Category Archives: Hausbesetzung

[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. 

[Athen] Refugee squats in centre of Athens under attack

The following post is originally published on Infomobile: information with, for and about refugees in Greece, published here: http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2019/09/25/refugee-squats-in-centre-of-athens-under-attack-by-new-government-while-thousands-housed-in-state-run-camps-are-dumped-in-tents-and-containers-under-inhuman-conditions/

In a wave of sweep-operations against refugees and migrants the new right-wing government of Nea Dimokratia (of July 7th) within the last month has evicted five refugee squats and announced more will follow. Meanwhile, nothing is done to improve reception conditions in the official camps – in contrary things get worse. The state literally denies dignified housing and integration to thousands of refugees and their kids. New camps built; old camps re-opened or expanded; more tents set up… this is how the state deals with protection seekers. Not to mention, the undocumented who are threatened by arrest, detention and deportation. 

“They are trying to bury us but they forget that we are seeds, that we are more than just a number, more than an occupied building, we are a community.”

5th schoolOn 23 September, 143 refugees and migrants were evicted from 5th school in Exarchia. During the sweep operation Photoreporter Alexandros Stamatiou got arrested for “breach of domestic peace” during his professional news coverage, as the Greek Union of Photoreporters denounced, “a fact that does not remind anymore of a democracy”. The raid in the building housing many families with kids was based on a complaint filed in 2016 by neo-Nazi and former parliamentarian I. Kassidiaris from Golden Dawn, as EFSYN newspaper uncovered.

“It was this that triggered the prosecutor’s intervention and the recent sweep operation during which nothing was found. As it turns out, the “law and order” doctrine even takes advantage of the neo-Nazis’ racist actions.”

EFSYN

The Greek Federation of Secondary Education State School Teachers (B-ELME) denounced the violent sweep and the arrest of the photoreporter. As they state, many of the 56 kids residing in the 5th school squat had been visiting public schools in the neighbourhood of Exarchia and have now been once again uprooted and out of the educational system since their transfer to distant refugee camps. According to the Federation, the 5th school was closed and left empty for some years by earlier governments, until being turned into a refugee housing space, after the fusion with another school – a procedure which in the year 2013 led to the closure of three schools alone in this area.

“The State must provide decent living conditions within the urban centres for refugees and migrants, the vast majority of whom are victims of imperialist wars, with equal access to health and education. Children – without any exception – have the right to education in public schools. We are opposed to the long-term entrapment of thousands of people who were forced to get uprooted from their countries, through the flagrant EU Turkey “Deal”. We are opposed to the totally unacceptable living conditions in the hot spots on the islands and in the camps in mainland Greece. The “law and order” that the new government is trying to impose on human souls, trampling on labor and trade union rights, is targeting universal human values ​​and achievements.”

Greek Federation of Secondary Education State School Teachers (B-ELME)

Also the parents association of 35th and 36th primary schools publicly demanded their kid’s school mates back.

“In recent days, buildings in downtown Athens have been evacuated where refugees had found shelter, waiting for what law, what government, what bureaucracy will proceed their asylum procedures. Their children were enrolled in the schools of downtown Athens, trying to integrate, learn the language, make their lives a normal one even under these conditions. But while it is the state that should ensure that all children are enrolled and attending school, while having ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is the state that most violently deprives them of their rights, it pushes them to the margins, it does not respect their fundamental rights, it does not respect their existence. Because the school year has begun and children are removed from their schools without any notice, without even registering them and transferring them to other schools.

We want our children’s classmates back. Because it is the obligation of all of us to finally ensure a safe environment for them. Thanks to them many of the city center’s schools were actually not closed. Because political games cannot be played on the backs of children and oppressed people!”

Parents Association of 35th and 36th primary schools

On 19 September already 269 people (46 families) had been evicted from the two refugee squats Jasmin School (also known as 2ndschool) and Acharnon22. These raids followed earlier evictions of Spirou Trikoupi 15 and 17 on 26 August where in total another 143 people had been residing. Following the raids, the former “homes” got sealed up with barbed wire; windows and doors locked with bricks and cement and people taken away from their neighbourhoods.

Mostly families with kids but also many homeless single men fleeing from war and conflict areas to Europe to find safety, have been attacked during these raids and were taken away their homes and communities. Protection seekers already traumatised found themselves in early morning hours waking up by the shouting and threats of armed special forces, the massive police presence invading their temporary “homes” supposingly in order to “combat drug trade and lawlessness” – as government and mainstream media propaganda frame it. Refugees and migrants were transferred first to Petrou Ralli Aliens Police Directorate for hours of control. The ones with papers from Trikoupi Squats were temporarily transferred to an empty building, to Schisto camp and then spread to different camps. In Schisto they stayed outside in small tents for days. In Eleonas eight persons shared one room in a container “piled up like animals in a farm”.  Many rejected a transfer to distant camps such as Katsikas in the Northern Greece or Koutsochero near Larissa (also to Eleonas, Skaramangas, Thiva and Lavrio) and are homeless again today. The ones from Jasmin school and Acharnon22 were brought to the newly established state-run tent camp in Corinth from where they will be reportedly divided likewise the others to other camps all over mainland Greece.

People transferred to Corinth reported of miserable conditions as they were placed on a dusty field with 16 rub halls (big tents). Some already returned back to Athens, as they couldn’t follow their daily lives from such distance, with their kids being subscribed in downtown schools, medical cases being followed by doctors in the capital, people having found jobs there and legal cases being proceeded in Athens asylum service and the diverse embassies located in the city. Also residents of 5thschool residents were brought to Corinth. The undocumented from all squats were arrested and brought to the pre-removal detention centre Amygdaleza. (10 from Trikoupi Squats, 14 from Yasmin and Acharnon 22 while two families and 19 persons from 5th school remained in Petrou Ralli for their papers – information by 24. September) Reportedly, some of the detainees in Amygdaleza started a hunger strike.

„Most of us had to move to places around Thessaloniki, over 400 km from here. We don’t want to do that. They are playing with us. They have evicted us from our house and they have destroyed it, but they will not also take away the life we have managed to create here in Athens. Our children are going to the school in Exarcheia and we refuse to make them leave it and have to adapt to a new place once again. We want to stay here. We answered them that we will not go anywhere against our will. We keep strong.“

Trikoupi 17

“We are scared about our lives and our freedom and some of us have chosen to stay on the streets to avoid being chased and arrested one more time. They have tried to divide and separate us, but we continue to struggle together. They destroyed our home, but the family that we have created in Trikoupi’s community remains united. Against their repression, solidarity is our weapon!“

Trikoupi 17

The governments attacks against refugee squats have to be understood in the broader frame of a (re-)introduced anti-migratory policy, increasing police repression, institutionalised racism and right wing populism which is used against any from of solidarity.

With more than 29.000 refugees and migrants trapped in the Aegean Islands, of which 12.000 alone try to survive currently in the hell of hotspot Moria / Lesvos and a 5-year-old boy just lost his life there while playing in a carton box (24. September)…

With 5.000 who could actually officially leave the islands but have nowhere to go…

With more than 88.000 refugees and migrants currently stuck in Greece most of which are dumped in overcrowded camps far from local society and under squalid conditions…

The focus of the state is to impose “law and order” in a hypocritical fight against “crime and lawlessness” while actually sacrificing what has been hardly achieved: peoples’ freedom, dignity and respect.

We denounce the attacks on refugee squats in Exarchia and elsewhere! No Pasaran! Solidarity will win!

Employ teachers, not police officers! 

Close the camps! Open homes!

For freedom of movement of all and the right to stay! 

NO ONE IS ILLEGAL!

W2eu / infomobile greece

 

[Athen] Repressionswelle und Räumungen von Refugee-Squats in Exarcheia

Artikel zuerst veröffentlicht auf enough is enough 14 am 27. August 2017:

Greek territory: #Exarcheia under police occupation!

Athens, August 26. Alert! What we have been announcing to you for a month and a half has just begun this morning (yesterday morning, Enough 14), just before dawn. Athens’ famous rebel and supportive neighbourhood is completely surrounded by huge police forces: many riot police buses (MAT), anti-terrorist untis (OPKE), police on motorbikes (DIAS), members of the secret police (asfalitès), as well as a helicopter and several drones.

Originally published by BlogYY. Written by Yannis Youlountas. Translated by Squat Net.

A unique place in Europe for its high concentration of squats and other self-managed spaces, but also for its resistance against repression and its solidarity with precarious and migrants, Exarcheia has been in the sight of the right-wing government since its election on 7 July. The new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had made it a personal affair, especially since he had been mocked in early August for failing to achieve his goal of “cleaning Exarcheia in a month” as he had announced with great fanfare.

This morning, 4 squats were evicted: Spirou Trikoupi 17, Transito, Rosa de Foc and Gare. The offensive currently concerns the north-western part of the district, with the notable exception of the Notara 26 squat, which is considered better guarded and very symbolically important for the district as the first historical squat of the “refugee crisis” in downtown Athens.

There are currently about 100 arrests, including than brutal attacks on people trying to film. Only the mass media in the service of power are allowed to cover the event.

In total, there are 23 squats in Exarcheia plus 26 others around the district, for a total of 49 concentrated in a relatively small area. 49 squats to which other types of self-managed sites must be added, including some rented (Espace Social Libre Nosotros, free shop Skoros, etc.) as well as dozens of private homes groups of activists, often near the terraces to allow access above the streets.

On the squats that are precisely inside Exarcheia, 12 are accommodation squats for refugees and migrants and the 11 others are squats of anarchist and anti-authoritarian collectives (although most refugee squats are also obviously very political, starting with Notara 26 and Spirou Trikoupi 17 with direct assemblies and many links with the rest of the movement).

In the squats of Spirou Trikoupi 17 and Transito (on which servants of power are now bricking up windows), more than fifteen children have been torn from a peaceful and happy existence in order to suddenly being sent to camps. These sinister camps are unhealthy and overcrowded, migrants are malnourished and suffer from temperature variations, humiliation, and sometimes torture, and Mitsotakis also demands that they all be well closed and, in the future, completely cut off from the rest of the territory.

The face of Europe is constantly hardening, the same process is happening in other continents. This evolution increasing authoritarian capitalism leads us to question what the coming times will bring: the offensive against the pockets of utopias coupled with the confinement of the scapegoats reminds us of the dark hours of History.

The whole world is becoming fascist and Greece is once again one of them, one of the laboratories.

But nothing is over. September is coming soon. Seasonal jobs are about to end. The social movement gathers and organizes itself again. Places like Notara 26 and K*Vox are under high surveillance. Answers are being prepared, as well as several major events mobilizers. Autumn will be hot in Athens.

Resistance!

Yannis Youlountas, August 26, 2019

Today, Tuesday August 27, there wull be several protests and solidarity actions:

[Athen] Räumung von zwei migrantischen Hausbesetzungen

EVICTION OF 2 MIGRANT SQUATS IN ATHENS!

Thursay, 11.04.2019

This morning, 2 migrant squats in Exarchia, Athens were evicted
violently by 200 cops. They broke in the building around 5 am in the
morning. After the eviction, they closed the doors with metal constructions.

The squats Babylon and Azadi are housing, shelter- and social projects
run by a community of international people, among them many migrant
families.

In rage and solidarity, we stand with the people, who lost their home
this morning. The eviction is especially cruel, facing that end of
march, the Greek authorities proclaimed that they will kick out migrants
out of the official accomondations, who stayed there more than 6 months.
Those people have few other options but living on the streets, while
lots of buildings in the cities are empty and abandonned due to the
economical crisis in Greece.

Squatting those builings offers people shelter, giving them the option
of selforganizing their lives while at the same time fighting against
the vacancy rates in the cities.

For more information and pictures see:

https://www.facebook.com/AzadiSquatAthens/

#Athens #Exarchia: #Babylon and #Azadi #RefugeesGR squats evicted

Mehr Infos unter: https://www.facebook.com/nobordersnetwork

[Hurriya] Freispruch für 60 Angeklagte der Hurriya-Besetzung

Freispruch  für 60 Angeklagte im letzten Gerichtstermin der Hurriya-Besetzung am 17. September 2018

Nach bereits fünf Verschiebungen der Prozesstermine seit der Räumung der gefüchtetensolidarischen Hurriya-Besetzung in Thessaloniki nach dem No Border Camp im Juli 2016, ist es nun endlich zu einer Urteilsverkündung gekommen. Den 60 angeklagten Personen wurde Störung öffentlichen Friedens und kollektive Beteiligung an krimineller Sachbeschädigung in besonders hohem Wert vorgeworfen. 30 von 60 Personen wurde darüber hinaus Verstoß gegen das Präsidialdekret vorgeworfen (hierbei handelt es sich vermutlich um diejenigen, die die Abgabe von Fingerabdrücke und Fotos verweigert haben).

Anmerkung: Die oben genannten Vorwürfe sind aus dem griechischen Gesetz und ins Deutsche übersetzt, deshalb nicht eins zu eins auf deutsche Rechtslage übertragbar.

Aufgrund des Mangels an personalisierten Beweisen der 60 Personen war das gerichtliche Urteil ein Freispruch in allen oben aufgezählten Punkten für alle Beteiligten dieses Gerichtsprozesses. Die 60 Angeklagten wurden von sechs solidarischen Anwält*innen vertreten und die Kosten, die für diesen Prozess entstanden sind, trägt die Kampagne You cant evict solidarity.

Ein großer Dank und Anerkennung geht an die sechs Anwält*innen, die die Menschen ausdauernd in den immer wieder verschobenen Prozessterminen vertreten haben! Wir freuen uns,sehr über das positive Resultat des Prozesses mit einem Freispruch für alle – insbesondere in so extrem repressiven Zeiten wie diesen.

Dennoch: noch immer sind viele Menschen von Repressionen betroffen und dafür geht der Kampf weiter!

Our passion for freedom is stronger than any prison!

[Lesbos] Hausbesetzungen und Repression auf Lesbos (Griechenland)

Wir dokumentieren einen Artikel von Freund*innen aus Lesbos:

Am 22. Juli 2016 eröffnete (zeitlich parallel zum No Border Camp in Thessaloniki) nach zweimonatiger Vorbereitung die No Border Kitchen (NBK) Lesbos in einer alten Fabrik ein Social Center. Dieses war ein Ort an dem Menschen den miesen Bedingungen aus dem Lager Moria entfliehen konnten. Dort gab es einen Bereich zum Ausruhen, Reden, Schachspielen, Handyladen… Es gab Snacks und Getränke sowie rechtliche Informationen. Es existierte ein separater Frauenraum und ein Kinderspielbereich. Diese Zeit ist Allen in starker Erinnerung als ein solidarisches Miteinander geblieben.

Nach wenigen Tagen wurde die Fabrik auf Antrag der Eigentümerin (Alpha Bank) geräumt, begleitet von großem Protest und Solidaritätsaktionen.

Die Besetzung der Fabrik lief jedoch weiter, als „stille“ Besetzung wohnten im „Old Squat“ fast ein Jahr bis zu 70 Menschen zeitgleich aus aller Welt selbstverwaltet zusammen.

Am 28. April 2017 morgens um 7 kamen die Ortspolizei sowie Polizisten der Spezialeinheit OPKE zur Räumung. (Tage zuvor hatten Arbeiter das Fabrikgelände mit einem Natodrahtzaun umgeben.) Mehr als 30 Leute wurden in den Hof gebracht. Alle Personen, die wie Refugees aussahen, wurden in eine Ecke gesammelt und in der Polizeiwache in Zellen eingesperrt. Alle Personen, die europäisch aussahen, wurde ebenfalls zur Wache gebracht, konnten aber auf dem Flur warten.

Nach vielen Stunden des Wartens wurde erklärt, dass allen Beschuldigten Vandalismus und Hausfriedensbruch vorgeworfen werde. Fingerabdrücke und Fotos wurden gemacht. Alle wurden im Laufe des Tages freigelassen.

Die Räumung war keine Überraschung, in den Monaten zuvor wurde die Repressionen gegen Geflüchtete und auch gegen solidarisch agierende Mensch mit Papieren stärker. Die Räumung war nicht das Ende, sondern der Begin von Repressionen, Verhaftungen, Gefängnisaufenthalte und Abschiebungen wurden häufiger (siehe auch MORIA35).

Mieserweise veranlasste die Alpha Bank die Räumung, obwohl sie nichts mit dem Gebäude vorhatte. Das selbstverwaltete Wohnprojekt ist seitdem wieder ein altes ungenutztes Gebäude, das nun 24/7 von einer Security bewacht wird. Auf dem NBK Blog zur Räumung: “What was destroyed by the state and capitalism was not just a building. It was a home. It was a community. It was a place for friendship, for solidarity, for struggling together against this border and this system that creates them

Insgesamt 35 Personen (mit und ohne europäische Pässe) sind des Hausfriedensbruchs und Vandalismus angeklagt. Darüber hinaus soll es einen dritten Anklagepunkt geben, der bisher nicht bekannt gegeben wurde.

Termin für den Prozess ist der 16. Oktober 2018, Mytilini (Lesbos)

Das Social Center der No Border Kitchen Lesbos bestand in anderer Form noch mehr als ein Jahr weiter: Zunächst einige Wochen am der Fabrik gegenüberliegenden Strand. Dann nach einer erneuten Vertreibung durch die Cops in einer vom Stadtzentrum weiter entfernt liegenden Bucht.  Im Zuge der Androhung einer erneuten Räumung des Strandcamps und des aufgekommenen Winters wurde nach und nach drei leerstehende Häuser in der Nähe bezogen. Ein Haus wurde eine Weile weiter auch als Social Center genutzt.

Nach der Räumung eines dieser Häuser („Casa Blanca“), das von Leuten mit und ohne Papiere bewohnt war, wurde nur Menschen mit gültigen Reisepapieren angeklagt. Besonderheit des Verfahrens: der Mieter stellte Strafanzeige und nicht der Vermieter. Es kam im November 2017 zu einer Einigung zwischen den Anwälten des Mieters und der Beschuldigten, so dass das Verfahren ohne Urteil und ohne Strafe beendet wurde. Der Besitzer selbst ist nie aufgetaucht.

Auch die beiden anderen Häuser („Big Squat und „Chapati House“) erhielten immer wieder ungebetenen Besuch. Die Cops gingen teils brutal durch jeden Raum, verlangten Ausweise/Papiere, schlugen die Leute und/oder verhafteten diese. Einige Leute wurden nach Kontrolle der Papiere freigelassen, andere blieben brutalerweise Wochen oder Monate im Knast und wurden dann abgeschoben. Die Häuser wurden bisher nie endgültig geräumt und Anklage wegen Hausbesetzungen wurde gegen niemanden erhoben.

Im Herbst 2016 wurde ein besetztes Haus in der Stadt Mytilini („Villa“) nach nur 2 Wochen Besetzung geräumt. Es wurde gegen 4 Personen (davon 2 Refugees) Anklage erhoben. Es kam zu einer Verurteilung: 11 Monate auf Bewährung bzw. 15 Monate auf Bewährung für eine Person, die nicht bereit war Fingerabdrücke abzugeben.

 

 

 

[Serbien – Belgrad] Aktuelle Situation von Refugees in Serbien und Belgrad – Ein Bericht von Januar 2018

Im Jahr 2015 im Zeitraum des sogenannten langen Sommers der Migration prägten tausende Menschen, die Serbien als Transitland auf der Fluchtroute passierten und sich auf den öffentlichen Plätzen Belgrads aufhielten, das Bild der serbischen Hauptstadt. Leerstehende Gebäude und Fabrikhallen wurden von den Menschen besetzt, um sie als kollektiven Wohnraum und als Schutz vor Kälte zu nutzen. In zentralen Parks wurde gecampt, geschlafen und auf neue Möglichkeiten der Weiterreise Richtung Norden gewartet.

Mittlerweile sind die Parks leer, besetzte Hallen und Gebäude wurden geräumt und/ oder abgerissen – insbesondere im Frühjahr 2017. Die meisten Menschen wurden in Refugee-Camps außerhalb von Belgrad gebracht. Auch das Camp im südlichen Preŝevo existiert noch immer. Dieses fungierte im Kontext des staatlich organisierten „Korridors“ in den Jahren 2015/ 2016 als Transitcamp, wo Refugees, die gerade die mazedonisch-serbische Grenze passiert hatten, registriert wurden. Zu dieser Zeit war die humanitäre Situation dort katastrophal. Aussagen serbischer Akivist*innen zufolge, scheint das Camp und die Region Preŝevo mittlerweile zu einer Art offenem Gefängnis geworden zu sein, wo etwa 1000 Menschen bereits monatelang festsitzen. Es scheint derzeit sehr schwierig zu sein die Gegend um Preŝevo zu verlassen um weiter zu reisen, da die öffentlichen Reisebusse (unter Druck gesetzt werden) Geflüchteten die Mitfahrt Richtung Belgrad zu verweigern – obgleich die Menschen Serbien bereits betreten und sich dort (ordnungsgemäß) registriert haben. Dass viele Menschen im Süden von Serbien festsitzen und eigentlich nach Belgrad und weiter reisen wollen, eröffnet einen profitablen Markt für mafia-ähnliche Strukturen und Schleuser*innen. Diese können nun hohe Geldbeträge von den Refugees verlangen, die für den Weitertransport auf andere angewiesen sind, da es keine Alternative gibt. Regelmäßig betritt die serbische Polizei das Camp in Preŝevo: Zum Einen werden Menschen von dort aus rechtswidrig in Form von Push-Backs nach Mazedonien abgeschoben, zum Anderen wird ihnen die sogenannte „freiwillige Ausreise“ nach Mazedonien „angeboten“. Informationen über Kriterien, nach denen diese Prozeduren durchgeführt werden, liegen leider nicht vor. Laut Berichten von Refugees nehmen jedoch einige Menschen aus dem Camp das „Angebot“ einer „freiwillige Ausreise“ in Anspruch, da die Chance in einem erneuten Versuch nach Serbien zu kommen, ohne dabei in die Preŝevo-Falle zu laufen, besser seien. Im Norden Serbiens angekommen, macht Ungarns Migrationspolitik es allerdings nahezu unmöglich die Grenze von Serbien nach Ungarn zu passieren ohne entweder von der ungarischen Grenzpolizei und/oder gewalttätigen Grenzjägern aufgegriffen, festgenommen, inhaftiert oder nach Serbien zurück gepusht zu werden. Deshalb probieren viele Menschen mittlerweile wieder die Route über Kroatien. Erst kürzlich saßen hunderte Menschen am serbisch-kroatischen Grenzübergang bei Sid fest. Dort bildete sich für einige Tage ein sogenanntes „wildes“ Camp der Festsitzenden, die gegen das rigide Grenzregime protestierten. Die Polizei reagierte auf den Protest der Menschen, die ihr Recht auf Bewegungsfreiheit forderten, indem sie sie auf verschiedene serbische Refugee-Camps verteilte.

Unschwer zu erkennen ist die große Herausforderung, Grenzen entlang der Balkanroute seit der finalen Grenzschließung in Idomeni. Dennoch versuchen es die Menschen weiterhin. Wo Grenzen, Mauern und Zäune ihnen den Weg versperren, müssen Alternativrouten gefunden werden. So gab es in Bosnien im vergangenen Jahr 2017 im Vergleich zu 2016 eine 380 %ige Steigerung an Refugees, die das Land betreten haben, um von dort weiter nach Kroatien und somit in die EU zu gelangen. Die Rolle Serbiens, aber auch die von Mazedonien und Kroatien verdeutlichte sich während der letzten Jahre zunehmend: Diese Staaten fungieren als Pufferzone vor den Toren Europas. Wobei anzumerken ist, dass die Mehrheit der Geflüchteten nicht in diesen Ländern bleiben will, sondern diese nur als Transitländer durchreist auf dem Weg in die nördlichen europäischen Staaten.

Generell kann eine aktive Verdrängung von Geflüchteten aus öffentlichen Räumen durch Isolation und Inhaftierung wahrgenommen werden. Als Konsequenz werden nicht nur diese Menschen und das Thema Migration, sondern auch das Grenzregime mit all seiner Gewalt und Repression unsichtbar gemacht und verschwindet aus dem Bewusstsein der Gesellschaft.

Interview mit einem Aktivisten, der mit Refugees in Belgrad arbeitet.

Das Interview wurde von Aktivist*innen der Anti-Repressionskampagne You cant evict Solidarity aus Deutschland geführt. Neben vielen persönlichen Gesprächen mit No Border-Aktivist*innen in Serbien wurde das folgende Interview per Mail geschickt.

1. Kannst du etwas über die Situation von Refugees in Serbien und Belgrad erzählen?

Heute sind in Serbien etwa 4000 bis 5000 Refugees. Die meisten leben in offiziellen Camps, die im ganzen Land verteilt sind. Zirka 500 Menschen leben außerhalb dieser offiziellen Zentren (Camps) in inoffiziellen Formen von Unterkünften – ob in den sogenannten „Jungles“ nahe der ungarischen Grenze, in verlassenen Fabrikhallen in Sid an serbisch-kroatischen Grenze oder in leerstehenden Gebäuden in Belgrad. Sie haben nur sehr begrenzten Zugang zu grundlegenden Bedürfnissen wie Wasser oder sanitären Anlagen. Jedoch leben alle, ob innerhalb oder außerhalb der offiziellen Camps unter konstant prekären Bedingungen. Die Möglichkeit einen Asylantrag in Serbien zu stellen, bleibt sporadisch und sehr eingeschränkt. Im Jahr 2017 haben lediglich drei Personen einen Refugee-Status in Serbien erhalten, die restlichen Antragsteller*innen wurden abgelehnt. Die meisten jedoch schaffen es gar nicht erst Asyl zu beantragen, weil die juristische und administrative Unterstützung so gering ist und in vielen Camps nicht zur Verfügung steht.

2. Welche (Refugee-) Camps spielen in diesem Land eine wichtige Rolle?

Preŝevo (serbisch-mazedonische Grenze): Der mazedonische Grenzübergang wird weiterhin vom Ministerium für Arbeit verwaltet. Durch die sehr restriktive Überwachung der Bewegungsfreiheit wird es von den meisten Refugees als offenes Gefängnis wahrgenommen. Im Gegensatz dazu sind die Lebensbedingungen und der Zugang zu bestimmten Dienstleistungen besser als in anderen Camps.

Obrenovac/Krnjaca (Camp südlich von Belgrad): Dieses Camp im Süden Belgrads ist vor allem für allein-reisende junge Männer und Kinder unter 15 Jahren, also unbegleitete Minderjährige, gedacht. Diese beiden nicht weit von Belgrad entfernten Camps sind die Hauptorte, um einen Weg aus Serbien heraus zu finden. Die Sicherheit und Lebensbedingungen vor Ort verschlechtern sich seit dem Sommer. Es wird von Banden berichtet und die Menschen, die in den Camps leben erzählen von gewalttätigen Auseinandersetzungen sowie Belästigungen durch die Polizei und den Mitarbeitern des „Kommissariat für Flüchtlinge und Migration“.

3. Wie hat sich die Situation seit 2015 verändert?

Während Serbien früher ein Transitland war, ist es heute eher eine Falle – ein Ort, an dem die Leute feststecken. Allein gelassen und festsitzend, müssen sie somit ein höheres Risiko eingehen um voranzukommen. 2015 war Serbien nur eines von vielen Ländern, welches die Menschen durchquerten um ihre Reise fortzusetzen. Heute ist es immer noch ein wichtiger Knotenpunkt, ist aber auch immer häufiger eine Sackgasse, die nicht mehr zu verlassen ist.

4. Wie ist die Atmosphäre, die Wahrnehmung und der Diskurs in der Öffentlichkeit bezüglich Migration und Refugees im Moment? Hat es sich in den letzten Jahren verändert?                                                                                                         Über den sich verändernden politischen Diskurs in Serbien kann ich etwas erzählen: Dieser hat sich an die anderen V4-Länder ( Vizegrad: Ungarn, Polen, Tschechien und Slowakei) angepasst. Ausländerfeindlichkeit und Diskriminierung haben sich weiter verbreitet. Während Serbien versucht der EU treu zu bleiben und den V4-Ländern nicht öffentlich beitritt, da Serbien sobald wie möglich in den europäischen Markt eintreten möchte.

5. Wie ist die Situation bezüglich Repression und Kriminalisierung von Refugees, Unterstützungsstrukturen und selbstorganisierten Aktivist* innen?

Weiterhin werden solidarische Strukturen häufig kriminalisiert, jedoch geschieht dies mittlerweile subtiler und weniger offensichtlich im Vergleich zu 2016. Damals hat die Regierung einen offenen Brief veröffentlicht, in dem unterschiedliche Organisationen verboten wurde und auch Essen in der Innenstadt anzubieten.

6. Wie ist es mit Refugees oder zu Themen wie Migration/ Refugees/ Anti-Rassismus in Belgrad und Serbien zu arbeiten?

Es ist schmerzhaft aber auch lohnend. Jedoch haben sich die Gegebenheiten sehr verändert; von einer Notsituation hin zu einer anderen Ebene der politischen und humanitären Antwort bzw. Arbeit. Mit anderen Worten kann man sagen, dass das Geld nun direkt in die Ministerien und nicht mehr in den Sektor der Nichtregierungsorganisationen geht. Dadurch entsteht eine großes Loch welches die Verfügbarkeit gewisser Dienstleistungen verschlechtert. Dadurch werden die Politik der serbischen Regierung und die europäische Politik der Exklusion und Diskriminierung legitimiert. Denn für diese ist es besser tausende von Menschen außerhalb der europäischen Grenzen zu halten, als sie in das europäische Asylsystem zu integrieren.

7. Wer arbeitet hier zu diesen Themen?

Obwohl es weiterhin unterschiedliche Organisationen gibt, die immer noch aktiv sind, hat sich die individuelle und selbstorganisierte Reaktion auf die Situation nach mehr als zwei Jahren des Engagements verringert. Was es heute braucht, sind neue Narrative und neue Kämpfe, denn der Kontext hat sich stark verändert. In Serbien sowie in anderen europäischen Ländern braucht es weiterhin neue Formen und Möglichkeiten der Teilhabe, ein Recht auf Wohnraum, Bildung und Arbeit.

8. Welche Informationen bzgl. der Situation von Refugees/ Migration/ Aktivismus in Serbien würdest du gerne noch hinzufügen?

Was wir heute in Serbien sehen, zeigt die sehr komplexen lokalen und regionalen Dynamiken, die durch die europäische Migrationspolitik an den europäischen Außengrenzen entstehen. Die beständige Gewalt an den europäischen Grenzen dient der Abschreckung; zusätzlich werden die erzwungene Unterbringung in Lagern und die Verschlechterung des politischen Diskurses als Strategien zur Legitimierung von Ausländerfeindlichkeit und vermeintlich benötigten Sicherheitsmaßnahmen genutzt, während Inklusion und der Zugang zu grundlegenden Dienstleistungen nachlassen.

Verweise:                                                                                                                          https://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/1074347.die-neue-balkanroute.html http://bordermonitoring.eu/berichte/2017-Mazedonien-Serbien/

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fluechtlinge-auf-der-balkanroute-das-spiel-fotostrecke-156822.html

[Thessaloniki – Griechenland ] Linkes Squat “Libertatia” von FaschistInnen angegriffen und abgebrannt

Angriffe aus Demo von 40.000 „aufrechten“ Griech*innen

Es war ca. 16 Uhr am Nachmittag, die antinationale Gegendemo wurde gerade aufgelöst, als uns die Nachricht erreichte, dass nach einer Serie von Angriffen auf solidarische Häuser das linke Squat Libertatia abgebrannt wurde.

Der Namensstreit um das Nachbarland von Griechenland schwelt schon lange. In den 90er Jahren gingen hunderttausende Menschen in Griechenland auf die Straßen, um ihren Unmut kundzutun. Im Kern wird der Name Mazedonien alleinig der Region Nordgriechenlands zugeschrieben. Auch die „Nationalität“ Alexanders des Großen wird in Frage gestellt. Mazedoniens orthodoxe Bevölkerung wird auch aufgrund der Religion als griechisch angesehen und eines der Banner auf der Demo in Thessaloniki am 21. Januar 2018 trug die Aufschrift „WIR sind Mazedonien“.

Zu der Demo rief ein sehr unterschiedliches Spektrum auf, von christlich-orthodoxen Priestern bis zu nationalistisch-konservativen Oppositionsparteien und Rechtsextremen; die Stimmung auf dem Platz war geprägt von tausenden blau-weißen Flaggen, martialisch auftretenden Neo-Nazis aber auch Familien mit Kindern.

Mazedoniens Bestreben in die NATO aufgenommen zu werden oder der EU beizutreten, wird von Athen mit seinem Veto-Recht blockiert. Es werden Forderungen geaeussert, dass Mazedonien seinen Namen vollständig ändern soll, auf griechischen Landkarten wird es als „ehemalige jugoslawische Republik Mazedonien“ bezeichnet. Auch Alexis Tsipras aeusserte sich, angesichts der fortschreitenden Verhandlungen mit der NATO, man solle in Betracht ziehen, dass es ein „Nord-Mazedonien“ oder ein „Neu-Mazedonien“ geben könne, um diesen „nationalen Unsinn“ zu beenden.

Wie das Libertatia in eigenen Stellungnahmen schreibt, haben die Angriffe auf die besetzten Häuser im Schutze dieser Massendemonstration stattgefunden und ist auch nur durch die Deckung dieser nationalistischen Menge möglich gewesen. Die Stimmung in Thessaloniki kippte an diesem Tag, hin zu einem Klima der Angst und Repression. Migrantischen* Freunden wurde empfohlen nicht aus dem Haus zu gehen. Später am Abend wurde berichtet, dass maskierte und mit Knüppeln bewaffnete Rechtsextreme auf Motorrädern durch die Stadt patrouillierten.

Ein Mob aus 60-70 Faschisten und Fußball-Hooligans griff unter anderem das soziale Zentrum Skoleio („Schule“) mit Steinen an und wurde von der anwesenden Polizei nicht daran gehindert. Das Libertatia berichtet von einem ersten Angriff, der abgewehrt werden konnte. Später wurde das Libertatia ein zweites Mal von einem Mob mit Banner in Anwesenheit von Polizeikräften angegriffen. Dieses Mal flogen Bengalos, die aufgrund der chemischen Reaktion extrem schwer zu löschen sind, in das Haus. Protestierende Nachbar*innen wurden beschimpft und zum Teil auch beworfen. Die Polizei stand währenddessen mit einem Streifenwagen und einem Auto der Zivilpolizei daneben und griff nicht ein.

Im Zuge dessen brannte das Libertatia vollständig aus.

Das Kollektiv des Libertatia rief daraufhin zu einer Solidaritätsdemonstration am darauffolgenden Tag auf. Diese war kraftvoll, energisch und lautstark. Gegen Ende der Demonstration griff die Polizei die DemonstrantInnen mit Tränengas an. Im Zuge von kleineren Rangeleien wegen einer Blockade durch die Polizei wurden fünf Protestierende festgenommen, der Gerichtstermin für eine eventuelle Untersuchungshaft findet am Freitagvormittag, 26.01.18, statt.

 

Stellungnahme des Libertatia:

Solidarity demonstration for the squat Libertatia

Squat Libertatia’s statement regarding today’s arson

Today – Sunday, January 21th – around 1.30pm and just before the
nationalist gathering for Macedonia, fascist teams who took part in it
realized several attacks on occupied spaces.
First, they attacked the free social space "Σχολείο" and they were
rejected with success by our comrades. Then, they approach our squat,
provoking some damages on the facade and the fence. These damages were
fixed immediately by the members of our collective, who then decided to
join the antinationalist gathering in Kamara. About two hours later, a
group of some 60/70 fascists attacked again our squat with molotov
cocktails and distress flares, which provoked the fire. At this time,
there were no-one left in the building as everyone were in the gathering
in Kamara. While the attack was going on, there were so many cops in
plain clothes and vans of the antiriot police (τα ΜΑΤ) who were staying
next to the squat. They covered the attack without intervening.
The resistance of the neighborhood must be noticed, as some people went
to their balconies and screamed at the fascists, who replied insulting
them and throwing flares to them. When the fascists tried to head again
towards Σχολείο, the police was already there holding the place,
covering the fascists and locking the comrades inside the building.
Don’t be fooled: these attacks and the setting on fire of the building
couldn’t have happened without the « support » of the gathering for
Macedonia. They were going there and they were coming back from there.
All the far-right and neo-nazi groups were calling for this gathering
but no-one gave a fuck about it, offering them social legitimacy and
public space so they could express and act freely. We know very well
that all this couldn’t have happened under other circumstances and
that’s why everyone should clarify its position regarding fascism. All
these energies from such actual and real groups work as supplements for
the repression from the State agains those who fight and resist for
something better. Everyone should have a stand regarding the arson of a
building with more than a century of history which has been abandoned
for decades. The arson of a building that we, anarchists, libertarian
communists and revolutionnaries, have decided to renove and maintain,
first to cover housing needs of proletarians, migrants and people who
are expelled by the State and Capitalism and also in order to create a
radical political space where people can grow together and promote a new
libertarian culture. It must be clear to everyone that we are here
talking about a criminal act, which could have ended with tragic
consequences, i.e deaths.
These attacks doesn’t mean that we will stop fighting against the State,
capitalism and fascism. No attack can manage neither terrorizing us nor
making us do curtsey for any fascist, but with conscience and
determination, for a society of equality and freedom, we will continue
to fight our ideal.

THE FASCIST ATTACKS WON’T STAY UNANSWERED
LET’S RAISE DIKES AGAINST THE FASCIST THREAT
FOR ANARCHY AND LIBERTARIAN COMMUNISM
DEMONSTRATION ON MONDAY 01/22 AT 6PM IN FRONT OF THE SQUAT

during the demo 5 people got arrested
the court is at friday
we need any kind of political solidarity
also there is a need of economical support (fistrly for the court money
- that could be around 6000 Euros - secondary to start rebuilding the
squat)

there will be more feedback the next days.

For anarchy and libertarian communism

Libertatia, collective for libertarian communism

p.s.

-please forward the e-mail to other collectives or individuals
-usefull links: https://www.facebook.com/libertatiasquat/
                http://libertatiasquat.blogspot.gr/

[Thessaloniki] Besetzung Libertatia von Faschist*innen niedergebrannt

Am vergangenen Sonntag (21. Januar 2018) wurde in Thessaloniki (Griechenland) am Rande einer Großdemo griechischer Nationalist*innen die Hausbesetzung Libertatia von Faschist*innen niedergebrannt. Wir dokumentieren eine Stellungnahme der Besetzer*innen (Quelle: https://barrikade.info/Stellungnahme-der-Besetzung-Libertatia-Thessaloniki-745):

Thessaloniki: Besetztes Haus von Faschisten niedergebrannt – Stellungnahme der Besetzung Libertatia

Heute, am Sonntag, dem 21.1.2018, um circa 13.30, kurz bevor die nationalistische Demonstration für den Namen Mazedonien anfing, haben faschistische Gruppen, welche an dieser Demo teilnahmen, eine Serie von Angriffen auf verschiedene Besetzungen in Thessaloniki begonnen. Nachdem sie das freie, soziales Zentrum und Besetzung „Scholio“ angriffen, wo sie mit Erfolg zurückgeschlagen werden konnten, griffen sie unsere Besetzung an und verursachten Schäden am Zaun und an der Fassade. Diese Schäden wurden von Mitgliedern unserer Gruppe sofort wieder repariert. Unsere Gruppe entschied sich danach, an der anti-nationalistischen Versammlung am Kamara teilzunehmen. Nach etwa zwei Stunden wurde unsere Besetzung von einer Gruppe von 60–70 Faschisten erneut angegriffen. Dieses Mal mit Molotowcocktails und Bengalen, wodurch das ganze Haus in Brand gesteckt wurde. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt befand sich niemand im Gebäude, wegen der Versammlung am Kamara. Während der ganzen Attacke auf die Besetzung waren Zivilpolizisten und ein Bus der Spezialeinheit MAT vor der Besetzung parkiert. Sie schützten den Angriff und zeigten keine weitere Reaktion. Die Reaktionen der Nachbarschaft müssen erwähnt werden. Die Leute standen auf den Balkonen und schrieen die Faschisten an. Diese schimpften Beleidigungen zurück und warfen auch auf die Nachbarn Bengalen. Als die Faschisten danach erneut die Besetzung „Scholio“ angriffen, legte die Poliziei dieselbe Parteilichkeit an den Tag: die Angreifer wurden beschützt und die GenossInnen des „Scholio“ wurden in ihrem Gebäude eingeschlossen.

Wir sollten uns nicht täuschen: Ohne der Mazedonien-Demo wären diese Angriffe der Faschisten nicht möglich gewesen, denn diese Demo war ein Schutzraum für die faschistischen Angriffe. Die Angreifer gingen zu dieser Demo und kamen von ihr wieder zurück.
Alle rechtsextremen und Neonazi-Gruppen riefen zu dieser Demo auf, aber niemand kümmerte dieses Faktum. Ihnen wurde dadurch soziale Legitimität und öffentlicher Raum geboten, um sich auszudrücken und zu handeln. Wir sind uns ganz genau bewußt, dass diese Dinge unter anderen Umständen nicht möglich gewesen wären, und deswegen muss jeder und jede darüber nachdenken, wie er sich gegen Faschismus stellen kann. Diese Aktionen paramilitärischer Gruppen funktionieren als Unterstützung der staatlichen Repression gegen alle Menschen, die kämpfen, und für etwas Besseres einstehen. Denken wir alle darüber nach, wer von der Brandstiftung an einem Gebäude mit einer mehr als hundertjährigen Geschichte profitiert, welches für mehrere Jahrzehnte leergestanden ist. Ein Gebäude, das wir als Anarchisten, libertäre Kommunisten und Revolutionäre entschieden, zu besetzen und zu renovieren, einerseits um den Bedarf an Wohnraum von Proletariern, Immigranten und Leuten, die von Staat und Kapital angegriffen werden zu decken, anderereits um einen freien Raum radikaler politischer Auseinandersetzungen von Individuen zu schaffen und eine neue, libertäre Kultur zu fördern. Es muss deutlich festgestellt werden, dass es sich um eine kriminelle Aktion handelt, die auch ein weit tragischeres Ergebnis zur Folge gehabt haben könnte, das heißt Tote.

Diese Angriffe werden uns auf keinen Fall aufhalten. Wir werden den Faschisten keinen solchen Gefallen tun, sondern weiterhin mit stählernem Bewusstsein und Trotz für eine Gesellschaft von Gleichheit und Freiheit und unsere Ideale kämpfen! Gegen Staat, Kapital und Faschismus!
Kein Angriff kann uns terrorisieren!

FASCHISTISCHE ANGRIFFE WERDEN NICHT OHNE ANTWORT BLEIBEN!
ERRICHTEN WIR BARRIKADEN GEGEN DIE FASCHISTISCHE BEDROHUNG!
FÜR DIE ANARCHIE UND DEN LIBERTÄREN KOMMUNISMUS!

Demo: 22.1., 18.00 Uhr, vor der Besetzung Libertatia.

Libertatia/Gruppe für den libertären Kommunismus

[Berlin] Drohende Räumung der Refugee-Besetzung in Ohlauer Straße

„You can’t evict a movement!“ – Zur anstehenden Räumung der Ohlauer

Die von Refugees besetzte Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule in der Ohlauer Straße in Berlin/Kreuzberg soll im Januar 2018 geräumt werden. Langsam regt sich Widerstand dagegen. Unten findet ihr einen Aufruf zu Solidarität mit den Bewohner*innen der Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule bon “andere zustände ermöglichen”.

Die Gerhart Haupmann-Schule in der Ohlauerstrasse in Kreuzberg wurde erstmals im Dezember 2012 besetzt, die Besetzung wurde anschließend vom Bezirk geduldet. Als im Sommer 2014 eine Räumung versucht wurde, besetzten Aktivist*innen das Dach der GHS. Daraufhin besetzte die Polizei den Kiez, verprügelte Aktivist*innen, verweigerte Journalist*innen den Zugang, spazierte mit einer Maschinenpistole durch die Gegend, machte die gesamte Nachbarschaft zur militarisierten No-Go-Zone und probte den Ausnahmezustand.

Am 02.07.2014 unterzeichneten die Aktivist*innen und die Vertreter*innen des Bezirks schließlich eine Vereinbarung. Darin war festgelegt, dass die Besetzer*innen in der Schule bleiben können und dort ein selbstverwaltetes Zentrum von Refugees für Refugees, ein antirassistischer Freiraum, entstehen sollte.

Schon nach kurzer Zeit fing der Bezirk allerdings an, die Rechtmäßigkeit der Vereinbarung anzuzweifeln und begann gegen die Aktivist*innen zu klagen. Zwei Mal gewannen die Aktivist*innen. Diesen Sommer jedoch wurde die Vereinbarung in der nächsten Instanz vom Gericht aus unerfindlichen Gründen als zeitlich beschränkt interpretiert. Dementsprechend darf der Bezirk die Schule räumen lassen und wird dies auch tun. Die Gerichtsvollzieherin hat sich für den 11. Januar 2018 angekündigt.

Langsam regt sich erneut Widerstand gegen diese rassistische Verarsche und die anstehende Räumung. Im Dezember demonstrierten Black Lives Matter Berlin zusammen mit den Aktivist*innen aus der Schule gegen strukturellen Rassismus. Für den 29.12. ist ein Plenum im Bethanien einberufen worden, dass Aktionsmöglichkeiten rings um die anstehende Räumung diskutieren will.

Timeline der Ereignisse 2014:
https://de.squat.net/2014/06/28/berlin-raeumung-der-von-refugees-besetzten-schule-in-der-ohlauer-strasse/

Aktueller Stand:
https://www.taz.de/Archiv-Suche/!5463761&s=ohlauer/

AUFRUF:

Bewegungsfreiheit statt Staatsgewalt! Aufruf zu Solidarität mit den Bewohner*innen der Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule

Am 11. Januar soll die Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule geräumt werden. Es ist zwar in den letzten drei Jahren etwas ruhiger um die Ohlauerstraße geworden, aber die Relevanz der Kämpfe dieser Gruppe ist nach wie vor groß. Lange vor der ‘Willkommenskultur’ zeigte der March of Freedom, in dem Hunderte Geflüchtete aus Würzburg demonstrierend in die Hauptstadt zogen, nicht nur die dringende Notwendigkeit einer Änderung im gesellschaftlichen Umgang mit Geflüchteten. Auch zeigte diese Bewegung, dass Geflüchtete sich selbst den Status politischer Subjekte erkämpfen und ihre Forderungen in der Öffentlichkeit vertreten. Sichtbarkeit und Stimme, die ihnen von der weiß-deutschen Mehrheitsgesellschaft traditionell verweigert wird; die polizeiliche Räumung ist ein Teil dieses herrschaftlichen Umgangs. Damit haben die Besetzer*innen vom O-Platz und aus der Schule einen bedeutenden und nachhaltigen Einfluß auf eine ganze Generation von Aktivist*innen hinterlassen. Der aktivistische Kampf war stark, mutig und lebendig. Mit der Besetzung des Oranienplatzes verwandelten sie Kreuzberg für mehrere Monate in einen experimentellen Raum. Mit den Hungerstreiks am Brandenburger Tor, am Alexanderplatz und an der Gedächtniskirche erreichten sie große Kreise und Einfluß.

In den mehr als fünf Jahren seit dem Camp auf dem Oranienplatz haben die Aktivist*innen sich gegen Erpressungen, Spaltungen und Lügen behaupten müssen. Nach der angedrohten Räumung im Sommer 2014 war das letzte Mittel, das ihnen gelassen wurde, die Drohung mit dem eigenen Tod. In der tagelangen Dachbesetzung erkämpften sie sich gegen ein Großaufgebot der Polizei und extremen Druck von Seiten der rot-schwarzen Landes- und der grünen Bezirkspolitik das Recht in der Schule zu bleiben. Und trotz des Drucks blieben sie standhaft und haben uns gezeigt wie Selbstorganisation weitergehen kann. Ihr Kampf war eine der größten politischen Bewegungen in der Geschichte der BRD. Sie wurde inzwischen von den folgenden Asylrechtsverschärfungen der Großen Koalition und der völkischen Bewegungen um Pegida in den Hintergrund gedrängt. Die Relevanz der damaligen Bewegung ist dadurch aber nicht gesunken, im Gegenteil: Die Orte des Kampfes verschoben sich von der Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule an die Balkan-Route, nach Idomeni, Calais oder in die Willkommens-Initiativen und Behörden in jeder deutschen Kleinstadt. Die Bewegung vom O-Platz hin zur Schule hat nie aufgehört, sie hat nur den Ort gewechselt. Jetzt kehrt sie zur Schule zurück und damit zu einem der Kristallisationspunkte unseres Kampfes um Bewegungsfreiheit.

Wenn am 11. Januar die Polizei anrückt, um die ehemaligen Besetzer*innen gewaltsam aus ihren Wohnungen zu zerren, dann kulminiert darin der langjährige Kampf der Bewohner*innen und Unterstützer*innen gegen die staatstragende Politik der Kreuzberger Grünen. Denn entgegen der damaligen Vereinbarung eines Wohnrechts der Besetzer*innen schikanierte der Bezirk die Bewohner*innen und versuchte die staatliche Kontrolle zurück zu bekommen: Security-Personal schränkte die erkämpfte Bewegungsfreiheit sofort ein und gerichtlich wurde nach einer Zwangsräumung gesucht. Nach mehr als drei Jahren haben die Grünen nun den Räumungstitel, den sie schon immer wollten. Wir wollen das nicht lautlos hinnehmen. Die Geflüchteten-Bewegung hat uns gezeigt, in welch produktivem Verhältnis der Kampf der direkt Betroffenen und Unterstützer*innen sein kann. Die Formen, die dieses Verhältnis annimmt, hängen auch von der konkreten Situation ab. Mit der letzten Demonstration am 16. Dezember stellten die ehemaligen Besetzer*innen ihren Kampf selbst in den größeren Kontext von rassistischen Politiken und kapitalistischer Stadtpolitik.

Nehmen wir ihren Aufruf zur Solidarität aufs Neue auf!
Achtet auf Ankündigungen

###

Freedom of Movement instead of State Violence. Call for Solidarity with the Inhabitants of the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule

On January 11, the Gerhart-Hauptmann School is to be evacuated. Although it has become a little quieter around the Ohlauerstraße in the last three years, the relevance of the group’s struggles is still there. Long before the ‘welcome culture,’ the March of Freedom showed (in the demonstration of hundreds of refugees from Würzburg to the capital) not just the urgent need for change in the social interaction with refugees. The movement also showed that refugees can achieve the status of political subjects and represent their demands in public. Visibility and voice are traditionally denied by the white-German majority society; the police eviction is a part of this attitude. The squatters of the O-place and the school have thus had a significant and lasting influence on a whole generation of activists. The struggle was strong, courageous and lively. With the occupation of the Oranienplatz, they turned Kreuzberg for several months in an experimental space. With the hunger strikes at the Brandenburg Gate, Alexanderplatz and at the Gedächtniskirche they reached large circles and influence.

In the more than five years since the camp on the Oranienplatz, the activists had to face blackmail, divisions and lies. After the threatened eviction in the summer of 2014, the last option left to them was the threat of their own death. In the day-long occupation of the roof, they fought against a large contingent of the police and extreme pressure from the red-black coalition and the green district policy to obtain the right to stay at school. And despite the pressure, they remained firm and showed us how self-organization can continue. This struggle was one of the biggestpolitical movements in the history of the BRD. She was pushed into the background by the tightening of asylum policies by Grand Coalition and the nationalist movements around Pegida. However, the relevance of the movement did not decrease. On the contrary, the places of struggle shifted from the Gerhart Hauptmann School to the Balkan Route, to Idomeni, Calais or in the welcome initiatives and authorities in every German town. The movement from O-space to the school never stopped, it just changed place. Now it returns to school and thus becomes once again one of the crystallization points of our struggle for freedom of movement.

When on January 11 the police come to forcibly drag the former squatters out of their home, it is the culmination of the long-standing struggle of the inhabitants and supporters against the state sponsored policy of the Green Kreuzberg politicians. Contrary to the once agreed upon right of residence of the squatters, they were harassed as the state tried to regain control: security personnel restricted freedom of movement and judicially a forced eviction was sought. After more than three years, the Greens now have the eviction title they always wanted. We won’t accept this without making noise. The refugee movement has shown us what a productive relationship between the struggles of those directly affected and supporters can look like – also dependent on the concrete situation. During the last demonstration on the 16th of December, the former squatters themselves put their fight into the larger context of racist policies and capitalist urban policy.

Let us renew our call for solidarity!
check for latest news in the next days.