Police raid on anarchist social centre in Athens

Resalto, a long-standing social centre in Keratsini, Athens, was raided on Saturday afternoon by strong police forces who detained around 20 people in relation to the coming protest marches for the first anniversary of the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

At around 17:00 strong police forces smashed the front doors and windows and invaded Resalto, the anarchist social centre of Keratsini, a proletarian suburb of Peiraeus. The police detained more than 20 people who have been taken to Athens police headquarters. The unprecedented invasion in a social centre (not a squat) comes as an escalation of state preventive repression on the eve of the two days of protest marches in memory of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the 15 year old anarchist assassinated at point blank by cops last year in Exarcheia sparking the December Uprising. Claims by the police that the space was used as a laboratory for explosives are astounding given that the centre is an open space used by the neighbourhood on daily bases.The bourgeois media report that this is a first leg of an operation involving storming many anarchist havens around the city.

During Saturday 5/6/09, the day before the first anniversary of the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, torrential rains swept the country making public demonstrations difficult. Nevertheless, in Salonica anarchists and anti-authoritarians occupied the city’s oldest cinema, Olympion, a symbol of prosperity in the most central spot of the city’s main boulevard, Aristotelous. The radicals announced that the occupation will last until Monday and have published a list of screenings and discussions regarding the December Uprising and the coming insurections. At the same time, leftists formed a march in Salonica after briefly occupying the White Tower, ex-Ottoman prison and main symbol of the city, where they hang a large vertical banner reading: “The revolt is always just”. Later on the day, a bus was attacked on the main avenue of the city when the driver reacted to students spraying slogans on its sides – the bus was smashed with rocks.

A protest march also took to the main shopping area of Athens, Ermou, during the previous night without any damages done to the shops which were largely destroyed during last year’s uprising. The situation at the time of writing in Exarcheia was forbidding. Apart from the torrential rain the streets are filled by thousands of cops who, on the pretext of two molotovs dropped against a parked car, have evacuated Exarcheia square with the use of blast grenades, have cordonned off the entire Exarcheia and surrounded the occupied Polytechneio. Several people have been detained. This marks a outspoken breach of the government’s pledge to allow the commemoration of Alexandros’ assassination. 10.000 cops are reported to be in operation in Athens for the prevention of riots.

In an effort to contain anything resembling last year’s troubles, the state has been pressuring street-cleaners and garbage-collectors to end their strike which has filled Athens streets with piles of garbage the police claims can be used as projectiles or flaming barricades in the following days. The workers have refused to cooperate. As a result the notoriously extreme-right mayor of Athens has started a process to render their strike illegal.

At the same time the occupations of universities across the country have risen to 50.

Posted By

taxikipali
Dec 5 2009 17:52

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taxikipali
Dec 5 2009 20:45

Update: Protesters marched to the Resalto social centre in Keratsini earlier tonight. Cops from inside the building threw stones at the protesters who replied by upturning and destroying a series of police cars. At the same time protesters occupied the city hall of Keratsini. Despite broad local support, the riot police stormed the building and detained the protesters. The second raid has caused general dismay - the vice-mayor of Keratsini has gone public condemning the raid as barbarous and received delirious threats by the Minister of Public Order that he is covering murderers and terrorists. The bourgeois media claim the eviction has gone through without the presence of a state persecutor, rendering the whole operation in breach of the constitution. The police repression has turned many of the usually anti-anarchist media against the ministry on the grounds that the "incriminating evidence" in Resalto are objects found in every average greek home.

taxikipali
Dec 5 2009 23:49

2nd Update: A demo has formed outside the police headquarters of Athens demanding the immediate release of the 71 people arrested tonight in Exarcheia and Keratsini who are being refused legal assistance by the authorities. Local council members of Keratsini have talked publicly of a "new junta" and the "hordes of minister Chrisochoidis", while extraparliamentary left wing parties have called for an immediate and mass response to the police rule. The occupation of the Polytechneio has published a communique urging a struggle against the regime. Protest marches took to the streets of Salonica and Mytilene (in Lesbos island) after midnight in response to the Athens arrests, while there are reports that in the city of Arta roads were blocked by flaming barricades. In Athens itself the police station of Zografou came under attack with rocks and molotov cocktails some minutes after 1:00 am. At the same time workers from the media have published a communique uncovering that the Minister of Public Order has held meetings with the owners of major stations and journals giving them directions on how to broadcast news in the following days.

Steven.
Dec 5 2009 23:49

was today, Saturday, supposed to be the biggest day for demonstrations, or will that be tomorrow?

marme
Dec 6 2009 02:17

Today it was not supposed to be a day of demonstrations at all! None was planned. All this happened in a normal day. Tomorrow are the demonstrations in almost all the cities in greece.