Greece: Action of Solidarity With Squats and Against Evictions

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.

“Hands Off Squats” banner leads march back to squats after action

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.

“They [government] seal the borders, we seal the squats” – rough translation of Greek writing on artistic border wall

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.

Red paint splattered the walls, doors, 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.

A wheat-pasted poster for the “Protest at the Ministry of Migration”

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.

A small child sits above “refugees welcome” graffiti in Klathmonos Square
See our special on Greece’s first refugee and migrant housing squat, Notara 26.

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