We take responsibility for the burning of the Exarcheia Police Station on 4.2.22. The attack was carried out by a group of comrades who, armed with the weapons of comradeship and organization, defied police state and succeeded in destroying the myth of omnipotence that the police systematically cultivates in this area. We attacked with more than 10 Molotov cocktails at the outpost and the entrance of the police station, driving the cops outside into disorderly flight.
A few words about the incident
The tragic management of the pandemic, the sweeping changes it has brought about and the developments of the period are revealing of what it has brought about to the social base. Inflation, poverty, energy poverty, the daily deaths from COVID-19 which reach 24,000 are the results of capitalist management in order to recover the profitability of capital.
At the same time, the indirect reduction of wages against the government narrative, the ever greater devaluation of the Ε.Σ.Υ. (National Health Service) are increasingly impoverishing the social base. On the other hand, the cynicism of the rulers is reflected in their statements showing how indifferent they are to the lives of the impoverished.
The recent statements of Mitsotakis: “we may have had 16,000 dead but we saved tourism”, the admission of Plevris: “we have no communism and everything that is commanded is paid for” and the reference of Skertzos that it is a luxury to support the Ε.Σ.Υ. , leave no room for doubt.
At the same time, Development Minister Adonis Georgiades announced the end of the pandemic, at the same time that patients continue to die in beds and the medical and nursing staff, being understaffed, is collapsing from the workload.
And of course we cannot forget the real casualties of the pandemic, those who became ill and died in and out of the Intensive Care Unit, and those who were forced to stop their treatments and hospitalisation because they were ‘surplus’.
The non-existent protection measures in workplaces, public transport and the reduction of quarantine days for the sick (for the benefit of the bosses) were decisive in bringing us to a deadly January with 2,710 deaths.
The repressive management of the pandemic from day 1 quickly showed us that the only field of investment of the Greek state is that of preventive counter-insurgency. The inarticulate recruitment of cops, the reckless purchase of equipment and vehicles, the incalculable expenditure on ‘defence equipment’ make society outraged by the audacity and arrogance of state power.
In all this environment of ever-increasing impoverishment and the provision of cheap labour power, the Greek state contributes to the imperialist aspirations of its allies, claiming ever-greater rewards for domestic capital.
The purchase of the Rafalae fighters and the preparation for sending troops to Mali and Sahel in Africa to reinforce French troops, apart from the geostrategic upgrading of the Greek state, prove that the Greek government is ready to engage in a possible bloodbath for the benefit of the EU and NATO allies.
However, the promising workers’ victories in recent months at e-food and Cosco, on the occasion of the death of worker Dimitris Dagklis, as well as the militant strike at Kavala Oil after the dismissal of workers, with the brutal repression of the cops, foreshadow the future of a raging class war.
So in a world of ongoing and unremitting crisis, the struggles that are breaking out in Europe and Latin America, up to the armed popular uprising in Kazakhstan, show the way.
Where there is a world fighting against the dominant opposition of capital and labour, against the exploitation of man by man, against fascism, homophobia and patriarchy.
The crushing of the resistance in the neighborhood of Exarcheia is the ardent desire of the authorities. Police repression, minefields and capital are the main aspects of the attack against the poorest sections of the neighbourhood, immigrants, the movement and the youth.
The privatisation of the Steifi Hill and the “redevelopment” of Exarcheia Square were also attempted two decades ago in the area with not so great success rates for the government of the time. The diverse resistances and mobilisations of the movement and the local community managed to cancel the investments and forced the government and private capital into a disorderly retreat.
The holding of political, social and cultural events on the hill and in the square. Exarcheia, the sabotage of machinery of private companies that raided the square, the attacks on drug dealers, the mass demonstrations organised and the attacks on police targets created a destabilising environment for investment and favourable to the interests of the working class and the antagonistic movement. The folding of the state and capital and the ground gained by the social-class forces formed the conditions for the neighbourhood to maintain its militant and class character, to become a few years later the reference point for the biggest uprising of the post-revolution.
It was the social and class resistances that over time determined the character of the neighbourhood, turning Exarcheia into a reference point for the anarchist and antagonistic movement.
And over time the state has used its useful reserves – the drug dealers – to crush resistance and regain hegemony.
Since the 90’s, drug dealers have been the police muscle in the neighborhood, since the transactions, dealings and exchange of information about the movement and the militants has been a strategic move for the state to sneak into the area. Combined with the above, the drug trade and drug use acted as an inactivating factor for a large part of the youth who frequented Exarcheia, acting as an addictive – repressive condition, counter- cognitive to the prospect of its politicization.
Moreover, the deliberate transformation of the area into a huge open-air drug trafficking market, which became gigantic during the SYRIZA – ANEL government, was another aspect of the state and capital’s strategy to neutralize the resistances developing in the area.
The hegemony of the mafia (the state) in the neighbourhood and the imposition of fear shaped the social relations so that ‘predictably’ the ‘demand’ for more security developed in a part of the inhabitants. The state succeeded in shrinking the progressive and libertarian characteristics, a feature of the neighbourhood and its banner in the years of the post-revolution.
The chasing out of residents due to the indiscriminate and uncontrolled violence of the drug wars, the iron gates of apartment buildings that replaced “openness” and solidarity, the fear and submission to the strongest, the rapes committed in the area combined with the general indifference of parts of the movement to these phenomena, gave space to repression and ground to counterinsurgency.
At the same time, capital was investing heavily in the region in anticipation of its decay so that the “demand for more security” could meet the “necessity of capitalist development”. The rhetoric used by the capitalists themselves when referring to the region is not accidental.
Prodea Investments, a leading real estate powerhouse states: “In recent years, however, the deterioration of the city centre has also brought decline to Strefi Hill. Abandonment and indifference have turned the once green spider into a dangerous spot.”
The rapid capitalist development in the area is clearly, however, in order to happen, it aims to end resistance and suppress those who – in spite of the times – continue to struggle in it.
The beatings of militants, the arrests of posters, the evacuation of squats, the transformation of the neighbourhood into the most policed neighbourhood in Athens, show that capital no longer “negotiates” its hegemony.
The investments of billions of euros by the Chinese, Israelis and other scoundrels of the local and international elite in the real estate market, the loan/financing of 730 million euros from ETEP to Attiko Metro for the construction of line 4, the privatization of the Strefi Hill by Prodea, impose the crushing of social and class resistance and impose the sharp increase in rents and evictions.
The class crime that is taking place in the area of Exarcheia, with its attempted transformation into a historically and politically dehumanized environment, into an “alternative amusement park” in which the ideology of “no politica” will determine political-social relations, is the environment that capital seeks for its profitability without resistance.
The sealing of the Polytechnic, the transformation of the historic square into a construction site, the attempted levelling of the monument to the anarchist student A. Grigoropoulos by the construction of luxury housing on Mesolonghiou Street, all impose the imposition of oblivion over memory. In the demonstration of the domination of the police, judicial power complex over the projection of defeated anti-authoritarian thought and perspective.
We must turn our neighbourhood into a powder keg in the near future, an inhospitable environment for investors and their minions. We must strengthen the existing initiatives of struggle in the region, and transfer our political initiatives into it. At the same time, we ought to recognize and oppose the assimilationist policies that turn Exarcheia into a lifestyle entertainment district, making the political characteristics hostage to the ideology of profit and the dominant culture.
Inspired by the struggles of the previous decades that managed to intercept the business plans to flatten the neighbourhood. Inspired by the struggle against the state, drug wars and social cannibalism and the self-sacrifice shown by the comrades to take on a ruthless and uncontrollable – at times – opponent that encapsulates the most savage authoritarian and patriarchal instincts.
Again taking the baton from the hostilities against the police forces in the region in the first months after the election of the ND, inspired by the breaking of the “red zone” in December 2020, when hundreds of militants defied the extreme repression. Picking up the thread of the struggles from the big demonstration of 6 December 2021 and the reoccupation of the Gini building.
We declare that for us Exarcheia is our neighbourhood and we are determined at any cost not to abandon it to cops, drug dealers and big investors.
PS. Once again the journalists have proved themselves worthy of the occasion to distort the facts and unworthy of serving the truth. It would have been interesting if they would have informed the TV audience how many police forces and at what distance they were around the Exarcheia police station at the time of our attack and what – they were not – doing.
PS. Freedom to the fighter Polykarpos Georgiadis.
Solidarity to the comrades who are being prosecuted for the same case / Trial 14/02.
Immediate release of comrade Haris Mantzouridis.
Freedom to comrade Mario Seisidis.