we understood that we have no alternative but to make the politics of every day, to defend joy and organize anger. And even if they evict this building, they cannot evict us, because we are everywhere, and an ungovernable Madrid is unlivable.

Let them disrupt our dancing
Now and always, Madrid is not to sell
10, 100, 1000 social centers

La Ingobernable
https://squ.at/r/3ar6
https://ingobernable.net/

Some squats in Madrid: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/madrid/squated/squat
Groups (social centres, collectives, squats) in Madrid: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/madrid
Events in Madrid: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/Madrid

Directory of squats in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES/squated/squat
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC/squated/squat
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE/squated/squat

Directory of groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE

Events in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: : https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/ES
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XC
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XE

Original statement in Spanish published by la Ingobernable

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