From the outset, this police operation was used to repress the political hangouts in the faculty of ASOEE. After the raid on Villa Amalias squat on December 20th, the State chose to strike another ‘den of lawlessness’, namely one of the studios as well as the rooftop antenna of the Athens free radio station 98FM downtown. Please spread the word far and wide…
The entire police operation was a cheap remake of the recent invasion in Villa Amalias squat. In the case of Villa Amalias, an alleged anonymous complaint to the police preceded the police raid. Since noon of Friday, December 28th, the repressive forces were deployed on Patission street, a central avenue downtown, following yet another anonymous complaint, this time related to illegal trade of goods. This anonymous complaint (an alleged phone call) was channeled directly to a public prosecutor who was called to intervene immediately.
So, under a prosecutor’s order, anti-riot squadrons along with cops like DIAS motorcycle units and other scum were sent to the faculty of ASOEE to hunt down those who are supposedly condemning Greece to a yearlong economic decline: the immigrant street vendors and refugees from Africa who are selling pirated musical CDs and wooden animal figurines. The crackdown has been repeated much too often: some of the immigrants found refuge in the courtyard of ASOEE while the fierce cannibals of the Greek police wielded with racist hatred their batons against people and chased street vendors away on police motorcycles in the area.
But this time there was a prosecutor who came in handy. He ordered the immediate police invasion in the university premises, so the cops were able to arrest 16 people inside. Nevertheless, the cops were about to conduct a search as well.
So, the faculty’s gate opened and, out of the five floors of the building, the public prosecutor picked up… the basement where the hangouts (self-managed occupied spaces) of student factions and other groups can be found. Not by chance, the cops broke in through the anti-authoritarian doors in the same space, where they found 5-10 empty bottles of beer, some flags/banners and gas masks used for demonstrations. And that was the moment when the police discovered the closely-guarded secret of ASOEE: yes, indeed, a radio studio operated in the building. The cops acted surprised, as if they didn’t know already. The radio technical equipment was probably considered a product of illegal trade of ideas, so it was seized by the coppers.
The radio antenna together with a transmitter and audio machines were dismantled and confiscated. It is clear to the authorities that this pirate radio station commits lawlessness with its unauthorized broadcasting. However, the mass media start to wonder: Was there really a whole radio station inside the university premises?… How come is something still broadcasting on ninety-eight fm band?
Now that the minister of Public Order, Nikos Dendias, dismantled the 98FM radio studio in the basement and its rooftop antenna at the ASOEE building, shouldn’t the journalists hear a bit of radio interference, shouldn’t we all be having reception problems?
We can still hear a broadcast at the same frequency. Is it perhaps a ‘legal’ radio station? But of course not. What we can hear loud and clear is Free FM instead! Its unauthorized broadcasting is enabled by the transmission from the state park of radio antennas on Ymittos Mountain, in Athens. Free FM is none other than the radio station which was set up 7 years ago (with the blessing of several politicians, ideologues of totalitarianism) in order to ‘step on’ the frequency on which the free radio 98FM broadcasted since the year 2002.
So much for their hypocrisy. And now in effect: We are not affiliated to any economic or political authority. We have no financial benefit from the operation of our radio station. We do not express the tendency of any particular vector or association, but we give voice only to those who accept the minimum political agreement of the free radio station itself. In this context, everyone can co-administrate the radio station, and can speak into its microphone. We do not obey to any ‘Greek national council of broadcasting’ or any other similar formal or informal agency.
This is why they want us to keep our mouth shut. But they will not succeed. As in any era, ideas, free speech and minoritarian opinions find their way to get out in the open. And the stature of Mr. Dendias, and every Dendias, is too law and small to cast any shadow on such words.
The radio station will continue to broadcast on 93.8fm and online.