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(en) Federation for Anarchist Organization (FAO, Slovenia & Croatia) -- Anarchist projects of Athens and Eccochia (a report of visits to Greek anarchists) [machine translation]
Sun, 7 Oct 2018 09:02:54 +0300
Ljetos traveled to Athens to attend a regular meeting of the International Anarchist
Federations (IAF-IFA) , which was hosted by Greek friends and their Anarchist Political
Organization (APO-IFA) this time, with Slovenian comrades from the Common Federation for
Anarchist Organization (FAO -IFA) in the squat Lelas Karagianni 37. We took this
opportunity to explore Athens and its anarchist side, which often gives us motivation and
inspiration in local and regional action. Read on below the projects that we have explored
first hand. These are squatted and decorated spaces, which host different projects; from
the place to live anarchists and refugees, libraries, cafes, free clinics. Also, we placed
a special emphasis on two more important "things"; anti-authoritarian district of
Eksarchy, and the Faculty of Politics in the same district.
Lelas Karagianni 37 (Athens 1988.-2018.)
Lelas Karagianni 37 is the oldest squat in Greece and probably among the oldest in Europe.
It is 30 years old and serves for the life and political work of anarchists. It sleeps,
eats, teaches, trains, holds meetings and prepares for actions. Electricity and water are
in place, and precautionary measures at the entrance correspond to the context of
anarchist squat, subject to police eviction and attacks by fascists. 2013 has been evicted
by the police, and a photo of the eviction and solidarity of the anarchist can be seen on
YouTube called " Police Invades Lelas Karagianni Squat in Athens ".
It was named after the murdered Greek partisan ("heroin of the underworld", executed in
1944 by shooting water at age 46, founder of the resistance group "Bouboulin" - which
included the film "Lela Karagiannis"). It was less than a week before the weekend that it
hosted us at the end of the 6th and early 7th of the month, ending the attack of Fascists
with molotov cocktails, which were separated from the nationalist march against Macedonia.
The usual practice of the fascists is to carry out their attacks on minorities, political
dissenters, and anarchist and leftist movements in Greece under the auspices of wider
nationalist movements and protests.
The squatters are the anarchist group Circle of Firewhich is a member of the Federation of
the Anarchist Political Organization (APO-IFA). We are interested in the political
evolution she has experienced, from the insurrectionary group which, through practice and
time, slowly leaves her insurrectionary attitudes and replaces them with those from the
family of social anarchism. The squat owns its library, and the oldest members have tried
their own and others' experiences to print through books and pamphlets. Through a personal
conversation with one in their group, we came to their conclusion that it is not enough to
have an anarchist group operating at the level of the card and city, but that networking
is needed at the national and international level, for better coordination and information
on political, the context of individual cities, states and wider regions. This is a
novelty for the Greek movement,
K-VOX Social Center and ADYE Health Clinic (2012-2018)
K-VOX is a squatted social center in the heart of the Ecarchy (anti-authoritarian district
of Athens), which is named after the cinema that was once there. It is 6 years old and
consists of a library, cafes and a free health clinic ADYE. All the money collected by the
work of the cafes and libraries goes to the needs of anarchists who suffer persecution and
endure imprisonment. All "employees" volunteer, and the place is used for meetings of the
famous anarchist group Rubikon (Rouvikonas) . Their YouTube and LiveLeak channel.
In addition to talking to the chancellors about the nature of the space and the content of
the center, we sat down with part of the anarchist group Rubikon, members of the Anarchist
Federation (independent of the Anarchist Political Organization). It is a group about
which reports almost every week will be in parliamentary sessions, national television or
in the most read newspapers.
Why? The group specializes in performing direct actions that attract public attention to
responsible institutions and organizations, for the suffering of workers and people of
Greece or people abroad. The action lasts only a few minutes, and during this time,
members of Rubicon occupy the building and using its windows and balconies put banners
visible to passers-by, spread leaflets and cause symbolic material damage to paint or
breaking equipment and windows. Crash into the premises of institutions and people
responsible for evictions, corruption, worn equipment of workers, etc. they almost always
pick up public sympathy, and in 99% of cases go without arrest.
The theme we have with the Rubicon team is a "vacuum" that occurs when there is no police
presence in the quarters (located on the edge of the quarters, but in the very heart of
the neighborhood it is only "full of war"). That vacuum can be filled by criminal
organizations like a mafia, but in Eksarchia they have come to resist. Here it because
anarchists in Exarchia after attacks dealers on them ( stabbed with knives and two others
shot at squat ) organized the first armed march against mafia (2016) and thus picked up
enormous public sympathy that shortly after prominent criminal (Habibija) someone
liquidated at the very edge of K-VOX (link to take over responsibility) .
The state then reacted, but against the mafias, because the anarchists had strong public
support, and the reaction was needed because without it it would be recognized that the
anarchists were the main squatters, not the state, and most likely prevented the massacre.
Apart from free health care for residents of the neighborhood, the ADYE Health Care Center
provides assistance to injured anarchists, so we could all hear a week ago that someone
from a passing car in Eksarhija fired from the gun, wounding the girl in her legs. The
medical team from ADYE took care of her.
The reality of the anarchist movement that needs to survive state repression, and the
violence of criminal organizations makes projects such as K-VOX and ADYE priceless for the
survival of the movement. The police are pushing the addicts and co-operating with dealers
forcing anarchists to join the fight against capitalism and the state and fight against
drug addicts, crime and mafia .
Nosotros, an anti-authoritarian social center (2006-2018)
Nosotros is a leased anti-authoritarian social center near the edge of the main square of
Eksarhija (opposite K-VOX), which is 12 years old. The name is borne by the Spanish
anarchist group from the 30's , hosting various free community workshops and a nice cafe
on the roof of the building. All those who accept anti-parliamentarism, self-organization
and direct democracy are welcome. The center is the meeting point of Alpha Kappa
(Anti-Autoritarian Movement, AK) and the assembly of all involved in the program.
Along with the squatting spaces, the movement also uses rented premises, and one of the
advantages we immediately pointed to is the impossibility of entering the police without a
court order. A friend at the top of the building was caught in the cafe where it is
beautiful in the summer because of the air flow, as well as the movies that are airing in
the evening. Nosotros and Alpha Kappa use the term "anti-authoritarian" when describing
their actions and projects. Why?
This brings us back to 2011 and the operation of the Slobodarski blokin Rijeka, whose
foundation is partly due to Alpha Kappa, or their ideas that we met the same year in
Thessaloniki. Namely, anarchists operate in anarchist organizations made up of anarchists,
but also in other organizations that retain anarchist principles of decision-making and
action, but not an ideological name. We can freely say that without such projects, the
anarchist movement would be "condemned" to action only among anarchists. Projects such as
Nosotros anarchism make it available to a wider population. How? Although most populations
of a neighbor, a city or a state will not identify themselves with the ideology of
anarchism, that is, they will not say for themselves that they are anarchists, they can
very easily identify themselves with criticism of the parties, with equal decision making
and direct action when they specify other methods, most often the legalistic nature of the
association and yellow unions, etc.
Ovu logiku neki anarhisti ne mogu shvatiti, pa tvrde da se Alpha Kappa vec godinama
ograduje od anarhizma i anarhista, ne shvacajuci da se u biti ograduju od anarhista koji
pokazuju svu svoju zadrtost i neznanje kada se radi o mehanizmima društvenog utjecanja
anarhista na širu populaciju, bilo radnika, nezaposlenih, studenata, seljaka ili dr.
društvenih skupina u potlacenom položaju. To su "anarhisti" na koje smo i mi naviknuli,
koji ne žele sudjelovati u društvenim gibanjima koja za njih nisu "dovoljno anarhisticka",
u biti pokazujuci da oni nemaju namjeru utjecati na društvo, vec "anarhizam" nose kao
subkulturni privjesak ili što bi rekli drugovi iz Alpha Kappe - kao egoisticni nihilizam.
Alpha Kappa ili Anti-Authoritarian Movement - postoji od 2002., a smatra se dijelom
internacionalne mreže Beyond Europe.
Notary 26, the Squat for Refugees (2015-2018).
Notary 26 is an occupied building in Eksarhija since 2015, led by a assembly of
self-organized refugees, currently around 100. 6 floors of the smile of children, women
and men, without any influence of the NGO sector and the state, with the help of
anti-authoritarian and convoy of solidarity of food and goods of anarchists from Europe,
as well as the donation of local workers. The rooms for socializing, sleeping, cooking,
storing and children are clean and neat, and we have the confidence to explore everything.
Self-organization is effective against the state, associations and parties, not only for
anarchists but also for all vulnerable groups! For people who fled the war and violence,
the Ecarchy has become a temporary haven.
We noticed we came across the Anti-authoritarian movement (previously referred to as Alpha
Kappe), which helps refugee survival to survive. Before that year, the fascists tried to
light the crowd while there were children among them. The attack was denied, it was
freshly renovated, but some new security measures were introduced, so the squadron with
its hygienic team also cleansed a "security team" that shields shadows from potential
attacks, as well as the streets of the neighborhood around the crowds of anti-social crime.
The night before our visit someone tried to steal a motorcycle parked in front of the
entrance of the squat (the media know how to blame the refugees for each crime in the
district), but the refugee safety team prevented theft and disarmed the thief by
contributing to the security of the card and the reputation of the Notary 26 project.
AEK, Fan Club (1975-1918)
There is an AEK Fan Club in Eksarhija , where the young Alexis was shot dead in 2008,
which you can not fire due to the decorated walls.
AEK was founded in 1924 by the Greeks fleeing from Constantinople (Istanbul) after the
Greek-Turkish War (1919-1922), and the fans were first organized under the name Gate 21 in
1975. In 2015, the refugees from Syria and pointed out the inscription: AEK mother of all
refugees. Despite various criticisms, there are mutual sympathies of anarchists and part
of the AEK fans.
In addition to the presence of anarchist ideas in "mainstream sports," or through existing
fan groups as a counterbalance to nationalism, anarchists organize their own sports clubs
based on self-organization and opposition to "modern sport" (which serves profit and
largely distract public attention from burning social issues). So there are football,
volleyball, basketball, kickboxing and so on. clubs, which, visually, clearly show that
they are anti-systemic, rely on a completely different ethic than that of capitalist,
market and nationalist-state.
Polytechnic University and Exarcheia (final words ...)
The Polytechnic Polytechnic (Polytechneion) is located on the edge of the Exarchia, and is
a part of the popularity of anarchist movement and popular distrust towards the state.
The University was the epicenter of the 1978 Hornet uprising (which lasted from 1967 to
1974), an uprising that ended in the bloodshed of students who had been sent to the
military, and the university fence itself crashed the tank. The student movement was
influenced by 68 ', so it was an anarchist. Because of the specific political-historical
context, the University now has autonomy, so anarchists can often be bureaucratized after
street conflicts. It is filled with political graffiti and transparencies, and almost
always one of the students makes transparencies for protests.
Exarchia , the Athens Quarter - the epicenter of the riot against the military hunte in
1974 and against the 2008 murders of young anarchists. The first of us was to concoct the
atmosphere of the addicts in the main square, targeted by police in Eksarhija, to begin
projecting slowly in the rimmed streets of the square which pump it into anti-system
ideas, struggle and life.
The sanctuary with political radicals (primarily anarchists, then leftists), immigrants
and refugees, is under the watchful eye of the police who are 0-24 guards at the fringes
of the quarters. It takes roughly an hour to go all the streets and we will return to the
fort anarchist ...
Photo Album: Athens, Greece (Summer 2018)
Source: 9. issue of the newspaper Society of Resistance (October, 2018)
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