The founding text of the Collective structure of public baths and launderette in Exarchia:
Collective structure of public baths and launderette in Exarchia
Squat GARE took the initiative for the organization of a structure for public baths and launderette. Having converted a space on the ground floor of the building, which was until now unused, we begin the operation of the structure, forming an horizontal collective body that will bear both the political and the practical responsibility for the structure. We call on everyone who recognize the need for such a social structure, to participate equally to its operation.
Hygeine is a basic need, crucial for people's health, well being and freedom. However, in the capitalist world, water and mass infrastructure are commercial products. Particularly in these times of extreme plundering perpetrated against the weakest populations by the state and the bosses, access to water has become a privilege. State welfare structures have been sold off to private profit, the number of homeless people is on the rise, while a big part of the migrant population is living under similar conditions of impoverishment.
Control over water erects a class border. Those who do not have access to physical hygiene are considered parasites, alien and contagious for the superficial cleanliness, the hygienism and profit purposes of the privileged. The production of superfluous populations is a structural condition of the bourgeois civilization. He or she whose only resources are the garbage of private consumption, becomes materially alienated from the world and from his/her body and so internalises his/her own sense of unworthiness, falls to resignation, isolation and degradation for the benefit of the dominant class. As long as a person lives without water, which offers a natural katharsis from the rubbish of the bourgeois world, it is mush harder to reverse this condition of class-social extermination. Exclusion from water is to condemn one to slow death.
The building on 74 Kallidromiou St. is a structure that has been re-appropriated collectively, counter to abandonment, private accumulation and state control, in order to house social needs on terms of self-organized resistance against institutions of tyranny. The self-organized bath serves the need for free access to running water and to a basic infrastructure of hygiene for everyone on a daily basis. It comprises a project of social re-appropriation and self-direction on the material basis of communal resources and from this position it is a space that can host anyone who is in a condition of weakness.
Throughout human history, running water is what has determined the places of human convergence. Cities have been built nect to rivers, sources and harbours. We envision the public bath aas a place of meeting for homeless people, for travellers, neighbours and comrades who cannot find freedom outside the mutual freedom. An oasis of solidarity within an exhausting desert. Because in the world that we create, noone is superfluous.
EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE