Justice? -You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law
estίes: cells, focal points, centers or sources Points of collectivization of every day life, social and political struggles. ‘Barricades’ against social cannibalism, in which solidarity is put forth against isolation.
anomίas: of lawlessness, of anomie, being without law, uncontrolled by a law, unruly, unrestrained. A tool of authority’s modern totalitarianism. Lawlessness preventively includes what the law has not yet managed to forbid and repress. Whatever falls out of the law, and by extension outside the regulation of authority, is by default reprehensible.
The blog was created on the occasion of the generalized attack, unleashed by the greek state, against the antagonistic movement. We consider the blog as part of the broader network of anti-information (counter-information?) based on german and greek territory. The main objective is to communicate, disseminate and diffuse the ideas and actions of the movement fighting back and resisting against the generalized state attack, through translating and writing texts we consider important on this framework. The texts uploaded and translated in the blog do not try to follow some journalistic objectivity, so they are not an objective broadcasting of reality. Parallel, the blog does not necessarily identify politically with every text translated. Our main aim is to attempt to inform, report and act on the situation, with the goal to create structures of networking and connect anti-state and anti-capitalist struggles in different territories.
A Movement cannot be evicted
On the 20th of January the Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis issued a statement which included numerous political and rhetorical acrobatics, suggesting that a central problem in Greek society is the legitimation of political violence. In a statement completely ignoring the reasons for which society and the movement is using counter-violence as a means of struggle and self-defence against state and capital, the prime minister claimed that violence is just “fashion” and a “trend”, completely cutting it off from the social circumstances which generate it and the political backdrop it is set against. As a solution he announced a “national strategy” against “terrorism and extremism”. For this, in the coming months, the Ministry of Citizen Protection will establish a special task-force whose goal will be to suppress “radicalization leading to terrorism” and its field of operation across the whole social spectrum, “from prisons to football fan organizations”.
This statement is the essence of the law and order dogma which the current government has proclaimed since day one, and includes the recruitment of 1500 cops into the extremely aggressive Delta motorcycle unit. It is also expressed in the form of extreme right-wing propaganda, such as this quote from a state official: “imagine a silent vacuum cleaner which will clean out Exarchia from its rubbish, meaning the hardcore criminals, anarchists and extreme-leftists”. In a desperate attempt to ‘westernize’ or ‘europeanize’ Greek society, the government of ND has unleashed an all-out attack on multiple social fronts: it voted multiple anti-labor and pro-capital laws, has suggested the reinstatement of maximum security prisons, has institutionalized snitching in the framework of the anti-smoking law, is cleaning walls and bus-stations of graffiti on a daily basis only to see them re-painted the following day, and according to media is considering pushing through new demonstration regulations (whereupon demos must be registered by individuals) and legislation to enforce the strict opening hours of bars and clubs.
The pre-electoral propaganda of Nea Demokratia- a party which in the last years has absorbed the majority of the neoliberal and neo-nazi parties such as Potami (River) and Chrisi Avgi (Golden Dawn)- and its media accomplices set out to construct a strong image of an internal enemy as the main social problem; the antagonistic movement, the immigrants, the marginalized: lawlessness. Knowing that they only had a narrow space in which to make actual political changes since the bulk of policy (economic, labor, immigrant, international) of the Greek state is determined by its international allies, Nea Demokratia creates a problem they can solve, an electoral promise they can fulfill. As set out in their electoral agenda, they promised to crush anarchist violence, and political violence in general. An aggressive propaganda campaign by politicians and the media targeted Exarchia, seen as the fortress of lawlessness, portaying it as a ghetto area where cops and citizens are in danger if they enter.
Unable to handle the refugee crisis- especially on the eastern islands of the Greek territory, where those who haven’t drowned in the sea are forced to live in overpopulated closed concentration camps in dreadful conditions- the ND government still has to attempt to appease its racist, traditionally conservative orthodox electorate, along with its law-abiding neoliberal followers. Having also failed to revise the agreement of the former government on the name of North Macedonia, which rallied all sorts of nationalistic crowds in the last years, ND’s attack on anarchists, immigrants and marginalized individuals aims to satisfy the right-wing instincts of its voters.
This attempt to please the right is again seen with the recent development in the trial of Chrisi Avgi. The state-prosecutor recently suggested the acquittal of the political leadership and claimed that Chrisi Avgi does not form a criminal organization, suggesting that all the crimes committed by its members are individual cases. After the neo-nazi party failed to enter parliament in the last elections and the bulk of its voters turned to ND, the government is offering a cleansing to these people, welcoming them back to the party and securing their support.
Since the breakout of the global systemic crisis of 2007- which manifested in the Greek state as debt and a crisis of political legitimacy- with the insurrection of 2008 and the social upheaval of 2010-2012, successive governments have attempted to tame social rage. These governments belong to the whole of the political spectrum (from left to right) and have applied different tactics and strategies to put forward their brand of political stability. The current Nea Dimokratia government, after the electoral regrouping of the right in July, has put forward a political plan of “law & order” to achieve this. This dogma is not simply another strategical attempt for re-stabilization, but the only possible choice of the dominant strata, in order to push the Greek state back to “normality”.
Their normality materializes in attacks on places of struggle and the eviction of squats, stricter revision of the criminal code, displacement and further enclosure and torture of immigrants in detention centers, the abolition of university asylum law and a broad police mobilization which includes brutal beatings and arrests of whoever is deemed as resisting or potentially dangerous to their new dogma. Their “normality” has the goal of creating a stranglehold for all deemed as “unnecessary” and dangerous: anarchists, immigrants, queer, disabled, poor, addicts, petty-criminals, the oppressed.
One of the main aims of this repressive attack is to prepare the ground in order to prevent the coming resistance. The politics that will be put forward by the Greek state and its international allies will sharpen social antagonisms and will seek to further rearrange relations of power in favor of the dominant. One of the goals of the generalized attack is to push the movement away from its participation in social struggles and draw its attention inwards. Under an all-out attack from the state, the hope of the dominant is that the movement will focus all its resources on defending itself against the attack, and turn away from all other social struggles it is a part of. The anarchist movement, as the political space in which the most radical parts of the social movement and political struggles are collectivized, will be in the forefront of the coming resistance and thus the aim of the dominant is its preventive repression.
The ultimatum of the government, and the direct attack on the squats is not only a part of the generalized attack of the state on the movement, but has a further aspect. The squats are strategically important, since they are a practical realization of the ideas for which the anarchist space stands for.
The squats that existed, exist and will be created are an example of anti-hierarchical forms of organization, which openly defy state and capital and directives of domination. Their presence in the neighborhoods tangibly displays what the anarchist movement is standing for politically and socially. They are the cells in which radicalized parts of the social movement can meet, collectivize and co-form their resistance against oppression and exploitation. They act as an open point where society can come in contact with self-organized and non-hierarchical structures. They propagate to the neighborhood what the movement is standing for, breaking down the image of the anarchists, which the state along with their mass media servants work hard to create.
Squats are offer a practical solution to the problem of housing and the need for common spaces. They are a space in which anti-hierarchy, self-organization and solidarity are actualized by the movement, shared with society and propagated to the neighborhoods, and thus the attempt to evict them is an attempt to deprive the movement of these points, in a general strategy which simultaneously cuts-off the anarchist movement from the rest of society and preventively suppresses cells of future resistance.
Under the aforementioned political circumstances, the tool of gentrification perfectly suits the government’s plans for domination. The areas of the city inhabited by the poor, immigrants, radicals and displaced people, and in which these people can come in contact with each other in order to put forward structures which evade or resist the directives from above, are deemed as dangerous, abnormal ghettos that should be normalized. Through gentrification, these areas become real ghettos, too expensive to inhabit with surveillance and policing ensuring the oppressed cannot even step foot in them. The regulatory and repressive legal framework pushed forward by the Greek state is also working towards this direction. The eviction of squats, suppression of spaces of struggle and displacement of the oppressed is accelerated and fortified by the process of increasing rents and the consumer-oriented changing character of neighborhoods. Along with this the Greek state has since 2013 implemented a golden visa program; a law allowing long-term residency permits for individuals investing large amounts of capital in the Greek economy. Local and foreign capital on the other hand is eager to make mass-investment on the housing market, knowing that the price of what they buy will shortly be multiplied by the state-driven displacement of the people that inhabit and live in these areas.
The same strategic choice is being experienced in Berlin, where the attack on the movement’s spaces is coupled with a process of aggressive gentrification over the past years. However common strategies of the dominant can also be found away from gentrification, as the modes of policing, and state policies to suppress resistance and impose social peace are common between states. In fact many of the strategies being applied by the Greek state during this period have already been implemented against the movement and society in general over the past-decades by the German state. Special units focusing on “political extremism”, technological upgrading and increased cop recruiting, stricter legal frameworks, depoliticizaiton of counter-violence, and all-out attacks on squats, self-organized and social spaces have been the exact strategy of the german state against the movement in the past years. The greek state is desperately adopting and pushing forward the same repressive tools against the movement and society, obviously in close collaboration with its german and other international counterparts, on both statal and police level.
Nevertheless it is also common in both cases that radicalized parts of society resist and actively seek to find counteroffensive answers to the plans of domination. Analyzing these commonalities of repression is an important step in order to go beyond them and find ways to fight back. . Social problems might be put in different terms locally but are the same worldwide. Reporting on, informing about and ideally connecting lawless cells (esties anomias) around the world, is step towards this direction, in setting up and expanding our networks and finding space for common struggles beyond borders.
What we aim with this blog is to find commonaliites / common grounds in our struggles in a borderless level and try to build networks and relations all over the world. Sharing information and create cells of lawlessness are our weapons .
Build bridges, abolish borders !