Sakis and Dine: Two older members of the Anti-authoritarian Current in Thessaloniki (speaking from their own point of view and not as spokespersons).
Now there's no going back
Yes, there was an occupation of the Theatre School in December but this action wasn’t done by Alpha Kappa. Many of us participated in it, but as individuals. There were also many students. This was an occupation by everybody. We also participated in the protests. In the protests Alpha Kappa usually goes as a tight bloc. We fight with the police but we don’t run around and scatter. We stay close, sometimes we link arms, and this way we don’t get arrested.
Since December, Greece is totally different, and the anarchist movement here is totally different. Now there’s no going back. It’s as though in one month things moved forward five years. Greek society moved forward. We saw the anger that everyone feels about the economic system, their jobs, the crisis. For 150 years it's been the same, the politicians just take the money and do whatever they want, but now, for the first time, the Greek people have shown their anger. If I were a fifteen-year-old in December it would affect me for the rest of my life and even when I was thirty whenever I saw a cop or some other authority figure I would remember what kind of person this really is.
The anarchists didn’t expect the riots in December because we know the Greek people and they’re not such active members of society. But we saw that there is hope, especially in the young people, and this frightens the politicians. They didn’t expect twenty-five cities to be burned at the same time. They were already afraid of the anarchist and left movement, but they never expected this.
The European politicians are very afraid. With the economic crisis, the European politicians believe that there will be many Decembers, in all of Europe. They want to stop this but they don't know how. I believe there will be many more Decembers. I think for many people the crisis is bad, for example I’m in danger of losing my job, but I want the crisis to continue, I want it to become ten times worse, because I think it will bring more Decembers.
After December Alpha Kappa understood that we are at a point where we have to set our sights higher. So now we are moving out of this social centre and we are moving to a much larger building in the centre, a rented building we will share with other groups, with other Left collectives and individuals. We have decided to do this because it is time to be open to society and be a part of society rather than being like the old closed anarchist groups all dressed in black.
There is also a new house that is squatted, right on Nikis Avenue, right on the sea front, a huge building, and there are other new social centres that are beginning as well. The government, I think, is very afraid. This high judge said that it's time to put an end to these new occupations, and he even named our new house which has only been squatted one month. And he named Yfanet and Terra Incognita and Delta and the others. He said the anarchists now have seven spaces in Thessaloniki, we have to stop them or they’ll take over the whole city! So they are looking for legal ways to evict us. I think they will try to start with the squatted buildings because they can pretend it’s a matter of legality; they can say it’s because those places are illegal, but their real reason is to attack the movement.
But I don’t think they will do it. I think they are bluffing. They know we would defend these places. The State knows we could start the war again, easy.
So, now you see we are putting all our things in boxes, getting ready to move to the new social centre. This place was a good one, there were always lots of people coming in here and we had lots of events. But it’s time to move to a bigger place, and cooperate with other groups. It’s time to talk with the people so they understand our analysis, and the words we use, so they understand what we mean by internationalism, our critique of money our critique of the State, not to make them anarchists but to make them active in society and make them believe that things can change.