K*VOX squatted social center

Shots Fired at Squatted Social Center in Exarcheia, Athens

Athens, Greece – Eight bullets were fired at K*VOX (Κ*ΒΟΞ) social center on early Saturday morning. Those who were inside said they heard the bullets whizzing past but nobody was injured.

People in K*VOX during the shooting reported to Unicorn Riot that police were garrisoned nearby and patrols were passing by every 10-15 minutes. However, during the time of the shooting and for hours immediately afterwards, there was no police presence.

K*VOX is a self-organized squat in the historically anti-authoritarian and anti-fascist district of Exarcheia. With its meeting spaces, a bar, and a free and open library, the social center houses many initiatives. Unicorn Riot has reported on two of those initiatives operating out of K*VOX, ADYE and Rouvikonas.

ADYE is an anarchist-created patient-centered healthcare facility operating in a portion of the squat. Volunteer doctors and dentists serve the broader Exarcheia community free of charge. See our special on ADYE from 2017 below:

The basement of K*VOX is home to a meeting space for many assemblies, or initiative-like working groups. It’s also home to the headquarters of the Rouvikonas Anarchist Collective. Since 2013, the Rouvikonas Anarchist Collective has been striking back at abusive government power, economic exploitation, and organizing against state repression.

This elusive anarchist group is known for its swift, high-profile, controlled attacks. Each target was carefully chosen for their negative impacts on society. See our special on Rouvikonas from 2019 below:

Since the far-right New Democracy government took office in mid-2019, they’ve occupied the anti-authoritarian cultural center of Exarcheia with police forces, changing the everyday life of the residents in what was once known as an autonomous zone, with little police presence on the streets.

Raids and evacuations of housing squats late last fall by the Greek government transferred many hundreds of refugees from their sanctuary living situations to detention centers and ‘concentration camps’.

Police attacked K*VOX numerous times last year, smashing windows, beating patrons, and lobbying tear gas into the social center. People guarding the social center prevented an invasion of forces into the squat.

Though still under daily threat, K*VOX has survived the police attacks, the coronavirus lockdown, and they continue to be open.

It’s unclear who fired the shots. Speculations are ongoing as to whether it was the mafia, or drug dealers, fascists, or police. What’s clear is that those who self-manage VOX have not been intimidated; people gathered immediately after the shooting, and the social center was open again the next day.

Cover image via Kinimatini & SpDapergolas/Twitter

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