On January 21, 2018, a series of fascist attacks on emancipatory structures of the left-wing radical movement took place in the Greek city of Thessaloniki. Tens of thousands of fascists, nationalists, patriots and clericals had gathered to give new impetus to the long dispute over the name of Macedonia and the legacy of Alexander the Great. Nationalists in Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) claim the name Macedonia in equal measure. Both states provoke themselves again and again for years, i.e. by naming historical places or airports after Alexander the Great. Since 2014, there have been no negotiations between the two countries.
Nevertheless, an agreement emerged lately.
At least on the Greek side, however, the nationalist movement wanted to stifle such an agreement, and therefore mobilized since weeks to the first nationalistic mass demonstration since 1992 in Thessaloniki, the capital of the northern Greek region of Macedonia.
On January 21, a mix of right-wing parties and organizations, members of the fascist party Chrysi Avgi, nationalist hooligans, conservatives, Orthodox and patriots marched in Thessaloniki, making clear what they think: “Macedonia is Greek!”. It must have been nearly 100,000 people.
Out of this nationalist demonstration, attacks on people and structures which were fighting against the nationalist consensus of the fascists, patriots and clerics in the past, have been repeatedly committed. First it hit the occupied school Sxolio, an autonomous social and cultural project of the anti-authoritarian movement (AK) in the district of Faliro. The attack of the fascists could finally be fended off.
However, the attackers moved on to the house of the libertarian communist group Libertatia, which is only about 300 meters away from Sxolio. A first attack on the occupied house could also be fought off. But two hours later, around 3:00pm, 60 to 70 fascists returned to the house and set fire to it.
The approximately 100-year-old building, which was occupied since 2007, completely burned down with its large library and all belongings of the occupants. In response to this coward attack, an anti-fascist demonstration was announced for the evening of January 22nd. In the course of this demonstration it came to some smaller riots and aggressions against the police, which had the day before not only let happen but also partly actively supported both, the attack on Sxolio as well as the attack on Libertatia.
While not one of the fascist arsonists was arrested, on January 22nd the police arrested five participants of the antifascist demonstration, including one member of the collective of Libertatia. But not enough, the prosecution now accuses the five antifascists of arson of category two – an offense punishable by a sentence of five to ten years imprisonment.
Despite of this massive repression by the state and the militant attacks of fascists, the comrades in Thessaloniki keep on fighting: They call for the intensification of resistance to fascism and capitalism – in Greece as well as throughout Europe. Furthermore, the comrades want to rebuild Libertatia.
We urge you to financially support this project: Support the reconstruction of Libertatia! Support the imprisoned comrades! Support the anti-fascist resistance in Europe!
Freedom for the Thessaloniki Five! Death to fascism! Long live Libertatia!
Friends of Libertatia in Vienna, January 2018