In the shadow of list Lagarde scandal and the recent war in the parliament between the government and SYRIZA, an operation of police against the squats in Athens is still in process, part of the miserable environment of the current days in Greece. An escalation of the repression by the Greek government has now targeted social spaces with an existence more than 20 years. The evictions of villa amalias Lelas Karagianni and younger squat of Skaramaga in the heart of the city are not just symbolic, but seems to be the beginning of an expanding repression campaign, showing clearly the intension of the the government coalition. The plan is getting precise and clear, giving an “end” to the “political turbulence” in the country which is the commitment as well as strategy for the coalition party partners. But the sad reality in Greece rather gets more intricate. while these operations against anarchists are taking place, two terrorist attacks and a racist murder took place. One attack with gunshots at Greek government party’s headquarters and a second with an explosive device at Athens city shopping mall. A young male aged 27, immigrant from Pakistan was murdered by two greek men in a motorbike in ano– Petralona, a quiet neighborhood of Athens.
A chronic of the evictions and the solidarity movement
Villa Amalias, an existing occupied space since 1990 has been evicted after a police raid in the middle of December 2012. 8 people have been arrested and are facing felonies. After the eviction the police announced that “dangerous weapons” have been found such as empty leftover bottles from concerts and washing liquid for the dishes.
In January 9th the anarchist activists has attempted to reoccupy the recently evicted squat. In response the police attacked the squat with 92 arrests. A while after In January 12th, a huge solidarity movement organized a demonstration with 10.000 participants in solidarity to the 92 people who got arrested after the re-eviction of Villa Amalias and against the state-run fascism. All the days before, a variety of actions such as the occupation of the main office of the metro took place.
Following the eviction and arrests in Villa Amalias squat during the same morning of January 9th, a police raid in the Patission 61 & Skaramaga squat is underway. At about 15.00pm, anti-riot squadrons smashed the door and stormed in the building. Police have arrested and detained approximately 150 people.
After Villa Amalias and Skaramaga the turn of Lelas Kariagianni has arrived. On January 15th, at about 12.00pm, cops raided Greece’s oldest anarchist squat, existing since 1988 . Anarchists and neighbors gathered at Amerikis square near the squat and then outside the building, trying to prevent the eviction. There were several people on the rooftop of the building chanting slogans. 14 squatters were arrested and released the same day. Lelas Karagianni was reoccupied a while after the same day as well.
And two terrorist attacks
In the early hours of January 14th unknown assailants fired shots at the headquarters of Greece’s co-ruling conservative New Democracy party. They were damages and no one was injured. Till now nobody claimed responsibility for this attack. Police believes that unrested members of the famous nihilist organization of cell of fire conspiracy are responsible.
The second terrorist attack took place few days after on January 20th at city mall of Athens early in the morning approximately 11am, with explosive hidden in a pot. The terrorists called the police in order to evacuate the area. Two new organizations of the “anarchist scene” called the “Promoters of social explosions” and the “wild freedom” claimed responsibility for this attack.
And a racist murder in the quiet neighborhood close to Acropolis “ano Petralona”
On January 17th two young men fatally wounded with a knife a 27-year old Pakistani who at the time was going to work by bike. A taxi driver who saw the incident informed the police and gave the license plate of the motorbike they were riding. The perpetrators have been arrested while after near Syntagma square by the Police. One of them had still the blood of the murdered.
The incident occurred at 3.20 am on Thursday at 65 ‘Treis Ierarches’ street in Petralona. As has been known, the 27 year old Pakistani who lived in Peristeri, worked at a bakery . At the time of the incident he was riding his bike going to work.
They stabbed him because he was blocking the way according what the two men said after their arrest to the police. Police authorities after looking at their houses, found leaflets of a “certain political party” (referring to Golden Dawn) and a variety of different weapons (knives, brass knuckles etc). Police at an official statement concerning the perpretator’s motivation says that it is not proven yet that is a racist murder.
Anti-racist organizations called for a protest in the neighbourhood the same day with up to 1000 people.
A war of announcements between SYRIZA and the government.
The new murder against immigrant triggered a “war” between the government and SYRIZA. SYRIZA talked about “raw racist violence” and “fascist criminal gangs that patrol the streets of Athens. Also, they warned the minister N. Dendias that they will not tolerate any cover up of the crime.
Government responded to SYRIZA by saying that SYRIZA covers, support and Mps of the party are involved with the left-wing extremism and that first has to clean up the party from “terrorists”.
Instead of a conclusion
The past weeks in Greece, we are witnessing a step by step development of an authoritarian state in action. The accelerating process of repression is definitely spectacular, non expected, even by the majority of pessimistic political analysts of the country and beyond. The operation of the state against the squats and social spaces, where people usually get connected, sharing skills, socializing seems that it started now, will remain total and seems that will have a long term continuity. In the “foresight “ of the democratic regime is currently the infrastructure of the extreme left, the free social spaces, even the whole areas where usually people hang out on the streets such as Exarchia (center of Athens).
If someone glimpse at the Greek mass media those who are near the government’s work , or the statements of this government itself, probably gets an impression of a similar situation like Italy in the 70s or even Greece in the 50s after the civil war. For instance a very remarkable statement from one of the biggest journalist (Pretederis) in Greece working for one of these TV channels (MEGA) who openly said: Its time for the democratic system to consider the posibility to prohibit “extreme ideologies such as anarchism and ultra left” in Greece. The purpose of this government with the three parties in charge, increasingly is getting clear. With a society suffering under these austerity measures, being dissatisfied, occupied by feelings of anger and depreciation of the political system, an atmosphere has to be created, where the existing government is the only guaranty of social peace and normality, defending democracy from the “extremes”. But this tactic is very dangerous for the whole political system