Athens, Greece: Statement from Antifascist-Antiauthoritarian Centre Distomo

The antifascist centre Distomo opened in November 2014 in St. Panteleimon which was for many years a site where fascist and parastate gangs gathered, an area used by the Golden Dawn as a stronghold to increase the number of its supporters in collaboration with the local police department.

The antifascist centre Distomo was the outcome of wider antifascist struggles, as well as a militant antifascist movement. An early goal was to transform the political relations, to create a guarded antifascist freedom zone in the city and to simultaneously insert an antifascist perspective into a wider militant movement, based on an understanding that fascism won’t be tried at court, it won’t be democratized, disabled or isolated.

The relocation from our previous underground space on 81 Alkiviadou Street to a new ground-floor space on Alkiviadou and Ygeias Street, signals the urgency to preserve our presence locally and the need to continue a territorial militant antifascism, as well as fulfill our new duties.

During the first two years we managed to accomplish an array of practical and political goals. The unity of anarchist-communists and antifascists was an initial goal, achieved on account of our political responsibility to solidify our presence in the neighbourhood and create an anti-fascist zone. The frontality of this project is a legacy we are bound to safeguard like a crown jewel. The creation of the antifascist zone was made possible via a polymorphous struggle. Counter-rallies prevented fascists and members of parastate gangs to intrude the area by active resistance against their efforts to show up. Purely social actions such as re-opening a children’s park- which remained locked-up by orders of mayor Kaminis who collaborated with local fascists- was our contribution to improving the daily lives of local children. Moreover, dynamic actions, such as an intervention against a Golden Dawn office in the area, were carried through. In the more recent past, the attempt of a mob named Christos Rigas to set fascist offices on Ygeias street, were met with a strong antifascist response from people with an active presence in social struggles, forcing him to shut them down very shortly.

The recent effort by fascists and parastate gang members to reappear in the area proves amply the necessity to preserve our presence in St. Panteleimon. The area itself – located in the 6th Attica district- constitutes a metropolitan site we have no plans to yield over to fascists. The short distance to the Golden Dawn HQ and the importance of the area as a connecting point with other multinational working class metropolitan neighbourhoods will not allow us to take a step back. These pieces of land within the metropolis are sites that have been freed for the militant movement itself.

The struggle against fascism is at the forefront on a daily basis. The need to organize in the structures of militant antifascism appears as a need to survive, as a need to safeguard our lives and freedoms. Liberating these areas within the metropolis is the only way to create our own structures and organize a wider militant movement which will struggle to reverse the social depredation and the bleeding of the working class that we experience.

The Antifascist-Antiauthoritarian Centre Distomo will continue to defend its antifascist achievements in St. Panteleimon and struggle daily to create a militant antifascist network within the metropolis, as well as contribute with its forces to the front line of daily antifascism against fascist and parastate gangs, always in respect of the bloody history of the Greek and the international antifascist movement, from the insurgents and those in exile to the people who defend the streets of the capital from fascists every day.

WHEN PEOPLE COME ACROSS THE THREAT OF TYRANNY THE ONLY CHOICE IS RESISTANCE OR CHAINS.

(via Distomo, translated by BlackCat)

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