The chronicle of the attack
Sunday 21.1, around 13:30 and right before the nationalistic demonstration about the “Macedonian” issue, fascist groups which were participating at this demo started a series of attacks to occupied spaces. Right after they attacked Free Social Space “Sholeio” (School) and they were repelled, they approached our squat and damaged our facade and fence. Those attacks originated from the organized demonstration of “Kiklos Ideapolis” and other small fascist groups (AME, Ieros Lohos, C18). The damages were restored directly from members of our collective who, right after, chose to support the antinationalistic demonstration in Kamara. Two hours later, the same groups along with fascist hooligans of PAOK and Serbian neo-Nazis tried to attack the demo at Kamara and were repelled. After that, they marched and attacked again our space with molotov cocktails and flares, causing it’s arson. At that time, there were no people inside, because they were participating in the antinazi demo. Also, during their attack, undercover cops were outside the squat and a riot police bus was parked near the incident. Of course, they didn’t do anything to stop the attack. At the same time, the neighbors were shouting from their balconies to the fascists, who answered with insults and by firing flares to them. When the nazi groups tried to approach again “Sholeio”, police kept the same stance. They covered their attack and blocked the comrades inside their squat.
About the incidents of 21.1
There are no excuses about what happened that day. Everybody in the city knows that the attacking groups were moving to the direction of the White Tower (the gathering place of the nationalistic demonstration), and later they were leaving from that place. This demo worked as a place to launder greek fascism. New political careers started to take place that day. At the same time “dirty” politicians were amongst the gathered people. The murderers of Golden Dawn were wandering around the demo, along with the new “storm troopers” committing murderous attacks hand by hand with the police. The rest of the (far)right wing could not miss this gathering (New Democracy and Independent Greeks parliamentary parties). Sold-out nationalistic “left” (LAE: Popular Unity and Plefsi Elefterias: Course to Freedom) and our Christian «loving» church were also there. All of them composed the far-right entity that this country needed so much and whose plans were blocked after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. The creeping fascism of greek society found social legalization and only the antifascist movement can reverse this situation.
All of that happened in Thessaloniki. At the whilom multicultural “capital” of the Balkan peninsula, the city of refugees, persecution and extermination of the Jewish and other ethnic populations, the city of the murdered workers in 1936 and the murder of Lambrakis in 1963. Among the crimes of fascism and nationalism that have happened in this city, one more came to add, the arson of a historical building, which was standing for over a century. Unfortunately, whoever forgets history must be ready to live it again. Let everyone consider their stance against fascism. Passivity and indifference, along with de-politicization that dominates society feed fascism every day, while the nationalistic frenzy worked as a fuse for the explosion of that day. Everyone should consider whom fascists gained power from, whose interests they acted for, with whose backs they did what they did. We will always be, along with our comrades, on the streets to give the daily fight against fascism, constructing bulwarks to its expansion until its total elimination.
About the ultras
Among the ranks of the fascists who attacked the antinazi demo at Kamara, and those who made the second attack at our squat, there were also ultras of PAOK. This is a fact and is clear from the insignia they had on them and also from their chants that were applied with spray cans on the facade of our squat. At that point we must make something clear. The mayor of the city tried crudely to present the attack on our space as a conflict between PAOK ultras. The official announcement of the team’s ultras stepped on that and tried to hide the nazis in their groups by not making a clear statement of which groups signed it. Already, several of them denounced it. We call the antifascist ultras of PAOK to take a position, along all the other ultras of other teams, to isolate the nazis from the benches and from everywhere. Because, antifascism for us is not just a banner or “lifestyle”, but political decision and historical responsibility.
For the antinazi demo at Kamara
«.Whoever stays home when the battle begins
and lets others fight for his cause
ought to watch out:
because whoever has not shared in the fight
will share in defeat.
He who wants to avoid fighting
will not once avoid the fight:
because he will fight for the cause of the enemy
who hasn't fought for his own.» (B. Brecht)
At this volatile situation our collective chose to demonstrate on the streets against fascism and take the responsibility of this political decision. The price we paid is heavy and weighs, first of all, our backs. The building that used to host our ideas, our concerns, our dreams for an equal and free society, without authority and exploitation is totally burnt. A building that we renovated on our own expenses and released from the previous state of abandonment and devastation. Our ideas and our struggles, though, are not just buildings to raze them down. We will not quit fighting at this critical point, but we shall stay put with our collective consciousness and tenacity hardened like steel. The “case of Libertatia” is not only ours to solve. The antifascist movement has to give the proper answers to the enemies of freedom.
We stand up for our political decision to participate in the antinationalistic demonstration in Kamara on the same day that the nationalists would march in our city. We structure our political beliefs and actions in the way of everyday struggle against fascism on the streets from the organized antifa movement, against the logic of “hooliganistic” actions. The decision of the anarchist movement to act, take a political and physical stand against fascism was clear the days that passed. One massive standing demo with sound system and spreading flyers and one big motorized demonstration downtown were actions which took place the week before the anti-demo which came at last on the 21st of January. All these show which collectives of the movement took historical decisions and kept their part of responsibility. Unfortunately, radical left was missing from this date with history. They chose not to support the antinationalistic demonstration, while they were trying not to damage their social profile against the massive nationalistic parade. On our part, the hardest decision was that we chose not to weaken the antinazi demo, which had been called by specific political collectives of the anarchist-antiauthoritarian movement, when our squat was being attacked. A hard decision considering the result of it, but in a matter of political terms, the right one to take and the most responsible towards the rest of the collectives and comrades who were standing with us at Kamara. For those who wonder why the comrades who restored the damage on our squat after the first attack didn’t stay there, or why there was no guarding shift for the building, we would suggest they consider the value of human lives as well and what the loss of those would have meant. It’s also good to point out that the existence of this feisty antidemo created a safe zone downtown, preventing possible attacks on the squats of the neighborhood and pogroms against refugees, lgbtqi+ people and alternative “lifestyle” individuals. The incident of the arson of Libertatia squat could have happened elsewhere if nothing was there to prevent it.
Now is not the time to open a post-mortem discussion with insulting critiques against our collective and cannibalistic attitude inside the antifascist movement. Now is the time for convolution and massive answers opposing fascism which tries to gain power and get social legalization. At those hard times the decisions we take have historic value and the antifascist movement must stay put on the streets against the fascist masses.
About the demonstration of 22.1 and the 5 arrests of our comrades
The day after the attack we called for a solidarity demonstration right outside our squat. The call gathered around 2.500 people of the anarchist and radical left movement. Our goal was to march in the neighborhoods of the east part of the city and end at the Free Social Space “Sholeio”. The cops didn’t let the demo move into big streets and, by blockading them, led us into narrow ones. There, for a non-important incident, they attacked our block with teargas, flash bang grenades, physical violence etc. The aftermath was 5 arrests, one member of our collective amongst them.
The decision of police to repress the demonstration and, later on, to keep our 5 comrades under custody, shows the political stance of the state against us. One day, they stay side by side with the fascists who burn squats, and the next they attack massive demos and arrest comrades, accusing them of arson on a tire of a riot police van, while, only some hours earlier they had seen a whole building getting burned. The fact that the accusation transformed from misdemeanor to felony by the district attorney shows the political decision of the state to repress the antifascist movement. And this happens because arson transforms to felony when there is a human life in danger. We think that everyone understands where danger existed and where not.
What shall follow
The point at this moment is how we will continue to exist as a collective. Our will is to keep the space occupied, if possible, to rebuild the house, to make the squat functional again. We make a clear statement to any blockbusters, state workers and officers, fascists and any kind of hustlers: LIBERTATIA SQUAT SHALL STAY ALIVE! We shall not abandon the building, we will continue our non-retreatable antifascist struggle. At this point we should thank every one of you that showed us what solidarity means. Thank you comrades from every corner of Greece and abroad! Your political stance gives us the strength to continue our struggle. It is during such hard times, that comradeship becomes real and solidarity is not just an obligation, but revolutionary duty. We want the people that are already motivated to show their solidarity to stay put about the issue. Soon we will inform in details on our next steps and plans.
At this moment, the reaction of the antifascist movement, which must answer to the circumstance united and empowered in public on the streets, is equally important. We must leave no public space free for the fascists and nationalists, we must fight back with internationalism, class and antifascist solidarity. The movement must rally against the common enemy, which are the state and the capital, and their storm troopers, the fascists.
YOU WILL FIND IN FRONT OF YOU
THE HATE AND THE RAGE THAT YOU SEEDED IN OUR HEARTS
AGAINST ANYONE’S WILL,
LIBERTATIA SQUAT SHALL STAY ALIVE
NON-RETREATABLE ANTIFASCIST STRUGGLE
AGAINST FASCISM AND NATIONALISM
FOR ANARCHISM AND LIBERTARIAN COMMUNISM
Libertatia, Political collective for libertarian communism
Translated and edited at 2.2.2018