Friday, 5 November 2010
Activism - Yfanet Squat, Thessaloniki, Greece
"On 20 March 2004 we occupied the old, and deserted since the 60s, weaving factory of Yfanet at Toumba neighbourhood in Thessaloniki (North Greece). We did this because ideas such as squatting, creating a place of resistance, freedom, liberation of free time and space, demolition of the capitalist world are ideas that we hold very dearly. Our tools have been autonomous organization, anti-hierarchy, unanimity, solidarity, discussing and deliberating in equal terms on common notions and ideas.
We entered this industrial building, devastated from capitalist reforms, and we found it full of memories of workers' fights, so we made a promise to ourselves, to restore the revolutionary premise in everyday life...
TO MAKE AUTONOMOUS-ORGANIZATION A DANGEROUS WORD, TO REINVENT REVOLUTION, THAT IS ALL!
We set up the building and its structures based on the idea of squatting being one of the basis of generalized inversion, with the assembly as the primal and only collective body of our existence. The cafe, the library where one can freely borrow books, the computer room, the assembly and cinema room, the dance and gym room. The free-to-take clothes open market. The underground space for events, such as music concerts and performances.
Beside them, other structures were built by us and by people that share the same ideas with us, such us the people who actually live in Yfanet at the house-collective. Also, the groups about gender oppression, groups for urban-city movements, for biotechnology, for precarity at the workplace.
All these structures and spaces hosted innumerable events, discussions, cooking and eating together gatherings, weekly thematic cafes, concerts, performances, screenings and festivals of political documentary. Among these structures and in these spaces we created our own movies and played our own board games, we presented books and brochures, we set up artistic installations and exhibitions, we danced and we sang. We fell asleep and we dreamed. Some of us even fell in love. Of course there were fights and misunderstandings and some times no explanation was given…But we continue, trying to learn from our mistakes, from our shortages. Because only the one who doesn't act avoids making errors.
Since 2004 and the years that followed we've been setting up campaigns and we called in mobilizations: the first field of conflict where we enlisted was the fight against nationalism and the rise of populist radical right, showing our solidarity to immigrants. We reacted when racist pogroms and racial murders took place, when nationalist parties organized congresses, when there were attacks by nationalist right gangs in a city who's political and religious authorities wonderfully collaborate to strangle any voice of resistance, any class struggle and fight for difference, stepping on the bodies of those murdered or exiled, either to deserted islands or to Auschwitz.
Our solidarity to people fighting or to those that suffer because of state repression, is another great chapter for us at Yfanet. The importance of the State of safety that becomes the rule compared to the welfare state which is gradually being cornered, the society of control and monitoring, the legislative meters that spring from a state of emergency due to immigrants, refugees, political and social fighters, have constituted our imminent fields of struggle.
In December 2008 we all experienced revolt. At the first postwar social uprising we joined with wider social parts in new fields of action, conflict and fight against segregation. In those days fighting subjects, like us, met in the streets and opened their own routes, that stood independently from plans, strategies and avant garde. By this explosive osmosis a new diffusing anti-authoritarian reality was born, one that left a street-fighting spirit, a culture of assembling in the neighborhood, the movement of solidarity to Konstantina Kouneva as a future deposit.
Afterwards, the counter-revolt days came as expected. The state and the sovereignty had their chance for revenge after having defamed those who had dared to raise their head. The immigrants and the squatters were the preferential field of attempted state intervention by all government and parastate means. The summer of 2009 was justifiably a period of increased vigilance for us. The plans for intervention had been made public by the instructed publications in the local press, accompanied by the camping-gases that exploded outside the Yfanet main entrance. All those who believe that literary tearing down the walls of the squat can stop us from taking action, are misguided.
In fall and winter 2010, the ultimate plans of sovereignty started evolving. In the setting of world and greek capitalist financial system crisis, more and more people break free from segregations, they become organized in collectives, they choose to fight. Squats can become places of meeting and preparing the ground for new communities of people revolting and forming an autonomous working space.
From attacking merchandizes in places where power and capital are consolidated as relations, up to the creation of structures and anti-institutions, a new proposal for social organization is produced and it has been put to effect already. We now know that nothing will be given to us. We are here, we continue.
UNTIL THE CAPITALIST WORLD BREAKS DOWN TILL THE SOCIAL LIBERATION!
YFANET SQUAT FOREVER!"
Reblogged from ..crucified freedom..