Athens, Greece: Announcement of a new squat
Today, Friday the 24/11, in the morning, we occupied the building on the street Arvali 3 near Matrozou Street where the first occupied building is. The community of squats Matrozou 45 and Panaitoliou 21 grows together with its needs and capabilities, pluralism and engagement in current reality.
Immigrant detention centers, generalized impoverishment, prisons, grievous patriarchal violence, pillaging of the natural environment and state repression, widespread phenomena across the planet, bring together people who are struggling to create communities beyond their origins. Based on those social fields, every struggle in every corner of the planet is a struggle for all of us because our unity is not determined by our origin but by our need for freedom.
Refinement of cities is the death of the last communal forms of life. Whole neighborhoods are converted into hotels and resorts. One of the main forms of gentrification, airbnb has its most significant bases in the neighborhood of Koukaki and Exarheia. Airbnb gives the residents the safe option of renting their home to tourists. People immersed in poverty and the daily stressful struggle for survival are pushed out while simultaneously the area transforms into an immense hotel. At that time, the parks are privatized to become buildings, entrepreneurs strive to develop offices and shops everywhere by occupying and sterilizing all the social ground (a worth to be mentioned example in our neighborhood is the struggle against the company’s (DASYC) intention to privatize the Mousson and Orlof park). Immigrants, people gathering at squares, anarchists, homeless people and generally anything that does not serve the consumer are the targets of the police.
At the same time, residents fully manipulated by the media, target squats either for fear or financial interests. Conservative elements target squats as a neighborhood risk, especially in more high class and touristically exploited regions. An example is the lawsuit against the occupied building of our community on 21 Panaitoliou street by neighbors. We, as a community, put forward the notion of collective and non-mediating resolution in problems of coexistence, that should not comprise a reason for eviction, against the culture of fear and self-absorption. Thus, our houses are always open to everyone who wants to enrich and widen the struggles of our community, to those selecting to discuss about their disagreements and their problems straight with us, but also to any people that are interested in having a first contact, just sharing thoughts and ideas.
Squats are mounds in the refinement of cities. It is a meeting point for people without gender or ethnicity. Non-pay meeting points. There are direct relations of solidarity without political parties and economic interests. There the neighborhoods find lost parts of the past while seeing the images of the future we are trying to epitomise.
Together with the occupation of a third building in less than a year, we call on every competitor and struggler to refuse the control from rent and bills. We call for the occupation of every abandoned building belonging to the state, banks, businessmen and the church. Whilst accepting the deterioration of desolate buildings, they contrive to steal from our lives in every sense.
Squats are lands of struggle, war shelters, livelier social cells for a life without state and capital, without patriarchy and racism.
COMMUNITY of SQUATS in KOYKAKI
We call for support to the squat, especially during the first 3 days (23-26/11)
Open discussion about airbnb and the general issue of gentrification.
Saturday 25/11, 18:00.