Freedom News

Greece: Refugee support centre squatters held in court limbo after eviction

A number of anarchists, including international militants Itziar and Iñak (pictured) have had their trial put off yet again in Greece following the violent eviction of three squatted social centres in Thessaloniki, Greece. The trial was supposed to take place on Thursday 26th, but has been rescheduled for June 22nd, marking nearly a full year since the violent eviction of three squatted migrant solidarity centres in the city.

The pair, who are linked to the Zabaldi social centre in Navarra, Spain, were arrested during police raids on July 27th last year. In a statement, Zabaldi said:

This punitive trial is just another example of the repression that is exercised on solidarity when it does not fit the parameters set by governments, when people act by themselves, with all legitimacy. Because solidarity can not be domesticated, disobedience is a fundamental tool to claim and defend.

The police operation detained several other people and shut down the Orfanotrofeio, Nikis and Hurriya squats. Six detainees were handed suspended sentences of four months each last year connected to the arrests, for illegal squatting and property damage.

The people who were in the buildings were treated differently by police according to their background. Non-European migrants were either released or sent to militarised refugee camps, while Greeks and Europeans were detained and prosecuted.

Immediately after Orfanotrofeio was evacuated, bulldozers rolled in and demolished the building, an abandoned orphanage “donated” by the previous government in 2011 to the Greek Orthodox Church. Clothes, food and medicine collected for refugee families in need were buried in the rubble and hours later No Border Kitchen, an autonomous structure providing food to refugees in the island of Lesvos, was also forcefully evicted by the police.

The centres had been providing shelter to some of the thousands of displaced people who have been trapped in Greece following border closures.

Nikis was a squatted social center that decided to welcome migrants who had to stay in the country due to closed borders. Orfanotrofeio was squatted in December 2015 in order to accommodate displaced people. Its food store, pharmacy and all the collected materials were lost when the building was demolished after the eviction.

Hurriya was a new project, it was occupied only for two weeks and was full of people dedicated to the tasks of reconstruction and adaptation to make it habitable. It was a project of coexistence and joint struggle, in which people from the social movement and migrants would live on the basis of self-management.

Always anti-fascist

Thessaloniki activists are far from deterred by the crackdown, and are organising transport for an anti-fascist, pro-refugee rally in the Macedonian seaport of Kavala today. Kavala has been a flash point for clashes between anti-fascists and Golden Dawn, which is organised in the town and has had its offices trashed as a result. In a particularly notorious move, Golden Dawn has held “Greeks only” blood drives in Kavala.


Updated from a report by Insurrection News

Discover more from Freedom News

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading