We are living in a time of war. Terror, poverty, political and economic violence, those are the consequences. By closing borders, persecuting and massacring at the borders, and mass incarceration and isolation into concentration camps with no prospect of freedom, Europe is waging a war against migrants.
Since February 2019, a mass eviction operation of squats has began, with the migrant squat Arachovis 44 in Exarchia being the first one to be evicted. At 11/4, at 6 in the morning, an army of cops evicts the housing squats Azadi and New Babylon, from where 120 people are detained. Just one week later, another operation takes place against the migrant squat Clandestina, and the anarcho-feminist squat Cyclope.
During the operations, the police violently and forcefully entered people’s homes in the early morning, kicking in doors and entering people’s rooms with weapons. After arresting residents, including crying children trembling in fear, and taking them away to police stations and prisons, the police proceeds to enter their homes once again, humiliating the residents further by throwing their belongings into disarray. As we recaptured the ground of Boumboulinas squat and cancelled the events of the state, we found people’s homes destroyed and their belongings spread all over the floors of the building. The state left the former residents not only homeless, but also without any of their possession, including their papers and whatever little money they might have had. The state’s centralized organization of matter devoid of life is exposed in its full cruelty in the condition of dehumanisation, which the squatters experience through their forced exile and dispossession. The separation of the human beings from their space, time and material references, otherwise known as naked life, is the way in which the manipulation of life, as a financial and logistical matter, is forced upon the oppressed. While the state, in the warehouses of biopower, suspends all the inherent tensions of society in terms of self-organization, the reality of liberation begins with the experience of a naked life that poses the common potential for realizing our aspirations for liberation.
The continuing repression of squats, which means the closing of self-organised spaces, the displacement of the residents away from the neighbourhoods, and into concentration camps, is a part of this war.
The operations against the housing squats were accompanied with operations in houses that were known to be drug smuggling spaces, so that the state could legitimise these squat evictions as part of the ‘war on drugs’. This is hardy a new practice. The state has always pushed drugs into poor neighborhoods, and particulalry into neighborhoods where the radical grass-roots movements are the most vibrant, so as, on the one hand to control these areas, and on the other to have an excuse to pursue its war against the opressed.
Criminalisation of migrants is an intentional state practice, through keeping people in an illegal and underclass status. This demonstrates how Europe is turning towards fascism. This repression is part of the state terrorism against the struggles and the self-organisation of the oppressed. It is in this context that the recent governments, both left and right, make their polemic announcement to the squats of the movement, that “we will take all the ground away from you.”
At the core of this repression of migrant housing squats is the intention to isolate and separate migrants from locals, to cut any contact with local radical struggles, to prevent the common organization of the proletariats. Because the common struggle of the oppressed is a threat to authority. This is why our decision to reoccupy the embattled ground of Bouboulinas 42 is the answer that we, locals and migrants together must give to the violence of the repression, so as to house our common struggle for a free life.
Here in this house, we have already began to build a new community. We, migrants, squatters and internationalist comrades gathered in the aftermath of the recent squat evictions in the neighborhood of Exarchia, with the goal to organize the resistance to this state repression. As a response to the immediate need for housing, we took the initiative to occupy Gini building in Polytechneio. Our intent is to build community, as a co-organisation of heterogenic subjects, which reflects the open diversity of our practices in this neighbourhood and in other struggles. This community is based on the common agreement of struggle of the oppressed people against the state, against exploitation, and against mafia organization and control, which is in fact complements the segregation policies of all other state agents. The commitment to horizontality and mutuality targets the core of the authoritarian and patriarchal structures which form the foundation of the state and its mafias. Here we intend to house our common struggles, but also, a number of structures, open to the neighborhood and to the movement: a school for learning languages and skills, the self-organization of women, the self-management of food, and more.
Our aim is to create a space for sharing and exchange through our diverse cultures and languages. A space for defending the oppressed: migrants, proletarians, women, and for freedom from sexual and gender opression. We fight against racism, sexism, patriarchy, rape culture, and the business of mafias and NGO’s that profit from the condition of weakness of migrants.
As an open structure and community, aimed at strengthening and developing the co-organization of our daily life and common struggles, we invite all residents of this neighbourhood and beyond to join us in putting our visions into practice. In the end it is everyone’s responsibility to take sides either with the word of community and of free self-organization or with the side of fascism and repression.
of Bouboulinas squatters with the neighbours
+ Free food
Saturday 11 May 7.30 pm
Bouboulinas & Metsovou, Exarcheia
Self-organized Community of Squatters, Migrants
and Internationalist Comrades from the Ground of Squatted Bouboulinas