Athens: METRO in Exarchia – Discussion about the resistance
On the 10th of December, the final offers for the construction of the METRO line 4 will be submitted. One of the stops of the metro is scheduled to be built on Exarchia square.
The plateia is the heart of a neighborhood which is a historic and living site of the anti-state movement. This free space has been fought for for decades and maintained through constant struggle. This social movement in Exarchia, as everywhere, has been under constant repression by police and by the forced assimilation into state and capital’s plans for gentrification and pacification.
It is obvious what this construction will bring with it: surveillance, policing, constant state scrutiny and of course greater commercialization and gentrification of the entire neighborhood. The total occupation of the square by a construction site for many years means from day one the abolition of a public meeting space. The devouring of this public space, will finally result in its replacement with a transit point, to serve the unhindered flow of consumption and production. It is also clear that this is a strategic plan to extinguish all the struggling projects of social self organization from the neighborhood, but also to push out the marginalized who find refuge here. Besides, the Athens METRO is already a site of class exclusion and control, having finally implemented the electronic ticket and barrier system.
The expansion of the metro comes together with announcements of fancy plans of urban development for the whole of Athens. The story is the same everywhere: violent displacement of the poor and of the struggling subjects that give free public space its true meaning, to make way for commercial exploitation. A prime example is their designs for Prosfygika Alexandras.
Where the oppressed build communities against state domination, refusing to be subsumed in its institutions, their homes and streets are treated as abandoned sites, as deserts. Even more so, where there is active resistance against state domination, they systematically target such neighborhoods as degenerated hubs of criminality. Their strategy of repression is the cultural desertification of commerce and capital. The plan to build a metro stop right on the square of such a neighborhood is exactly the spearhead of this capitalist colonization. But, life blossoms only through the struggle for freedom and self-determination.
We call for a discussion about the resistance.
SATURDAY 8th of DECEMBER, at 18.00