Athens, Greece: The Attack Has Begun – First Evictions of Squats in Exarcheia
by André Tzara
The road is free for the second phase of my action plan. Now that everyone is slowly coming back from summer, I’m making the first big bang. The cleansing action begins. Finally they will respect me. Mitsotakis is my name. I will bring great honour to my family. And by the way, I mentioned in Parliament the end of capital controls. A good day. For the nation. For me.
26.08.19: The first major attack against Exarcheia, the most resistant district in Europe, was not long in coming. The show had to go on somehow. The summer slump is over – concrete results had to achieved, and so it has not just remained as isolated actions against “drug dealing gangs”. This morning four squats were evicted.
The first wave of attack against autonomous life in Exarcheia is part of a massive plan to transform the area into the Montmartre of Athens. In our last article (in German), we explained the individual points of an operation that is scheduled to take five years. At the end of the tunnel is the successful construction of the Exarcheia Metro Station. Intermediate stations along the way to this are the eviction of squats, the expulsion of refugees and the enforcement of full police control over Exarcheia. To support the police actions, an intervention force was formed from various parts of the city administration – from cleanliness to environment to city infrastructure. Graffiti is to be removed, smart lanterns installed and the dismantling of “Anarchy in Exarcheia” organized.
The projects affected by the evictions are Spirou Trikoupi 17, Transito, Rosa de Foc and GARE. Specifically, 143 people from two buildings in Sp. Trikoupi 17 were arrested and taken to the Attica Refugee Department to check whether they have legal residence permits to live in Greece. Of the 143, 57 are men, 51 are women and 35 are children from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Turkey. From the first statement of the evicted squatters: “The fascist State evicted us today at 06:00 and they are taking us to the Petrou Rali police station. They dragged us out of our house. They threw our belongings out of the building and blocked the entrances and the windows. They are trying to bury us, but they don’t realize that we are seeds”.
From another building on Kallidromiou Street (GARE anarchist squat), three people who were present were taken into custody and taken to GADA (Athens Police Headquarters). The fourth building, on Fotila Street, was empty at the time of the eviction.
The operation was carried out by the MAT (Riot Police), OPKE (Special Identification and Evidence Unit) and DIAS (Motorcycle Unit), among others. According to the information published by the Athens-Macedonian news agency from police sources, no drugs were found in the buildings. At the same time, a police spokesman on Greek private television said: “We are the new silent vacuum cleaner that will vacuum up all the garbage”.
This first offensive – which is now complete – affects the northwestern part of Exarcheia, with the sole exception of Notara 26 squat. It is considered a symbol of the refugee squatting movement and is well guarded by the squatters and activists. Also the anarchist squat VOX – which according to the media is the headquarters of the revolutionary group Rouvikonas – has been spared for the time being. The offensive was clearly directed against less guarded squats. A simple first task. A first announcement. A taste of blood. And the great successes are still to come. Parallel to the action, Mitsotakis announced in the Greek Parliament the lifting of the controls on capital that have plagued Greece since 2015. The hypocritical government, which resembles a portrait of the past, will tackle several fronts – to celebrate the lifting of controls on capital they are apparently going to distribute some money to small entrepreneurs and thus supposedly make their lives better, then set in motion the social destruction.
But resistance to the evictions will not be long in coming either. The big demo planned for mid-September will probably have to be brought forward. So far many people from Exarcheia are calling for participation in this evening’s meeting at 6PM at Notara 26 in order to collectively decide on a course of action for the next few days. It is also recommended that people also get active internationally and for people to make preparations in order to be able to respond appropriately to the next wave of the offensive. Autumn is coming and it will be a long one. Let’s prepare ourselves for it.
(via The Hydra-World)
Original German-language text: https://www.the-hydra.world/index.php/2019/08/26/der-angriff-hat-begonne...
Translated by Anarchists Worldwide: https://anarchistsworldwide.noblogs.org/post/2019/08/26/athens-greece-th...