Around noon on Thursday, September 29, 2016 members of Anarchist Collective Rouvikonas made an intervention at a church-owned aged care home in Piraeus that was threatening to evict residents under their care for the ‘crime’ of smoking inside or outside the premises. The director of the care home was confronted and warned that there would be consequences if any of the residents were evicted. Below is a translated excerpt from the communique posted on Athens Indymedia by Rouvikonas explaining why they took action.
The past few days a ‘joust’ has been going on which, along with other analogous actions, intends to overshadow two major developments: a new bill in the parliament and the final stages of privatizations in Greece. The ‘conflict’ between state and church is a firework, a momentary illusion to disorientate the public. In reality, the state, especially the Greek state, is deeply affected by ecclesiastical hierarchy and Syriza is thriving on state realism.
Charity and handouts, especially when performed by large power apparatuses, bear a high cost. A small part of the resources the church receives from the state becomes the basic narrative of its self-establishment. This ‘charity work’ has been paid for with a lot more money. And additionally, this ‘charity work’ is the best tactic for the promotion of reactionary-ism, nationalism and xenophobia and all those aspects that marks its existence in the political spectrum.
A few days ago, amidst the normality of a centralized political scene, the home for the elderly in Piraeus, a property of the Cathedral of Piraeus, issued an announcement threatening to evict any inmates caught smoking in and out of the premises. Let’s just consider the consequences and the nature of this threat. These are resourceless elderly people many of whom suffer from ill health. This ‘charity’ enforces its own ironclad law against the most weak and fragile in society.
As an anarchist group our intervention is a minimum gesture of solidarity with the elderly, a social group in great need. The response to the issue of social welfare concerns the great majority, the local and work-related autonomous structures which perform strategic struggles and claim aspects of the public sphere. Structures, that are generally non-existent apart from a few exceptions.
The system of state and capital domination has created a culminating dystopia which leaves behind the old horses of capitalist exploitation: those who have always (even in conservative terms) had a vital social role through the centuries. The radical economic, social and cultural subversion we hope for as anarchists, will give back the power and the social role stolen by state and bring the living back with the living.
Until then the conditions will become worse. These are warnings that in a few decades the elderly will constitute a majority, so the solution provided is late retirement in order to achieve a minimum time interval between that and death, which means less pensions will be paid by the state, while the health care system will be privatised.
(communique excerpts translated by BlackCat)