Greece: Anarchists defiant amid eviction threat to occupied social centres

The Greek State has given occupied social centres a deadline of December 5th to leave or face heavy force aimed at removing them.

New Democracy (ND), which took power in July’s elections, has continued and escalated a wave of evictions previously helmed by Syriza against self-organised migrant and anarchist squatted buildings as part of its promise to “bring order” following years of austerity imposed by the formerly leftist government.

The government previously attacked the anarchist enclave of Exarcheia, Athens, in August as part of this campaign of violence, and has kept up the pressure since. Talking to Enough is Enough, one member of the Notara 26 squatted centre commented:

“Since the evictions of Spiro Trikoupi 17 and other squats on 26 August, we are living in occupied territory, with riot cops stationed all around us. They are here all day, all night, causing trouble and provoking us – shouting racist abuse, banging on the windows, trying to force the door, and so on – until they get the order to evict.”

That’s not to say the anarchists haven’t been getting their licks in …

And it doesn’t look like the ND will be getting things all its own way this time round either. Alongside Notara’s own retort on the eviction threats, two housing occupations in Thessaloniki, including Mundo Nuevo which has been repeatedly targeted in recent months. said in a statement:

“As squatters and individuals fighting against any form of power, we are not going to abandon our homes, our hangouts, the places in which we move and fulfill our needs and desires. The State is trying to build a strategy of tension and their efforts at disorientation produce  nothing more than a determination to defend the political choices we have made, realising the weight of them. We will be here now and after any evictions to remind them of the consequences of their actions.

“Concerning the houses we live in and how the media tries portray them, we have to say that they are neither close to collapse nor crumbling. We have dedicated significant time to maintain and repair these spaces and they are fully sustainable. What is probably hidden is that they are ‘castle-like’ (that is, houses built essentially on the Byzantine walls of the city due to the lack of financial resources of the people originally housed there) and form an important role in housing the refugee population. In the upper city, which of course is not in line with the standards of the glorious and glorious ancient Greek and Byzantine past, the conflict between the villagers and the authorities has been going on for many years, with victories and defeats on both sides, and of course we are eager to continue that fight. We realise that the mild interventions already made in various neighbourhoods of Thessaloniki, part of which is the demolition of the houses we live in — as they say “roadblocks and green space” — are linked to the effort of gentrification and tourism. They wish to “upgrade” the city, which already has many woes already evident with the extreme increase in Airbnb rents in these neighbourhoods, alongside the installation of new control systems and their general sterilisation of any spontaneous creation and intervention.

“The “crime” we have committed is that we envision and build a reality beyond economic bargaining, believing that housing, water and energy are basic needs and therefore should not be considered products where prices will be driven by profit, supply and demand laws. And this for capitalism is something unforgivable. On the other hand we see politicians and all high-ranking officials, accused and convicted of financial scandals and corruption, but enjoying a special immunity and privilege. To whoever is blinded to this reality, we have to say that the repression currently underway by the competing movement is simply to lay out the red carpet for extreme neoliberal policies that are coming.”

Ten, 100, 1,000 squats against a world of organised rot.

“Investors, municipalities and government agencies are not leaving the ruins.

“See you on the streets!” 


Pic: Mundo Nuevo flies a solidarity banner with the people of Chile earlier this month