Category Archives: 2019

[Greece] Repression and Resistance in Greece, December 2019

The following Post is noit written by us, but a cross post from our greek comrades:

https://de.crimethinc.com/2019/12/25/merry-crisis-and-a-happy-new-fear-repression-and-resistance-in-greece-december-2019

Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear

Continuing our coverage of the struggle in Greece between the new repressive New Democracy government and the longstanding anarchist movement, we present the following report, drawing on eyewitness accounts from street mobilizations and the defense of several squats. The Greek state continues to throw its full weight behind an all-out assault on refugees, anarchists, and student movements, encouraging gratuitous police brutality against both human beings and their animal companions while seeking to exonerate right-wing murderers including members of the Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn who faced conspiracy charges in the murder of Pavlos Fyssas and the police officer who murdered the 15-year-old anarchist Alexis Grigoropoulos 11 years ago this month.

We hope to inspire international solidarity actions with the movement in Greece and to equip readers for action and analysis in other contexts in an era in which state violence and grassroots resistance are escalating worldwide. The struggle continues.

A police officer doused in paint during the eviction of the squats in Koukaki.

An Update from an Ongoing Fight

This month the eviction of three inspiring squatted spaces in the Koukaki region of Athens has driven me to compose this urgent update. I aim to keep the struggle in Greece alive in international dialogue—not only in discussion but also in the actions taken to demonstrate international solidarity—in order to remind the Greek state that the foundation and spirit of our struggle goes beyond their borders and to keep this spirit strong and warm in such heinous and cold times.

Many things have happened since the last update; I will do my best to mention them. However, I want to start with the eviction of Koukaki.

The Eviction of the Koukaki Squats

At dawn on the morning of December 18, dozens of police from various agencies attacked the three squats in the Koukaki neighborhood, employing weapons including stun grenades and rubber bullets. These three occupations—45 Matrouzou Street, 21 Panetoliou Avenue, and Arvalis 3—were well-known and widely loved spaces helping to preserve an anarchist presence in one of the most expensive and rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in Athens. While some property owners in the neighborhood considered these spaces threatening, many Koukaki locals appreciated them for maintaining free clothing and food distribution projects and for maintaining a significant voice against Airbnb and similar capitalist efforts.

Located very close to the Acropolis with a predominantly upper-middle-class population, Koukaki has been one of the neighborhoods most impacted by Airbnb. The squats evicted represent immediate opportunities in real estate speculation; this may have helped to push their eviction to the top of the state’s priorities.

Police invaded the two smaller squats (21 Panetoliou Avenue and Arvalis 3) following a short but courageous defense effort ending in four arrests at Panetoliou and two arrests at Arvalis. The arrestees were later released pending trial on charges including damage to property, disobedience, resisting arrest, and assault on an officer; in addition, police are attempting to use the same laws typically applied to gun possession to prosecute the arrestees after finding ordinary kitchen knives, bits of rock, and a crossbow on the premises.

One of the arrestees sustained a shot impact from a plastic bullet at close range and required two hospital visits during imprisonment. Despite this, the arrestees remain resilient. From inside the cells of Athens’ main pre-trial prison, they managed to send out the following statement:

Today, December 18, the state and its army attacked our community, evicting all three of our homes. Crowds of EKAM, Delta, and MAT scum assisted in the eviction of our homes. We were hit by a flash of lightning, and our companion was shot by a plastic bullet at close range. At the same time, neighbors of the M45 were beaten and tortured when they refused entry to the cops, as there was no public prosecutor. At the time of writing this text, we do not know where and how our companions from the occupation M45 are. This comes as part of a larger campaign to assault all those who resist power and fight for freedom. This is a time where the state is spreading its tentacles of repression against squats in order to meet the needs of tourists, replace permanent homes with Airbnb, and continue a violent campaign of gentrification. We do not recognize the notion of property and ownership that the state protects. We have used these empty buildings to foster a community of revolutionary desire, beauty, and the rejection of capitalism.

Solidarity to the squats!
We will spread across all the land!
Power to everyone who resists state violence!

Repression does not scare us, it persuades us to continue our struggle for a world of solidarity, equality, and self-organization.

[For background, Delta police are designated for beating demonstrators at close quarters; MAT police are riot squads; EKAM are Greece’s SWAT and the most “organized” police department.]

Nearby, at 45 Matrouzou Street, a great battle took place in which people stood up to the state for an hour. Cops were covered in paint and faced a hailstorm of debris while blinded with the smoke of fire extinguishers. The police equate the protective measures those inside the squat took to defend themselves to attempts on the lives of the officers who attacked their home. These measures included reinforced doors, windows, and other typical security mechanisms. Any sensible person will recognize such measures as simple self-defense.

Amazingly, all the occupants of Matrouzou succeeded in escaping after this battle, despite all the forces and resources the state had mobilized against them. Embarrassed by this, the invaders punished the immediate neighbors.

The consequences of the eviction of the squats in Koukaki.

Hoping to capture the escaped squatters, officers knocked on a neighbor’s door, expecting to be welcomed. The mother of the household demanded that they present a warrant in order to enter; as she was requesting this, she heard other officers illegally entering her balcony and rooftop. When she and her husband demanded a warrant once again, the police beat her husband and their two sons, handcuffed them, put black bags put over their heads, and detained them in the cold outside on their roof. While the police did not present a warrant, they claimed they had done this with the supervision of the prosecutor in charge of the raids. The sons and father of the family were both arrested alongside the squatters from the other two occupations.

The police justified the brutality they inflicted on the family on the grounds that the family members were aiding the squatters in their escape. Yet in searching their home, the police found no evidence to support this claim. Grasping at straws, representatives of the state claim that they will test DNA found inside the squat and the DNA of the family members they arrested to prove there was a connection. An anonymous statement from Matrouzou following the raid claims that this family did not help them in any way. The father who was arrested also happens to be a prominent director who has received a lot of media attention. He has made his disdain for the police apparent, but his distance from the anarchist movement is also obvious.

The family has no formal connection to the squat, though they had witnessed the brutality involved in prior evictions, as the squat was also evicted in 2018—under Syriza—only to be re-occupied shortly after. In view of what they had already seen police do, it is not surprising that the family did not feel comfortable allowing police officers into their home if they were not legally obliged to do so.

Evidence of torture and brutality against the family is widely available via the mainstream media. The police continue to make conflicting statements, even claiming that the family members went for a gun—a desperate lie which has slowly disappeared from their narrative. Despite this, the father and sons are facing charges of resisting arrest and disrupting a police operation.

This assault on the neighbors has hit the mainstream press harder than the evictions themselves, in ways that are significant in light of Greek history and the current political polarization of Greece. Like police everywhere, Greek police perceive themselves to be heroes, regardless of how most people see them. Lacking maturity or self-awareness, they tend to lash out when rejected. So when a family that does not resemble the image of their target asserts that officers are not welcome without a warrant, they become aggressive. This incident has generated a dialogue reminiscent of the days of the Greek Junta.

Police have gone so far as to argue that the family’s balconies and roof are public spaces, so they do not need to present a warrant to enter. Imagine what would happen if people tried to enter the pools on the roofs of the rich in the upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki! Much of the right-wing media is attempting to blame the woman for defying the police, regardless of the laws. We see this in a discussion between the mother and a condescending anchorman in which he explains that what the officers did was wrong, but it’s actually her fault for defying their demands.

The polarization of Greece is playing out in the mainstream media. The proponents of the Junta whine that under the dictatorship “we slept with our doors open”—others joke that “we slept with our doors open because we didn’t want to have to wake up to open them for police raids.”

In any case, the three evicted spaces that provided a voice for the residents of Koukaki who celebrated community over profit are now boarded up with bricks. It is fortunate that many of the occupiers escaped; all of them demonstrated remarkable courage. They published a statement which is available below.1

While many of the non-human animals residing at the three occupations in Koukaki were also able to escape, it is unclear whether some of the cats that lived at Matrouzou remain boarded up inside. The police have taken to intentionally trapping animals inside evicted squats as a way to terrorize squatters; they did this during the eviction of the Vancouver squat on November 2. Considering that the residents of Matrouzou escaped, it is not surprising that police would contain animals inside the building until they die of hunger in hopes of luring the escapees into a trap or, failing that, tormenting them.

We should also mention that Dimitris Armakolas, the comrade who died in a tragic accident while raising a banner in solidarity with prisoner Marios Seisidis, was also a resident of the Koukaki squats before his passing.

Immediately after the eviction, a small solidarity demonstration took place. Police kettled the demonstrators, arresting five of them, then attacked the subsequent gathering at police headquarters to support the arrestees. That evening, after an emergency assembly, a surprise mob appeared in the heart of Athens’ shopping district in Monistraki, a well-known hang out of the rich and comfortable. While the beneficiaries of capital sipped their drinks, over 200 people marched disruptively through the area throwing flyers, painting graffiti on various stores, and smashing out the windows of a bank, a corporate grocery franchise, and a Starbucks. The police could not carry out any arrests and were forced to issue a public warning.

This action demonstrated that the movement does not only exist in squats and in Exarchia; it can arise and strike anywhere.

Surprise action in Athens’ shopping district in Monistraki, December 18.

Targeting Animal Companions: A New Tactic of State Terror

As remarked, it is becoming a pattern for police to target the animal companions of squatters. This bears more comment.

In the Vancouver squat, for example, the squatters kept dogs and cats carefully separated in order to avoid the possibility of a violent dispute between the creatures. Signs on doors informed people of the dangers of letting certain dogs or cats out of the rooms they lived in. When the police raided Vancouver, they handcuffed and beat those who were defending the squat. While in handcuffs, one of the detainees begged officers to keep the animals apart for their safety. The officer replied by elbowing this person in the face. In spite of this person’s requests, the cops intentionally placed the two dogs in the room occupied by four cats and closed the door—at a time when all of the animals were extremely distressed. One of the cats died as a consequence.

The closest companion of the cat who died learned of the death while inside prison. Absurdly, the cops claimed that the cat had been dead for two weeks, alleging that the squatters were lying in order to gain access to the squat again in order to reoccupy it. This broke the heart of the cat’s closest companion, considering they had spent time together just recently.

Following the cat’s death, animal control took the two dogs; the police threw the deceased cat in a dumpster and denied that the surviving three cats remained inside, claiming that no animals were left on the premises. Only after a bricklayer who was sealing up the entrances of the building was attacked by a cat to such an extent that it necessitated a visit to the hospital was anyone permitted to enter to search for the remaining cats. Then the state allowed animal welfare officials in for one hour, but they found only one of the three remaining cats. Vancouver is a very large building and cats are highly skilled at hiding, especially from police that they recognize as lethal antagonists.

Finally, with two cats remaining inside, an animal liberationist conducted a hunger strike outside Vancouver. At first, police attacked and threatened the hunger striker; when a prosecutor sent an order to allow for a proper search for the remaining cats, the police chief denied the request, claiming there were not enough police to safeguard the search—the same day that hundreds of police poured into Exarchia following an attack on a motorcycle belonging to a Delta cop. After a week of hunger strike and the spreading public accusation of animal cruelty, the cops finally gave in and allowed people to find and release the remaining cats. According to comrades from Vancouver, if not for the mainstream attention resulting from a social media campaign to get the cats out, they are certain that the prosecutor would have never called for their release. It is all too easy to torture and kill the voiceless in order to torment those with more “rights.”

Shortly after the raid of Vancouver, in the course a string of raids against the group Revolutionary Self-Defense, police raided a home in Exarchia. The cops found nothing to charge the residents with. The cops conducting the raid were the same ones who had attacked Vancouver. Leaving in frustration, they attacked a cat that lived there, breaking the cat’s front legs and smashing the cat’s jaw. When asked what they were doing, one responded, “Are you gonna do a hunger strike too?”

In another home invasion in the same string of anti-terror raids, officers kidnapped all the dogs on the premises—apparently for no reason other than to cause pain to their human companions.

Police in the United States often murder animals—for example, shooting dogs; maybe this news will not surprise many readers. But it is important to record the brutal cowardice of the police carrying out these evictions and to emphasize that the free hand that New Democracy has given them amplifies the cruelest and most sordid aspects of humanity.

Two cats impacted by evictions in Athens. Kolonia, on the left, was intentionally murdered by police during the eviction of the squat Vancouver. They later threw her body in a dumpster and claimed she had been dead for two weeks already. Sara, on the right, is a blind cat who was found on the streets of Athens and given love and housing at a squat in Koukaki. She remains alive and well and among caring friends, but the police have stolen her home.

Coddling Golden Dawn

Meanwhile, the state prosecutor has suggested dismissing conspiracy charges against the Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn in the case of the 2013 murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, aka Killah P, while at the same time charging two individuals for alleged attacks against the offices of Golden Dawn. Such attacks have happened repeatedly in the last few years, usually claimed anonymously by communiqués signed with the names of victims of Golden Dawn—for example, the Pavlos Fyssas brigade and the Sahzat Luqman brigade. (Sahzat Luqman was a Pakistani laborer murdered by members of Golden Dawn.) According to corporate media, police allege the suspects to be linked to a November 1 attack on Golden Dawn’s office on Deligianni Street in downtown Athens as well as an earlier attack on May 23 in the West Attica area of Acharnes. Both attacks used makeshift explosives that damaged the premises but caused no injuries.

If the state allegations are pushed forward, it is likely that the prosecution will attempt to charge the two under new anti-terror measures, with the possible result that both of them could receive longer sentences than any of the murderers convicted for killings Golden Dawn has perpetrated, not to mention all the Golden Dawn murders that have never even been investigated. If Killah P had not been a white Greek citizen, his case likely would have never have made headlines—a tragic reality in Greece and around the world.

To the surprise of many people, the two arrestees were not remanded into custody on the day of their arraignment. Typically in cases involving terrorism, the state will hold those accused until their trial. Most likely, they are being allowed to await trial outside of jail as a result of a calculated effort by the state to moderate outrage. In view of widespread domestic and even international outrage against police brutality in Greece and the outcome of the Golden Dawn conspiracy case, the theatre of Greek politics will appear to remain in accordance with the laws of neoliberal democracy. But despite the flimsy evidence, the two comrades still have to report to the police four times a month and pay 15,000 euro bail, and they cannot travel abroad until the trial begins. If their case proceeds as others have, their trial could be delayed for years—using bureaucracy to punish the unconvicted.

It is not a coincidence that the state is dropping the conspiracy charges against Golden Dawn while cracking down on their enemies. New Democracy attempted to distance themselves from Golden Dawn during the elections, but they continue to make it clear that they are allies of the openly fascist group, even if somewhat wealthier and better mannered. When Killah P’s mother left the courtroom after the conclusion of the prosecution at the end of six years of traumatizing trial, she said “Today, you have stabbed Pavlos.”

Now Golden Dawn stands to be awarded 8 million euros as compensation for the case. This is a substantial amount of money in Greece for a political group. Political parties in Greece’s parliament are entitled to state funding. However, when the trial began six years ago, the state froze this funding. If Golden Dawn receives this large sum at once now, we will no doubt see them attempt to make up for their recent setbacks in the 2019 elections; it will also dramatically increase the resources available to support fascist street violence.

As an anarchist, I never expect justice from the state. I won’t use my limited voice to demand that anyone be imprisoned, not even fascist murderers. However, it is necessary to point out that a great deal of evidence was presented in the case against Golden Dawn. Beyond the obvious evidence of their Nazi connections and politics, investigators presented an array of intercepted phone calls and messages in the court, as well as written instructions explicitly organizing fascist violence. In view of the hierarchical organization of Golden Dawn, it’s very difficult to imagine that autonomous actions would take place without the approval of higher party members. Despite this, all 65 accused members of the conspiracy were acquitted of their charges. Only the individuals accused of actually stabbing Killah P will face any punishment, despite the large number of Golden Dawn members who coordinated throughout the neighborhood to converge on him, threatened him, surrounded him, and attacked him on the night he was murdered.

Graffiti on a state monument in Athens, December 6, 2019.

December 6

Now let’s back up and start earlier, to cover what else has happened this month.

From November 20, when the government announced that it would evict all squats, until the deadline of December 5 that they set for the occupiers to gain legalization or vacate, squats across Greece organized daily events and coordinated demonstrations across the country to show the strength of our movements and solidarity.

On the day of the deadline, anonymous comrades reclaimed 15 new squats across Athens to be used if existing squats were evicted. Anarchists also boarded up an office of New Democracy with bricks the same way they have assaulted our spaces. This is one of many recent actions against the offices of New Democracy across the country.

On December 6, demonstrations took place across Greece in memory of Alexis Grigoropoulos, the 15-year-old murdered by police in 2008, and the insurrection that followed; Greek anarchists have observed this date for ten years now. Clashes occurred in Patras and Thessaloniki.

In the morning of December 6, an autonomous demonstration of anarchist students set out, surrounded on all sides by the police and isolated from other left demonstrators. This clearly illustrated which movement the state recognizes as a threat to its power. That night, a huge demonstration marking the anniversary of the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos took place with thousands of anarchists attending.

At the end of the demonstration, many took small actions, destroying advertisements on bus stations, pelting banks and state offices with paint bombs, and attempting to remove the barricades at universities, which are aimed at preventing public use of campuses. While these actions were fairly limited, once the demonstrators began to make their way back to Exarchia, where the memorial to Alexis is, without provocation or direct confrontation against the cops, police attacked brutally, beating people at random. Video footage shows the violence; even the state has been forced to pretend to investigate its own brutality, though we can be sure this will come to nothing.

One of the important pieces of evidence is a video showing police beating an unarmed man screaming “I surrender.” While they beat many people that night, this video caught mass attention not only due to the cowardly assaults carried out by officers, but also because, intent on humiliating him, they were stripping him of his clothing. This, too, has become a common police tactic aimed at humiliating arrestees and detainees, reported by many individuals who have been kidnapped by the riot police around the center of Athens. It is reminiscent of the kidnappings and torture done under Greece’s Junta.

One reporter from a mainstream television station was compelled to comment on the brutality live on the air on the night of December 6. A reporter from the mainstream channel Kontra couldn’t help reacting to the beating he witnessed of a person filming with a phone near the events. The reporter said, “People were beaten for truly doing nothing,” and that if he hadn’t had a professional camera crew, he would have been beaten as well. Shocking many people, he added that “While many take to the streets, we must chant the chant that unites us all: ‘cops, pigs, murderers.’”

Dozens were arrested across the country on ridiculous allegations by the state. A deliveryman delivering food near the assault by police was beaten and arrested; while he was identifying himself, police asked him why he was running. All arrestees have been released and are currently awaiting trial.

At the same time as the demonstration in Athens, people carried out clandestine actions outside of Exarchia in thirteen other Athenian neighborhoods. Communiqués claim that people attacked approximately thirty state and capitalist targets in solidarity with the spirit of the day and against new state measures.

As of now, the deadline for squats to seek legalization has passed. All remaining squatted social centers and residences are in open war with the government. Yet our solidarity and the spirit of the anarchist movement here is rooted too deeply to be vulnerable to any material attack they could make on anarchist infrastructure.

Numerous counterattacks have taken place since the last update. People have targeted expensive cars specifically in affluent neighborhoods to remind those benefiting from the displacement of anarchists and immigrants that they are not safe. The movement is getting hit hard, but we are not out of action. On the contrary, many more people have passionately woken up.

Demonstration in Athens, December 6, 2019.

The Eviction of Kouvelos Squat

On December 17, 2019, police evicted the Villa Kouvelos squat in Marousi, a northern district of Athens, in the early morning hours.

The empty and dilapidated building was occupied by anarchists in April 2010 and rapidly renovated it into a regionally-known social center that enriched the district with concerts, lectures, discussions, and political events. The neighborhood of Marousi is known more as a bland middle-class district of Athens. Kouvelos was important to many youth as a safe place to explore revolutionary ideas.

Being close to one of the offices of Golden Dawn, the squat was a frequent target of fascist attacks. However, many locals in the surrounding neighborhood appreciated Kouvelos as a friendly and safe space offering an alternative to Marousi’s bland normalcy. As of now, there remains no fabricated reason for the eviction—there are no plans to use the building or sell the land. The eviction was most likely prioritized because state officials perceived it to be an easy operation on account of its location.

When the cops began the evacuation, at 7:30 am, many local residents gathered outside to voice their opposition to the operation and solidarity for the occupation. Later that day, a demonstration of 300+ people took place in Marousi, smashing many banks and spraying graffiti for Kouvelos around the neighborhood.

The weekend after the evacuation, a spontaneous demonstration of 300+ anarchists converged in Marousi to re-enter Kouvelos. They asserted the resilience of our movements, hung a banner, and reclaimed the squat for a period of time, during which they surveyed the damage done by the EKAM (Greek SWAT police), documented the investigations police were carrying out (such as marked DNA samples), and noted what will be needed in order to fully re-occupy the squat in the near future.

Exiting the squat, the demonstration took the streets, attacking some local corporate franchises and the metro station of Marousi, where the glass turnstiles were smashed. While the participants had not intended to battle the police, riot police attacked the march, and demonstrators defended themselves against asphyxiating tear gas and riot police assaults. During the demonstration, some people identified an undercover police officer taking pictures and video of the demonstrators. A demonstrator confronted him and punched him.

In response, corporate media outlets flexed their muscles of deception. Due to the perceived old age of the undercover officer, media claimed that anarchists attacked an old man wearing a hearing aid without reason. Quickly, it became clear that the hearing aid was actually a device to communicate with other officers and the supposedly old man was an active-duty police officer. However, the press turned this lie into prime time news, solely focusing on the footage, playing the attack on the cop over and over again and purposefully neglecting to remind viewers of the original point of the demonstration.

Still, an action like this occurring with so much strength in a neighborhood such as Marousi underscores the resilience of our movements. Those resisting on behalf of Kouvelos emphasize that the squat will be re-occupied, stating that their revolutionary desires will outweigh any campaign of repression.

No Gentrification for Christmas

Leading up to Christmas, the state has also targeted Exarchia Square with surreal efforts to “normalize” the area. Police raided and surrounded the square to hose down the sidewalk and install a Christmas tree. The tree was burned twice the first day. The police did the same thing the next day; the tree was burned again. These highly symbolic efforts to “clean up” the area indicate the way the state hopes to use Exarchia to send a message to its base. On top of this, the Mayor of Athens is discussing organizing state events in the square. If this happens, the festivities will only take place surrounded by the police who protect them; the real point is to provoke the defenders of Exarchia and to send a message to those who never go there that the state has recaptured it.

The burning of the Christmas tree recalls the famous event during the 2008 insurrection when demonstrators burned the iconic Christmas tree in front of the Greek parliament to convey a willingness to continue fighting even as many Greeks returned to their villages for holiday festivities.

Advancing Technology in Repression

The Greek state is also continuing efforts to modernize its surveillance methods. While they have always been open about their ability to monitor classic phone and SMS conversations, they are looking to move forward in the digital world, openly mentioning their efforts to get consulting in the UK for the purposes of investigating Viber and Whatsapp users. This effort to collaborate with foreign tech-spy agencies follows the formal incorporation of drone technology into Greek policing.

Further Attacks on Refugees

While all this plays out, New Democracy is hurrying to meet its promise to relocate 20,000 refugees to mainland Greece. They aim to move refugees off islands such as Lesvos and further from the public eye. Over 50,000 refugees remain in camps on various Aegean islands across the water from Turkey, in conditions so appalling that NGOs and human rights groups have publicly called out the state for them. Local fascists frequently attack these camps. The numbers in these camps are slowly increasing again as more immigrants arrive in Greece. However, the government passed new laws to limit and deter asylum requests in November; they aim to define refugees as migrants in order to weaken the standards of protection that are due to them. Additional new measures to slow the already drawn-out asylum procedure have gone into effect in order to deter refugees from following proper procedure as a way to lower the acceptance rates of asylum requests.

Alongside all these measures, new cuts will go into effect in 2020 that will leave refugees without the support programs that have helped them to survive; they will be expected to fend for themselves during their application processing. The existing support programs were never enough to begin with; in many cases, a refugee awaiting asylum was expected to survive on 150 euros a month, while being unable to seek legal employment. Now they will face even worse challenges.

All these measures are intended to deter refugees and immigrants from coming to Greece and to torture those who already live here, having made the daring journey across the Aegean Sea. If people are pushed to work illegally, or forced to steal to eat, or if they travel abroad hoping for better opportunities, all of these are grounds that can be used to reject their applications and deport them.

This month, heinous overcrowding and institutional degradation set off an inspiring uprising on Samos Island, a short distance from Turkey. According to No Borders, a refugee camp on this island originally designed for 650 people is housing 8000. That means roughly one toilet per 300 people and one shower per 500 people. Camps like this are spread across other islands near Turkey. This month, residents of the camp came together to spark an uprising against the police. Facing tear gas and brutality by local riot forces, they demonstrated their humanity despite a terrible situation and harsh winter. This follows another uprising in October, when a massive fire necessitated the eviction of the over-crowded camp. Both uprisings have resulted in the shutting down of schools and other major institutions on the island. Riots and resistance in these camps are ongoing; they account for some of the reasons the new government prefers to move them out of sight rather than being forced to meet the demands of the migrants.

Here two videos about the situation in refugee camp on Samos:

A tour of Samos camp by Euronews: https://youtu.be/39EFlXKHZXQ

Corporate coverage of the December 2019 uprising in Samos: https://youtu.be/W1FYn0Ogqms

In Conclusion

Entering the holiday season, we wish to bring to mind the hunger strike of political prisoner Kostas Sakkas, a Greek anarchist charged with belonging to a terrorist group and with aggravated possession of weapons after his arrest at a warehouse. He is accused of participating in the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, though both he and the CCF deny this. Throughout his imprisonment, he has conducted frequent hunger strikes. His hunger strikes became so frequent and so effective under the prior administration that they considered releasing him under the same bill that led to the release of anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos. New Democracy has dismissed his struggle, suggesting that “the law should never apply to anarchist terrorists” while using that same law to release the murderer of Alexis Grigoropoulos as soon as they took power.

Many of Sakkas’s hunger strikes have been aimed at winning the option to work or gain access to education. His most recent hunger strike was intended to compel the government to transfer him from the Nigrita prison in northern Greece to Korydallos prison in Athens in order that he could be closer to his family. After going into a hypoglycemic shock and facing other life-threatening health issues, he won his demand and will be transferred to Korydallos prison. His courage should be an inspiration to us all.

May the names of fallen comrades, such as Alexis Grigoropoulos, and those struggling behind bars, such as Kostas Sakkas, resound around the world during this cold time of the year. May our struggles demonstrate that our passion for freedom is stronger than any prison, inspiring others to connect their struggles with ours.

Alexis Grigoropoulos.
Kostas Sakkas.

Sources for Updates from Greece

In English

In Greek


The famous burning of the Christmas tree in front of the Greek parliament in 2008.
  1. The following is an online statement of 45 Matrouzou St. regarding the escape and defense, entitled “From the Koukaki Occupation Community.”This is a statement by comrades who defended the Matrouzou 45 building and escaped the MAT, OPKE, and EKAM police forces of repression. While facing a police raid, we were informed to the fate of the other houses in our squatted community.

    We immediately fortified the house and entered conflict with the forces of repression. Furniture, electrical appliances, boilers, paint, fire extinguishers, everything and anything in the house fell upon their heads. They responded by shooting and injuring us with plastic bullets as well as with stun grenades thrown directly into our home. We shouted “Here we live, here is our home, here we will die!”—”Fuck your development and Airbnb.”

    When they finally did get in, completely chaotic factors and a survival instinct offered an escape path. The memories that push us forward were awakened as inspiration by the forces of repression. These mercenaries could not accept that those who resisted them had escaped. We assume they were sad they couldn’t catch us to beat and torture us. In response to this embarrassment, they turned to accuse random neighbors of arranging our escape. Like true mercenaries, the cops targeted the first house they found in front of them. They carried out an armed invasion, beating and capturing an entire family, concluding by arresting the father and both sons.

    The state that claims to protect the institutionalized Greek family and the sanctity of private property lost their focused target. Not having captured those resisting, they took to beating people at random.

    We send our respect to the woman and her family who refused to let the cops enter their home illegally, paying the price for their choices.

    We send infinite love to our companions and to every person who supported us.

    Solidarity with those arrested in the occupation of our community.

    We may have lost all our belongings, we remain without clothes and shelter, they may have temporarily erased from the map three houses and three years of continuous and painstaking work for social solidarity and resistance; but we know they are afraid, our momentum and power is uncontrollable.

    Solidarity with the occupation of the Villa Kouvelos and all squats.

    Let the evictions of squatters become the reason for the escalation of the struggle on every social front. 

[Slovenia] Repression against autonomous Factory ROG in Ljubljana

What is Autonomous Factory Rog

Rog factory is an industrial complex on the east edge of Ljubljana centre, which produced the famous Rog bicycles and was shut down in 1991. Since then it has laid abandoned, empty, and in deterioration for 15 years. In 2006 the area was occupied by engaged students, artists and activists as a critical response to the post-socialist transition process (privatisation and de-industrialisation), and erosion of public and social spaces (individualisation and atomisation of society). The occupation pulled legitimacy from the need for places for non-formal artistic, cultural and political activity (autonomy, alternative culture, horizontal political organising).

Users secured and cleaned the spaces and established ateliers, workshops, galleries, a skate-park, concert hall, recreational facilities and social centres among others. Despite the municipal efforts to block or disable the grassroots activities (refusal to sign the legal contract for at least temporary use, and not allowing the community to tap into public electricity network), the users used their self-initiative, collaboration and resourcefulness and in 11 years created one of the main junctions of urban culture, critical thought and political activism on the level of the city, the state and beyond.

Where are we today?

Today, there are around 15 organized collectives and around 200 individuals active in the factory in 30 spaces that are relatively self-sufficient and autonomous. The community is bound together through assembly which is the main political body following the principle of direct democratic decision making and consulting.

Rog has two social centres:

Social center Rog– primarily meant for socialising and political organising of socially disempowered and marginalised social groups and individuals whose workers, civic and/or human rights are violated, working on problematics of social inequality and exclusion, economic exploitation, racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination tied to sexual orientation, personal circumstances, cultural specifics, with a more queer-anarchist turn in the recent years. It has been a breeding ground for most of radical left organizing in the last 13 years.

Ambasada Rog is a community center run by refugees and activists, squatters, artists, students and workers from all over the world, united in fighting beaurocratic barbed wire fences and helping each other to survive in an increasingly unfriendly Europe. It is the only space in Ljubljana, that offers community lunch every day.

Current state of affairs and threats of eviction

In the summer of 2016 the municipality tried to evict the factory with the use of security guards. In preparation for such an event and in reaction to it, a mass of people gathered and threw out the security guards from the premises of the factory. The whole event and its aftermath was covered by extensive national media coverage, especially the two month barricade ridden occupation of the factory as well as cultural and political festivities.

After the attempted eviction on the 6th of June 2016, eight individuals from the community of Autonomous Factory Rog (as the Assembly of Rog users couldn’t be recognized as a subject of law) filed a lawsuit against the municipality of Ljubljana for its’ violation of the propriety rights. The lawsuit argued that these individuals have the right of possession of the property on the basis of their 10 years and ongoing period of presence and activities in in contrast with the municipalities ownership of the property.

The court of first instance issued a temporary court order, granting Autonomous Factory Rog users temporary possession of their property and premises until the whole matter would finally be settled out in court. One of the reasons for the successful issuing of the temporary court order being was also excessive physical violence used by municipality’s private security forces during attempted eviction in June 2016.

Enormous lawsuit trying to push us out! Municipality subsequently answered with indemnity civil lawsuit against those eight individuals who filed a temporary court order (and propriety violation lawsuit) by suing every one of them individually with lawsuit’s estimated value of 200.000€ each, trying to force us out by enormous legal fees we are forced to pay to the municipality’s lawsuit, estimated at 4000€ – 5000€ each, totaling between 40.000€ to 50.000€ in the year to follow.

BUT!

The factory continues to be a terrain of daily experimenting with alternative ways of organizing, it continues to provide space for those who are excluded from elsewhere and it continues to be a living organism of political organizing, exhibitions, movie screenings, community cooking, self-organized social work, sport practices, skate sessions, bike-repair workshops, non-commercial parties… Despite that, the future of Rog remains uncertain and depends on practices of solidarity! The decision about the future of Autonomous factory Rog has since June 2016 moved from the streets to courtrooms, where 8 individuals are being persecuted by the municipality with the aim to obtain legal grounds for the eviction of the community of Rog. The court procedures, a part from being unpleasant, represent a big financial burden for the individuals, the mounting legal expenses require constant organizing of community benefit events and a regular call for donations.

We cannot defend Rog as individuals, the defense requires a community response, because the story of Rog is also a case for a different, autonomous, non-gentrified city. Therefore we invite you to make a donation for Rog’s legal expenses to the following account:

  • SI56 0201 0026 1553 967
    Reference (
    MANDATORY to add): SI 00 9786301233

All the donated money will be allocated to the covering of legal expenses of the persecuted individuals. However, we will soon meet again at the barricades, where we will be defending autonomy and community against repressive city authorities.

Spread the call around your networks, reach out, contribute!

Solidarity is a practice!

[Athen] Drei weitere brutale Räumungen zu Weihnachten

Gefunden auf https://de.indymedia.org/node/54289:

18.12.2019: Nach der gestrigen Räumung der Villa Kouvelos in Marousi erfolgten heute morgen 3 weitere Räumungen in Koukaki, einem Stadtteil östlich der Akropolis. Die Bewohner hatten sich verbarrikadiert und die Cops mussten sich gewaltsam Zugang über die Nachbargebäude verschaffen. Dabei überrumpelten sie Nachbarn und mißhandelten jene, die nicht kooperieren wollten. Ein Anwohner wurde mit dem Kopf auf den Steinboden geworfen, andere Bewohner mussten halbnackt und gefesselt im Hinterhof vor vermummten Spezialeinheiten knien, es gab 10 Festnahmen.

Zeitgleich wurde auf dem zentralen Platz von Exarchia von der rechten Regierung ein Weihnachtsbaum aufgestellt und feierlich geschmückt. All das scheint von langer Hand geplant, denn schon gestern berichteten die informierten Mainstreammedien über bevorstehende “festliche Räumungen”. An Zynismus ist das kaum zu überbieten und jeder der die griechichen Verhältnisse kennt, weiß mit welcher Freude die Planer der “Neuen Demokratie” ihre Aktionen vorbereiten.

Die Bilder die heute entstanden, erinnern an Militärdiktaturen, werden aber in den sozialen Medien von griechischen Nazis zusammen mit Konservativen und anderen Bürgern der Mitte gleichsam als legitime Durchsetzung von “Recht und Ordnung” gefeiert. Ihre “Argumente” berufen sich meist auf den Schutz von Privateigentum, ignorierend dass es sich bei den Räumungen um staatliche Gebäude handelt, die zudem seit Jahren leer standen und ungenutzt waren. Aber egal, denn selbst wenn dem nicht so wäre, würden sie private Spekulations- und Profitinteressen dem Recht auf ein Dach über dem Kopf vorziehen. Man könnte endlose Texte schreiben und versuchen, diesen Leuten den Sinn und Zweck von Besetzungen zu erklären, aber es ist wie überall auf der Welt: Nazis und Rassisten sind Argumentationsresistent und sie interessieren sich nicht für das bessere Leben und die Utopie. Ihre Ziele sind andere als die unseren und wir befinden uns längst mit ihnen im Krieg.

Merry Crisis! Solidarity will win! (brennender Weihnachtsbaum in Athen)

no border – no nation – just people: Spendenaufruf im Dezember 2019

no border – no nation – just people: Spendenaufruf im Dezember 2019

Liebe Freund_innen und alle da draußen, denen das Schicksal anderer Menschen nicht egal ist,

erstmal einen riesengroßen Dank an euch Alle für die enorme Hilfsbereitschaft und Unterstützung durch Sach- und Geldspenden, die unserem erneuten Spendenaufruf im Winter 2018 folgte. Die Spendenbereitschaft war überwältigend und immer wieder berührte uns die breite Solidarität.

Auch wenn die meisten Medien zur aktuellen Situation auf den Fluchtrouten schweigen und die Situation der Geflüchteten wenig Aufmerksamkeit findet, sind noch immer Tausende Menschen auf der Suche nach Schutz und harren in unbeschreiblichen Zuständen vor der Festung Europa oder auf der Balkanroute aus. Die ohnehin schlimmen Zustände werden sich während des Winters weiterhin verschärfen.

Die Fluchtursachen und -gründe bestehen weiterhin und mit einem erneuten völkerrechtswidrigen Angriffskrieg der Türkei in Syrien werden weitere Menschen zur Flucht gezwungen. Als Reaktion auf entstehende Fluchtbewegungen wird die Abschottung und Überwachung der EU-Grenzen immer restriktiver und das Leiden der Menschen auf der Flucht, die immer riskantere Wege wählen müssen, größer.

Mehr als 15.000 Menschen sitzen zurzeit unter katastrophalen Zuständen über Monate oder Jahre auf der griechischen Insel Lesbos im Camp Moria fest, das nur für maximal 3000 Menschen gedacht war. Selbst mit dem Wissen über die Situation, ist es kaum zu ertragen, dies mit eigenen Augen zu sehen. Insbesondere die hohe Anzahl von kleinen Kindern ist immer wieder erschreckend. Entlang der Balkanroute müssen Hunderte Menschen an den Grenzen bei Minusgraden, Schnee und Regen, ohne sanitäre Anlagen, auf der blanken Erde schlafen. Dazu kommt die Gewalt durch Polizei und Militär u.a. bei illegalen Push-Backs. Es verlangt uns allen viel ab, vor dieser Situation nicht zu kapitulieren, sondern weiterhin entsprechend unseren Möglichkeiten jeden einzelnen Menschen zu sehen und zu unterstützen.

Trotzdem fahren wir und viele andere Aktivist_innen noch immer an die EU-Außengrenzen, um uns ein direktes Bild der Lage zu machen und einen Überblick zu gewinnen, an welchen Orten es notwendig und sinnvoll ist, mit euren Spenden teilweise über Wochen und Monate Geflüchtete entlang der Balkanroute und auf den griechischen Inseln Samos und Lesbos zu unterstützen. Ziel ist dabei auch immer, Informationen zu sammeln, sich mit Geflüchteten und anderen aktiven Gruppen zu vernetzen und vor allem hierzulande wieder mehr Transparenz zur aktuellen Situation zu schaffen.

Unsere Solidarität wird niemals enden, aber die Spendengelder sind aufgebraucht.

Deshalb wenden wir uns heute nochmal an euch mit der Bitte, uns (weiterhin) zu unterstützen.

Die No Border Kitchen Lesbos hat in 2019 erneut – u.a. mit euren Spenden und insgesamt fast 100.000 Euro Spendengeldern – die dort festsitzenden Menschen durch warme Mahlzeiten, Getränke, Decken und Kleidung praktisch solidarisch unterstützt. Wir können ihnen zwar nicht ihre Würde zurückgeben, aber das Gefühl, dass sie nicht allein sind und dass es in Europa auch Menschen gibt, die sich mit ihnen solidarisieren. Inzwischen haben sich dem Kollektiv auch Geflüchtete aus aller Welt angeschlossen; ohne sie wäre der Support vor Ort nicht in diesem Maße leistbar.

Das feministische Frauenzentrum Bona Fide in Montenegro hat in den letzten anderthalb Jahren über 2000 Fliehende aufgenommen. Bis zu 60 Menschen pro Nacht werden Verpflegung, Nahrung, medizinische Versorgung, Kleidung, Duschen und Waschmöglichkeiten zur Verfügung gestellt. Auch dieses Projekt wurde durch eure Spenden unterstützt.

Wir haben mit euren Spenden des Weiteren auch Initiativen und soziale Zentren in Griechenland und der Türkei unterstützt, in denen Geflüchtete wohnen, die Menschen auf der Flucht unterstützen bzw. sich für die Rechte Geflüchteter und Bewegungsfreiheit einsetzen.

Was uns eint, ist, durch unser solidarisches Handeln und die Bereitstellung von Verpflegung und technischer Infrastruktur vor Ort konkrete Hilfe zu leisten und so die Menschen auf der Flucht praktisch zu unterstützen.

Wir konnten durch eure Unterstützung Vieles bewegen. Um unsere Vorhaben auch jetzt und in Zukunft weiter realisieren zu können, bitten wir alle unsere Freund_innen, Genoss_innen und solidarische Menschen, uns nach ihren Kräften und Möglichkeiten mit Spenden zu unterstützen oder zu überlegen, wie und wo ihr in eurem Umfeld Gelder besorgen könnt, damit bei uns weiterhin der Kessel dampft.

Teilt gerne auch überall diesen Aufruf.

In Solidarität,
“Can’t Evict Solidarity” als Teil der Kampagne “No Border – No Nation – Just People”

Infos zur Situation an den Grenzen:
http://balkanroute.bordermonitoring.eu


https://noborderkitchenlesvos.noblogs.org

Spendenkonto:
Kontoinhaber*in: VVN/BdA Hannover
Verwendungszweck: just people
Bank: Postbank Hannover
IBAN: DE67 250 100 3000 4086 1305
BIC: PBNKDEFFXXX
(Verwendungszweck beachten!)

[20./21.12.19] Call for Action: Veranstaltung und Soli-Konzert zu und mit Alarm Phone und Sea-Watch / Göttingen

Call for Action: Informations- und Diskussionsveranstaltung zu und mit Alarm Phone und Sea-Watch

Fr, 20.12.2019; 20 Uhr (Einlass 19.30) // Juzi Bürgerstrasse 41, 37073 Göttingen


Solikonzert für Alarm Phone und Sea-Watch

mit HCBaxxter, TryKKA und Option weg

Sa, 21.12.2019; Einlass 21 Uhr // Juzi Bürgerstrasse 41, 37073 Göttingen


Im Oktober 2014, ein Jahr nach dem großen Unglück mit über 360 Toten vor Lampedusa, haben AktivistInnen aus verschiedenen Städten und Ländern die unabhängige Hotline „Alarm Phone“ für Bootsflüchtlinge gegründet. Ziel war es im gesamten Mittelmeer Informationen über Menschen in Seenot an die zuständigen Stellen zu leiten und so Rettung zu initiieren.  In einer aktuellen Broschüre der Initiative heißt es: „Fünf Jahre [WatchTheMed] Alarm Phone. 60 Monate, in deren Verlauf wir mit rund 2800 Booten auf den verschiedenen Routen im Mittelmeer in Kontakt gekommen sind und diese auf ihrem Weg begleitet und unterstützt haben. 1800 Tage, in denen wir rund um die Uhr anrufbar waren für Menschen in Seenot. Das hätte sich kaum jemand vorstellen können, als das Projekt von rund 50 AktivistInnen gestartet wurde. Heute umfasst das Netzwerk rund 200 Beteiligte in vielen Städten Europas sowie Nordafrikas.“

In Kooperation mit Alarm Phone arbeitet Sea-Watch e.V., die aktuell mit dem Schiff Sea-Watch 3 auf dem Mittelmeer unterwegs sind:

Sea-Watch e.V. ist eine gemeinnützige Initiative, die sich der zivilen Seenotrettung von Flüchtenden verschrieben hat. Angesichts der humanitären Katastrophe leistet Sea-Watch e.V. Nothilfe, fordert und forciert gleichzeitig die Rettung durch die zuständigen europäischen Institutionen und steht öffentlich für legale Fluchtwege ein. Da sich eine politische Lösung im Sinne einer #SafePassage, wie sie von Sea-Watch e.V. gefordert wird im Moment nicht abzeichnet, haben sie ihren Aktionsradius erweitert und neue Pläne geschmiedet.

Europa hindert die zivile Seenotrettung daran, dem Sterben auf dem Mittelmeer etwas entgegenzusetzen. Die eigentlich verpflichtende Seenotrettung wird kriminalisiert und zum Spielball europäischer Grenzpolitik. Mit Verleumdungskampagnen und bürokratischen Kämpfen definieren Willkür und Unmenschlichkeit den Diskurs um die Menschenrechte. Weiterhin unterstützt die EU die aus Milizen bestehende, sogenannte libysche Küstenwache, die völkerrechtswidrig Menschen in ein Bürgerkriegsland zurück zwingt.

Zum 5-jährigen Bestehen von Alarm Phone wollen wir, gemeinsam mit VertreterInnen von Alarm Phone und Sea -Watch e.V., am 20.12.2019 anhand konkreter Beispiele entlang verschiedener Fluchtrouten die Arbeit der beiden Initiativen vorstellen. Im Rahmen einer Podiumsdiskussion, ergänzt durch einen kurzen Film, werden wir über die Kampagnen zur Öffnung der Häfen in Italien und Malta sprechen, sowie auf die weiteren transnationalen Herausforderungen einer schnellen und fairen Aufnahme im Sinne der Geflüchteten und Migrant*innen eingehen. Auch wird es um die Aufnahme von Geflüchteten auf See, die Situation an Bord, die Probleme des Anlaufens eines sicheren Hafens,  Kampagnen und weitere Kooperationen (z. B. Unterstützung aus der Luft durch Moonbird u. a.) gehen.

„In der Welt, in der wir leben wollen, würde unser Alarm Phone nicht existieren. Kein Mensch sollte auf dem Meer sein Leben riskieren müssen, um eine Grenze zu überqueren und an einen sicheren Ort zu gelangen… Es existiert noch immer, weil das
Sterben auf See kein Ende findet.“

Mehr Infos unter: https://www.facebook.com/events/1057040067981086/

[Brüssel] Callout for support – Bericht aus dem November 2019 in Brüssel

Der folgende Bericht ist sowohl ein Bericht zur Lage in Brüssel, als auch ein dringender AUfruf zu Unterstützung der NoBorder NoProblem Struktur.

Quelle:http://nobordernoproblem.org/2019/11/10/bruessel-volunteer-we-are-constantly-looking-for-volunteers-that-can-commit-for-two-weeks-or-more-please-get-in-touch/

Ein warmens Hallo aus einem kalten Brüssel.

Nun sind wir seit zwei Wochen im Kochbetrieb und unser Essen erfreut sich großer Beliebtheit im Park. Wir haben unsere Abläufe optimiert. Einmal die Woche kaufen wir nun ein und planen das Essen für die Woche vor.

Durch die Reflexion der zwei Wochen Dauerkochbetrieb haben wir uns entschieden, einen Tag weniger pro Woche zu kochen. So können wir uns um die Aufgaben kümmern, die wir sonst aus einem Mangel an Freiwilligen nicht schaffen sowie um auch uns mal ein Pause zu geben. Durch finanzielle Einbußen von 3000 Euro pro Monat ist ein weiteres Hindernis entstanden, was das Kochen an 5 Tagen die Woche zusätzlich erschwert. Daher der dringende Aufruf:

Wir brauchen Freiwillige, die uns unterstützen und Verantwortung übernehmen.
In der kalten Zeit ist es umso wichtiger Menschen in Notlagen zu helfen und Solidarität groß zu schreiben. Wir arbeiten gerade mit 5 – 8 Freiwilligen plus solidarischen Genoss_Innen aus Brüssel. Damit wir unsere Küche wieder auf 100 Prozent laufen lassen
können, brauchen wir ca. 12 Freiwillige, die für eine gewisse Zeit Verantwortung übernehmen möchten. Aufgaben, die es zu erledigen gilt, sind u. A.:
Kochen
• Einkaufen
• Finanzmanagement
• Ausgabe von Essen
• Schnibbeln
• Putzen
• Revolution

Wenn du Zeit hast, komm vorbei. Spende deine Zeit und deine Solidarität. Wenn du Geld spenden möchtest, um uns zu unterstützen, dann kontaktiere uns doch per Mail:
zigzagkitchen(AT)posteo.org

Wir Freuen uns auf Dich.

Des Weiteren haben wir uns verstärkt um die Freiwilligenkommunikation in Brüssel gekümmert, um langfristig eine gute Kommunikation und Übergabe der Küche zu gewährleisten.
Wir schauen in eine spannende Zukunft in Brüssel. Schon jetzt können wir sicher sein, dass unser Kochkollektiv dringend notwendig ist. Vor allem in den nun bevorstehenden kalten Monaten.

Solidarische Grüße aus Brüssel. Eure Zig Zag Crew

Zusammengefasster Bericht aus dem Oktober 2019 in Brüssel

Vorweg sei gesagt, dass dieser Bericht ein wenig ausfuehrlicher ausfallen wird, wie die uebrigen sechs. Dies hat jedoch nichts mit den Dingen in Kurdistan und Halle zu tun, die uns hier momentan auch beschaeftigen! (WUT) Wir fangen ab dieser Woche unser “normales Tagesgeschaeft” an. Das bedeutet, dass wir euch einen Einblick geben wollen, was euch erwartet, solltet ihr uns hier vor Ort unterstuetzen wollen. Zudem wollen wir aber auch allen, die uns diese Aktion(en) durch div. Unterstuetzung ermoeglicht haben, einen Ueberblick ueber das verschaffen, was bisher alles passiert ist und wie es wohl weiterlaufen wird. Fangen wir mal mit einem kleinen Rueckblick an:
Als Mitte-Ende August die ersten Aktivistinnen nach Bruessel kamen, war die Lage im Park (Wir nennen die Orte an denen die Menschen sich aufhalten im Folgendem nur noch Park, da dort ein grossteil lebt/sich aufhaelt und dort die Versorgung zum grossen Teil stattfindet.) noch sehr unstrukturiert und kein Mensch konnte uns genauer erklaeren, wie die Lage eigentlich aussieht. Nach einem ersten Koordinierungstreffen zwischen den meisten Akteurinnen in und um den Park, kam die Idee auf, einen Kalender zu erstellen, um uns moeglichst einfach abzusprechen und natuerlich auch um (fuer uns) zu sehen, wann es Versorgungsluecken gibt. Mit sehr viel Arbeit in Form von Gespraechen und Beobachtungen im Park, konnten wir einen Kalender etablieren, der nach und nach besser genutzt wurde. Es gibt zwar noch Gruppen, die trotz eingetragener Termine nicht erscheinen, oder die statt der angegeben warmen, kalte Speisen ausgeben, doch alles in allem ist es ein nuetzliches Tool geworden.

Recht schnell wurde uns von allen beteiligten Menschen das Signal gegeben, dass wir mit unserer Idee, eine weitere Kueche in Bruessel aufmachen zu wollen, sehr richtig lagen.
Nachdem wir dann auf der Suche nach einem Ort fuer die Kueche auf ein grosses soziales Projekt gestossen sind, haben wir angefangen dort an der schon bestehenden Kueche zu arbeiten und uns mit den tollen Menschen des Projektes zu vernetzen. Ein gluecklicher Zufall hat uns dann jedoch auf ein anderen Ort gebracht, der in der Zukunft nicht Reaumungsgefaehrdet ist (so wie leider das soziale Projekt), da eine Gruppe von Antifaschistischen Menschen das Grundstueck gekauft hat, auf dem wir unsere Kueche nun errichtet haben.
Ab dem Moment haben wir fast jeden Tag dort verbracht, um den Ort aus dem nichts zu einer Kueche zu machen. Trotz der Verzoegerungen durch die viralen Infekte, das fehlen eines KFZ und durch die teilweise geringe Zahl an Aktivist*innen, konnten wir dennoch einen eindrucksvollen Platz errichten, in dem wir (so professionell wie sonst selten in unserem Kontext) fuer eine grosse Zahl Menschen kochen koennen.
Die ZIG ZAG KITCHEN ist geboren!

Neben der Unterstuetzung durch Aktivist*innen, die vor Ort mit angepackt haben, verdanken wir diese Kueche auch den Menschen, die uns aus Suedfrankreich und anderen Kontexten mit Geld, Kontakten oder guten Ratschlaegen supported haben.
DANKE!

Ein hoch auf die Antinationale Solidaritaet!

Soviel zu dem, was in den letzten neun Wochen so passiert ist. Wie sieht es nun aus und vor allem, wie geht es weiter?
Wir haben nun alles zusammen, was es braucht, die Menschen mit kraeftebringendem, leckeren Essen zu versorgen. Die Zig Zag Kueche steht, die Netzwerke stehen, die lokale Solidaritaet ist vielfaeltig und enorm, das Besteck ist organisiert, die Versorgung der Zutaten steht, dessen Finanzierung ebenfalls, das Auto ist endlich hier und wir haben gerade (noch) ausreichend Aktivist*innen mit Erfahrung und Motivation.

In Zukunft werden wir jeden Freitag mit dieser Gruppe die Kueche teilen, bis wir uns irgendwann ueberfluessig machen koennen und die Gruppe die Kueche freitags alleine nutzt.
Am Samstag haben wir zu sechst, mit Hilfe eines Aktivisten aus Frankreich 800 warme Mahlzeiten ausgeben koennen, am Sonntag etwas weniger. Die Toepfe waren jedes mal leer nach ca. ein bis zwei Stunden. Wir versuchen mehr zu kochen, jedoch sind langsam die Kapazitaeten der Toepfe erschoepft. Wir experimentieren nun noch ein wenig mit anderen Gerichten herum und geben auch vermehrt Beilagen (Toppings) aus. Der Wagen kommt zwar langsam an sein Zuladungslimit, aber der Platz reicht noch aus.

Wir hatten auch das erste mal einen Kuechentag, in dem auch die betroffenen Menschen selbst mit Schnibbeln. Wir haben sudanesische Aktivistinnen eingeladen, die momentan in einem Squat leben (500m von unserer Kueche entfernt) und denen aehnlich wie uns auch bald eine Raeumung droht. Vielleicht leben wir bald woanders zusammen. Wir werden sehen. Gestern Abend ist zudem noch eine Aktivistin angekommen, der/die uns in den naechsten Monaten unterstuetzen und auch kochen wird. Das ist ein guter Anfang, jedoch koennen wir nach wie vor noch mehr Menschen vor Ort gebrauchen. Morgen ist erst einmal der letzte Kochtag bis zum Freitag. Wir werden die dazwischenliegenden Tage nutzen, um zu reflektieren, den Boden fertig zu stellen und um die Erfahrungen der letzten Tage zum verbessern der Ablaeufe zu zu verwenden. Kurdische und libanesische Aktivistinnen, die uns heute im Park geholfen haben, werden uns morgen in der Kueche helfen.

Da wir versuchen, die (Wissens-)Hierarchien in der Gruppe so gering wie moeglich zu halten, waere es dringend notwendig, dass wir mehr Aktivist*innen vor Ort sind, die lernen wollen, wie fuer ca. 800 Menschen Essen zubereitet wird. Gleichzeitig ist es enorm wichtig, dass Menschen in unserer Gruppe sich um finanzielle Aspekte kuemmern, dass nun
vorhandene Auto im Blick zu behalten, den Kontakt zu anderen Gruppen zu pflegen oder einfach nur dafuer zu sorgen, dass Berichte geschrieben werden etc… Diese Aufgabenbereiche sollen in Zukunft regelmaessig wechseln, um keine Menschen unsersetzlich zu machen und so fuer einen langfristigen funktionierenden Kuechenbetrieb zu sorgen.
Wir organisieren uns selbst und sind komplett unabhaengig. Das ist gut so und damit es auch so bleibt sind wir dringend auf eure Unterstuetzung angewiesen. Wir sind momentan gerade genug Menschen, um die anfallenden Aufgaben zu bewaeltigen. Es gibt unter uns jedoch auch Menschen, die nach einer sehr langen Zeit in Bruessel mal wieder neue Energie sammeln muessen oder die im Winter ihren Aktionsschwerpunkt auf die Unterbringung von Menschen verlegen wollen. Wenn ihr euch also vorstellen koennt, fuer einen kurzen oder laengeren Zeitraum zu schauen, ob euch unser Projekt gefaellt, dann meldet euch bei uns. Wir verstaendigen uns uebrigends in englischer Sprache, koennen aber auch fuer Uebersetzungen sorgen. Wenn ihr euch unsicher seid oder Fragen habt, fuehlt euch frei uns eine E-Mail zu schreiben.

[Lesvos] This was not an accident! Statement about the fire in hot-spot Moria on 29.9.19

Source: http://lesvos.w2eu.net/2019/09/30/this-was-not-an-accident/

This was not an accident!
They died because of Europe’s cruel deterrence and detention regime!

Yesterday, on Sunday 29 September 2019, a fire broke out in the so-called hotspot of Moria on Lesvos Island in Greece. A woman and probably also a child lost their lives in the fire and it remains unclear how many others were injured. Many people lost all their small belongings, including identity documents, in the fire. The people imprisoned on Lesvos have fled wars and conflicts and now experience violence within Europe. Many were re-traumatised by these tragic events and some escaped and spent the night in the forest, scared to death.

Over the past weeks, we had to witness two more deaths in the hotspot of Moria: In August a 15-year-old Afghan minor was killed during a violent fight among minors inside the so-called “safe space” of the camp. On September 24, a 5-year-old boy lost his life when he was run-over by a truck in front of the gate.

The fire yesterday was no surprise and no accident. It is not the first, and it will not be the last. The hotspot burned already several times, most tragically in November 2016 when large parts burned down. Europe’s cruel regime of deterrence and detention has now killed again.

In the meantime, in the media, a story was immediately invented, saying that the refugees themselves set the camp on fire. It was also stated that they blocked the fire brigade from entering. We have spoken to many people who witnessed the events directly. They tell us a very different story: In fact, the fire broke out most probably due to an electricity short circuit. The fire brigade arrived very late, which is no surprise given the overcrowdedness of this monstrous hotspot. Despite its official capacity for 3,000 people, it now detains at least 12,500 people who suffer there in horrible living conditions. On mobile phone videos taken by the prisoners of the camp, one can see how in this chaos, inhabitants and the fire brigade tried their best together to at least prevent an even bigger catastrophe.

There simply cannot be a functioning emergency plan in a camp that has exceeded its capacity four times. When several containers burned in a huge fire that generated a lot of smoke, the imprisoned who were locked in the closed sector of the camp started in panic to try to break the doors. The only response the authorities had, was to immediately bring police to shoot tear-gas at them, which created an even more toxic smoke.

Anger and grief about all these senseless deaths and injuries added to the already explosive atmosphere in Moria where thousands have suffered while waiting too long for any change in their lives. Those who criminalise and condemn this outcry in form of a riot of the people of Moria cannot even imagine the sheer inhumanity they experience daily. The real violence is the camp itself, conditions that are the result of the EU border regime’s desire for deterrence.

We raise our voices in solidarity with the people of Moria and demand once again: The only possibility to end this suffering and dying is to open the islands and to have freedom of movement for everybody. Those who arrive on the islands have to continue their journeys to hopefully find a place of safety and dignity elsewhere. We demand ferries to transfer the exhausted and re-traumatised people immediately to the Greek mainland. We need ferries not Frontex. We need open borders, so that everyone can continue to move on, even beyond Greece. Those who escape the islands should not be imprisoned once more in camps in mainland Greece, with conditions that are the same as the ones here on the islands.

Close down Moria!
Open the islands!
Freedom of Movement for everyone!

Welcome to Europe – http://lesvos.w2eu.net/
WatchTheMed Alarm Phone – https://alarmphone.org/en/
Mare Liberum – https://mare-liberum.org/en/

[Greece] Free Nour – criminalization of refugees as human traffickers

The source of the following article is the petition in change.org: (https://www.change.org/p/european-court-of-human-rights-free-nour-al-sameh) as well as the picture which is taken from this petition too.

Cases of state repression against refugees arriving with boats on greek islands by criminalizing their act of eventually conducting a boat as human trafficking as written below, are no single cases. It is a systematicly policy of deterrence and arbitrariness. We want to make these cases visible. Nour is an exemplary case for this:

Free Nour Al-sameh! 

Nour Al-Sameh is 29 years old ٍSyrian who is unjustly imprisoned in Greece for 4 years now because he flee to Europe for refuge. Just like the Captain of the Sea-Watch Carola Rackete, he acted to save the lives of people on a boat in the Aegean Sea who would otherwise have drowned in the water.

Nour studied Business Management in Syria, he fled his country due to persecution and war that burst in. He stayed in Turkey in an unbearable situation without shelter or job until he managed to leave Turkey, in July 29th 2015. The only possibility for him to seek refuge in Europe was crossing the Aegean Sea in small sailing boat. He was the only person on the boat who could speak English, when the boat was about to sink he called for help using the walky-talky on the boat.

People on the boat were taken by The Greek coast guards accompanied by military forces (according to Nour,this forces were in military uniform, and he thinks that they were speaking in German)
The boat was taken to the harbor of Perya Island in Greece, he was handed to the Greek coast guards. Being blindfolded and handcuffed, Nour was beaten, insulted and humiliated by the Greek police.

He was accused with Human Trafficking and sentenced for 315 years and a fine of 3150000 Euros in June 2016. Similar cases have shown that the court counts prison year by the number of people on the boat. With the support of his friends he managed to get a lawyer and appeal against this decision in November 2017, the judge of  Perya court dismissed the appeal. In another attempt for justice Nour’s lawyer brought the case to the highest court in Greece, the Supreme Court, to win the opportunity for an appeal and to explain his story properly. Since the hearing in the Supreme Court in February 2019 Nour is waiting for an answer on his claim.

Nour’s case is not an exception. Many refugees have been criminalized, arrested and are currently detained in Greek prisons simply because they were fleeing. The Legal Center Lesvos has documented https://legalcentrelesvos.org/category/news/).

“The individuals charged are denied the basic rights to a fair trial, guaranteed under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, as they are routinely denied adequate interpretation, are denied a fair hearing, and convictions are based on the sole fact that the individual was driving the boats attempting to reach Europe from Turkey” In Nour’s case it was simply making a call to ask for help. The Christian Peacemaker Team also documented a trial against refugees concluding

“No one in the courtroom supported the business of human smuggling of refugees—making immense profits by charging huge prices for transporting refugees in very dangerous conditions, usually crowding too many people in unsafe boats, often not giving them life jackets that actually work, or not putting enough fuel in the motor to reach the shore of the Greek island. It’s a horrendous crime against these vulnerable and desperate people. But the people being tried in this courtroom were not the people running these illegal businesses and getting rich.”

https://cptmediterranean.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/seeing-in-the-greek-courtroom/

Here is another article tackling the unjust sentencing of many more people, most likely there are many more like Nour that we haven’t heard of.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/241858/article/ekathimerini/news/three-arrested-for-migrant-smuggling-in-as-many-incidents

Nour is still arrested without any help and his case is forgotten

please sign his petition and share it, Nour deserves our solidarity

Saving lives is not a crime!

We demand Nour’s immediate release!

 

[Roeszke11/Ahmed H.] Ahmed is back home!

We are happy to tell you that 4 years after the brutal attack of the Hungarian state on the protests after the closing of the Roeszke border crossing and the arrests of the eleven people, the so called Roeszke 11, the last person Ahmed H. was finally able to leave the country to Cyprus, back to his family, on the 28th of September 2019.

After several years in prison and through the court instances, the Hungarian state ignored the European wide protests and convicted Ahmed in a fake trial of “terrorism” to prison for 5 years in the end in 2018. Since January 2019 he we was meant to be released from prison but had to stay in deportation detention as Cyprus didn`t want to let him return to his family there.

We wish Ahmed and his family all the best!
Thanks to all people supporting Ahmed and his family and the Roeszke 11 – solidarity will win! Lets fight injustice and the border regime!

Read the statement of Amnesty International:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/09/hungary-syrian-man-unjustly-jailed-finally-allowed-home-to-cyprus/

[Ahmed H.] 4 years after the Röszke11 riots: The Cyprian government denies Ahmed’s return to his family

The Cyprian government denies Ahmed’s return to his family

Today four years have passed since the “Röszke riot”, the attack of the
Hungarian riot police and TEK (counter-terrorism unite) on protesting
migrants against borders and limitation of freedom of movement in
September 2015. During and after this riot eleven people were arrested
and later faced a court trial.

Ahmed H., one of the arrested eleven people was convicted for terrorism
and sentenced first to 10, than to 7 and on the last court instance to 5
years prison.

On the 19th of January 2019 he was supposed to get released on parole,
after he finished two third of his sentence. But instead of returning
home, he was transferred to the immigration prison in Nyirbátor, in the
east of Hungary. He was waiting for months there for Cyprus to renew his
visa, which expired during the time he spent in prison . He used to live
in Cyprus before his arrest for more than ten years together with his
wife and children. He left the country and ended at Hungarian-Serbian
border, because he accompanied his parents from Syria to Europe.
Although the authorities promised him that he can return home with his
renewed visa after the administration procedure is over, after months of
waiting he learnt, that the government of Cyprus refused his return. The
interior ministry of Cyprus stated that he is a security threat and
cannot get visa.

There is apparently no state willing to let Ahmed enter, so he remains
trapped in the Hungarian jail. In the last months we could not publish
anything about the case because his family did not want to go public
with this further developments until now. We were silent, but we did not
disappear.

During the trial, there was very strong criticism against the Hungarian
state. The liberal media, international organisations, and even the EU
parliament were accusing Hungary of not respecting european values.
Cyprus’ refusal to renew Ahmed’s visa prove, that his situation is not
exclusively the
fault of an ‘undemocratic’, ‘dictatorial’ regime. The racist
anti-immigrant and anti-terrorist
discourse is an essential part of the idea of ‘Europe’ and the european
border regime,
that all european states follow.

This is a call for solidarity actions targeting this time the Cyprian
state and its institutions. A strong international public pressure is
needed for Ahmed’s release and return home. The government of Cyprus has
to let him join his family again and be finally free from the
imprisonment! Spread the news, spread solidarity!

Let us not forget the prisoners of the Fortress!
Freedom for Ahmed H.!

“Free the Röszke 11” solidarity group

freetheroszke11@riseup.net
https://freetheroszke11.weebly.com