On April 22, 2016, at 6:30 a.m, police violently entered the Thessaloniki squat “Turtle Corner”, a housing squat for migrants and activists as well as a social center open to all.
Civil cops, special forces and riot police numbering over 50 broke in, in order to empty the house. After two hours of invasive searching, 15 people were arrested and moved to the city’s central police station. Of all those arrested, all are accused of illegal occupation of an abandoned building. Three have the further charge of refusing to give fingerprints while detained.
Of the fifteen, two people were without legal documentation (papers), and one was a minor, meaning that the law was applied differently to them. As such, they are still being held in prison. The two without papers are facing the serious threat of deportation, further criminalized simply because of their place of origin.
The eviction operation (which included closing off all surrounded streets to the building) took place with the blessing of the owners. We would like to point out the hypocrisy of one of them who claims to help migrants as Red Cross NGO worker in Idomeni, and yet kicks them out onto the street, vulnerable to deportation.
For most people, the right to own private property is high valued and unquestioned. We on the other hand consider the basic need for shelter much more critical. We defend reclaiming empty buildings and providing shelters for ourselves, and all those who are repressed by the logic of capital and criminalized by xenophobic policies. To us this is not only important but fundamental to live with dignity.
Empty houses are not simply unused spaces, but symbols of the disfunctional capitalist system. People in need are locked out while the interests of property owners are defended by the legal system.
This trial is not just about the illegal occupation of a building, but also about the repression of people, denied their right to shelter. Furthermore, we condemn the differential treatment of undocumented migrants, and we stand in solidarity with them.
Open borders for everybody.
Call out for a Mikrofoniki this Monday april the 25th, 2 p.m at Aristotelous Square, and gathering for our court hearing this Tuesday april the 26th, 12 midday at the court hall.
People from Turtle Corner