On early Saturday morning (5 Sept. 2020), strong forces of the state’s repressive apparatus invaded the Rosa Nera squat in Chania, arresting 16 comrades, among them two immigrants (who remain into custody). Riot police units (MAT) violently proceeded by throwing tear gas and flash grenades, one of which caused a slight leg injury to ERA Chania’s journalist Sophia Theodoraki, who was on the spot. Police officers searched the building until dawn, restricting any access to it, while solidarity groups gathered in the squat, maintaining distance. According to media reports, people from the broad left movement started gathering, on the crossroad of Kanevaro and Ag. Markou streets that lead to the square outside the squat buildings, protesting against the evacuation of the squat.
The attempt to evacuate Rosa Nera is the continuation of the “New Democracy” government’s repression plan, targeting squats and social centers. The repression of the squat in Chania takes place not long after the evacuation of another two long-standing squats in Thessaloniki, Terra Incognita and Libertatia. The goal of the state is to evacuate these social spaces that are the heart of the fermentation of the competitive movement, the production of radical theory and practice with ties to the local community, as is the case, for example, with Rosa Nera. We do not forget that the occupation of Rosa Nera in Chania has hosted countless events against the dominant national narrative on the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, the local Jewish community in Chania that was lost during World War II, as well as events for Migrant workers in the country, but also other struggles of the working class. Rosa Nera is a shining example for the city of Chania and has ties to the local community, this is the reason why it is targeted by the state and in fact while a local lockdown for the coronavirus is in force. State repression continues to escalate and this is not just accidental. At a time when capitalist domination is trying to manage its collapse, violence and repression on its part will be increasingly barbaric. Bourgeois democracy now shows its teeth and even without any pretext. Areas and ventures that can become hotbeds of resistance, theory production and competitive practice against this reality must be eliminated without a second thought.
Rosa Nera’s evacuation comes at a time where the dominant dogma regarding the “superfluous population”, inside and out of the capitalistic metropolis, namely of the impoverished proletariat masses who struggle to sell their labour power to the capital and even openly deal with the housing problem caused by the increase of the rental prices, which run high. The undertaking of the governmental authority by the “New Democracy” party sets the tone for a new phase of authoritarianisation of the country’s civil democratic system. These last developments confirm this fact on a daily basis. The “New Democracy” government carries on Syriza’s work by following through on whatever was promised on the election campaign; nothing other than raw repression, the merging of the far right into the governmental schema, the openly racist refugee policy and, finally, the questioning of a series of workers’ and remaining bourgeois democratic conquests of the post coup era. The pillar of this government is those who wanted a supposed return to ‘normalcy’ through peace, order and security, that is, mainly the petty bourgeoisie and the famous greek petit bourgeoisie, the racist barbecues, the nationalist Macedonian and anti-refugee rallies. To this gloomy reality is added the doctrine of individual responsibility with the measures of the coronavirus and the further suspension of the remaining individual freedoms. The life of the subaltern in the Greek and other capitalist states becomes unbearable.
That is why we must not let the Greek capitalist formation achieve its goal. Today more than ever, despite the different interpretations that the various collectives and individuals have within the competitive movement, we must and can stop this course. Apart from government repression we must admit, that all those who we consider to be part of the competitive movement hold responsibility for the closing of the squats. The surrender of the occupied territories and the parades of the Delta police squads in Exarchia are manifestations of our weakness. A weakness that stems from the lack of disposition for organization, for the exit of organized groups from their self-isolation, the lack of disposition for effective communication in order to overcome the obstacles that separate us today. The disagreement and the defense of the positions of each group is legitimate, but through a common communication framework, so that there is a refreshing dialogue and the possibility of rebuilding a political collective memory that today seems to have become boring and causes ‘fear of the unknown’. Attachment to ‘safe areas’ and the negative attitude towards collaborations and alliances, in the face of the logic of a united front. To ‘break’ the defense of positions as ‘absolute truth’, an attitude that in any discussion, let alone in an assembly, functions as a bitter poison and castrates the emergence of politics as a dynamic process of interaction, conflict and ultimately cooperation, on common goals. We recognize that these are our limits today and if we do not adapt our thinking and actions properly the capitalist tide will devour us all. The “New Democracy” government is sowing winds. It’s time to reap the whirlwind.
As Communists with memory, from the first moment and without second thought, we have been by the side of our comrades of the occupied social center of Rosa Nera. We intend to support acts of solidarity. We have no intention of getting used to the new normalcy of raw institutional violence and repression, or an impoverished life. It’s high time we organize cores of resistance and subversion on every corner of this capitalist state, with the goal of reconstructing the radical left movement.
Solidarity to the Rosa Nera squat. Hands off the social centers and squats.
Shades magazine – Communists with memory.