Athens: Solidarity with Vancouver Apartman squat

The squat in Vancouver Apartman exists since 2005, initially on the second floor of the homonymous building, owned by the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB; more commonly known as ASOEE), and later in almost the entire building except a space which houses the Theatre Group of AUEB.

The squat faces the risk of repression and eviction, as the owner (AUEB) is now taking action against the squat on the pretext of the building’s reconstruction for the “needs” of students. Specifically, they want to house student wings of political parties when these factions refuse to be moved into a space outside the university’s main building. In the context of this reconstruction project, more than 200,000 euros have been spent for a study, the architects of which did not even have full access to the building. Furthermore, on the basis of the same study, it is estimated that more than 2.8 million euros will be spent to destroy a listed building (a protected structure), on the location of which they plan to construct a new five-storey building, keeping only the external walls of the neoclassical three-storey residence.

From the outset, comrades – students, unemployed and precarious workers – squatted the building to meet their housing needs during a period of economic “prosperity”, which today seems distant. Since over a year ago, the squat has passed into a new period, as it functions also as a political centre, partly serving needs of the anarchist milieu.

For our part, the conscious choice of squatting as a solution to our housing needs is not simply a practice for meeting these needs, but also a form of resistance against the capitalist barbarity that wants us to submit to a miserable life, trapped in the triptych work-consumption-survival; that wants us to be working to live, and be living to work. At the same time, it can also be seen as a form of struggle by a part of the student community for the right to housing, which the Greek universities do not provide them, thus causing economic suffocation to the students themselves and their families.

Also, as anarchists we recognise ourselves as part of a multiform political milieu that struggles against capitalism and every form of Power, against sexism, racism, prejudice, bigotry, and against the exploitation of human by human, promoting equality, solidarity and freedom as essential values towards a horizontal, self-governed, classless and stateless society.

For decades, political squats are spaces where ground has been liberated in support of all these values. They are anti-hierarchical and self-managed structures, where a multitude of political, social and anti-commercial cultural activities take place, accessible to the whole society.

We are going through a period of intense capitalist crisis, where the offensive of the bosses against the lower social strata intensifies, too. The State, in its attempt to enforce ever harsher and increasingly antisocial measures, is constantly faced with resistances of those from below. To overcome these obstacles, the State uses a number of methods, such as silencing every form of resistance, slander and repression. So, it’s no surprise that squats are targeted as well, since these spaces, even in times of decline of labour and social struggles, keep the flame of the struggle lit, let alone in times of increased mobilisation and class alertness. That is why squats always come under the repression of the State and the bosses, or under fascist and para-statist attacks.

Today, even though the country’s leftist government tries on a communicative level to convince us of the opposite, the repression against all those who resist in general and the squats in particular does not stop. The effort to repress strikers of SKOT chemical factory, the demolition of Kentavros squat, the threats against the Orfanotrofeio housing squat for migrants, etc. are only a few indicative examples out of many.

Therefore, in the face of oncoming repression against Vancouver Apartman squat, we call people in struggle and solidarity to defend the squat in any way they can. Besides, Vancouver squat and every other squat are parts of the struggle, and we must defend them as such.

10, 100, 1000 SQUATS

Initiative of anarchist squatters from Vancouver Apartman

in Greek