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Greece: Athens neighborhoods rise up!

Athens. Greece. Friday, March 12, 2021. Dimitris Koufontinas is still alive. Ten years after squaring the circle, Greece is starting to take to the streets again for a different society.

Originally published by Blog YY. Yannis Youlountas. Translated by Riot Turtle.

First, take a look at this picture (above), which is currently circulating a lot on the Internet in Greece: The figure in the middle represents the famous Exarchia neighborhood, which was once the epicenter of revolt in Athens. Since Mitsotakis came to power, the old anarchist neighborhood has come under massive attack time and again and has been somewhat weakened. But, as the rapid growth of the other districts around it shows, Exarchia is no longer alone, or almost alone, in its resistance. Rather, the little turtles of the surrounding area have now come of age: the districts of Panormou, Agia Paraskevi, Chalandri and, of course, Nea Smyrni are rising up in their turn with strength and vigor! This viral image perfectly sums up the situation: Exarchia is not so brave anymore, it carries a stick and is exhausted from 18 months of intense struggle (Notara 26 and K*Vox are still standing), but it is supported by powerful allies in Athens.

We have been waiting for this for years. And for many of us, this is very emotional. In the past, we often said to ourselves that too many self-organized initiatives were concentrated in Exarchia, not spread out enough in the different neighborhoods of the capital, that our forces were not spread out enough, that it was a double risk to put everything on this neighborhood: not spreading ourselves out enough by isolating ourselves in our little habits at the foot of Strefi Hill, and, worse, giving the authorities a single target to hit hard and hit the historical and strategic heart of the Athens social movement.

Not to mention the anger that has gripped thousands of people, young and old, since August 26, 2019, when Mitsotakis launched his offensive against Exarchia. The televised spectacle of the state’s attacks on the neighborhood, the images of police violence on the Internet, the list of evictions of squats over the months: all this has triggered anger, a desire for revenge and a sense of responsibility for the future of the struggle. Also, the Rouvikonas group, although sticking to its mythical place K*Vox in the center of Exarchia, finally spread out, creating a second place a year ago in another neighborhood, this time in Kessariani, a stronghold of resistance in Athens in the 1940s. Once again, Rouvikonas has perfectly anticipated and understood what is at stake in this period.

Currently, all these neighborhoods have become the scene of actions, calls, confrontations: something that until now was more reserved for Exarcheia.

Tonight (Friday) there are meetings everywhere to prepare for the many rallies and demonstrations this Saturday and Sunday. The goal? To complete the demonstration of the strength of the masses that has begun with major rallies, assemblies and occupations, not to talk endlessly about what is wrong in society, but to take concrete action together and give powerful impulses to the projects of the social base. To liberate the imagination and the rebellious word to build the foundations of a new society together.

Of course, this takes time. Of course, we will still go through many ordeals and failures, but it is no longer a matter of just going around in circles, only in flaming battles, or vice versa, only with empty words. We need utopia, but also pragmatism; pragmatism, but also utopia. Feet on the ground, head in the stars, fists closed to defend ourselves and open to help each other. Life is here, within reach.

The life we have been missing for months, the life that had disappeared not only because of a virus but also and especially because of its political instrumentalization by opportunistic and authoritarian governments, the life we dreamed of reinventing, this life is actually not so far away on the horizon. That is, of course, if we are numerous enough, open enough, generous enough, determined enough.

We will not change society with old, outdated recipes. By daring to risk something, by moving forward swiftly, by pushing the old world that is in ruins and dying incessantly, by continuously inventing new ways.

We have nothing to lose, the world is already doomed, sick, dying. And against this catastrophe there is only one vaccine: the social and libertarian revolution.

Yannis Youlountas


Saturday 13.03

★Agia Paraskevi-Viertel: 13/3, 13:00, central square

★Exarcheia-Viertel: 13/3, 13:30, Exarcheion square

★Nea Ionia-Viertel: 13/3, 12:00, Simirioti square

★Petroupoli Nachbarschaft: 13/3, 12:00, Circle square

★Abelokipi und Panormou-Viertel: 13/3, 13:00, Panormou square

★Viertel von Ilion, Agia Anargiri und Kamatero: 13/3, 12:00, Agia Anargirion square

★Ilioupoli Bezirk: 13/3, 12:00, Ilioupoli central square

Sunday 14.03

★Kolonos, Sepolia, Akadimia Platonos-Viertel: 14/3, 12:00, Akadimias Platonos Park

★Glyfada und Argiroupoli Bezirke: 14/3, 12:00, Sourmenon square

★Zografou Bezirk: 14/3, 14:00, Gardenias square

★Kipseli und Gizi-Viertel: 14/3, 12:00, 1 May square

★Patissia-Viertel: 14/3, 11:30, ISAP Ano Patission Station (Agia Barbara)

★Kessariani-Viertel: 14/3, 11:30, Skopeftirio

★Elefsina-Viertel: 14/3, 12:00,Heroes Square

★Aigeleo Bezirk: 14/3, 17:00, between Iera odos and Thivon

★Chalandri-Viertel: 14/3, 13:00, Chalandriou square

★Nea Smyrni-Viertel: 14/3, 12:00, Nea Smyrni square

1 thought on “Greece: Athens neighborhoods rise up!

  1. […] Junta is Back” alongside ongoing unrest around Dimtris Koufontinas’ hunger strike, growing communities of resistance and clashes taking place in the streets, the stage seemed to have been set for a sticky Spring. A […]

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