Athens, Greece – On Friday, June 24, a “coordination of refugee squats” staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Migration at Klathmonos Square. The specific squat communities that were involved included City Plaza, Notara 26, Oniru, Spirou Trikoupi 17, Arachovis, 5th School, and Acharnon 22.
In the region of Attiki alone, where Athens is located, there are approximately 40 self-organized social centers. These ‘squats’ are unused state and/or private property being occupied by members of the community to provide a space for free housing, food, health care, mutual aid, clothing, radical discussions, emotional and psychological support, and to help shelter many refugees from the western-led wars in Syria and Afghanistan.
The squats are operated entirely by volunteers who have set up networks of infrastructure and support for refugees and others hit hard by the financial crisis. Many of the volunteers have put their home lives on hold and come from around the world to provide solidarity and support.
Hundreds of refugees, volunteers from the squats, and citizens within the Athens community took space and gathered with numerous banners, placards, and a small artistic rendition of a border wall with barbed wire.
About an hour into the action, eggs filled with red paint were collectively thrown at the doors, walls, and windows of the Ministry of Migration building.
This action comes as self-organized squats are fearful of eviction and reprisal attacks by fascists. There are police orders to close 10 of the 40 or so squats in Athens and mainstream media is building up pressure to push for those evictions.
The energy and emotion of refugees who face deportation, and the solidarity shown by the wider community taking space in front of a government office and chanting for freedom and open borders, provides inspiration and hope for refugees worldwide.
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By: Niko Georgiades
2017 Special Reports From Greece:
- Greece: Alternatives to Neoliberal Capitalism – Introduction
- Greece: Action of Solidarity With Squats and Against Evictions
- Greece: Anarchists Defend Exarcheia’s Autonomous Zone From Police
- Greece: ADYE, Exarcheia’s Free Self-Organized Healthcare Clinic
- Greece: Political Prisoners Pt. 1 – Tasos Freed & Irianna Jailed (Τάσος & Ηριάννα)
- Greece: Political Prisoners Pt. 2 – Targeting of Anarchists & Autonomous Groups
- Greece: Networks of Resistance Pt. 1 – ZAD, Bure, Hambach Forest
- Greece: Networks of Resistance Pt. 2 – Infrastructure; ExarcheiaNet & Cooperativa Integral
- Greece: Alternative Economies & Community Currencies Pt. 1 - Athens Integral Cooperative
- Greece: Alternative Economies & Community Currencies Pt. 2 - Kenya’s Sarafu-Credit
- Greece: Alternative Economies & Community Currencies Pt. 3 - FairCoop
- Greece: The House of Women for Empowerment and Emancipation
- Greece’s First Housing Squat for Refugees & Migrants, Notara 26
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