There has been an effort by a fascist “citizens group” formed by extreme right wing racists and nazis, with the police in the leading role, to establish a type of Apartheid in the square of Agios Panteleimonas. Now, a new racist experiment is attempted in Plateia Amerikis (Amerikis Square). In this neighbourhood, where locals and immigrants have been living together for years, coexisting in their daily life, in the streets, in schools, in squares and public spaces, racists and the state are trying to artificially create a field of racist brutality and police occupation.
In the reality of the financial, social and political crisis, the state and the bosses are launching and attack against the whole of society, intensifying exploitation and oppression. Immigrants and refugees, as the poorest and most excluded part of society, are the ones on whom this attack is focused in the most cruel way: Many are murdered in the borders, imprisoned in concentration camps, tortured in police stations. Living in the country, they are facing the most savage exploitation by the bosses. And they are hostages of the anti-immigration policies of the greek state which divides them into "legal" and "illegal". A perfect example is the new bill on citizenship that is defining which children have rights and which don’t! This way it is justifying the repression and manhunt of refugees and immigrants without papers while it promotes the incorporation of a small number of immigrants under the condition that they submit.
In this context, the state has every interest in spreading racism within the society. Through a racist campaign by the media, the state is trying to force “national unity to save the greek economy” and it is targeting immigrants as a “threat to security and stability” in order to cultivate fear, class divisions and social cannibalism, so that in conditions of poverty the oppressed will be turned against each other, against the most oppressed among us, and not against the real enemy: the state and the bosses who are looting our lives. This way the state intensifies police repression to force its anti-social policies, especially after the social revolt of December ’08 where locals, refugees and immigrants met in the barricades, giving only an image of the future the bosses will have to face. The state itself is breeding racist groups through its policies and it is supporting them through its official repression forces. This is what happened in Agios Panteleimonas neighbourhood, where the police covered the locking of the playground, arsons against places of prayer for Muslim immigrants, attacks in which immigrants were beaten and stabbed by racists. These racist groups are presented as “local citizens committees” in order for the state to give the image that police brutality against immigrants is supposedly a “popular demand of society”. And it is also using these groups to attack against people and spaces of social struggle that fight in solidarity and against fascism.
In mid December ’09, a fringe of “citizens”, mainly members of LAOS ultra-right party, showed up in Plateia Amerikis asking that the place will be “cleansed and evacuated”. Their gathering ended ingloriously, and Th. Plevris, a fascist member of LAOS in the parliament, left immediately, when dozens of people went to the square and declared that racists and misanthropists are not welcome in the neighbourhood. This effort of a hate committed to be established was also presented in “Eleftherotypia” newspaper, supposedly progressive. In an article published on 31 December ’09, under a heading saying that Plateia Amerikis is “a bomb about to explode”, a fake image of the neighbourhood is presented and the real motives of the racists are obscured by a discourse about cleanness and degradation problems of the area. Ultra-right conservatives and neo-nazis, with the blessings of the police, think that they can turn this multicultural neighbourhood of Athens, where locals and immigrants have a tradition of living together, into a field of intolerance and racist hatred. They think that they will be allowed to assault refugees and spaces of self- organization and social struggle (social centres, housing squats, parks).
Never! Like in every neighbourhood, locals and immigrants, we are people who live together everyday, in our workplaces, in schools, in the squares. We share common problems (unemployment, work exploitation, devastating way of life in an urban jail, without sufficient green and free spaces, control and repression). And we will fight together for a world of equality, having solidarity as our weapon and having as only enemy the enemies of freedom for all people.
- No racist and no fascist will define which people are allowed to live together in the neighbourhoods, to hang out in the squares and to walk in the streets of the city.
- No consent to the racist policies of the state against immigrants.
- No tolerance to the fascist – racist gangs.
EVERYONE TO THE RALLY IN AMERIKIS SQUARE
Wednesday, 24 February at 6 pm
Anarchists, Anti-authoritarians, Antiracists, Antifascists from Athens neighborhoods