Filed under: International Coverage
Translation of a call posted on Athens Indymedia
Early in the morning of New Year’s Eve, police raided an anarchist community center (“steki”) on the ground floor of a science building in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This had been a steki for 34 years, the longest-standing occupation on any Greek university campus. Anarchist and leftist occupations of university buildings is a longstanding tradition in Greece; the 1973 national uprising against the Junta government was launched from an occupied university.
The following is a translation of the steki’s call for solidarity, which prompted the march seen here.
Today, New Year’s Eve (31-12-2021), the state and the police proceeded to evict the occupied space “Biology Steki,” encircling the space around the campus, with a parallel increased presence inside the university. The invasion and eviction of the occupation was chosen to take place at dawn (6:00 am) as that time would not face any form of resistance. We do not consider that the eviction of the Biology Steki is an exception, since part of the political methods of the state, in the form of control and repression, is to silence any method of expression and action that deviates from the rulers.
The repressive framework against the buildings which had been occupied over the years has until now come mainly from inter-university authorities and deans. Today’s eviction– of the longest-running occupation of university territory– is considered to be of greater political significance at the moment.
For the state, it marks the end of ‘lawlessness’ on campus and the ‘sterilization’ of educational institutions, promoting, as necessary, a regime of surveillance and control, locking up schools and intensifying university policing. A necessary condition for the achievement of these plans is the silencing of every radical, self-organized voice that moves in the university space, such as stekis, squats and autonomous groups.
For us, these spaces are spaces of freedom which reject the concepts of hierarchy, property and economic exploitation. In them, we create our own structures, based on self-organization, equality, anti-commodity and solidarity, from our political status and action to our entertainment.
As in the past we have defended the areas that were attacked, in Greece and abroad, so now they will find us arrayed against them in their attempt to make us disappear. You will find before you our answer to your repression, as it has been for so many years.
In November 1987, the “Biology Steki” was occupied by students to reflect the need for a new social space of expression. The steki that was once intended for a university library functioned as a self-managed café, counter-information community center and a base for social and student struggles.
From the beginning, its composition and action were multifaceted since the space has been shared by groups with different characteristics and different modes of action.
During this period of 34 years, the steki has housed student, concert, theatrical, radio and political projects. Cafes, collective kitchens, screenings, Greek lessons for immigrants, self-defense lessons, etc. have been held there. There has been support for many struggles such as those against military conscription, support of political prisoners, and student squatting, and efforts have been made to provide financial support for court costs, the needs of four-legged companions, and medical expenses in solidarity. The steki to this day continues to be a meeting place and source of political ferment with the main axis of self-organization being anti-commodity, solidarity with incarcerated comrades and the daily claim of our lives.
The attack on our premises will not only not go unanswered but also acts as a driving force for a counterattack, as it reminds us once again that we are in a constant war. The narrative of order and security that takes place through the repression by all forms of cops and thugs rekindles our need to continue fighting in solidarity with one other.
If you think that by invading our spaces, you are going to destroy us, you live with delusions.
We will make sure to bring you back from them
OUR IDEAS ARE NOT SUPPRESSED
OUR STRUGGLES ARE NOT EVICTED
SOLIDARITY IN SQUATS