Three reasons for expressing our solidarity to Refugee Accommodation Center City Plaza in Athens
First, because it is a practical answer to the closing of the borders, the trapping of thousands of refugees in Greece, to the Shameful EU-Turkey Deal and the anti-refugee stance assumed by the Greek government, which ghettoizes, deports and represses refugees. The occupation of a hotel which has been abandoned for seven years, with a view to providing decent living conditions for refugee families, sets an example for tackling the issue of housing refugees by social movements and wider society, while at the same time, constitutes a specific demand to the Greek state, against the detention of refugees in despicable detention centers, instead for their housing in cities, ensuring their access to health care, education and all social services.
Second, because it is a space for struggle in which refugees together with locals, in a very deprived area, organize the mobilization of broader groups of workers, the unemployed, and the excluded, not only against xenophobia and racism, but also against the memoranda, austerity and poverty. We very strongly believe that the needs of refugees, migrants and local workers can only be met through common struggle, class and internationalist solidarity. For this reason, from the first day of the occupation of the building, we liaised with the former workers of the City Plaza hotel, and we are planning our common effort for meeting th just demands of both the workers and the refugees, who were homeless just a week ago.
Third, because it is a prime example of multinational self organization, social movement self determination and selfless solidarity. For this reason, the smear campaign launched by the «left wing» owner of the hotel, and her pathetic circle of followers cannot hold any ground. Interestingly, it is not only Greeks standing in solidarity who flock to the occupied hotel, but also refugees and migrants living in the surrounding area. Since day one, the degree of organization of the Accommodation Center, the common care taken by solidarians and refugees alike, as well as the diverse activities taking place within the Center (meal provision, cleaning, medical care, children’s play area, language lessons, etc.) show that it can act as a cluster of resistance to racism, creating a humane daily life which sets an example of solidarity promoting life in the face of barbarism.
The Political and Economic Refugee Solidarity Initiative- City Plaza Refugee Accommodation Center