Caen, France: From Exarcheia to the Marais, Solidarity !

Received 02/12/2019

Solidarity Poster: From Exarcheia to the Marais, Solidarity !

ON AUGUST 26, A GREAT REPRESSIVE OPERATION started against the Exarchia district in Greece, a stronghold of the anarchist movement and social struggles. At dawn, the cops descend on the neighbourhood and evict 4 squats, some of which are occupied by migrants. 144 of them are arrested and sent to detention centres. Since then, Exarchia has been transformed into a militarized zone, with controls, harassment and attacks.

For many years this district has sheltered, not without conflicts and problems, initiatives and anti-authoritarian spaces, seeking a freer and more egalitarian life and self-organized spaces to attack the existing order. It is not surprising that exiles can find a place of refuge from the brutality of the State and its borders. By this operation called “law and order”, the Greek government is targeting two categories of undesirables: the rebels and the migrants.

What is also being played out in Exarchia is the desire to transform the district into a “Greek Montmartre” and to remove any subversive dimension from it. As in other cities, the process of gentrification is on the move: the area must become attractive for investors and the tourist rental market. Power and capital are at work to erase graffiti, to “green” and “secure” the neighbourhood, install smart streetlights, increase the police presence, empty rebel places and hunt the poor.

In CAEN, the SQUAT DU MARAIS, which housed 250 exiles has also been evicted. The current owner, ENGIE, is in the process of selling part of its land to companies like Bouygues or Vinci, one whose many disgusting specialties is building jails and detention centres. Here too, what is being prepared for the delight of our developers is the gentrification of the station area.

HERE AS ELSEWHERE, it is the same logic. Again, the repression brutally strikes resistance to the harshening of the conditions of exploitation control of individuals. Greece and France are becoming new law enforcement laboratories.

Targeting mainly the anarchists, new legal procedures in Greece aim at bringing participation in a social movement under anti-terrorism laws. Even if repression is nothing new, we see everywhere in Europe that States are no longer hesitating to resort to particularly heavy prison sentences in the context of social struggles and to employ new legal strategies for locking up protesters, at times only on the basis of intent or ideas. It is enough to see the police and judicial treatment of the Yellow Vests movement in France to realise the extent of the repression and its new tools.

Similarly, the designation of scapegoats by States whose responsibility in the causes of forced exile is evident (looting of resources, wars of neo-colonial exploitation and domination), and the hunting of undesirables is intensifying. Major revolts have also erupted in detention centres over recent months. Relations of solidarity and struggle have been built with the outside. Here too, resistance is organizing.

Numerous actions have been carried out in solidarity with Exarchia. Most often by attack and direct action. Because if we want to abolish power and social hierarchies, if we want to support the forms of struggle and life being experimented in Exarchia, we think that the best defence remains the attack against those responsible for these operations and solidarity with those who are targeted.

The most beautiful solidarity is to keep alive the idea and the practice of autonomy in our struggles and direct action.

Against all expulsions, here or elsewhere !

Anarchists against borders and expulsions,
Caen, October 2019
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Caen, France: From Exarcheia to the Marais, Solidarity !


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