Announcement about the arson of Prapopoulou Squat
greece / turkey / cyprus |
Monday March 31, 2008 20:07 by Prapopoulou Squat protovouliaxal at yahoo dot gr Profiti Ilia 49, chalandri, athens-greece
ANOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE ARSON OF PRAPOPOULOU SQUAT
“Difficulty always stood in life as a huge motive, awakening every one of our urges, good and bad, so we could overcome the obstacle which has risen suddenly in front of us by mobilizing all our forces that differently would have remained in disuse or would lead to scattered actions, thus, accomplishing goals much more challenging than we ever hoped”
In the morning of March 25th (Independence Day Anniversary) at approximately 3:30am, witnesses saw flames bursting out of the building's first storey. Three individuals rushed out of the building, one of them holding a crowbar and one holding a PC tower removed from the squat. Within few minutes the fire spread incinerating the collectives' library. The roof collapsed, while a second source of fire burned part of the ground floor contents. The perpetrators left the scene on car. Residents of the area and passers-by called the fire brigade. Five vehicles arrived, plus police which investigated the site. A number of individuals have visited the squat since then to express their solidarity and help reconstruct the building.
This arson sums up, to an already long list of similar assaults, during the last months, which target autonomous quarters, squats, base-syndicates offices and citizens initiatives centres, and it's just a part of a wider plan of state terrorism and repression towards any voice or action of resistance. Indicatively, some of the venues that have been assaulted include: Lelas Karagiani squat, "Thersitis" (twice), Subterannean Social Center in Kallidromiou 94 St., residents initiative ProKat, offices of "movement in city of Zografou" etc.
In what way did Prapopoulou squat provoke such action?
Maybe, because of its involvement in matters concerning the local society?
Maybe, because of its reaction towards the plans of exploitation of the last free spaces?
Maybe, because of its opposition to the relocation of the ministry of finance to a neighbouring area?
Or maybe, because of the nature of this autonomous quarter that opposes the dominant social structure?
The idea of codetermining in terms of equality and direct democracy in a collective and taking control of our lives. Lack of hierarchy is an "offence" which cannot be easily accepted, particularly when this outrageous choice, despite all difficulties, seems to work.
In times of individualism, it's considered bizarre to meet other people and despite any disagreements, proceed in union to common decisions which oppose to the imposed perception of life.
The anti-commercial character of collective bothers.
Today, that everything can be bought and sold, and every urge for communication, human relation and creativity becomes object to monetary exploitation; anti-commercialism seems a hostile logic, to those who measure everything in capital.
Who could gain profit from this assault?
All those who cannot buy the property from the landlord, as well as those who clearly desire the commercial exploitation of the property, trying to impose their plans of the so-called "development": i.e. malls, expensive and luxurious houses, parking spaces and "culture centres" that lack life. Prapopoulou squat claimed this free space and made it publicly accessible, preventing the "development" from happening.
There are also individuals who can't stand terms like self-organisation, solidarity, anti-hierarchy, anti-commercialism and horizontal organisation... All those who are drowned in their nationalistic myths and lies, and don't hesitate to adopt the principle "Greece or ashes"(Greek nazis) if one argues with them.
There is little importance in finding out whom exactly is responsible for this arson, as we already know that all those involved, are closely related. They co-operate on the streets in order to repress protest marches, they stab immigrants and people who fight for their rights, and they assist police brutality in every opportunity. State, para-state, and national security service are like communicating vessels, without exact borders.
The only sure thing is that they burned nothing that cannot be restored. They failed to burn even to a minimum, all those important things that motivate us to keep on what we are doing, like the comradeship between all of us who participle in the squat and our determination, which are more than enough to renovate the squat to an even better state than before. Support from residents of the area, other collectives who have suffered similar assaults and many people who participate in radical movements of resistance have come to help. All of the above are intact, so we cannot even think about quitting. We have been, we are, and we will stay here. We will stay opposed to every expression of fascist logic, to every attempt of cementing "development", to every self-censored or venal journalist who presents today ’s miserable reality as the only one possible, and to every state or para-state assault. It's about time we counter-attack; for the real freedom, for the social liberation, for our lives.
Fire does not burn us,
Fire burns in our hearts.
On the 29th of March, a demo was performed in the streets around the squat and the neighborhood. Approximately 500 people marched towards downtown Chalandri area (northern suburb of Athens) and protested outside the police station and the town hall.
The reconstruction of the building has started. Individuals along with people from other squats, autonomous quarters, info shops, have come to aid, showing actively their support. Ashes and any burned remains of the roof have been cleaned from the house and the surrounding area and actions are performed in order to prepare the roof walls for the following building procedures.
Prapopoulou Squat (athens-greece)