Athen: REGARDING THE INVASION OF COPS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD AFTER THE ATTEMPT TO OPEN A NEW SQUAT
On Friday the 10th of August, we attempted to occupy a building in Matrozou Str., Our target was to expand the housing structures of our community. We chose the specific building since it was visibly abandoned. The doors were picked, the ceilings about to fall and the house in a mess. We had also entered the house from the front door with daylight lots of times without any reaction from the neighbourhood. Although, during the time of the people’s market (laiki agora) and after the body of our community entered the house starting the jobs to stabilise it as an occupied space, a lady showed claiming it as her property. Allegedly, she wants to take future value out of it and was using it to keep inside her mother’s trousseau. She had an inflexible stance and repeatedly called the cops.
On the contrary, we had guaranteed that we will not take her stuff and we were processing the case to cancel the whole project. After a while, two anti-riot cop buses invaded the neighbourhood and demanded from the sellers of the market to pick everything up in order to intervene. The whole area was full of civilian cops. We barricaded the entrance. The attack of the cops started some hours later, when they chased comrades outside the Blue House (Arvali 3), where they tried to invade. They trapped them inside until they finished the operation. Immediately after, riot police together with forensics broke into the house we had tried to occupy, willing to make mass arrests. Unfortunately for them, the detainees’ buses left empty this time. According to what we learned they collected fingerprints and items for the house to be examined biochemically.
The same way they attacked us during our effort to cover housing needs, cops throw people that owe money to the banks or can’t afford the rent and bills to the streets. The coming of services for digital micro-renting, like airbnb, contributes to the eradication of people with low income. This is exactly what happened to a woman Mpeles Str., who has kicked out from cops with prosecutor’s order some months ago.
Debriefing our action, we listed some reasons regarding our retreat. Our preparation was not enough. We didn’t experiment enough to be sure that there is absolutely no interest for the house. We didn’t go through all the possibilities and the appropriate way to deal with them. Generally, we underestimated the situation. That day, the immediate presence of the alleged owner and her words raised political and social issues that put under doubt our will to keep the house under those conditions. Because of the relatively too small for the situation preparation we didn’t have a clear view regarding property, in the specific form it was manifested. At the same time, with the presence of the cops in the neighbourhood, which meant an inevitable intervention and inside a climate of political indecisiveness we didn’t go for an escalated conflict, showing our circumstantial weakness.
The housing crisis that dominates in the capitalist society in combination with the general conditions of impoverishment and the worldwide reality of refuge, puts on the ground the need for an immediate and radical solution from the countless oppressed. Squatting had always been a part of this solution and as such demands fierce and uncompromising war against the state and the property. Our bet, though, is for the struggle to be given on the basis of the anarchist ideals, avoiding practices of militaristic conquer.
Of course, the struggle in the neighbourhood will keep on relentlessly for the expansion of the housing, solidarity and struggle structures and their defence.