Following up on a conversation that was a triggering point for a refugee and Bay Area Intifada contributor to pack their bags, get out of the open air prison we call the US of …. ugh ugh ugh and travel to various flash points in the current refugee struggle taking place in Europe – BAI would like to share a simple photo gallery that gives a glimpse into the anti-authoritarian community of Exarcheia, Athens and the pretty spectacular street art that it is literally covered in.
In the coming weeks, BAI intends to release a series of articles on various issues within these communities… basically to figure stuff out through first hand experience, rather than more ish talking and assumptions. So have a look:
A personal observation: There is an underlying tension within Athens that is incredibly clear. In recent years the number of refugees is said to have reached more than a MILLION in a country of only 10 MILLION. So, throw in that Greece is the epicenter of Europes “Economic Crisis”… Obviously this is going cause some serious hatred of the “other”.
As far as I can see, undocumented refugees feel a certain sense of safety within Exarcheia that they don’t feel in most of Athens. This brings to light a broader point: if communities of struggle are not engaging (or not engaging more) with refugee populations, where and whom are they going to turn to? In many instances the fascists of the Golden Dawn have used fear, intimidation, violence and murder to make undocumented refugees their robots, making the refugees their street level operatives of drug dealing, black market trading and prostitution- often times underage prostitution.
It has only been a week. The situation is fluid and it’s impossible to fully understand anything, let alone the complexity of a society rocked by austerity and the outcome of the Dublin accords that made Greece a “first entry” country – laws that practically make it impossible for refugees to move to their final destinations or simply try to begin a new life here in Greece.
Stay tuned. Much more to come…