So, we decided to face The Big Leak.
The story so far…
Some 3 years ago a squatter was trying to do something with the water connection in our block. It is unclear what exactly was his idea and nobody knows what happened. Squatters do not really boast long memory or situation awareness. Enough to say that the popular knowledge is the guy either broke the valve or punctured the water pipe.
As the water erupted, his best idea was to pour enough concrete on it to stop the leak. And then some dirt&gravel. And then some more concrete. Out of sight, out of mind as they say.
Now, I do not really know if anything of that really worked. But when we arrived here 5 months ago, the leak was happily seeping through the whole sarcophagus, growing every week. And it was already considered long-term problem. Continue reading Operation Big Leak. Day #1
We not only do geeky things.
A lady with a 2yo daughter came from the streets and was assigned a flat in my section (staircase). Few days later her husband has been released from prison and joined her — according to community rules he was her guest, as long as she liked it, but had no rights to the flat per se.
For few weeks the lady was attending community meetings and taking her share of work. The man showed once to introduce himself after he was stopped couple times in the neighborhood and asked who he is.
The previous night, hearing noises typical for violent quarrel we, the neighbors (5 people, men and women) paid them a visit to investigate. Men learned from the husband that the child swallowed 10-cent coin and they were just nervously discussing what to do. In separate room women learned from the lady that the husband takes hard drugs and drinks which turns him violent. Continue reading How We Deal With The Domestic Violence
Thanks to our friend Kerrie Moor, who coordinates humanitarian efforts among several independent teams in Athens, we had a surprise visit last Friday. A lorry, accompanied by several gentlemen, appeared in the night and just dropped almost 300 kG of various food, including fresh lamb’s meat, vegetables, carrots, potatoes and onion. Next morning they surprised us again, bringing rice, lentils, various sweet and unhealthy snacks (THANK YOU!) and toiletries. Continue reading The Mystery Of Cornucopia Lorry
Building computer network is fun, but to keep Prosfygika a livable place, we have to face severe technical challenges. And face them quickly.
Most of technical problems we can solve on our own, provided equipment, materials and funding will be available. What we need badly are skilled people to lead and coordinate work, and to turn our unskilled people into another skilled people.
On average, squatters do not pay a lot of attention to infrastructure, once bare minimum is provided. In single building squats the whole infrastructure is in, so it is at least visible and people have chance to check it easily. In Prosfygika, as it is a cluster of squatted apartments, there is a lot of “in-between” pieces, which are not properly maintained.
As the technical group, we focus on that part. Helping people in their individual spaces as much as we can, we decided that shared infrastructure is our priority. Because without it, there will be no neighborhood any more.
Another small achievement today, we successfully mounted our first hot water tank in Prosfygika (at least 12 more are needed immediately!). Also, in the ruined bathroom, we now have nice shower head. Now it is just the matter of rebuilding the bathroom around it…
While the majority of Prosfygika is recovering after November 17th anniversary, we get back to normal operations. Tom started making furniture for his room and the temporary workshop.
With Ibrahim, they also expanded our glazing (or, in that case, foiling) operations into the local staircase.
Mid-November is a strange time in Greece, especially in Athens. Especially if one is living close to Exarchia and anarcho-leftist groups of Greek society. Between 14 and 18th of November everything and everyone is focused on the November 17th anniversary. This is perhaps the most important Greek political anniversary: symbolical date of the “beginning of the end” of the junta (aka Regime of the Colonels) rulings in Greece. Officially dated 1967-74, it was a culmination of fascist domination period in Greece that started in 1949 at the end of Greek civil war, won by the royalist government. Desperate to keep Greece in the Western Bloc, USA and Great Britain not only allowed it, but provided material help to the fascists, effectively pushing Greece into 25 years of military and police terror and dictatorship.
17th of November 1973 is widely considered a symbolic end of that era. With massive demonstrations known as Athens Polytechnic Uprising, the social resistance grew strong enough to bring the end to the regime (officially: 24 of July 1974). Continue reading November in Greece