Athens: ‘Panteion’ housing project evicted

Early in the morning of Sunday, April 29th, police squads and plainclothes cops were deployed on to the streets near the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (located on Syngrou Avenue). The democracy’s battalions surrounded the housing project on the corner of Kallirrois Avenue and Lagoumitzi Street, invaded the squat and sealed off its entrance with steel plates. There were no reports of arrests or injuries.

This formerly abandoned building, which used to house student dormitories and a lousy refectory, had been hit by the 1999 earthquake in Athens and was wrecked for many years. In particular (but not only in this case), the state university authorities were overtly stealing the subsidies that were granted for the ‘restoration’ of the multi-storey building; at the same time they dismantled the premises and sold plumbing supplies, doors, scrap-material and anything else suitable for their lucrative trade. In the first months of 2008, the building was liberated to serve two purposes, namely an open political space for assemblies, preparation of actions, etc., but also the housing needs of its squatters.

In a pre-election period marked by all sorts of fascist incidents, today’s repressive operation may be seen as one more implementation of the eviction order for occupied public spaces, which was recently ruled by the Supreme Court of Greece, but also as another blow to radical infrastructure. Effectively defended squats are also those rooted in parallel struggles and their surrounding communities. Varied self-organized projects have always shared a vested interest in the survival of other occupied and reclaimed spaces, so now it can only be vital to activate a strong network of solidarity that knows no borders. The squatting scene cannot be intimidated; it can only fight back.