Athens, Greece: We said that we are not leaving and we mean it


We said that we are not leaving and we mean it

Today we are glad to transform our mottos into action and to have regain with persistence and confidence a fragment of our lives. The garden where we grew up and learned to live have returned to us through this action taken by tens of comrades, friends and solidarians. We are defending our place in the city by retaking this abandoned space for us and the coming generations. We light up the wood stove and the oven, transforming our fire into a message of resistance to the squatting movement. With our fists pointed to the sky we climb to the terrace of our squat, sending our warmest greetings to all those around the world who persist resisting.

We break the vicious cycle of fear reclaiming what is rightfully ours; we may not unconditionally support the civil rights provided by the State, yet we struggle against the law to retake what we consider to be ours within the city. Those things that we have built with our hands and minds, those things that are assumed dead unless capilitalised upon, like the thousands of empty houses and buildings in Athens. We choose to give life to the “dead” property, turning empty spaces into collective places of resistance. We creatively subvert the social context within which we assert value for these spaces: Not for profit making, not for real estate agencies, not for NGOs but in order to cover and transcend our collective needs and desires. We think of it as a laboratory, in which we build our collective relations of struggle, care and welfare, beyond the institution of the family, beyond religion and the State. This is the place where our visions come to life, where we come together imagining new potential worlds, against the normalisation of massacres and borders, against every god and every master.

We think of our political space in Naxou 75 and Krassa street (Koliatsou square in Patissia) as such a laboratory. For the past 27 years it has been the workshop where we express our subversive ideas and actions, against exploitation, oppressions and injustice. Those were 27 years during which this place was freed and open to the neighbourhood; hospitable to every dreamer, excluded proletarian, punks, to the world’s damned, to the crooked, the underground artists, musicians and poets, the freaks, the uncompromised spirits, the addicts and the young. During those 27 years we resisted against this fucked-up society: where racists and cops are violently killing our people, where pushbacks and “shipwrecks” at the boarders and femicides are normalised, where drowning people at the ports and “falling” from scaffolds is the “naturalised” condition forced upon us. During those 27 years we learned the ins and outs of collective living and discovered how to cross the pathways of struggling against power.

During those 27 years we ridicule the world of “private property”: we will be here as long as we have to, even if it means that we’d do it all again. This is our neighbourhood, where we went to school; this is where we firstly met with our friends, where we live and work. Where we formed bonds with our neighbours and where we hated for the first time the violence imposed by the rich. We struggle to take back everything that has been stolen from us. We are not going to let so easily the Papaoikonomou family, those rich inheritors living in the Northern suburbs of the city, whom own tens of properties in Patissia and in various islands, to steal it from us. We are clearly stating that it’s gonna take long until they rip us off. We are constantly spreading in this neighbourhood. We are swirling around the big cypress of the squat.

27 years squatting
27 years Ano Kato Patission
We are not gonna leave.

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