On the night of February 24, 2009 the Haunt of Migrants on Tsamadou Street in Exarcheia was attacked while an assembly of the Association of Conscientious Objectors was taking place inside.
A hand-grenade was thrown from outside. Luckily the building's window was shut and double-glazed - the first layer of the window broke but the hand-grenade bounced off and exploded outside.
Below are statements released by some of the groups attacked and some explanations:
Murderous attack with hand-grenade at the Migrants' Haunt
Last night, February 24, at around 10.05 pm "persons unknown" threw a hand grenade at the Migrants' Haunt at Tsamadou Street in Exarcheia, the same building hosting the offices of the Network for Social and Political Rights). At that time the Haunt was full of people as there was an open meeting of the Association of Conscientious Objectors and the co-ordinating body of our group was also having a meeting. The attack had no victims only due to sheer luck as the hand grenade did not manage to get through the double glazed window, bounced back and exploded just outside the building.
Last night's fascist, para-statal attack is part of the wider attempt of sovereignty to strike back after December's revolt. During all this time we have been watching the intensification of statist and para-statist (meaning, undercovers and fascists, often the same people ? trans) violence as well as a dirty propaganda campaign against spaces of resistance ("the far Left is to blame for the violence"). The "persons unknown" who threw the hand grenade do not only turn against us but against the social antagonist movement as a whole, against all who revolted in December, against all who actively refuse the dictatorship of the market and the "democracy" of the batton.
It is probably unnecessary for us to say that we shall not make a single step back, it is unnecessary to say that the parastatals will receive the response they deserve.
Athens, February 25 2009
Network for Social and political rights
Press release issued by the Association of Conscientious Objectors regarding the attack on the Immigrants' Place
2009-02-25 - Yesterday evening around 10pm and while an open event of the Association of Conscientious Objectors was underway concerning new programs for the acquisition of gear by the Immigrants' Place (13A Tsamadou St., Exarhia), an unknown assailant threw a hand grenade and subsequently disappeared. Those of us who were inside the hall heard a bang on the window followed immediately after by a powerful explosion. The perpetrator attempted to lob the grenade into the hall where the event was taking place by breaking the window. Fortunately the glass did not break and the grenade fell in a flower-bed beneath the window and exploded, causing only material damage in contrast to the assailant's obvious intentions.
Aside from the Association of Conscientious Objectors, the Immigrants' Place houses a host of collectives of the Left, the feminist movement, the gay movement, etc., as well as immigrant group activities. As a matter of fact, Greek language lessons that are daily attended by dozens of immigrants had just ended a short while before the attack.
The resurgence of the far right or para-state terrorism, before which it appears we find ourselves, can only frighten those who are already frightened and that does not include us. Obviously, and as happens in such cases, the Association of Conscientious Objectors will continue and intensify its activity, particularly now that we understand how disturbing some find this activity. A hand grenade exploding outside our door was not required to teach us how murderous nationalism and militarism can be and how opposed to it we are. The militaristic mindset, an example of which we lived through yesterday, is foreign to the freedom movement, of which anti-militarism is a vital component. Whoever invests in fear (the framed strategy of tension in the Aegean that is used to justify the feast of arms purchases, terrorism, racism and xenophobia, nationalism and militarism) will find us arrayed in opposition.
Presently, when, following the December events a low-intensity war is being waged against anyone who opposes today's warped society, against any who are engaged in struggle (i.e. the characteristic case of Konstantina Kouneva), it is time to make a stand. The time is now, before the encroaching economic crisis intensifies, before social tensions worsen, before a new Krystalnacht and a new Ordine Nuovo that stigmatized respective historical periods of the past.
Association of Greek COs can be reached on:
e-mail: co (at) antirrisies.gr
WRI public statement on the bomb attack on Greek COs
Athens, 25 February 2009 - The War Resisters' International (WRI), an international network of 82 affiliates in 43 countries, including Greece, condemns the terrifying attack on its associate, Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors.
On the Tuesday 24 February night, at around 10 pm, and while there was in full progress an open meeting against the new Greek army armaments plan, hosted by the Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors, an unknown person threw a hand grenade at the building that the meeting was taking place and then run away. The perpetrator tried to throw a hand grenade inside the meeting hall through the window. Fortunately, there was double-glazing and only the outside glass broke, bouncing off the hand grenade into the pavement, just outside the building. From the explosion, some glass windows in the surrounding buildings were broken and damage was caused in the pavement. But thankfully, and only due to sheer luck, no one was harmed, against, apparently, the clear intention of the perpetrator to kill.
The War Resisters' International is extremely concerned about this particular attempt to kill Greek antimilitarists and the general rise of fear and insecurity in Greece, specially for activists in Greece. The spirit of December 2008 (when the killing of Alexandoros Grigoropoulos provoked mass protests throughout Greece) is obviously still alive among different activist groups in Greece and WRI supports their struggle to end the circle of violence. The rise of extreme right wing groups which spread fear and threaten the very life of people cannot be tolerated. Not anywhere in the world, not in Greece.
The War Resisters' International calls upon Greek authorities to undercover the perpetrator and unmask the motives behind this terrible act.
The War Resisters' International calls other antimilitarist and pacifist groups to express solidarity with Greek COs in their struggle.
Statement from the Athens Anti-Authoritarian Movement on the attack against the Network
The building that hosts the Network for Political and Social Rights, Immigrants, the Association of Conscientious Objectors and other collectives was attacked on the evening of 24 Feb. The hand grenade was intended to commit the mass murder of people inside the hall and the only obstacle was the second plate of glass against which the hand grenade was thrown.
This murderous attack is not symbolic but is absolutely real. It is the assassin's hand of reaction that decided to make its bloodstained face evident. Reaction is not only the state, the para-state and the fascist gangs. It is also the lackeys and followers of statism, nationalism and bigotry. The conclusion one may arrive at is clear. It is a murderous attack on Exarhia and that is what it symbolizes. It is a murderous attack against the resistance movement. It is a murderous attack against the December uprising. It is a murderous attack against those who stand in solidarity with [Konstantina] Kouneva. It is a murderous attack against the lives of people whom these reactionary gangs hate so much, having proven this repeatedly in the past.
As far as we are concerned, we feel that it fell on our window and that the vigilance of all the revolutionary movement's forces must now be taken for granted. Brothers, be on your guard: reaction murders.
The Athens Anti-Authoritarian Movement
Some due explanations:
a) The 'Haunt of Migrants; refers to the Steki Metanaston, i.e. the Immigrants' Social Center which has been functioning for almost two decades in Exarcheia, and is a venue for free language lessons and support to immigrants, antiracist struggle, as well as queer groups and the above mentioned association of conscientious objectors. The building also houses the offices of Rosa, a contingent of the Radical Left Coalition [Syriza] as well as the offices of the Network for Social and Political Rights [Diktyo] a leftist group whose members have consistently offered legal support and solidarity to immigrants, as well as political prisoners.
b) The term parastate or parastatist [parakratos/ parakratikos] refer to mechanisms officially outside state power, but in fact controlled if not by the government then by the army, the police or the secret services. The term was extensively used for the first time during the 1960s, when 'patriotic groups' were used by the police to break up radical meetings and gatherings. The apex of parastate action in the 1960s was the assassination of Grigorios Lambrakis, a left wing MP, in Thessaloniki (Gavras film Z is about this murder). The activity of such groups became redundant during the 7 years junta, when the state had a free hand to exercise all the violence it wanted. After the collapse of the colonels in 1974, it is believed that large parts of the junta mechanism remained in a behind-lines mode, with some of them operating as hit-squads in times the interests of the so called junta-droplets were jeopardized either by parliamentary democracy or by the labour movement and other revolutionary forces. During the 1970s there was a long list of bomb attacks by such groups, leading to several trials of their perpetrators, amongst whom figured prominently a certain Mihaloliakos, now leader of the neonazi group Xrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn). Analysts at the time argued these parastate groups received direct orders by the imprisoned leader of the junta, Papadopoulos, who after the victory of PASOK (Socdem) in 1981 ordered the formation of a united nationalist party (EPEN). Today mainstream analysts attack the idea that fascist and neonazi groups are in fact parastate mechanisms, although the left and anarchists more or less unanimously beleive them them t be so. Elefterotypia, the daily newspaper, has published official papers figuring salaries payed by the EYP (secret services) to Mihaloliakos and other fascists.
c) The attack against the Social Center last Tuesday took place at the day of the appeal trial of Periandros, the debuty leader of Golden Dawn who has been convicted for accomplish attempted murder of a left wing student in the late 1990s.