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Police raid against an anarchist commune in central Athens

20 December 2012 / 12:12:16  GRReporter
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Early on Thursday, the police carried out an operation in order to "clean up" Villa Amalia - one of the oldest meeting places of supporters of the anarchist movement in Athens.

The police action was initiated following a complaint by residents of the area. The civil complaint claimed that drugs were being traded and Molotov bombs were being made in Villa Amalia. At 7:30 am, a unit of the special forces to combat public disorder forced the door open and arrested seven people. The arrests were carried out in the presence of a prosecutor. There is currently no official information about what was discovered in the building, but announced that supporters of anarchist movements have already gathered in front of the building in order to protest against the police operation.

Villa Amalia is a neoclassical building on the corner of Acharnon and Hevden Streets in the Greek capital city. In the 1920s, it was a high school, but was later abandoned. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the abandoned building began to be used as a meeting place for young people with "alternative" ideas on the Western European squads’ principle - parties, concerts and other events based on the basic principle were organised there. Although the entrance for the events in Villa Amalia was free, beer was sold at the place or visitors voluntarily gave a small amount to maintain it.

From the very beginning of its establishment, Villa Amalia has been associated with supporters of radical leftist and anarchist ideas. Anti-racist processions and concerts of anarcho-independent groups were organised in it, and, sometimes, it even served as a temporary shelter for various people. Proponents of these types of communes argue that their main purpose is the desire to create a space free of social influences.

However, rumours and incidents related to carrying out illegal activities at Villa Amalia, have persisted over the past 20 years. It has remained a meeting place for anarchists who gathered there before clashes with the police during strikes and protests. In similar communities, one of them in Exarchia Square, Molotov cocktails were discovered, as well as a fugitive sought by the police on charges of terrorism.

The latest information shows that the police discovered in Villa Amalia 1,500 empty bottles, large quantities of flammable liquid, bombs of the type used at clashes between football hooligans, iron balls and big combat slings.

Tags: Society Crime news Villa Amalia Greece anarchism
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