Greece: Urgent Announcement from Athens Assembly of Squatted Prosfygika
Urgent Announcement of Assembly of Squatted Prosfygika Alexandras Avenue
Prosfygika is a complex of houses (179 in total), 14 yards, in the center of Athens. The location of the neighborhood is very central: amongst the central police station, the central court of Athens, the football stadium of Panathinaikos F.C., and two hospitals (Elpis, Ag. Savvas). The biggest part of Prosfygika neighborhood is inhabited by squatters.
Since 2002, when the new circle of oppression and looting has began, having as an excuse the upcoming Olympic games and the general restoration of the city, the efforts of the state to retake the neighborhood hadn’t stop.
During all these years there have been several failed attempts selling/desertification our neighborhood, that had been pushed back, due to the recognition of the neighborhood as national heritage monument and for the architectural importance of it. After this, followed an intended undermining of the neighborhood, combined with the exploitation of the empty spaces by small drug gangs, who were working under the protection of police.
Against these new plans of the oppression, the squatters, that entered and who worked inside the neighborhood, gave a first answer. Some of these people, later, formed the community and also the assembly of the squatted Prosfygika. Their actions complete now 10 years of presence and have given life to the neighborhood. The self-organization, the 400-500 stable inhabitants, the communal structures (assembly space, collective kitchen, collective skipping, col. ovens, col. internet, kindergarten, col. coffee shop), had turned the neighborhood into the biggest squat community inside Greece borders, in numbers and in space, having at the same time presence in social-class and international struggles.
However, besides the head on efforts of the state mechanisms, there had also been other strategies of demolishing the resistance and collective struggle of the squatters’ inhabitants life: cutting electricity/water, political courts against squatters etc. An important role to all this played, also, the results by the inner troubles that were created inside the movement, not only with the oppression against the squats during the right wing government of Samaras, but also with the arrival of the “left” government of SYRIZA.
All these mentioned before, had as a result the different moves of oppression with the parallel losses or desertions from the neighborhood (2012, 2015, 2018), with most important situation the attempt of entering inside on 31/10 &1/11/2016. These conditions are something that the state and political parties mechanisms know to take advantage very well.
Inside all these years, the community and assembly of Prosfygika (Sy.Ka.Pro), as well as the new comrades that enhanced with their participation, commitment and consistency, tried to keep alive and grow even more the liberated ground inside the neighborhood. Through the fights that have been given, the collective structures and relationships that were created and the liberation of new empty houses, today we have reached the goal of community presence in all 8 blocks that consists the neighborhood.
At the same time, but hostile toward to our struggle, the state’s and political parties mechanisms are moving by depositing new plans for looting and conquest our neighborhood. As everything shows so far, the new attack, that has already started happening, will be the most serious so far. SYRIZA government along with institutional organizations and state mechanisms, has decided to proceed in on intervention of restoring our neighborhood, threatening in the most open way the presence of squatter-inhabitants, that consist the bigger part of our neighborhood (families, homeless, migrants, political refugees and organizations, local strugglers etc).
In the meantime, the threats of sudden invasion inside the neighborhood, had never stopped (17/8/18, end of January, middle of February 2019). Through law and institutional configurations, that however, remain only to the level of threat, announcements through media and other moves, by a variety of cultural and local centers, technical controls etc.
This whole procedure was sealed by the voting in parliament during the previous month, of their new plan. From our side, we are ready to implement the new plan of community and neighborhood for the next years to come, by enforcing the already existing structures and the creation of new ones. However of great importance we found the complete and pluralistic solidarity of the movement, since this final battle for the rescue or not, of a living space of struggle, is something that not only concerns us all, but also will have a cost to all of us.
Through all this conditions, we are working on the procedure of an open solidarity call for support and further enhancement of Prosfygika. In that way we believe we’ll be more ready to defend our ground and houses against oppression. According to our already existing context, we ask for political, living and material support by the people of the struggle, the organized groups and every comrade, having as a goal the formation of both resistance and struggle front, for the defense of the liberated ground of squatted Prosfygika neighborhood and its political, organic and operating autonomy, against state’s oppression and looting.
However, after the latest updates, we believe it’s urgent and necessary to proceed to this public urgent announcement-wake up call, for a possible upcoming invasion/evacuation of Prosfygika squat and mostly in the 1st and 8th block, having as an excuse the restoration plan, the oppression forces will try to slowly overtake the entire neighborhood. By attacking these two blocks, they will create a domino of rearrangements and updates inside our neighborhood, with the final target of her complete fall.
Although the urgent state of this announcement does not allow us a more complete analysis through the topic, that will come with the text for the open solidarity call, it is necessary to remind the following:
- · Sy.Ka.Pro. does not rule upon the neighborhood or has a control upon it and didn’t try to do so, with political and material cost.
- The role of Sy.Ka.Pro. inside the neighborhood of Prosfygika is to be the committed with consistency part, that burden voluntarily the defense of the ground, as long with the formation of an autonomous and free organized community.
- The organizational and operational context of Sy.Ka.Pro. binds only those who have willingly take part to it.
Therefore, we realize as a stake: ·
- that the survival or not of Prosfygika from the upcoming attack as an autonomous self organized community of struggle, will define the bigger plan of urban restoration /gentrification of Athens’ center and as has to do with the radical movement grounds. ·
- The successful protection of squatted Prosfygika from oppression and looting, is a responsibility that applies also to the whole organized movement and the people of struggle.
For all these reasons:
We declare the squatted neighborhood of Prosfygika in an emergency situation against a possible move of evacuation and we call everyone to stand in solidarity for the defense of the liberated ground and community of squatted Prosfygika.
AUTONOMY AND FREEDOM FOR PROSFYGIKA
Athens Assembly of Squatted Prosfygika (Sy.Ka.Pro.)
(via Athens Indymedia)