CALL FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE DEFENSE OF THE COMMUNITY OF SQUATTED PROSFYGIKA ON ALEXANDRAS AVENUE IN ATHENS, GREECE
We address this call to collectives and individuals from all around the world to join the combative defense of PROSFYGIKA against the imminent repression. The attempted evacuation of our neighborhood must be turned into a central event of resistance and a victory against political power and the gentrification of our neighborhoods in the metropolis.
WHAT WE INVITE YOU TO DEFEND
The building complex of Prosfygika was built in 1933 for the refugees coming from Asia minor. In the conditions of the time, a vibrant working class neighbourhood with communal characteristics emerged. Today,it is one of the biggest building complexes in the center of Athens, which is still not gentrified and exploited by big investors or the state. It is a place of strategic significance, since it is located between the two ‘pillars’ of authority – the Supreme Court on one hand and the Police Headquarters on the other.
Within this socio-spatial frame, some militants, who were already living in the neighborhood as squatters, decided to organize. In 2010 they initiated the Community of Squatted Prosfygika, having as its central decision-making political organ the Assembly of Squatted Prosfygika (SY.KA.PRO.). A communal body for everyday life and political struggle.
10 years later, the result of this initiative is that the project is a politically unified neighborhood, with numerous squatted apartments, autonomous communal structures like Children House, Women’s Cafe, Bakery, clothes, food and health structures covering the needs of dozens of people, families, migrants, economic and political refugees, of whom many are without papers, old, sick or very poor. The community has at the same time a constant participation in local and international struggles and a great revolutionary perspective.
The community is organizing on the basis of self-organization, autonomy, direct action, common property, social and political equality, liberation of femininities. On these values and methods, different nationalities and religions, different political organizations and political understandings are coexisting and working together to resist and overcome capitalism, state and patriarchy, applying the model of Confederalism, which is the model for any possible stateless society.
As SY.KA.PRO we are participating in local struggles of the anarchist and the wider radical movement within the greek territory. During the last years we have participated in several struggles for prisoners, such as for Dimitris Koufontinas’ hunger strike, where, together with dozens of other comrades, our members were arrested during mass interventions. We stand by the radical student movement which is constantly trying to claim spaces for struggles within universities, having as a core the participation in the squatting of Polytechnic University – a symbol of resistance against dictatorship. We have been involved in many anti-repression struggles for solidarity to other squats and comrades, and we actively defend Exarheia neighborhood from repression and gentrification.
Moreover, with an internationalist perspective, our people have travelled to support the social revolution of the Kurdish Freedom Movement known as “Rojava”, where one of our members, Haukur Hilmarsson “Spark”, became a martyr. At the same time, our internationalist perspective and solidarity entails the hosting of Turkish and Kurdish revolutionary organizations and their political refugees in the structures of the community. Also, comrades from all around the globe are visiting or organizing within our community. Of course these relations include solidarity to projects abroad, with the most prominent example that of Rigaer94 in Berlin.
The defense of the neighborhood is already manifested through the very existence of the community, its organization, actions, events, and our small confrontations with the cops whenever they move threateningly in our ground. And this defense proved its efficacy, during the big clashes against the cops and fascist invasion on 31/10/2016.
At the present time, in case of invasion/eviction, we are willing to strongly defend our neighborhood. And there are many ways to contribute to this resistance. At the same time, every expression of solidarity and counter-information action will strengthen it.
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DEFENSE OF PROSFYGIKA
COMING INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
In our community we have spaces dedicated to host, for a period of time, internationals who want to get to know our project, encounter its people, get involved in the common structures, the daily life’s program and take responsibility for an active resistance in the neighborhood. Ιn practical terms, this means to get involved in the ongoing anti-repression processes, to be part of the confrontation, if it occurs during the time of one’s stay, and to participate in the solidarity procedure that will emerge after the repression. An extra support to the plan of defense can be given through technical knowledge and work for barricading, fighting material, alarm system.
SOLIDARITY STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS
We consider the importance of every banner, slogan and announcement as contributing to the political defense of Prosfygika. In a logic of inflicting the greatest possible cost to the state apparatus and capitalist wealth in terms of destruction, violence and social exposure, both aggressive and activist solidarity actions are also welcomed.
THE COMMON REASONS TO DEFEND PROSFYGIKA
For our project, defending the neighborhood of Prosfygika means to keep its present ground of existence and for its inhabitants to keep their housing structures. To continue more than 10 years of work, organisation and struggles in the very center of Athens, which is under a brutal process of gentrification. However, we don’t perceive this ground as separated from the local and international movement for autonomy and liberation from State’s and Capital’s oppression. Therefore, we believe that a combative resistance and, at best, a victorious one, is a contribution to all the projects which find themselves in this logic, and are politically and historically related.
Indeed, from the battle of Koukaki Squat Community, to successful resquatting operations and high scale conflicts like in Rigaer Straße, examples of collectives and communities of struggle choosing the path of combative resistance are increasing. We saw that such actions destabilise the overwhelming powers of the State, creating confusion and forcing it to step back. Because what we are building has a political and a social value, it is worth fighting for. Because we know nothing will be granted to us, we have to gain it with determination, decisiveness and radical means.
As the Assembly of Squatted Prosfygika, we welcome any participation, suggestion or plan and our ground is open.