Regarding the demolition of the Occupied Autonomous Social Centre ‘Kentavros’

The announcement was written by the assembly of the Occupied Autonomous Social Centre Kentavros, following its demolition that was ordered by the leftist municipal authority on the 5th of August. (photo:Dromographos)

The Occupied Social Centre Kentavros has been a short-lived but essential effort in the struggle towards the creation of autonomous structures, social and class emancipation and against the logic of social isolation and political representation. It was short-lived because in the early morning of the 5th of August the ”leftist” district municipality chose to demolish the building in the name of a false forest regeneration of the area.

The mayor of New Philadelphia -New Halkidona, Aris Vasilopoulos who has stated for years that he is very knowledgeable in social movement processes, that he participated in social movements from time to time and spoke of the honesty of the leftist district authority, is no different to the Syriza administration. The Syriza administration, in the name of ”saving the country” financially and socially, has formed an agreement with the international capital and is now ignoring the social dictates it exploited in order to get to power. Vasilopoulos is currently referring to his environmental consciousness, renounces his political identity and uses the demolition of Kentavros to serve the domestic capital, since according to a law decree the space will be given to a private investor -again within the forest- and will operate as a canteen in harmony with the natural environment but in complete opposition with the needs of society.

As we mentioned earlier, the initiative to occupy Kentavros was essential. We never perceived the struggle as a monolithic claim of a certain number of demands but as a set of polical choices which in their entirety suggest the emancipation of society, the promotion of social solidarity and a defense against the complete demolition of our lives by institutional agencies of power or private interests. Since our honourable fight against the redefinition of the forest as a metropolitan park, we decided to turn the abonded building of Kentavros into a space of essential political significance. Within the three and a half months of the operation of the Occupied Social Centre Kentavros there were film screenings, political events (Turkish communists DHKP-C), coffee shops, childrens’ workshops, book presentations, rallies, collection point for basic products for the refugees camping in the Pedion Areos park, strikes (B-Kouti, Horiatiko), crowdfunding events for legal expenses etc. Simultaneously, we particiapted and will continue to participate in the greater movement which seeks social and political polarisation locally and centrally.

The choice to occupy public spaces is political. The transformation of buildings, land and facilities into spaces of struggle at present, are not acts of political support or commodified careers but a defense against austerity and repression that are blatantly enforced by domestic and international capital. As long as occupations are seen as a nuisance it is expected that they will be fought against in the name of combating ”anomie” by governments that have sunk in the legality of austerity and cuts; or in the name of democracy which now negotiates its very own ”anti-austerity” memorandum which will bring more austerity and repression; or by fascists and traitors who are the long arm of the state enforcing the violence of discrimination and exclusion in our neighbourhoods every day that goes hand in hand with the interests of private investors and local authorities.

Aditionally, we mentioned the following in a previous text:

”The attack under the guise of ”defending the forest” sets a false dilemma and calls us to take a stance on the dyadic opposition of legality-illegality. Laws are not social contracts but function as an umbrella for all the looting and the exploitattion the financially powerful wage against the poor, the precarious workers, the unemployed, the wider working class and the environment. Many can be rightly concerned with the existence of cement inside a forest. We are not among those who build eyesores in our neighbourhoods nor those who destroy nature and exploit its resources… it’s not social centres that cast a threat to the environment but big financial interests and businessmen themselves.

Regarding the way the local press handled the flow of information in relation to Kentavros we expected nothing more than a smear campaign and slander in an attempt to redefine the occupation in perfect cooperation with the local authorities. The media are not characterized as the fourth power accidentally and we are not surprised that once more they were used by local authorities.

Concluding we would like to thank those who stood in solidarity with us in every possible way. We make the commitment to ourselves and our comrades that


Assembly of the Occupied Social Centre ”Kentavros”
Source: AthensIndymedia
Translation: BlackCat

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