In Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Lübeck, Wuppertal and many other cities across Europe people protested against eviction threats against squats on Friday; #HandsOffAll Squats!
Spontaneous demo in Wuppertal, Germany, June 23rd 2017.
The Coordination of Refugee Squats (City Plaza, Notara 26, Oniro, Spyrou Trikoupi, Arahovis, 5th School, Jasmine School, Acharnon 22) called for yesterdays international day of action “Hands off the squats”. In the call, activists demand to keep the squats open, to close the camps and detention centers, to cancel the shameful EU-Turkey deal, to open the borders and stated that “you can’t evict a movement!”
In the past year repression against refugees and supporters has increased with evictions, arrests and police violence in various EU member states. Some of the squats where refugees lived in a self-organised way were evicted, for instance in Thessaloniki, Athens and Belgrade. Again and again there are reports from police violence against refugees in France, Croatia, Hungary and other European countries. Since the EU/Turkey deal, refugees are being detained at the Greek islands and deported back to Turkey.
In Athens people protested against a possible eviction of City Plaza, Papouchadiko and Zoudochou Pigis 119 in front of the ministery of migration. Projects like City Plaza succeed in where the Greek goverment and other EU member states fail; a self-determined life, a life with dignity for those who travelled to a putative Europe under extrem hard conditions.
A life where it doesn’t matter which papers people have but instead a life where people can live together in a self-organised way. Since the former City Plaza hotel was squatted more than a year ago, after the building was empty for several years, more than 1500 people lived in the building. 400 at any one time.
Among them where many refugees and supporters from many countries. While EU member states closed their borders, sharpened their asylum laws, detaining and deporting more and more refugees, people in Athens have build up self-organised projects like City Plaza together with refugees.
In Berlin, people protested in front of the Greek embassy. In Frankfurt in front of the Greek consulate. In Frankfurt, activists delivered the consulship a letter in which they wrote that its clear the Syriza government wants to close all self-organised spaces, including refugee squats. In the letter the activists also wrote that they consider an eviction of City Plaza or any other squat as “an attack against all of us” and that they “know how to use the power of solidarity.”
In Wuppertal, Germany, there where 2 actions against the eviction threats against City Plaza, SquatBo (Hernerstr 131 in Bochum, Germany) and all other squats. Shortly after 06:00pm an unregistered spontaneous demo marched through the city center and handed out many flyers to passersby. About two hours later activists did a banner drop at the main train station. The banner readed “City Plaza is everywhere!” It wasn’t the first solidarity action with City Plaza and other squats in Wuppertal. On April 30, activists did a small action in front of the former (evicted) Marien 41 squat in Wuppertal. The Hernerstr 131 squat in Bochum is also under immediate threat of eviction. Earlier this week there was a sponteanous demo in the city center of Bochum as well.
In Brussels, there was a solidarity action in front of the Greek embassy (image below).
[Posted on June 24, 2017 by Enough is Enough!]
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Greece: anarchist refugee squats prepare for State onslaught
A new spate of recent evictions and interventions by the Greek State against refugee solidarity occupations run by the anarchist movement in Athens has prompted callouts for a major emergency gathering today.
The callout and associated international day of action comes in the wake of a series of crackdowns and repression  against the solidarity movement, which has helped thousands of refugees self-organise to house themselves and defend against far-right violence since the Syrian crisis began.
It has been supported by six major occupied centres and groups, Oniro, City Plaza, 5th School, Notary 26, Underground Railroad, Spirou Trikoupi, Jasmine School and Acharnon School, which have put out a joint statement on the deteriorating situation in the city:
During the last month w
e witnessed the State escalating its anti-immigration policy of restrictions against refugees and the solidarity movement. In Addition to the EU management of migration issues which include forcing people to live in horrible conditions ,deporting them and denying them their basic human rights, the Greek government is revealing its totalitarian face by demonstrating its repression power through evicting political and housing squats for refugees.
In the last days new information was leaked through newspapers, about court decisions focusing on the eviction of three more squats. Papoutsadiko, Zoodoxou Pigis 119 and City Plaza, one of the largest refugee squats that hosts around 400 people. It is clear that the State is focusing in shutting down every self organised free space, including all housing squats for refugees. An attack towards City Plaza or any squat is an attack to all of us.
They know how to use the power of riot police forces, but we know how to use the power of solidarity! As long as they try to evict the squats, as long as they build camps and detention centers, as long as there are borders – we will also be there to fight back and fight for a better world!
We won’t bend down, we won’t let them in, we stand united!
We will show them again what we already proved, we live together, we struggle and we resist together – to defend the dignity of each individual, to defend our principles of solidarity and to keep our free spaces open.
Therefore we call for a protest and a gathering on June 23rd, in front of the Ministry of Migration (Stadiou 27) at 7 pm.
On the same day we call for an International Action of solidarity towards all squats and against evictions!
– Keep the squats open!
– Close the camps and detention centers!
– Cancel the shameful EU-Turkey deal!
– Open the borders!
– You can’t evict a movement!
~ Coordination of Refugee Squats
Activists have warned that the eviction order against City Plaza marks a major potential escalation of force by the police and local State authorities, which have not been even vaguely reined in by the supposedly progressive Syriza government as they try to break what is seen as a disruptive and shaming movement which has publicly shown up the State’s own failings.
The anarchist squats have increasingly been a thorn in the side of the European anti-migrant project, which has made cynical deals with Turkey’s widely-abhorred Erdogan government to shut the borders and subject the shattered Syrian peoples to brutal camp conditions, out of sight and out of mind.
City Plaza, along with other refugee-occupied spaces, has represented the first popular “breach” against constant elite repetition of racist and repressive discourse against refugees, say activists, as it has demonstrated both that refugees and local people can live together in dignity, and the vision of a Europe based on solidarity, struggle and humanity — a true nuisance for those in power.
This article first appeared at Freedom News
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