On July 27th 2016, at the crack of dawn, Greek police forces raided and simultaneously evicted three housing squats in the city of Thessaloniki: Orfanotrofio housing squat for migrants (property owned by the Church), Hurriya community on Karolou Diehl Street (privately owned building), and another building located at Nikis Avenue (owned by the University).
Several dozen people living inside were detained. Probably all those without papers were sent to detention camps, while a large number of activists were referred to trial. Later that day, Orfanotrofio building was completely demolished by authorities.
Since then, several actions have taken place in response to this repressive operation.
On July 28th, some arrestees of Nikis building received four-month suspended sentences. The arrestees of Orfanotrofio and Hurriya will stand separate trials, on the 3rd and 5th August respectively. All arrested activists have been released.
Below is an announcement of Orfanotrofio squat following the eviction and demolition of the house:
On July 27th 2016, at 05:45am, Orfanotrofio housing squat for migrants in Thessaloniki was evicted under the pretext of a complaint filed by Church S.A. Shortly afterwards, the complete demolition of the building began.
Two other squats which housed migrants were simultaneously evicted (Nikis Avenue, and K.Diehl-Hurriya community).
As a result, a total of 74 arrests were made in all three squats.
What becomes very clear is the criminalisation of solidarity and, of course, the political choice of the State to target self-organised solidarity structures & communities of struggle. That these structures are being targeted became also evident a few hours after the three evictions in Thessaloniki, when the mayor of Athens Giorgos Kaminis announced he’ll lodge a complaint report concerning the fact that there are migrants living in occupied municipality-owned buildings, stating that they’re “degrading the city” of Athens.
We, for our part, believe that housing squats for migrants do not degrade our cities, but instead enliven them.
That’s why we’ll continue to create structures of solidarity and struggle; we’ll continue to live and fight together with migrants. Because we don’t extend solidarity towards migrants; we practice solidarity together with migrants. Because we don’t perceive ourselves as having privilege over migrants; we see ourselves maintaining a common position with them against bosses and states. Together we share what we have and fight for what we should have.
Because we want migrants within the fabrics of our cities, not ghettoised. We want them in our schools and our neighbourhoods. …
NOTHING IS OVER
Assembly of Orfanotrofio housing squat for migrants