Athens. Greece. August 26. 2020. Today marks one year since the armed hooded men of Chrysochoidis invaded the refugee squat of Spyrou Trikoupi 17 and the neighboring Transito squat. It was early in the morning when they forcibly pulled out families with young children from their beds–people who after much hardship and suffering had found a place to grow roots again in these buildings. They took them from their home and distributed them in miserable camps to live in the dirt and with indifference in canvas tents. Since then, a barrage of state terrorist attacks on refugee and political squats has led to evacuations, snatching of people, beatings, and arrests.The refugee squats have functioned for many years as unprecedented experiments of practical anti-racism and anti-fascism, self-organization, and solidarity.
Originally published by Athens Indymedia.
These spaces have given thousands of people the opportunity to regain their stolen autonomy and the right to define their own lives away from human guards and charity contractors. And almost all of them were evacuated.Families with babies, single women, LGBTQI+ people, the sick and disabled, survivors of torture were all brutally detached from their daily lives and relationships and were trapped in nothing but state mercilessness.Political squats that formed cells of social action in neighborhoods, challenging the prevailing ideas of tourism, private property, and commercialization, which turned cities into concrete class pyramids of solitary depravity and social rivalry, were also evacuated. Those who defended these squats faced harsh repression. But this also extended to simple neighbors, as it happened in Koukaki.Bricks were placed where there were open doors.Where once voices, songs, and laughter were heard, only silence echoes now.Where life spread its wings, they left only the dust of desolation.The targeting of squats through the monstrous lies of the media is an integral purpose of the state, which wants to crush any spatial, social, and ideological sphere, that shows and proves that there is another way to live, away from gender, class, ethnicity, and religious hierarchies. That our passage through the world deserves to be more than constant anxiety of survival and a lesson in obedience, that we can throw the weights of artificial suspicion to express, to create, to dream collectively. At the same time, it is an integral part of the most disgusting but also the purest face of power, of raw authoritarianism. The plan for mass evacuations of squats coincides with the militarization of entire areas, with the expansion of the supervisory-repressive mechanism, and the police barbarity it inflicts on the bodies of fighters.In the past year, at Notara 26 the housing squat for refugees and migrants, we mourned for every space of struggle that fell into the hands of the enemy. We mourned for every human who lost hope, for every hope for a better life that was tarnished under police boots. We felt anger for those injured with opened heads, the sad looks in the police buses and cages, the locked doors. We were moved by every act of resistance and an attempt to reclaim stolen land. We know very well, however, that no idea, no movement is evacuated. We ourselves accept daily the increasing pressure of the government with threats of evacuation, insulting comments against residents and people of solidarity, thrashings, attempts of invasion, constant harassment, and even Nazi slogans we have witnessed by the sad entourage of the Police shouting outside the squat.A year later we are still here, stronger, more united, more determined than ever with an immense wave of solidarity embracing us, forming a circle of care around us.
We are part of a multifaceted movement that is “not afraid of ruins” because it knows how to rebuild, who finds crevices to escape from all the jail cells, who will always haunt the empty houses and the nightmares of the torturers.The liveliest firework in the thickest darkness!
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