Squatting Movement against Gentrification


Cluster discussion

the squatting movement all over the balkans, europe and the world has been under attack in the recent decade with evictions spiralling as cities are joining the frenzy of catering to tourism and big business. 

we, the anarchists and antiauthoritarians are the ones that have the teoretical and practical means to address the situation, to organise and join neighborhood fights, to address the reasons behind the rise of homelessness, to combat the increasing prices of rent, the disappearance of public space and to emphasise the need to retaliate gentrification processes in our urban atmospheres.

in this cluster discussion we want to focus on the problems regarding (living-)spaces we have seen exponentially become more pressing during the covid crisis, we want to emphasize the need for spaces and express why we struggle to create social, creative, open and safer environments for ourselves and our community.

Input (1): Squatting and gentrification from Viktoria in Athens

We would like to participate bringing a perspective from a central neighbourhood in athens. Zizania is a squatted social centre that has been open for over 2 years. We are involved in many struggles ranging from migration, feminism and defending open/public spaces and we see all of these oppressions as interlinked in the local and state goal of changing the centre of athens into a place of profit, tourism and privatisation.

We would like to talk about the following topics:

  • A brief history of the neighbourhood of viktoria including its characteristics especially the demographic. 
  • Change of focus of the squat over the last 2 years in relation to gentrification including:
    • Structures of mutual aid-networks. 
    • State pressure on the squat by moving a ‘piatsa’ (a group of people using drugs) in front of our building. 
    • The political assembly of the squat organising in the neighbourhood and developing a theoretical approach and supporting other anti-gentrification struggles in the center. 
  • A self critique. How a squat can be appropriated as a cultural thing and our reality of being a squat with international participants. A deterioration in the relationship with neighbours.
  • Conclusions: The necessity to react to state attacks, while also creating stable structures of mutual aid. Necessity to understand gentrification as a continuation of capitalism-colonialist attack, with the example that in athens this is the displacement of people from the center of the cities to camps and prisons and the replacement by lucrative tourism.

Input by Κατειλημμένο Κοινωνικό Κέντρο Ζιζάνια / Zizania Squatted Social Centre [FB page]

Other inputs by comrades of different groups and geographies tba (open for your participation).