Athens: Repressive operation against the Social-Cultural Centre of Vyronas (Labidona)

Children paint (at) Labidona, October 1st, 2011

At the beginning of autumn, an initiative of residents in Vyronas (a suburb in the northeastern part of Athens) worked together to create a new Social-Cultural Centre downtown, in Aghias Triadas Grove. They transformed the derelict ‘Labidona’ into a space of self-expression. Several activities were held, such as art workshops for children, collective kitchens, concerts and discussions, in a formerly abandoned place which used to operate as a buffet.

On October 28th, the mayor Nikos Chardalias ordered the closing of this self-organized social space, and the area went under surveillance 24 hours a day by municipal police forces.

On October 31st, residents and collectivities protested in vain against this decision at the city council. The residents then decided to liberate the space from municipal cops and security guards. According to their announcement, ‘In spite of the authoritarian, undemocratic, hypocritical and slanderous conduct of the municipal authority the space of Labidona will NOT become another private cafeteria. It will continue to operate by the residents of Vyronas for the residents of Vyronas as a Social and Cultural Centre, as a space of social solidarity, freedom of assembly and creation.’

Forthcoming activities at Labidona

Tuesday, November 1st, 7pm:
Opening of the space and relaxed conversation

Wednesday, November 2nd, 12pm:
Press conference regarding the repressive operation / 7pm:
Relaxed conversation

Thursday, November 3rd, 7pm:
Discussion about the Health Centre

Friday, November 4th, 7pm:
People’s assembly of Vyronas

Saturday, November 5th, 10am:
Creativity day for children and cleaning of the surrounding area

Sunday, November 6th, 11am: Popular café / 6pm:
Assembly of the Social-Cultural Centre (