Athens, Greece: A brief review of the events of recent days in Exarcheia area

We are bringing out this update as we have noticed that in the mainstream and the wider media, the events of the last few days, as well as the solidarity march for the Biology squat, completely ignore the fact that Exarcheia was, is and will be a neighbourhood that fights against gentrification and repression. We want to make it clear that these events are mass actions spontaneously flanked by people and prove that no matter how much Mitsotakis (prime minister of greece) and his whole family want, Exarcheia will not submit to their vices.
Wednesday 12/01/22
From this morning, bulldozers and contractor crews have arrived in pedestrian street Messolongiou and proceeded to dig up the pavement in order to put electricity in a new building where a luxury apartment block is being erected. The work is then temporarily halted due to complaints from residents, as police forces arrive at the site. In the evening of the same day, a banner is displayed against the gentrification of Exarchia and people cover the holes that the bulldozers have made in the pedestrian street, filling them with earth.

Friday 14/01/22
The pedestrian street of Messolongiou  full of people, despite the destruction it has suffered. As a spontaneous movement, several people continue to close the potholes. At the same time some people react and try to open them. Later a Delta squad tries to approach the pedestrian walkway and is immediately evicted.
Saturday 15/01/22
In the evening there is a large presence of people in the pedestrian street of Mesolongiou. For another evening the heavy patrols of the Delta squad ( cops on bikes) are driven out by people opposing them. At the same time, the approach of police vehicles towards the pedestrian street is halted by barricades and the metal sheets around the building are pulled down.
The above is a brief review of the social reactions to the investors’ plans to speculate in the neighbourhood of Exarcheia through gentrification and touristisation. The luxury apartments of the building under construction are not intended for evicted immigrants, nor for the working class living and working in the neighbourhood, but serve the needs of capital and house a specific income class at the expense of the social base of the neighbourhood.
Exarcheia has always been an obstacle to the plans of the State, which is why it has been under attack in recent years. The constant presence of all police forces in the neighbourhood, the privatisation of open spaces, plans to turn the Polytechnic into a museum, the metro station in the only square in the area and the onslaught of tourist capital through hotels and airbnb accommodation are all signs of their attack.
However, the events of the last few days in the pedestrian street of Mesolongiou and the mobilisations in the wider area show that the people who either live or work there are reacting to the ongoing gentrification of the neighbourhood.
Translated by Act for freedom now!