Since today, Friday, 22nd of April 2016 at 10 am, the abandoned hotel City Plaza, located in the center of Athens, was converted into the Accommodation Area for Refugees. The first refugee families, of various ethnicities, along with hundreds of people in solidarity are working collectively to clean, repair and organize the space for its upcoming operation as a self-organized solidarity project, as a center of struggle.
Excerpt from Announcement:
We have now entered a new era with very different needs from a qualitative perspective. The racist policies of closed borders implemented by Europe, have essentially legitimized the presence of a small number of economic and political refugees in Greece, people who intended to continue their journey to Northern European countries. Without giving up on our main demand which is to open the borders nor our general struggle against their very existence, as a solidarity movement we are obliged to actively prioritize the provision of decent accommodation for refugees in Greece and achieve access to all social services for them.
In this context, along with our demand to immediately fulfill the refugees need for accommodation that is not comprised of camp sites and army bases, but on the contrary, indoor spaces with complete infrastructures that will allow for the free movement of refugees, we proceeded to the occupation of the abandoned City Plaza hotel, in an effort to address this issue as well as create a centre of struggle and information regarding the issues faced by refugees.
Our action does not remove the obligation of the E.U. governments to proceed themselves to an immediate provision of housing and protective services for refugees. Our action only shows our solidarity as a driving social force which will prevent the racist plans of the E.U. states and will cast a protective net for refugee populations, regarding their full and unobstructed integration with local workers and oppressed people. This is the same solidarity which was targeted and vilified by mainstream media and the Greek government following the EU-Turkey agreement, accused of guiding the efforts of haunted populations to demand their rights.
City Plaza Squat converts indoor space for children’s activities
Colours, laughter, hugs, markers, games, balloons and stickers.
Today we created an indoor activity area for the 57 children staying at the squatted accommodation for refugees at City Plaza hotel. The area was especially converted for children and their need for creative activities.
From today children can start smiling again. They can start playing, dancing, drawing and experiencing their childhood which is something they have been deprived of during their long journey.
During the next few days there are plans for plays, movies and dance and art lessons.
Solidarity is a compass reinforcing the project of the Accommodation Area for Refugees at City Plaza and all of you are needed.