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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL - international, Greece: Solidarity with the City Plaza Athens! (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 8 Jul 2016 10:29:37 +0300

The morning of April 22, activists and refugees have organized to occupy an abandoned hotel in the district of Victoria / Saint Panteleimona in Athens. ---- We share their appeal in French: ---- The occupation of City Plaza ---- City Plaza is a self-organized housing project to refugee-es in the center of Athens: 400 people are housed there, including 180 children. The City Plaza is a 7 storey abandoned, vacant for seven years until its occupation by activists and refugee-es end in April 2016. ---- City Plaza is a practical response to migration policies and control repressive borders Greece, the agreement between Europe and Turkey and the militarization of borders. This is a response to social movements trapping tens of thousands of refugees on Greek territory, mass detentions in the border areas, as well as désatreuses living conditions of refugee-es in the cities and the huge camps run by the state.

City Plaza is based on the principles of self-organization and autonomy and depends entirely on political support and practical solidarity from Greece and abroad. This is why we call for international solidarity with the shelter City Plaza. It is only through a massive solidarity that this ambitious project can survive racist, defend against repression and continue to cover the huge costs of food, medicines, hygiene products and all things necessary for its daily functioning.

A dramatic situation

Since March 20, the day of the implementation of the shameful agreement between the European Union and Turkey following the militarization and the closure of the North Greece to Idomeni we are seeing - in Athens and throughout Greece - the deterioration of the already dramatic living conditions of refugee-es. Mass system of detention and deportation was implemented for new arrivals to the islands, while tens of thousands of refugee-es that were already in Greece are forced es living homeless in cities or are es-routed towards es refugee camps built by the army, outside the cities, isolated and excluded-es-es of society, communities, and without access to justice and basic services.

Good living conditions for all

The existence of hosting infrastructure, unused and in working order, right next to hundreds of homeless people, we seemed to be a scandal in itself. A contradiction that reveals not only the hypocrisy of what is called the European crisis management, but also the internal logic of a system in crisis that devalues the lives and rights of the local population as well as refugees and creating the conditions for intensification of racism.

Squatting in unused hotel, we wanted to set an example and highlight how social movements and society from below are capable of improving the living conditions of refugees and thus improve the living conditions of all. We agree that in defending the rights and meeting the needs of refugee, we practice a concept of solidarity in our daily lives and self-organization that creates and develops freedom and struggles spaces common for the local population and refugees. We are convinced that it is through these practices that the constantly renewed chorus of "There is no alternative", carried by the repressive migration policies can be challenged and that the space can be won against the extreme right: City Plaza was created as a place of solidarity in an area claimed for years by the extreme right and neo-Nazi party golden Dawn.

direct testimony

Our comrade Yannis Androulidakis activist of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative Rocinante, one of the organizations involved in the launch of this project, we book a French witness of the occupation:

Common struggles

We do not think, of course, the problem can be solved only by the squat, insofar as the provision of shelter is a fundamental obligation of the State and local authorities; We believe, however, that squats can be used not only claim rights means, but also a place of practical exercise of rights precisely by those who have none: the economic and political refugees made illegal and the excluded.

City Plaza sees himself as part of a multitude of different solidarity practices and struggles that have emerged since last year, constituting themselves as a concrete request to the Greek state, against the detention of refugees in heinous detention centers and their monstrous isolation in camps; decent accommodation for refugees in cities, ensuring their access to health, education and social services. On the other hand, the City Plaza sees itself as a part of European and international solidarity movement, which goes against the militarization of borders and the outsourcing of asylum policy by claiming freedom of movement and right of residence.


City Plaza now houses mainly families, totaling 400 people, including 180 children. Among them, 22 single parents and people with disabilities.

Right now, the nationalities are represented at City Plaza include Afghans, Kurds, Syrians, Palestinians, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis and others. Each family lives in her own room, and all residents receive breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as hygiene products.

City Plaza is based on self-organization and self-government principles. It works by different teams, assigned to the household, cooking, safety, logistics, education and entertainment, health, communication, reception, in response to the regular meetings of refugees and activists.

Support the Shelter City Plaza

For this call, we call different organizations and collectives, unions, antiracist organizations, student groups and academics, self-managed projects and cooperatives in Greece, Europe and elsewhere, to express solidarity with the City Plaza. We ask you to publish letters of support, to get involved in financing and organizing donation companions. More generally, the project is based on the work of volunteers, funding and material donations.

Support the City Plaza! Help refugees and activists to keep it open as an example-against the repressive migration policies in Greece and Europe, and as a project of common life and struggle!

Solidarity will defeat! We fight together, we live together!

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